Big B to shoot in Gandhi birthplace Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad , Gujarat Aug 17 , 2010 Tue 11 :30 PM
Another day of enlightenment ! The early hours of the morning and no better place than the ashram at Sabarmati, the abode of the Mahatma, the white doves of peace, the ‘charkha’ and the serenity of divine presence even in his absence.
The lush ‘neem’ trees are such a healthy presence at the ashram. it is considered to be extremely healthy to sit under them. The leaves as many know of the ‘neem’ are a great blood purifier. As youngsters we were often asked to eat raw the fresh and new neem leaves. They tasted the bitterest ever, but because of its medicinal quality we learnt to consume it. The branch or stem of the neem is used even now to brush your teeth with in many parts of rural India. They are the best for the upkeep of healthy teeth, and those that use them continuously never need to get to a dentist. The branches of the neem filled with its leaves is also used as a disinfectant during the cleansing of homes that have had someone in the house infected with chicken pox or measles. The branches of the tree are burnt inside the house and the smoke cleansing the air of any infection. Old tried and tested grand mother technologies, that never failed.
The tree itself is one that takes ages to grow, but has, in the parts where the heat of summer prevails harshly, been able to provide the much needed shade, apart from its other qualities.
Ironic that this little girl should be meeting me under the shades of the neem, a tree whose leaves are eaten to purify blood !
The West, and particularly the Americans had at one point taken over the patent of this plant, until someone fought back and recovered it from them. Hmmm ..!!
But the day ended in another spectacular and amazing moment - a visit to the Akshardham Temple in Gandhi Nagar, the capital of Gujarat and just a 20 min car ride away from the city of Ahmedabad. The Akshardham Temples in many parts of the country have been amazing architectural achievements and the one here in Gandhi Nagar was no less. The constructions and designs are indigenous and without the use of any steel. They are neat clean and aesthetically kept regions. There is a pious feel to the area as a result of this, and a very dedicated loyal and hard working volunteer group of people maintain and propagate its beliefs and principles.
Tonight though, they had kept the temple open and lit long after closing hours for me and that was most gracious of them. Housed in a massive complex, with space and position for research and teaching the laser cum water show at the end of the tour was what we were there for and I have to say I had never seen anything like this ever.
In a large amphi theater that seated 2500 people in a picturesque open space, we witnessed a dramatic and utterly delightful show of a symbolic story that depicted the philosophy of the Akshardham Temple. The laser imagery on flowing fountains and building images on them with a story tale between Nachiket the son of a Saintly father that banishes him to YamRaj the disciple of Death, was a delight to watch. The deeper meanings of Atma and Parmatma were exquisitely woven into the happenings unfolding before us on varied screens of water, with such beauty, that I felt so proud to have been invited to such an event by my dear friend and family like Jigi bhai, JJ Bhatt.
Such a fulfilling experience and then to be able to speak on phone to Pramukh Swami ji, whom I have met on a few occasions, to seek his blessings, was an ideal end to the most, how should I put it, ethereal hours in a day.
Tomorrow early again to another historic location here and then to Jamnagar and on to Porbandar, the birth place of the Mahatma …