Friday, December 4, 2015

Karan Tawre, Mark Zuckerberg & Art of Giving!

“Never respect men merely for their riches, but rather for their philanthropy; we do not value the sun for its energy, but for its use”… Gamaliel Bailey

Gamaliel Bailey was an American journalist, editor and publisher, working primarily in Cincinnati, and Washington, D.C. An abolitionist, he supported journalism that promoted the cause & what better persons quote I could have used for something which came across the media he lived in i.e. news papers! Two names which I choose to name after this write-up, Mark Zuckerberg & Karan Taware have been the subject of the news. No, nothing is common in them except the cause for which I am sharing this write-up; while first name is used to make it for front page & headlines whatever he does, the later name is far lesser known & may be for first time has come in news! Yet as I say the cause is same in both news. While zuckerberg has announced that he will be donating his ninety nine percent of share holding that makes nearly forty five billion dollars, now don’t ask me how many Indian rupee it makes; Karan is an engineer & son of a developer popularly called as  builder in Pune, he is in news for for his marriage ceremony.

Let’s take Zuckerberg's news first, barely thirty one year age & he donated all his wealth for social cause, while some may call its height of philanthropy, many will call it as height of insanity, though not openly!What’s special is when in our country we have to run a campaign “save girl child”; zuckerberg has taken this decision as to celebrate birth of his daughter! He has wrote a letter to his new born daughter saying he & his wife wants to grow her (the daughter) in a society where there will be education for all, there won’t be any fear  for diseases, there will be hope & equal opportunity for everybody’s growth & a healthy society will exist. He doesn’t stops only at this, he further says, whatever they are doing is very little in compare to what people have done or are doing but he feels he should take his share in making this world a better place for his daughter & other kids along with whom she will be growing happily! My my, just reading those simple humble words coming from heart of a father who is a multi billionaire too, got tears in my eyes! Here is a man who has understood meaning of his life is what I will say!

But then the world from where zuckerberg has come is full of such insane personalities; from Alfred Noble to Warren Buffet, western countries has a heritage for such insanity of giving; zuckerberg is the latest entrant in the league. Millions & billions of worth wealth these personalities have earned & gave away with equal ease. I really wonder what it takes to do such heroic act, as it’s not that they have earned all this money in some gamble or lottery, its hard earned money but maybe that’s why it’s easy to give away! The more I read such news, respect I carry grow for the culture which has been now part of the western world where every generation of businessmen or let’s say corporate tycoons follows the path of giving. And it’s not just putting money in a cash box in front of a church, they use their knowledge as well professionalism in giving & see that every penny reaches to the real needy ones! I think somewhere right from the schooling this giving culture has been injected in to every kid there. Incidentally they have “Thanks Giving Day” type festivals, which make you realize how lucky you are than others & you should be thankful to the god for making you luckier than other many & you should give back, that’s real thanks giving! The more I think about this giving culture the more I get ashamed of myself as well our current surrounding!

Agreed we too have tells of giving about legendary character of Karna from Mahabharata when it comes to donation or philanthropy but like many other things which we lost in the time travel, art of giving also has vanished! And then I come across the name Karan (which incidentally has common alphabets of name Karna), whose father Kalyan Taware is close friend of mine, yet what Karan did made me realize how little I knew my friend & his family! 

Well first let me share what Karan did; he recently tied knot with his lady love Uma, & they didn’t have any fancy wedding but a simple registered marriage in presence of few close friends & relatives & donated whatever amount they have agreed upon, which would have been budget for the wedding ceremony, for the poor kids education in draught hit part of State! What makes this act at par with zuckerberg is, first as I mentioned zukerberg has been born & bought up in a culture where generations have followed path of giving & then what he has done can be admired by millions but that’s something can’t even imagine to copy it by self! What Karan has done is unique as look at the culture of society he has been bought up; no offence to kalyan as a father but however good habits you make your son to follow yet when he steps out of your home what he see around? Ugliest exhibition of money ever one can have is here. It’s here where people spend for marriage more than they spend for education of their girl, is what a joke I received on my whatsap & its truth in most cases! I live on a road where there are at least five to six marriage lawns are aligned (all are illegal though) yet they charge lacs of rupees per marriage & people does pay proudly. Here a buffet menu provides you world cuisines at platter with rate per plate which can be a month’s ration for a middle class family! A marriage grandureness is measured in items on the menu for dinner which can be even in four digit figure. The list of wealth display doesn’t stops here; designer outfits, decoration sets, flowers, fire crackers, Barat, Sangeet, all of this just displays the money! In many families it’s a four days event with paid celebrities dancing over cocktails to entertain guests which are flown in charter flights & accommodated in five star hotels! Not to forget parties at exotic places by bride & groom to their friend circles enjoyed as last bachelor days memories!

And all this defines your status in the society, this is the culture in which karan has grownup seeing around. And why just  marriage stories; ask any young fellow (most of them), they have fascination for everything which money can buy may it be celebrating birthdays or even passing out from school or college, here everything means enjoyment & fun, that’s all life revolves around! At the same time we conveniently forget that our country is 107th on the scale of giving, in the list of 127 odd countries! Here giving means anything people does for lesser fortunate around & not just giving wishes. At festive occasions like Diwali, millions of rupees gifts are given but to whom? Only to those who have all these things in ample & have capacity & power to return these gifts by more costly gifts or favors! The marriage lawns I mentioned on the road along are brightly lit at night with decorations for marriage ceremonies & at the same time just on other side of the river, thousands of slums doesn’t have light, water or even food to eat for their residents; leave apart the things like education & good health! As in the brightness of decoration lighting, who has time to look beyond those lights & in the darkness around: here is where Karan & Uma are different as they did look in that darkness & tried to share some brightness with those who are in dark!

Apart from the human touch there is one more aspect to what karan did & its carbon foot print reduction. On one side our Prime Minister is attending Seminars at world level about Environment & appealing Developed countries to reduce carbon foot print & what we are doing in our won country? Neglecting our role & increase the carbon foot print, as a big fat wedding reception means thousands of people coming by their vehicles by burning fuel, loads of fireworks polluting atmosphere, light & sound pollution by DJ & lighting & tons of food leftover along with plastic waste in form of garbage! All this is what but destruction of environment which is already getting deteriorated by our other many acts. And karan has not only avoided all this destruction but used the money saved for the needy ones to get them educated giving access to better healthy life, thus decreasing impact of others carbon footprints!

And there is one more dimension & its upbringing of new generation & on that front full marks to karan's parent as we all love to admire such heroics but when our own sibling is doing it we rarely like it leave apart supporting such act! At such time we have all reasons for diverting them from their path right from what our relatives or friends will think to people will doubt our financial condition to why we have earned so must if not spending for such occasion; every reason is enough to make our kids get back on wrong track which we feel is right one! And sure Tawares’ must be the proudest parents with their son displaying that all their teaching which we call “sanskar” has been paid off & I think what more a father can expect from his son? At least I don’t want my sons just to earn more money & called as great, instead I will like to see them share whatever they have & make people understand what real greatness is, by their own acts!

It’s high time each of us should think about our way of not just celebrating but way of earning, as all we have learnt about success is to earn more, that’s it! I think what we have lost is our ability to think for others & our responsibilities towards those who are not as fortunate as us. And that is why karan’s news stands out more prominently for me even than that of great zuckerberg; as what karan & uma did is doable for every one of us (especially our political personalities & builders, whose family marriages are perfect examples of waste of everything) while what zuckerberg did only few of us can dare to even think leave act on it! This is why I feel we need more karans at present, as on that path only we have some hope for having some zuckerbergs of our own, in future & there only lays future of our society too!

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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