Sunday, September 9, 2018

God, Ours & Theirs!

“God has no religion.”…  Mahatma Gandhi.

No need to introduce the man who has said above words as some people are above any introduction so is Mahatma Gandhi, not just for our country but for entire world! And why I remember his above words because of an incidence with me! Every morning I get down for going to game of badminton I have a habit or say ritual to pluck a red flower from many flowering plants in the premise of our apartment & put it on small statue of Lord Ganpati in my car. I feel nice in doing so & now over the years it has become a habit! Just for assured supply of red flowers I have specially planted jaswand red flower plants in the premise of our building & they are ever blossoming i.e. all around the year! but last few days whenever I get down in morning for my game there is not a single flower on any of the plants & for first few days I thought the constant rains must have been an obstacle in blossoming but even when rains have stopped yet I could see no flowers!! I inquired with the watchman at gate, what happened to flowers? On this he said, there has been a new family recently moved in the building & one elderly lady from that family takes away all the flowers from the plants very early in morning every day. On this I said to watchman, ask that lady to keep at least few flowers for others!! but again when I got down in morning I saw no flowers on plants, fuming with irritation I took name & flat number of that family & decided to give them a call & teach them a lesson in my builder way!! at noon on dining table when I was sharing this with my son & my plans about blasting that family for keeping no flowers for others (means myself), he listened to my version & innocently said, *baba, jaudya na, pan kontyatari dewala miltatach na ti fula* i.e. dad why bother let it go as some god is anyway getting those flowers, isn’t it? it took a minute for me to sink in that sentence & then meaning hit me hard as what a fool I was even at age of fifty with all my philosophy & reading, I havent yet understood the god!! Indeed if not the Ganpati statue in my car but the Ganpati in that home is getting those flowers & here I am selfishly thinking about my god not getting flowers! 

And then as our dear Pune is famous (read infamous) for controversies there was one such about Satyanarayan Pooja (can't translate it in English) i.e. a ritual as per Hindu dharma. Now again problem with Hindu Dharma is it has so many sub branches that wonder whom we now call Hindus & whom not! Anyways it’s a form of prayer in which a story has been read by Brahmins (well any one can read it) & flowers as well delicacies are offered to the god popularly known as Lord Satynarayana!  In month of Shrawan (an auspicious month by Hindu calendar) this pooja is done in many Hindu homes as well establishment & so it was supposed to be carried in one of heritage educational institute in Pune. Some students associations opposed it as its religious thing & their say was let religion be kept away from educational institutes. Indeed a noble thought though by me has been put forward in wrong way & as usual the city social life (political too) was abuzz with all sorts of comments in favor & opposing the satyanarayan pooja.  By me any religious display on public place should be ban, it’s high time especially when our way of worshipping religion is becoming a nuisance to the others! We have already enough problems on roads, noise pollution, air pollution, traffic jams & what not, so why we have to bother common man with our love for god is what common citizen thinks but can’t dare to put forward his or her opinions as we know what’s outcome of expressing such opinions! Actually unfortunate part is with legacy of thousands of years on the front of philosophy it’s unfortunate that we haven’t understood the concept of god itself!

Well, if you are (I am sure you are) confused about the direction in which my sharing is going, sorry for going bit off-track, no it wasn’t god or religion I wanted to share my views but it’s about India’s performance in Asian Games held in Jakarta , Indonesia! With more that fifteen gold medals & numbers of silver & bronze this was our second best performance in Asian games, the best was in 1955 but then the competition from our neighbors like China & Chinese Taipei wasn’t so tough! Still nonetheless we the Indians are best in criticizing things & more promptly when those things are outcome of our very own people & high time we break this tradition as criticism is required but overdose of it kills the positive aspect of communication is fact! So, not just well done but superbly done Indian Asian Games squad for your performance in Asian games! Because you all have done proud to our country & most important is you have given us a new hope in the form of new heroes (read gods) like Hima Das, Tajindarpal Toor, Jinson Jonson, Dattu Bhoknal, Amit Pangal, Phogat & many such to the millions of countryman’s, which or else only knew the eleven gods! Yes I am referring to the Indian Cricket Team members who are considered as gods, may it be Dhoni or Kohali today, Dravid & Tendulakar in last decade & Kapil Dev & Gavaskar before that! What an irony that with our mythology has nearly 330 million gods to worship yet we choose just eleven! With due respect to all cricket lovers enough has been spoken about the popularity as well money the game of cricket (read cricketers) gets & indeed they have won world cup twice for us as well many big tournaments yet just eight or ten odd countries plays this game where we are number one in one format! While athletics, swimming, boxing, shooting, wrestling & many such games are played more than fifty countries & do mind, China, Japan, Korea ( I am referring to Asian continent only) doesn’t plays cricket but all above mentioned games & now you can imagine the competition all these players from our country has to face! And if you read the success stories of Asian medal winners then most of them has come from poor families or middle class families from all parts of the countries & has been deprived even very basic infra like good shoes or equipments to train in the respective games! Agreed of late our govt has done a lot better job than earlier ones for providing infrastructure for game other than cricket as appointing a silver medalist in Olympics on the post of Sports Minister in itself is a great step; yet look at the money & facilities the game of cricket enjoys & then you will appreciate these lesser god’s success in Asian games a lot more! No wonder many of these athletes have spoken about the under par facilities they had only after performing as first they won the medal & then they commented on the lacunas in the system. A girl shooter from Delhi who won bronze medal has said about the prize declared, “had this prize money been given before winning the medal, we could have got gold’! I think this one reaction says all about the sentiments of the players! Hope at least now our govt takes cognizance & does the needful for the athletes on their respective infrastructure. By the way just look at the numbers of medals china which is at number one in tally has got & you will realize how much high we have to climb yet ahead on many fronts! We have got fifteen gold medals where as China has got one thirty two gold medals! Do I need to say anything more about the scope for improving our performance in Asian games?

But then it’s not govt I am worried about I am more concerned about the public of this country which is busy over making fuss over our gods & way we warship them for e.g. Satynaryan pooja or Namaz or Chhat pooja & many such. Has anybody asked Jinson Jonson or Hima Daas or Toor, what god they worshipped or what caste they are from or does they perform Satyanaryana pooja or which Church or Masjid or Temple these players goes for praying? Well, they might be worshipping their respective gods at their home but more than that all these players worship just one god which is nothing great but a piece of tri-color cloth i.e. our national flag! It’s said that if your worship your god with hundred percent devotion then he fulfills your every wish, well, these players worshipped tri-color with only one wish, a medal for their country & they got the medal fighting against all odds! I think all those our country men who are proud of their respective colors of religion may it be green or blue or saffron, high time to know your true religion & identify our god as then only we will understand real meaning of god! As what is god but a creation which we only have created by worshipping it with our devotion & imagine the country if we all put our devotion in one god (read national flag) & make the players as well personalities who are already devoted themselves to this god as god’s reflection! Then every wish of every citizen will come true or else one day all that will remain is hatred for each other’s gods & the demons carrying that hatred but the god will be long gone by!

Well even the country like America has also not different than us when it comes to discriminating humans; there it may not be religion but color!  Recently one more sports related issue made headlines which is an advertise by sporting goods making giant i.e. Nike. (Crazy dream advertise, you can type this in search window of U tube & watch by yourself)...
I wrote something to my sons, nephews & nieces, after watching the said ad, sharing here to conclude. By me, sports are in a way our reflection of normal life we live. The way somebody plays any game, shows his or her attitude towards the life & for that single reason everybody should play some game or other once in life span!...

“Dada, chota, bhikya, rohit, ketki & shruti… I will be fifty soon yet even today when I watch such ad it brings tears of excitement in my eyes, my heart beats faster & I can feel rush of adrenaline  in my blood vessels & I think that’s success of the ad as well make me feel good about myself as yet there is very much life in me!! It makes you feel again to dream, not to give them up & makes you determined to achieve what you have dreamt! Mind one thing 99 out of 100 people dreams about something or other but only 5 out of that 99 has the will-power  to make those dreams a reality!! It’s said that, "what you dream is what makes you", I differ as its "what you make of your dreams is what makes you" is more correct version by me! As what’s the use of dreaming a dream which get vanished as soon you are out of your bed! The best part of ad is it says don’t worry whether your dream is crazy but ask whether it’s crazy enough! As do mind fun is always making people amazed by making something reality when they think it’s impossible to do & for that you have to compete with yourself only!! And it’s not easy as how can you beat your own self, well that’s the difference which will make you special from others!! So go ahead & dream & make your dream a reality; don’t just stop getting awe at Nike ad but live it by yourself as that’s one sure way to worship your god!”  ... Baba

Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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