Featured

First blog post

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

post

Advertisements

Narali Poornima – Raksha Bandhan

वल्हव रे नाखवा हो वल्हव रे रामा
मी डोलकर डोलकर, डोलकर दर्याचा राजा
घर पान्यावरी बंदराला करतो ये जा!
आयबापाची लाराची लेक मी लारी
चोली पीवली गो नेसलंय अंजीरी सारी
माज्या केसान गो मालीला फुलैला चाफा
वास परमालता वार्यानं घेतंय झेपा
नथ नाकान साजीरवानी
गला भरुन सोन्याचे मनी
कोलिवार्याची मी गो रानी
रात पुनवेला नाचून करतंय् मौजा
या गो दर्याचा दर्याचा दर्याचा दरारा मोठा
कवा पान्यावरी उठतान डोंगरलाटा
कवा उदानवारा शिराला येतंय् फारू
कवा पान्यासुनी आबाला भिरतंय तारू
वाट बगून झुरते पिरती मंग दर्याला येतंय् भरती
जाते पान्यानं भिजून धरती
येतंय भेटाया तसाच भरतार माजा
भल्या सकालला आबाल झुकतं हे खाली
सोनं चमचमतं दर्याला चढते लाली
आमी पान्यामंदी, रापण टाकतो जाली
धन दर्याचं लुटून भरतो डाली
रात पुनवेचं चांदनं प्याली
कशि चांदीची मासली झाली
माज्या जाल्यात होऊन आली
नेतो बाजारा भरून म्हावरां ताजा

(Valhav re nakhava ho valhav re rama

Me dolkar-dolkar-dolkar daryacha raja Ghar panyamandi bandarala kariti yeja…..

Aaibapachi larachi lek me lari
Choli pivali go nesaliy anjiri sari Mazya kesan go malila fulaila chafa Vas paramalata varyan ghetay zepa Nath nakan sajirvani, Gala bharun sonyache mani

Kolivadyachi me go rani
Rat poonveli – nachun karatey mauja..

Yago daryacha- daryacha darara motha Kava panyavari uthatan dongarlata-lata
Kava udan vara shirala yetay faru
Kava panyasuni aabhala firatay taru Vat bagun zurate pirati tava daryala yete bharati Jate panyan bhijun dharati Yeto bhetaya tasach bhartar maja..

Bhalya sakalala aabhal zukate he Khali Sone chamchamat – daryala chadhate lali – lali..
Aamhi panyamandi rapan takato jali
dhan daryache lutun bharato doli
Rat punavechi chandane pyali
Kashi chandichi masali zali
Majya jalyat houn aala Neto bajara ikaya mhavara taja…)

The song of the fisherman folk…

One of my favourite songs which I have been listening to from my childhood. Have performed on it too in my school days. At that moment little did I realise that a few of my best friends would be from this most adventourous communities of India.

Living on the coastlines of India, they have been a community who fight the waves of the ocean to live a life of self respect and self esteem. We call them the “Koli’s” and the “Aagri’s” here in Mumbai. They are the original Mumbai locals. The aboriginal community of Mumbai trying to survive and live upto their name. The 7 villages, of Original Mumbai, were where they lived. These 7 villages when they came to the English Monarch as dowry were slowly developed as a port and slowly it turned into what we see and call as Mumbai today. Even as Mumbai developed, the Kolis and the Aagris have maintained their identity in the various Koliwadas ( Villages of Koli) and Aagripadas (Villages of Aagri).

They are a very hardworking community. The women folk is equally strong as their men. They work shoulder to shoulder with their men and not only look after their household, but earn for it too. The men venture into the seas early morning at 2/2.30 to catch fish. Some go into shallow waters, catch fish and cone back to the shore early morning. The women are waiting for them at the Jetty. They separate the different types of fishes from the catch and take them to the local markets to sell them. And return back home in the afternoon.

Some fisherman go deep water fishing and get the different bigger types of fishes, which many a people savour during the lunch and dinner at their homes. They stay in the deep seas for 2/3 days and return after the stipulated time. It a life full of hardships where one has to carry their food and fuel for 2/3 days and survive on that. Bear Grylls, of the Man V/s Wild should do an episode on one of these trawlers one day.

The days of hardships for these folk are the monsoons when they cannot venture into the sea. There is no fishing and no fishes to sell. Nature too recycles itself during these 40/50 days. The time to lay eggs and let them incubate so after the end of this period, new fishes are ready to be caught. During this time, the fishermen folk spent the most difficult time of staying back at home, but this is also a time to sit back and recuperate. It’s a tough time but they manage on their savings and live a very Happy and joyful life.

The last 5 days, that the day before Shravani Poornima (the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan), they get the waters of the ocean to their homes. Put them in a “Kalash”, put a “Shreefal” (coconut) over it. And worship and pray before it. These are the days of preparing for the new fishing season. The fish nets and the boats are repaired and prepared and painted anew. The days of preparations pass on very fast accompanied by worship and prayers.

On the day of the full moon, the whole village wears a festive look. The whole day is celebrated with a lot of fanfare. The main programme is in the late afternoon. The time when every family carries the Kalash from their respective homes to the ocean accompanied with music and dance. They all gather at the ocean side. All the Kalash are gathered and arranged on the sands, where they are worshiped for one last time. Later the coconuts are offered to the Ocean Gods as an offering. The boats are pushed inside the oceans the new fishing season begins.

This festival is, like the other festivals, of expressing gratefulness to the Ocean who helps them earn a living and survive. Now a days, the younger folk of this community have taken to education and hard workers as they are, are excelling in the fields which they choose. Many are taking up Navy and Merchant Navy as an option. Yet the fervour to celebrate Narali Poornima has remained as it is, even in these younger generations.

The day coincides with two other festivals. One is where the intelligentsia change their sacred thread which they wear the whole year around and the other is of Raksha Bandhan. The day to get the blessings of the sister and strengthen the sibling bonds.

Had written about Rakshabandhan last year, the link to which I share at the end of my blog. Will write about the thread changing ceremony next year.

Till then, wishing you all a very Happy Narali Pooornima and Rakshabandhan.

My link to the blof written on Rakshabandhan last year

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/monsoon-months-chaturmaas-rakshabandhan/

Matrubhumi – Independence Day

The day to thank God for giving India freedom so that it can lead the world.

The day to remember our soldiers who sacrificed their lives and family for India and Her freedom.

The day to remember the revolutionaries who just left everything for the fight for freedom.

The day when India was liberated from slavery of around 1300-1400 years of the Shakas, Huns, Gaznis, Moghuls and the English.

The day when India decided to formulate it’s own destiny and charter Her own path, the path no different from Her founding fathers, the Sages and the Rishis.

Wishing you all my readers a very Happy 73rd Independence Day. A day to rejoice and a day to sit back and think as well.

The day when we decided that we will be a democratic country with a federal structure. The reorganisation of states and the writing of the constitution of India are the two major steps that we have taken during the initial years of our Democracy.

Democratic process has been the heart of our philosophy from the known history. Even when we had Kings ruling their respective states, they had Sabha’s to help them govern. The Sabha’s had a big say in the day to day working of the country. Yes the Kings did have a few rights over the decision of the Sabha’s, but that is the same today. Doesnt the Government come out with an ordinance when needed? But Sabha has a large role to play. The importance of the Sabha can be understood by the single instance of Ram leaving Sita, when a doubt was raised about Her character. The working of Indian kings has been such that there should not be an iota of doubt amongst its citizens about the King or his ministers. If the King doesnt comply to the wishes of the people, we all have witnessed what happens then! A Prime Minister with a brute majority of more than 400 seats in one election, loses the very next election due to charges of corruption and nepotism.

We all know that Krishna belonged to the Vrishni Sangh which was nothing but a congregation of many states which had a King helped by the ministers to govern the land. This is somewhat similar to the Federal structure of India that we have today. Even we get to see such a structure in Thailand which has 9 kings who take the throne one by one after a defined period.

I just want to convey to my readers that let’s not think that we are doing something new. It isn’t so! We are just emulating our forefathers. Only thing is that neither we know our history nor are we interested in knowing it. And this is our biggest problem. We all just feel that India has become civilised after the British came in and before their arrival we were just a bunch of nomadic tribes moving here and there for a living and fighting for lands. We have been taught so through our history books.

On this Independence Day, I urge my readers to read our true history written by historians like R.C.Mazmudar and not by the Government planted stooges who help make text books suit the Government narratives. Also let us understand that India has a very old history of more than 12000-15000 atleast years as independent researchers like Nilesh Oak and others have researched and proven. In the world of Internet today, let us embark on our own research and try to find and understand our roots.

India has been one culturally, socially and politically from the times of Lalitaditya, Samudragupta and Chandragupta. We have been one, as have pointed out in many of my blogs written on Motherland – Matrubhumi series. We have been the pioneers of Unity in Diversity in thoughts, social customs and political leanings.

The three major thoughts of the World, The Vedic way, The Buddhist way and The Jain way have their roots in India. The major religions find a place of respect here. The Parsis who ran away from Iran due to fear of persecution, find a respectable place in India. Islam and Christianity have also been accepted and respected as thoughts and studied here too. The best part of India is that Her citizens have the freedom to practise and live any thought that they feel is good for them. Even to the extent, that even non-believers or atheists find a respectful place here. This is the broad mindedness of India.

Today when one sees the political manoeuvring in the country, one is disheartened that did our founding fathers or our forefathers fight for this. They too have erred a lot, but that does not give us the right to criticize them or picture them the way we do today. If we as the present generation feel that these are some mistakes which were committed, then the best way is to correct them, not sit on them. And who can guarantee that what we do today will not be corrected later by the future generations?

So,

Let us together do our best for India. Give our best to India. Perform our duties and own up for the mistakes we commit during performance of our duties.

Let us see to it that India not only thrives as an economic super power but also as a spiritual superpower, in which the solution to all the problems lie.

Let us research and find and try to go to our roots and learn to cling to them and live by them.

Let us be civilised and cultured in our behaviour with each other and towards every Indian, rather every citizen of the world.

Let us pray for peaceful and a healthy world and let there be good faith and good will around us and let there be no ill will.

Remember!

We are the land of

वसुधैव कुटुंबकम । (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam) (the whole world is a family)

आनो भद्राः कृतवोयन्तू विश्वतः । ( Aano Bhadraha Krutvoyantu Vishwatah) (Let the noble thoughts flow to me from all the directions)

सर्वेत्र सुखिनः सन्तु, सर्वे सन्तु निरामयः ।

सर्वे भद्रानि पश्यन्तु, मा कश्चिद् दुःखमापनुयात् ।।

(Sarvetra Sukhinaha Santu, Sarve Santu Niramayaha,

Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu, Ma kaschid Dukhamapnuyaat)

Wishing you and your families a very Happy 73rd Independence Day.

Also wishing the citizens of Korea, Congo and Liechtenstein with whom India shares Her Independence Day!

Jay Hind!

Vande Mataram!

PS : would also request my readers to read the following blog written by D K Hariji and Hemaji

Svatantrata – True Independence
https://wp.me/p2LM3O-8h

Nag Panchami – Shitala Saptami

The month of Shravan.

Every day of this month is a festival.

It is the time of reiterating our commitment towards nature and Her living as well as non-living forms

Gratitude is the core philosophy of Vedic sages. To be grateful is to be Human. This month makes us express our gratitude to whosoever, who has been a help to us to lead a beautiful and healthy life, socially and humanely.

So today we would be talking about the festivals which enlighten our way and are the Vedic way of expressing ones gratitude to Nature.

We believe that God resides in everything. Rather it is the will and wish of God, that He created us, the non living and the living. We both co-exist. We believe (even science today believes) that we have come from the non-living. Science believes that there is ‘chetan’ (atoms) in everything and we believe that there is ‘chaitanya'(God) in everything. The Theory of evolution as suggested by Darwin has already been proposed many thousand years back by us in the form of 10 avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu. (It will need a blog wholly dedicated to this talk.)

So with this broad outlook we will look into 3 festivals which we celebrated during the last 3 days. Nag Panchami (नाग पंचमी) and Shitala Saptami (शीतला सप्तमी). In between these two days, we celebrate Randhan Chhath (रांधण छठ्ठ). Let us understand them one by one.

Nag Panchami is a festival celebrated to worship the Serpents. The serpents are representatives of the reptile world. As human civilisation thrived, we had to cut down forests to make big towns and cities to accommodate more and more people. We knowingly had to drive out the reptiles from their natural habitats. As these reptiles cannot speak and express their emotions to us, they just left. For a few time they must have resisted but after finding their fight futile, they sacrificed their homes and went deeper into the jungles. Our Sages had a great intellect and an emotional heart. They felt that we need to express our gratitude to this class of animals who are sacrificing their abode for Humans. So they inculcated this practise of celebrating Nag Panchami.

My readers, our festivals have a divine but human outlook, which we need to understand and not laugh upon. The westerners may call us the land of magic and serpents, but we are far more ahead in our understanding about nature than them. We need to develop our own attitude and understandings about all our festivals.

Also there have been many studies about the Nag people. They are considered as the sons of Sage Kashyap, the father of Indian soil, from whom Kashmir has got its name. We also need to study those Nag people, who some say were Brahmins but were driven out of Kashmir. This part of our history has been deliberately kept out of the reach of common people so that the connect between India and Kashmir cannot be established and we keep on believing that it has been a Muslim majority state. But readers many a new research is shedding light on the work of Sage Kashyap in today what is called Kashmir. But again will leave it upto you, my readers, those interested to look further and research and read.

The next day is Randhan Chaatth. A day of cooking. A day of putting all the culinary skills to work and cook the best food possible. A day when one cooks from Morning to Evening. It is the day of cooking the best delicacies possible and yeah at the same time in away that one can savour the next day. The women of the household start the preparations early morning itself. In some villages of Saurashtra, Gujarat, the women get together to cook. They sing devotional and folk songs and enjoy this whole process. The households offer this food as Prasad to Devi Annapoorna – the Goddess of Nutrition.

Also the diet of Indian people has been very simple. Being an agrarian economy, people are always on their fields working hard to survive, and for the survival of the human civilisation. Their diet is simple, of jowar, bajra chappati with jaggery or green chillies or rice with curry. This may be incorporated so that people may atleast for one day savour the various delicacies available in their homeland.

Also Ayurveda does not allow to eat food cooked the day before. Rather our households are such that we do not even eat food cooked in the morning. So eating it the next day is a dream. Man is more attracted towards things he cannot do or is not allowed. So our Sages must have kept a day to eat food cooked a day before. In the modern world, it’s a holiday in the kitchen for the wonenfolk. Whatever may be the reason, but frankly many people wait for this day.

The next day is Shitla Saptami. It is the day of non cooking. Food prepared the day before is savoured on this day. Some of my readers may feel it is unhygenic to do so. But frankly we all love cold food. Especially many foods like Khichadi and foods made from spices tastes great when eaten, the next day after preparation. But it is unhygenic and unhealthy to eat it everyday. So our Sages have kept one day in the whole year when we can satisfy our urge to eat food cooked overnight through this festival. People who regularly eat canned foods need to understand the quotient of healthiness inherent in daily cooked food.

In the morning, the lady of the household, wakes up early and worships the stove. They pray to the Agni (Fire) and Annapoorna Devi. They make a swastik with red vermilion and put a twig of a mango tree over it as an offering. The mango signifies sweetness and it is said that it imparts coolness. She prays to the stove to help her cook food which will be healthy to eat and impart health to the one who eats it. Apart from this, it is also a way of expressing our gratitude to the stove who burns the whole year for giving us cooked food. This whole day, the stove is not lit. In our way, we would say that’s it’s a holiday for the stove.

Also, it is day to worship Goddess Shitala, the Goddess of cleanliness and health. Goddess Shitala is represented as a young maiden crowned with a winnowing-fan, riding a donkey, holding a short broom (either to spread out or dust off germs) and a pot full of pulses (the viruses) or cold water (a healing tool). Sometimes, she is shown to be carrying a bunch of neem leaves, a herb used throughout India since ancient times that is believed by some to be an effective remedy to most of the skin diseases to this day. Even today in India, we keep neem leaves around the patient suffering from Chicken pox. And after 5/7 days, parents take their kids for a darshan of Shitala Mata and worship Her and thank Her for curing the child of the disease. (Medicines are administered regularly, but at the same time it is a matter of faith and gratitude towards nature).

On this day, we are expected to offer our gratitude to the broom and every other object which helps to keep our food and surroundings clean. Some people do worship the broom and the winnow on this day.

These days are of showers. Showers heavy and light keep the atmosphere clean and cool. The combination of the showers and these festivals are like a combination of lime and jaggery. They are good for health and taste both.

On these days,

Let us learn to inculcate a feeling of gratitude towards even the smallest of the things which make out lives healthy and better.

Let us learn to keep our surroundings clean and keep ourselves clean and healthy, free from diseases.

Let us know our ancestors and their vision and their efforts to keep us civilised.

Jayatu Bharat!

Who am I? – 4 (Deep Amavasya)

अरे अरे ज्ञाना झालासी पावन ।
तुझें तुज ध्यान कळों आले ॥१॥

तुझा तूंचि देव तुझा तूंचि भाव ।
फिटला संदेह अन्यतत्वी ॥२॥

मुरडूनियां मन उपजलासी चित्तें ।
कोठें तुज रितें न दिसे रया ॥३॥

दीपकीं दीपक मावळल्या ज्योती ।
घरभरी वाती शून्य झाल्या ॥४॥

वृत्तीची निवृत्ति अपणांसकट ।
अवघेंची वैकुंठ चतुर्भूज ॥५॥

निवृत्ति परमानुभव नेमा ।
शांतिपूर्ण क्षमा ज्ञानदेवो ॥६॥

In our journey to find oneself, Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, one of the Saints of the Bhakti Movement (Warkari Sampradaay), will help us.

At a very young age, Dnyaneshwar lost his parents and had taken his elder brother, Nivruttinath, as his guru, his guiding light. Nivruttinath is considered as one of the Yogi’s of the Nath Sampradaay (sect).

He pursued his path of truth amongst all odds and this is one of his “ABHANGS” verses on self realisation. The second line of the first verse is the answer to all our quests. “TUJHE TUCH DHYAAN KALO AAHE“. He explains that at the end of the search one realises that the one we are trying to find is within oneself and nowhere else. The third line “TUJHA TUCHI DEV TUJHA TUCHI BHAAV“, emphasises the same thought in another way. He says you are your own God, and the day one realises this thought, all the doubts will vanish in thin air and the rush to find HIM in others will stop right away. Again at the same time one should also know that Dnyandev in no way denies HIS existence in others. He just says that once you find HIM within you, the quest for running here and there will stop. Again the Vedic slogan of “TAT TVAM ASI” is also understood through these lines.

The third verse “MURDUNIYA MANN UPAJALASI CHITTEIN, KOTHE TUJH RITEIN, NA DISE RAYAA“. He further explains that on Self Realisation, that is, reigning in our senses, the God has entered our heart. God resides in our heart. God himself says so in the Chapter 15 Verse 15 of the great poem Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta.
सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो
मत्त: स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपोहनं च |
वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो
वेदान्तकृद्वेदविदेव चाहम् || 15||
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanan ca
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham

It is just that we had forgotten but remembering this thought is the first step to self realisation. And once HE resides in our heart, all the emptiness leaves. We realise that we are not alone, but the Creator is with us.

In the fourth verse, Dnyandev says “DEEPAKI DEEPAK MAVALLYA JYOTI, GHARBHARI VAATI SHUNYA JHALYA“. On self realisation, the flame of desires are extinguished. They are extinguished not dowsed. There is not even a hint of desire left. Here let us also be clear that when Dnyandev says that no desire is left. He means that no desire for personal self is left. Without desire, it’s practically impossible to survive. But on self realisation, it is only the desire “To live for Thee” which is left and so all actions performed will be selfless and for the good of the society and for HIM.

The essence of life is to alight the flame of light, The Deepak, in our lives. The Lamp, as called Deep, is a very important symbol of realisation. It has used by mnay to explain the life we have to lead. Many a great poets have written about it.

Today is Deep Amavasya. The last day of the month of Asadh. The month of Shravan sets in tomorrow. People in the Malabar region, cleanse all the lamps that they have in their house and light them tonight. It is for cleanliness of the lamps and the soul. We should sit in front of those lamps and pray to remove all the darkness within and walk on the path of enlightenment.

The worship has its own significance. It is spreading light in our lives and the lives of others too. Light is considered auspicious. It removes the darkness from the outer world and at the same time enlightens the inner self. We, Indians, light a Diya everyday and say the following shlokas invoking the blessings of the Gods :

शुभं करोति कल्याणं आरोग्यं धनसंपदः ।
शत्रुबुद्धिविनाशाय दीपज्योतिनमोऽस्तु ते ॥

दीपज्योतिः परब्रह्म दीपज्योति जनार्दनः ।
दीपो हरतु मे पापं दीपज्योतिनमोऽस्तु ते ॥

(I bow to the Light, which brings abundance and prosperity of Health, and wealth and which destroys the intelligent enemy [darkness]…

It is you O Light! That is the creator and the operator and you will lead me to light away from sins, so I bow down unto you…)

Dnyandev wants us to realise the importance of lightening and worshipping of lamps. The last two verses, He talks about the omnipresence of GOD. Once we retire from our own desires, we have to feel, see and understand GOD in everything. He is also offering his Namaskaars to his Guru, Nivruttinath, in the last verse. When he says “NIVRUTTI PARAM”, he means to tell us that whatever I have got is because of my Guru, my teachers and the self contentment and all embracing mercy is a prasad of my Guru.

Today on the Day of Deep Amavasya, let the light the lamp of Knowledge in our lives and understand what these great saints have realised and tried to tell us in a language we understand.

Let us move from selfish motives to selfless ones.

Let us move from darkness to light.

Let us move from the world outside to world inside.

Let us realise the GOD residing inside.

Let us understand the meaning of ‘I’.

Kargil Vijay Diwas

26th July 1999…

Kargil Vijay Diwas…

A day to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice of our soldiers…

The Supreme Commander of the Indian Forces, The President of India, Respected Ramnath Kovindji paid his respects and also of the nation to the soldiers.

My ode to the slain soldier :

When the neighbour back stabbed us in the name of peace,

Let us be prepared to break his house piece by piece,

Let him not forget that he has messed up really bad,

We still remember our jawan bodies being ice clad,

We cannot forget the teary Mother or the widow or the kid,

For the enemy, who killed her son or husband or father, sordid…

Still remember those days when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vaypayee went on a peace mission to our neighbour, in a bus. A bus from Amritsar to Lahore. Never did he realise that the neighbouring army was plotting against India. They just crossed over and occupied our peaks and on the Line of Control at many places especially in the Kargil – Leh sector.

We already were at a disadvantage as the hills were occupied by the forces of our enemy and we had to climb up and fight back. But the Indian Army was not to be laid back. The enemy never realised that they had made a big mistake of challenging one of the best and bravest armies of the world, the Indian Army. We fought back and within 30-40 odd days captured back the area which was occupied. Let us remember we had never lost it, it was occupied, by the most meanest of the methods.

The Kargil war is still etched very well in my memory. We used to be glued to the TV sets for every update we could get. As the fight progressed and our brave soldiers started recapturing our positions, we used to be elated and our proud chest would pump out of pride for our Army. Later, as the feeling of victory sunk in, it also made us proud to hear about the individual efforts of a soldier or a company under an able leader.

There are many instances or events which can be narrated. Of these many, I today choose to narrate the fight for Chorbat La.

Chorbat La is an important piece of land, a strategic mountain pass in Ladakh, if not won back would have let the enemy push in its army and arms into India, unopposed. It could have then blocked the very important Leh-Khalsi road used for the movement of troops and supplies and practically made it impossible to access the Leh-Srinagar road.

Major Wangchuk and his men from the Ladakh scouts took upon them, the mission of recapturing Chorbat La and accomplished this mission between 31st May and 1st June 1999. An impossible but a daring mission taken up by them as they very well knew the landscape. This was one of the first victories on the Indian side. My readers can very well understand its importance, by learning the fact that Major Wangchuk was recommended for the Mahavir Chakra even before the war was over and 6 soldiers from his unit won the gallantry awards.

These 6 soldiers had climbed a vertical mountain of ice 18000 feet high in a single line with the help of ropes and ice picks in – 6 degrees temperature. A single step put wrong would have killed all of them. If they would be detected, as they could have been as they were on the ridge, an enemy bullet could have easily killed them.

The unit climbed up the same route. They had to trek through 2 feet of snow. Later they attacked the 135 men strong company of the enemy and made them run for their lives. Taken by surprise, the enemy had to retreat to their base camp, into their side of their line of control. The 40 odd boys with their Major took over the pass and stayed back to defend it, till the regular army arrived to take over, which happened after 14 days when the 14th Sikh regiment took over.

I share the details of the Major’s experiences in his own words. He describes it in his conversation with Amberish K Diwanji, of Rediff.com.

“When we actually went for the operation and were in contact with the enemy, I had just about 40 boys because 60% of the strength was taken away for other missions.

On May 30, a part of my unit climbed up and saw 12 to 13 (Pakistani) tents just beyond the LoC. They were housing almost a company (135 odd men). They also saw two to three chaps climbing up the ridge from the other side. My JCO shot them dead, confirming that they were Pakistanis, But there were other Pakistanis up on the ridge some distance away, too far to fire upon. This was around noon.

My JCO informed me over the radio, and I in turn sought permission from my headquarters to move ahead with a party. Then I immediately took my remaining 25 men and literally ran in the two feet deep snow up the mountainside. It was a distance of eight kilometres and I covered it in two-and-a-half hours.

I was in the middle of the ravine, about to climb up to the OP (Operation Post) when a burst of fire greeted us.

The effect was devastating! We scattered for cover, but in the bare mountain, this was difficult. We found one boulder behind which all of us huddled together, simply unable to move because bullets were flying all around us. Also, in the snow, movement is very difficult and slow.

One NCO who came along with me had his arm shattered; he died later due to excessive bleeding. With all of us hiding behind the boulder, there was nothing we could do.

To be honest, it was a scary situation and for the first 10 minutes, my heart was pounding, my head was throbbing and I just could not think. But then I calmed down and realised that we were in danger.

Also, more of my men were following and since I had no radio, I could not even inform them. So I immediately sent one person back to the remaining unit, with the information that they should start climbing up the ridge and go to the height on the right of the Pakistanis.

Then, my men and I ran to Adam base, located below our OP, and luckily there was no Pakistani firing. I don’t know why, but we all reached safe. This was around 1630 hours.

We waited for nightfall to launch another attack, but the moon light was so bright that we could have been easily spotted by the enemy.

But the blessings of the Dalai Lama, whom we had met a day before the mission, seemed to be with us and a blanket of mist came to our rescue.

Taking our chance and with the sacred thread given by the Dalai Lama around our necks, we started the steep climb up the mountain.

At dawn we reached the height and launched a surprise attack on the Pakistanis.

We killed 10 enemy troops. The Pakistanis ran helter-skelter down the slope and withdrew, dragging down some of their dead and leaving three behind. We took control of the entire ridge.

Thereafter, we took stock of all forces along the Chorbatla axis in the Batalik sector and cleared it of all enemy intrusions up to the Line of Control.

It was a difficult mission, but I couldn’t have done it without the boys. By virtue of being sons of the soil, the Ladakhi boys are mountaineers and conversant in negotiating the mountains.

Many troops get intimidated with lofty mountains and snow covered terrain, but the Ladakhi soldiers don’t fear the mountains.

I think the gallantry award came my way because it was the first success of the Indian Army, and secondly, Chorbat La pass was tactically very important.

It was a grand success for the Indian Army and the nation — that’s why I got the honour. Otherwise, there were lots of units who did much better than me,”

There are many such instances which can be and need to be described as well and shared in maximum. I plan to do so whenever I get an opportunity. I urge upon my readers to share any such events they know or have read about during the coming days.

The way our Jawans fight for us, fight for India is not only brave and courageous, it ignites a sense of patriotism amongst us too.

Today on this day, I bow down to the soldiers of the Indian Army and express my gratefulness to guard our borders. They keep vigil so that we can sleep well in our homes. My Namaskaars once again.

VANDE MATARAM.

JAI HIND.

Who am I? – 3

The other day when we were talking about “Who am I?”, someone sent me this. The beauty of the picture and that of its creator struck me.

A question mark bowing down to ‘I’.

Awesome. Beautiful. Creative.

It wholly explains the openness of Vedic literature in a simple yet lucid manner. Vedas have always given an impetus to asking questions. “Veda” itself means “to know“. This is has been and should be the underlying principle of development of the Human, His soul and the entire Human race.

The questions:

Who am I?

Where have I come from?

What do I have to do?

Why am I chosen to play my part?

How do I do it?

need to be asked by one and all. Everyone might find a different answer to these questions. But the end result is the salvation of the soul from this circle of life and death.

The quest is the road from life to death to life, till the soul finds it’s rightful place. The day when the soul gets to sit in the lap of God, as “Dhruv” has found it. As many others have found it.

Some go to the extent of saying that stick to a thought and live your life with it and accordingly and you will find your salvation. Though I am no one to disagree with these Great souls, I feel that it is not possible. Say for example Mahatma Gandhi. By sticking to the lone principle of Ahimsa, he might have earned the title of a Mahatma, but if someone tells me that his soul was liberated due to this, is what I am not ready to believe. (Pls try to understand what I want to say and do not argue or counter argue on the example given. It can be anyone else.) I just want to convey that the development has to be whole, entire, complete.

Coming back to the quest, what I am fascinated by is the last question “How do I do it?”. There is no particular answer to this question. It will be varied. A “few” may find their own way to do it. They are the ones who have come, or rather, been sent to Mother Earth out of Law of Universal Necessity. The “many” need to follow them, do what they do and say what they say. Again accepting the master or a teacher is a human choice.

This is where I loved the picture, as for common people like me or rather us, we all need to bow down to these great people of wisdom.

Bowing down is to find the answers to our questions.

Bowing down is to signify the acceptance of their being a step ahead of us in the quest of develooment.

Bowing down means ” समर्पण”. I offer myself and my life to you and please guide me.

Bowing down means having full faith in the person we bow down to, after testing and questioning and reasoning every word the person has said.

Bowing down means merging our life into his and walk onto his path.

And then,

Here the questions rest.

Here the quest for development not only through thought but action begins.

Here we tread on the path to become an enlightened researcher.

As Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta propounds “बुधा भावसमन्विताः।” (Chapter 10 Verse 8) (a combination of Intellect and Emotions), this can be the only way to find the answers to our questions.

So my readers, let us begin this journey and be blessed by the right teachers who show us the path on which we need to tread on.

तत् त्वम् असि” (Tat Twam Asi)

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहं शिवोऽहम् ।

Moon – 2

Chandrayaan will be kept in space soon,

A satellite from India will then land on moon…

The most sought after scientific event will be fulfilled in a few days from now and people from India will rejoice.

Today is the anniversary when Man first stepped on the moon.

Thats one small step of man but a giant leap for mankind.

The above said words keep on ringing in our minds today. Except Neil Armstrong, the other astronaut Buzz Aldrin who walked on the moon is still alive to share their experiences with us. What a mesmerising experience it must have been! A human walks in a place other than Mother Earth. Am sure they must have been overwhelmed with the excitement of the moment too.

Man has been attracted towards studying the environment around him from many a years. He is more interested in knowing the unknown. Discovering the unknown. Exploring the unknown. He derives a sense of adventourism from it.

Moon is one such heavenly object which has fascinated man always. From writing poems and songs to actually walking on it, man has traversed a long journey. To the extent that we have a lunar calendar in existence even today. The waxing and waning of the moon has helped us count time. The “Poornima” (full moon day) and the “Amavasya” (new moon day) have their own importance signifying the mid date of the month and the culmination of the month respectively. Even the science of forecasting, Astrology, considers moon position equally important as the other planets and Sun.

Even the phases of the moon have their own importance.

Duj ka chand (The moon on the 2nd day from full moon or new moon) – Crescent moon. It signifies the strengthening of the bonds between siblings. Celebrated as Bhaiyya Duj in India, as the last day of Diwali, in the month of October / November. Sisters invite their brothers to their in-laws place for a get together followed by lunch / dinner. It is believed the girls who do not have any brothers consider the Moon as their brother and celebrate the day with Him.

Vat Savitri Poornima – Celebrated for long life of the husband on the full moon day. It falls in the months of May- June.

Matru din/ Pola – Celebrated on the Amavasya of the Shravan month. A day dedicated to expressing gratefulness to all those who feed us and take care of us. From Mother Earth to the Cattle and our Own Mother.

Chaturthi – Celebrated with pomp and fanfare as the day when Ganeshji was born.

These are just a few from the many which can cited here and we know.

A story explaining the waxing and waning of moon also can be found in the Ganesh Purana but I leave it upto some next time to talk about it.

The only thing i want to convey through all this is that the moon has always played an important part in our lives, in upliftment of Human civilisation.

Today we plan to land on it. We plan to build colonies on it. We wish to set our foot on it. And we all know that with the advent of science, we will be able to achieve that.

The only request I wanna make through this blog, is that

Let’s not forget the emotional connect we have with Chandamama.

From my childhood days, the moon has been our Mama (Maternal Uncle) and let us learn to live with this thought. Going to the moon is like visiting Mama’s place. Will end with a beautiful Marathi rhyme regarding going to Mama’ house.
झुक झुक झुक झुक अगीनगाडी, धुरांच्या रेघा हवेत काढी

पळती झाडे पाहूया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

मामाचा गाव मोठा, सोन्याचांदीच्या पेठा
शोभा पाहून येऊया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

मामाची बायको घोरटी, म्हणेल कुठली पोरटी
भाच्यांची नावे सांगूया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

मामाची बायको सुगरणं, रोज रोज पोळी शिकरणं
गुलाबजामुन खाऊया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

मामा मोठा तालेवार, रेशीम घेईल हजार वार
कोट विजारी घेऊया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

A nursery rhyme we all have learnt in Maharashtra explaining the meaning of going to Mama’s house.

Let we be blessed with such a train which will take us all to the moon. Every verse can be explained with what can be done and how to spend time on Moon.

Till then ciao.

Hope to meet you all on the Moon!

PS : The link to my blog which I wrote last year on the same day. You all will love to read it.

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/moon/