Volume - 9 : Issue - 1

Published : Jan. - Mar. 2010

Group : Revival

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By Ranjit Butani

Call me an eternal optimist if you may, but I am a staunch believer in the cyclic concept of the universe. From the size of a coin of unimaginable mass, density and energy, the “big bang” explosion leading to the creation of 'space' as we understand it today, with infinite galaxies and stars, ever expanding, till it reaches its extreme and then the contraction, collapsing and imploding to its original stage. Even our Hindu Philosophy believes in this Time-Cycle Satyug to Kalyug, Creation to Annihilation in eternal cycles.

Today, we may have reached, or may be almost reaching the extremity – the rock bottom of humanity, morality, spirituality etc. The focus is on the physical and material and not the mental or spiritual. Terrorism, murder, mayhem, sibling rivalries, total loss of character and disregard for values is the norm of the day. Polluted minds in a polluted environment.

When was the last time we stopped to admire a beautiful flower or a butterfly or a sunset. When was the last time we stopped to listen to the rhythm of the falling rain or the melody of a gushing brook or the song of a bird. WE HAVE STOPPED REGISTERING THESE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS. All that matters now is possessions, schemes to acquire more, how to crush competition and how best to satisfy one's carnal desires  - I, ME, MYSELF!

We seem to blank out the fact that we may be no more the very next moment. Even when we attend condolence congregations for a departed soul we are discussing business or networking socially. Even our so called God-men today perceive their role as a profession in strictly commercial terms. They have their PR and marketing managers!

I must say here that although these observations of mine are of a sweeping nature, there are exceptions to this morbid picture I have presented. But too few and far in between.

So, WHY AM I OPTIMISTIC. I am optimistic because I feel we have hit the rock bottom – there is no more decline possible and the only possible movement is up. From the fast mode – fast food, fast cars, fast music, fast life, fast money – the mantras of today – we will learn to slow down, stop and think, observe and enjoy. So often, having driven an hour, rushing for an appointment you cannot recollect a single scene along the drive. It just didn't register. Same with the lunch you had yesterday. You can't recollect. Because your mind was not there – you didn't savour the scene of the garden you passed while driving or the taste of what you ate. You were probably thinking of a business deal or an illicit liaison or . . . . . . . . . . . .

So as I said, its an eternal circle – I firmly believe we will slow down – go back to our roots, heritage, culture and traditions. We will go back to our true nature, poetry and literature and philosophy will resurface and survive in harmony with science and technology. The innate goodness in humanity will emerge.

Now I bring to focus the issue at hand. Revival of native language, culture, tradition – specifically Sindhyat. I see this happening slowly but surely. The youth of our community are making sincere efforts with remarkable zeal and vigour to go back to our roots. And they claim to be enjoying themselves in the process.

Off late, at several Sindhi gatherings I have seen a handsome young man taking tremendous interest in the gatherings. He is proud of his heritage, always finds time for community gatherings and is a willing sponsor for many social and cultural events that have taken place in Mumbai in the last one year. His name is Sanjay Sippy who has been interviewed by Shri Ram Jawhrani exclusively for SindhiShaan, which has been featured in this issue.

Then take the case of MOHIT LALWANI of Indian Idol 4 fame. I met him at the Cheti Chand celebrations at Sita Sindhu Bhavan recently and we got chatting. Presuming he may not be fluent in Sindhi and since he hails from Delhi I began my conversation in a mix of Hindi and English. Imagine my surprise when he replied in Sindhi and stuck to Sindhi for the entire conversation. He admitted he had recently started speaking in Sindhi and not only speaking he had the crowds eating out of his hand during his performance when he thrilled them by belting Sindhi songs in his own inimitable style – fusion pop, which I'm sure will have the youth rocking.

They may be a few to start with but the numbers will only swell and the movement will undoubtedly snowball. And I'm sure you'll begin to share my optimism for the future.