It is all about perception. Whether you see a beautiful flower against a thorny fence or a thorny fence with a flower resting on it is all one’s perception. Whether we perceive our country to be dirty, large, corrupt, over-populated, loud, poor, unhealthy, or diverse, colourful, young, inclusive, challenging, warm, open-hearted is how we look at it.
However, just see how celebrities across the world have viewed India :
Mark Twain, American author: “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”
R.W. Emerson, American Author: “In the great books of India, an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence, which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the questions that exercise us.”
Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA: “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.”
Dr Arnold Toynbee, British Historian: “It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way.”
Let us be proud of ourselves and our country as we celebrate the 68th Independence Day. We had a glorious past. We have a promising future. Let us work towards turning perceptions into reality.
Let me begin this issue seeking the blessings of the Elephant-headed God Ganesha who will be welcomed home tomorrow with joy and gaiety. He is worshipped before we commence any new task so that there are no obstacles in the way. While for some obstacles are unrecognized opportunities, for those that are awake and alert, obstacles are opportunities looming large.
One such celebrity is Dr. Malathi Holla (in the picture) who despite being wheel-chair bound has many achievements to her credit. She has many awards bestowed on her – Padmashree, Arjuna, Ekalavya, Aryabhatta, Karamveer, Sankalp Ratna, Manava Ratna………….the list is endless together with some 300 medals.
She is a paraplegic Olympian, a great sportswoman who says “Our mind is not paralysed, our hands are not paralysed, our heart is not paralysed……….only a small portion of our body is paralysed. So, what stops us from achieving what we want ?” She has turned every single obstacle in her life into an opportunity and is now running an NGO called ‘Mathru Foundation’ for handicapped boys. Instead of lamenting over her own destiny, she is creating one for others !
Salutations to this wonderful human being who is modesty personified