Sopaan, New Delhi March 30, 2009 11:49 pm Mon
Convergence New Delhi is the call of the day !! I perform the ‘tika’ for Abhishek and Aishwarya as they leave early, mine is done later by the senior most staff in the kitchen, as I catch a later flight and through summer thermals and high wind turbulence at beyond 37, 000 feet, land in Delhi.
This evening is the unveiling of the Seven Wonders of India by NDTV. Aishwarya performs and we unveil a few of the selected monuments that are named winners. But before that the joy of spending an entire afternoon with the kids – Navya and Agastya, just unimaginable. Miss being with them for a few weeks and they have changed – taller, brighter and more mature. How they manage that is a mystery. They shall consume you entirely. With their thoughts, their actions, their knowledge and their speed. The new BlackBerry is the scourge. It is complicated yet so so impressive in all its factions. But for the kids, its another day in school. They know everything. And shall marvel, sarcastically, on how long I am taking to be able to activate and operate it. And I can see myself struggling with this new technology, but not them. Incorrigibly impressive they are !!
March 31, 2009 8:38 am
Sorry.. just dropped off into deep slumber, with the Mac open..
And now hurriedly trying to catch up with the post so EF doesn’t get an impression that I have missed another bus.
Ya..!! So where were we.. oh yes.. kids..
Yes, spent the most valuable time with them. Watching them speak, react, interact, observe.. all, while they are busy with so many other thoughts. Abhishek and Agastya have drifted off to the porch in the front and teasing and testing their skills with the football. Abhishek – Chelsea fan, Agastya – fanatic Man U fan. So you can imagine the fireworks. Though Agastya seems to be winning the battle because Man U lead the table at the moment and are likely to remain so.
Game over, there is domestic pressure to don the evening clothes for the function we are all gathered here for – NDTV, & Wonders of India. Aishwarya performs and we shall be there to announce the results of this massive exercise of discovering these most deserving and phenomenal wonders that belong to our own country. Prannoy Roy, head of NDTV had personally invited us and since we were all getting together in Delhi for Aishwarya’s Padma Sri Award by the President of India, we felt this cause to be truly worthy of endorsement.
The evening was pleasant and cultural and nostalgic. Full of pride for this wondrous land. The diverse cultures, the artistry, the designs, architecture, music, ethos – all put together in a wonderful basket of such beauteous variety.
Some revealing facts were displayed. Some valid observations. And all in all a culmination of a most worthy evening that filled us all with pride. Telling moment of the evening – the words of Prannoy. Do we have to go out of our country to realize how wondrous our own country is ?
Really so true. When we go out we realize how much other countries project, protect and take pride in what they have. We as India, have so much more, but are never aware of it nor do we make the effort of their preservation or the need to project them the way others do. 5000 years of history and culture live and breathe in this land of ours. At every corner, at every turn. We need to project them and build the pride we so richly deserve.
The people of India through this campaign by the channel, had voted for the wonders that existed in their regions. And after a massive drive and with great difficulty, zeroed in on 222 sites which qualified for, or were deserving to be called an architectural wonder. Each state, each region, each countrymen that took part brought out results that for many were unknown to most. But what an endeavor and what an exercise, to finally bring the figure to seven.
At the presentation last night, they were announced and along with them we were also educated on the textile handicrafts and weaving skills associated with the region. The elegant statuesque models displaying garments designed by that renowned designer, SabyaSachi from Kolkata, took our breath away as they sashayed across the vast ramp accompanied by the drum music of the region. The drum. Not the musical instruments that each region has developed into world reckoning, but just the drums. So fascinating and up lifting in spirits !!
Next year – the natural wonders of the country !! Such a novel and noble idea.
Filled with this great pride and filled with the coming together of the entire family, not just us but Shweta and her immediate, her in laws, Aishwarya and her family, Abhishek’s in laws from Mumbai, we migrated to an aesthetic location, the VARQ, a restaurant in one of the Taj Hotels for an enlightening family get together meal, full of nostalgia and laughter and memories.
I love these moments. I love a full house. I love the togetherness.
And now as I call off, I rush to be in time for the President’s Award Ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, where Aishwarya will be decorated with the Padma Shri. A moment of great pride for all of us.
She will become the 5th Padma Award in our household. My Father with the Padma Bhushan the first, then the Padma Shri for me, followed again by the Padma Bhushan to me some years later, Jaya’s Padma Shri and now Aishwarya’s. This must be a record for the country. 5 Padma Awards in one family ! God has been very kind to us. The people of this land have been very kind to us.
We are humbled. And with bended knee and bowed heads acknowledge your affection and care and love.