And we wish you a happy birthday and years and years of goodness happiness and fulfilment .. from all of us here at the Ef home ..
And so to take on all the responsibility in promoting the Tiger as Ambassador for it in Maharashtra ..
This one just did not leave us as we drove past in the jungle .. quite unusual for tigers to do this ..
The official launch of the Tiger preservation campaign launched by the Government of Maharashtra, and the taking on the Brand Ambassador ship of this most deserving initiative ..
Did you know :
Over the turn of the 19th century into the 20th, India had 40,000 tigers .. by 2008 the number was 1411 .. Horrid !
Killing the animal for medicinal purposes, especially for the South Eastern country’s was rampant. Rampant too for its skin, which adorns many a drawing room of the affluent .. a mark of aristocracy, of superior gaming acumen, a mark of being among the few ..
With effort now the numbers have increased to 2226 in the country and to about 199 in the State of Maharashtra, which incidentally has the largest tiger population in the entire country ..
And driving to the functions to honour a week of this activity as a campaign , one passes through some of the thickest forest edifices that abound in the heart of the city. It is within the premises of the Film City. Many a time leopards have paid us a visit on our sets or our shootings. Many have been trapped and put back into the forest, if they were to wander beyond, but yes .. they do stroll around a bit to catch a glimpse of the stars that work within ..
This has been a revelation. 45 years in the city and never seen the beauty of these natural habitats that abound within the heart of the city. Its lungs !!
Just not getting enough courage to step aside from the Blog and set aside an unusual experience ..
But I shall ..
The work is devastating in its presents for the Tv Show .. the music composed by yours truly and the apprehension of its acceptance ..
AAAAAAAhhhhhhh … why cannot life be a lot simpler .. ya right !!
Ef Ganesh Lahoti birthday on Sept 11, 2015 .. and our wishes as always go out to him for a wonderful day and days ahead ..
the signing of the pledge .. with luminaries ..
Mr Ratan Tata on the left .. the Chairman and the illustrious member of the most recognised industrial family in the country ..
And on the right His Excellency the Ambassador of the United States of America, Mr Richard Verma .. person of Indian origin, now naturalised American and in a coveted post ..
expressing views in person on the campaign of TB ..
the signing of the pledge .. and the generous contribution by the United States towards the cause ..
addressing the Medical luminaries of the nation along with corporate heads, getting them to participate in this endeavour ..
… and finally briefing the press and the media on the event ..
standing by the national flag .. respect and honour ..
… and below a most humble Mr Ratan Tata, asking me to lead the way as we exit from the conference ..
I won the tussle, just for your information .. my gentle, impertinent, yet humorous quip “ err .. age before beauty, Mr Tata” won the moment ..
Mr Tata laughed over it humbly and said he would remember this one ..
And another social cause initiated for the people of the nation, for those that suffer, for those that are devoid of medication or even the elementary detection of the disease, for those that face discrimination, women facing charges of being alienated from society because they ail, not getting acceptance in marriage because they suffer the ailment, rebuked and discarded almost for being the cause of bringing illness into a family …
Getting rid of TB is not just a campaign to eradicate the ailment or the disease, it is a cause as social or moral as life itself …
I feel honoured that the Ambassador of the United States of America Mr Richard Verma, initiated this campaign along with institutions that carry concern for the cause, medical, corporate, personal bodies, collecting together to contribute in what ever they can, and eventually the assistance and concern by the Government authorities to help those in need .. a most laudable venture and thrust ..
For me of course having already been involved with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in their campaign against TB, and having been appointed as the brand ambassador for them, it was a personal decision to accept the brand ambassadorship for the eradication of TB on a national level as well, tonight.
Personal tragedies or experiences at times gives incentive to dedicate what we learnt during the process to a cause which reaches out to millions ..
I have said this before and shall not hesitate to say it again. I am a TB survivor. In the year 2000, as I was about to start my first TV involvement with KBC, I was quite by chance detected to be suffering from tuberculosis. There was unbearable pain in the lower back region and on a random routine examination TB was discovered to have affected my spine. There were black patches that were noticed and I had to go through an entire course of cure for a year, through intake of tablets .. about 8 every day !
In a years time I was cured, the patches disappeared and I am alive today to talk to you about it. This is not the story. The story is that TB is normally associated with regions and individuals that live in lesser environs, belong to lesser privileged communities, are poor, are existing in congested conditions, are generally suffering from lung disorders , and who in the past were alienated and sent off away from all to sanatoriums, preferably in the mountain regions, in order to receive the purity of nature and its obvious cure.
But in my immodesty I proclaim, that if it could happen to me it could happen to anyone. We who are termed often as the affluent elite, a terminology and expression I absolutely detest and most certainly do not subscribe to, are not supposed to be affected by, of all diseases, tuberculosis !! But there we are .. and there I am ..
So .. in many ways my involvement in most of these medical campaigns comes from the fact that I have had the ‘good fortune’ to have been afflicted by them ! And that does not merely insure that I am a natural choice for its awareness efforts, it is also my own personal belief and desire, as a continued medical victim of various and diverse health conditions, that gives me impetus !
The grace of the Lord and the Almighty has been with me and kept me away from perishing permanently through the various conditions that I have been through, and the various conditions that I may still be prone to - who knows - but whatever eventually is in store for me, good bad or indifferent, shall not deviate my attention from working towards the many such medical ventures that I am presently conditioned with …
This and tonight has been TB … but there are other causes too, on the format. Diabetes, Hepatitis B, that I have worked for and shall continue to do so ..
There is now the Tiger Preservation Campaign, not just for the nation but in particular, recently, as I informed, for the State of Maharashtra.
There is another vital campaign for ‘Khadi’ , the hand woven material for clothing. The ‘charkha’ of Gandhi ji, and the symbol of many cottage industry efforts, which churns out the fine thread which goes into the making of the sheaths of ‘khadi’ material, thereby not just keeping the industry alive, but also providing employment to those millions of workers and hand weavers that earn their livelihood through this medium.
This then is the medical side of the terrain. There are several other peaks too, that are getting addressed and committed to. But those are some that do not need to be spoken about.
Charity and voluntary work is a noble laudable effort that individuals and large organisations make. We applaud them and their desire to give to society. Give to them from whom they earn. Give to them who lighten up your financial bottom lines. Many talk about it, inform the public at large through media and connects of what they have done and are doing. Good !
But there are some that do not wish to talk about it. I am one such. I find it awkward, self aggrandising, and an unnecessary practice to follow. There are others that do quite the opposite, and thrive on it. Good too !! That is their outlook and desire and why not. To each his or her own.
But to be labelled as one that does not care or give back, merely because you have not read or known about it, does not in the least qualify you in any manner whatsoever, to seek explanation, espouse criticism, cast aspersions and bring to use a vocabulary, that can best be described as exceptionally vulgar !!
I bear the brunt of such criticism and vulgarity on a regular basis. I am immune to them. I read of them - here on this platform, the social medium and many other - but have not found it justifiable to bring it to public notice. Not the matter of abuse, but the matter of the charity ..
There are those then of this generation and decade and time, that express differently. For them ‘jungle mein mor nacha kisne dekha’ … the peacock, the national bird, danced in the forest, but who noticed it ? Communicate they say. Let all be spoken about. It must be reached out to millions to know of what you do. Posterity shall never ever have a history, written or otherwise of what was done. We rely today, they say, on what the historians of the ‘written word’ of the times gone by are described by such. Is it not possible that many an unknown truth be devoid of our knowledge, because someone with pen and paper did not find it important enough to record !!
The future generation, say the nay sayers, could well be devoid of all the required information, primarily because it was devoid of documentation ..
And before the entire Ef shall descend upon me to document my biography after this, let me reassure them for the nth time, that that is not going to happen. A departure from what I may have preached .. haha !!!
There is so much more to pay attention to, to gain knowledge from, to indulge in for the betterment of the self, that a few uninteresting years of a ‘third rate actor from a third world country’, shall not be of any value whatsoever …
Sleep is an essentiality. Long and sensible hours of sleep is an invigorating eventuality. I must indulge in what I preach .. haha ..