Saturday, March 21, 2020

Buddha- a person or a philosophy

In current context, is Buddha a person or a philosophy? This questions hits me hard. Buddha is in vogue. His faces in different moods and statues are sold in millions. He has become a fashion statement to many. His mere statue, placed strategically, depicts as a caste, class leveling symbol. In all forms of depiction, the beautifully carved eyes are kept little ajar. The posture and the eyes illustrate the meditative mood. But, still the question remains, what do they reflect? A philosophy?

Personally, I am a great fan of Buddha statues. I think they bring a lot of serenity in the atmosphere. That meditative composure is contagious. Brings solace and peace in the ambience. But, Buddha was never to one, but to the society.  The statues remain the hard earned skill of the craftsman. And, it his magic that we translate into our equanimity. Nevertheless, that portrayal transmits an idea, which is embedded in our subconsciousness, seeded through periodical interaction with one or the other source, verbal or written.

We haven't seen Buddha, hence the variance in the illustrative portrayal. What remains constant is his preaching, his philosophy of life, his approach towards one and all. But, we seem to be more swayed by the iconic art produce than his thoughts and viewpoints.

What bewilders is the varied perception towards the same face by one and another. In elite circles, Buddha is present with different significance, as a symbol of serenity. At some places his statutes are placed strategically to give socio-political message. The latter stands for opposition, no doubt against atrocities, and the former for peace. Both contradict each other. Presence at one place is inward looking, for inner calmness and tranquility and at the other it is for outward equality, a strong message. Both places we find the same Buddha, an inanimate statue bringing different kind of life experience to the claimed possessor, with different connotation.

The philosophy, at both places, to a great extent still remain misunderstood. The philosophy, to my limited understanding, is inward looking for outward behaviour. To learn to behave and serve. To realize and to act. To purify oneself to support selflessly. To many of us, Buddha has become a statue of a person and somewhere the soul and the spirit of his philosophy is lost. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Morning walk- a compulsory chore affected

Morning walk is addictive, I would realize it when Delhi Smog would force us to stay home. Body would get lazy, lethargy would creep in into every spectrum of daily activities. The withdrawal symptoms would manifest loud and clear.

And, now this COVID-19 is forcing the addicts to stay home. What an irony! When Corona has pushed the vehicles out of roads, which Delhi government desperately desired, and the pollution level has improved beyond tolerance (as for Delhites impure air is normal), and one can run or walk extra miles for lungs are left empty because of lack of char blocking alveolar, the air sacs in lungs, COVID is coercing everyone to stay home. Smog vs purer COVID air? situation remains same. Self Quarantine is the best solution.

So, again that lethargy is sinking in. This compulsory daily morning chore, which kicks off the day on a positive note is missed. Morning walk is not just a physical exercise. It is mental relaxation too. For me, who is a compulsive greeter to all walking mates, if not all, then preferably to the senior citizens, a smile on my face and on others was just heartening. I remember, whenever I start wishing morning a senior citizen or senior couple with earphones plugged to my ears, they think I am on  a call. It took them couple of days to realize that those greetings were to them. And, then after every day I would receive those greetings from them, if at all I failed due to absent mindedness. I have today around 10-12 senior citizens who are on my greeting list. Honestly, I scarcely know any of them, except for the fact that we share a common walking track in the community park.

Few days back, I came across a senior lady in close to seventies, short height, thin, wrinkled face, little gloomy eyes and single walker in salwaar kurta. First round I just saw her pass. She looked straight on the track and avoided eye contact. Felt it was deliberate, and normal, as any normal person would do (certainly, I feel to be abnormal, because hardly anyone did what I do. Hence, by theory of rarity I am abnormal). Seldom she came to the park, or perhaps we had different routine. In the second round I wished her 'Namaskaar'. She glanced and seeing me wearing huge headphones looked back on track. The same confusion, if I was over phone or my greet was guided towards her. When we crossed again I smiled and she smiled back. And then after she passed broad, ear to ear smile, every time we crossed. Those wrinkles faded, eyes shined and her steps became so lively. And, for me it was another walking mate made friend. This morning bliss of unknown company, and perforce wearing of smile is routine.

The best part is when either me or my wife go missing. Then the spouse present in park is bombarded with queries about the other spouses absence. And, this concern is not just from older mates but youngsters too get bothered. The best part being none of us know who we are except that young old 70+ years environment crusader who greets on behalf of all defence forces 'teeno senaon ki tukdi aapke salaami ke liye tayaar hai shreeman'. He could be recruited in CDS office, as CDS is the head of all Defence forces of the country. This is the magic of our morning walk.

CORONA you are not merely eating into my calorie burning out space but also keeping me away from those beautiful smiles, perhaps which carry hidden blessings.

'CORONA GO, GO CORONA'

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Corona- mother of creativity

Corono virus- COVID 19, no doubt, has shaken everyone globally. Some, in defiance, pretend to challenge the peril by presuming that it is another flu, which can be handled by taking mild precautions, and some have gone overboard by extending precautions to impractical level. I am not intending to discuss anyway about COVID, as already news and newspapers are deluged with instructions and details. Social media is full of advisories and many are scientific based and some are figment of cultural delusional confidence. Reading the posts are sometime hilarious and sometime gruesome. Depressing and mood uplifter.

In the past week, some interesting, imposing, advisory conversations that I was engaged in are worth mentioning here.

One of our morning walk mate is a 73 year old young man, who is always in action, physical and mental. He is fit like any 35 year old person. He is an avid environmentalist, who has already planted more than a thousand saplings. He is multi talented. He is fond of singing and is also a good athlete, plays very good Table Tennis. Somehow he came to know that we are police officers. Since then he grabs an opportunity to catch up with us in the morning just to wish and salute with a parade statement- 'Teeno senaon ki tukdi aapke salaami ke liye tayaar hai shreemaan'. In the beginning I was baffled, as it had no relevance, but now I am left with no choice but to smile and with folded hands say Namaste. In case he intends to change his greetings, he would say- 'Delhi Police Zindabaad.' He is a learned person and a retired senior bank official. Since three days he has been pushing free advises to fight Coronoa.

'It is easy to fight Corono if you follow three advises' he says. 'First, you should have a half cut onion next to your bedside. Second, take five to six cloves of garlic and weave it into a garland. put it at the entry point of each room and thirdly, wear a necklace of one clove of garlic . If you religiously follow this Corona is defeated'. Today, I was embarrassed when he asked me to show my neck, to prove that I was following his advice. Certainly, I had failed him. He wants police to be protected.

When I was asking a relative as to how they were reacting to the pandemic panic, she said 'we are overcautious. And the best part is that our maids are better prepared than us.' To elaborate she informed, 'We may miss wearing masks but our domestic helps are always wearing it. We informed them that anything brought from outside should be cleaned. They took so seriously that today I found my maid jerking off the newspaper violently. When I asked her, she said that because newspaper cannot be washed she was jerking off so that the virus falls from the paper'.

We had some issues with one of the electric board. I asked our electrician to come and fix it. When he came I asked him to use sanitizer. He started removing his shoes outside the gate. I asked him to come in with shoes as shoes normally tend to be a good insulator. He removed them and banged the soles against each other, noisily and with full power. When I asked why, he said, 'If any Corono is glued to soles they would be killed'.

One of our friend said that alcohol is the best to fight the virus. So, a spoon of alcohol in any form should be taken every hour to maintain the medium in mouth to kill virus. Another friend said, the best way to keep Corona away is to drink lukewarm lemon water. It was not difficult to figure out who was teetotaler. The choice is yours.

So, the creative imagination to ward off Corona is picking. And, we need not kill ourselves out of stress. There can be lighter moments. Smile and sing in Chorus!

'CORONA GO, GO CORONA'.




Sunday, January 26, 2020

Steady one's life...

The more one tries to steady one's life, the more stressful the life gets. Has this something to do with law of nature, which is described as a phenomenon that keeps throwing unexpected things and never lets anyone settle, because life in itself means change. Change, which happens every moment and is never ending. Now, if it is so well known that law of nature would not let anyone settle then why do anyone even think of steadying life?

Everyone expects that they can create an ideal condition, which would make them comfortable, bring solace, weed out all the worries and bring peace and tranquility. All the fight and struggle to meet the materialistic greed is in pursuit to achieve that steadiness. Having 'this' would steady my life, is what is presumed. Now, what does steady mean? Steadying life perhaps describes a situation where an arrangement is acquired, which ensures recurrent supply to fulfill the demands of life. Availability of 'Roti, Kapda aur makaan' is the first and foremost desire of everyone. Certainly, as per Maslow's theory of motivation they are the first level of motivation, considered to be the basic instincts. If sex is added to this three aforesaid need or desire, then that completes list of primary motivational needs.  But, who defines what extent of availability would construe the fulfillment of these desires/need. The core need remains the same, for everyone, but with growth comes the shift in content and quality. Shift can be seen from basic food to exotic cuisines, normal clothes to branded, with need based shelter to luxurious setting, and from one partner to getting adventurous. And, beyond this comes the aspiration to achieve similar settings for family members, which is an impossibility. Impossible because they are all external items. Body and mind of different persons may react differently to one situation, so it is being idealistically impossible. As desires are never stagnant, so is life. If one thing is provided there is creation of another seductive product, for which one would strive to acquire. Then how can one strive for steadiness.

Does steadiness exist? Steadiness does exist and is a possibility. It is possible once we stop trying to control the external factors or be dependent on them. Steadiness is a state of mind, and mind is ones own property. Rather than controlling outside elements it is better to control owns possession, 'the mind'. Control the impact of external things on you than trying to control the external things. Certainly, it is better said than done, but there lies the solution. As time never stops, so does change. How to cope that every moment change mentally without letting it bother your spirit is an answer. Our heritage points out to 'meditation', as the best means to control mind. No doubt that 'meditation' calms and gives lot of leverage to a person to control mind, but how many of us are able to meditate. And even if we do, how many of us are able to concentrate enough to control mind. Sitting in a position of meditation is not a solution. Forgiveness, justifying others act, believing in the fact that what we consider to be a lifetime decision now may have no relevance with passing of time, every other person who is acting in a weird way is actually sucked in the same vortex of need and desire, what we get from external world is a consequence of our position in job or materialistic competitive world and above all, the importance we lay to ourselves is immaterial as we have negligible presence in this huge galaxy of things, are some of the possible ways to calm down and prevent oneself from getting affected by external actions. Those tricks are possible prevention mechanism, which could thwart the impact of  external factors on thought process. But, again realization and practice of these tricks requires some type of maturity. Maturity again has nothing to do with academic profile. It is the skill of inward looking, inward exploration and inward realization. The more one internalizes the inner strength the less one will get perturbed by outward churning. Bring in inner calmness and that will direct the 'mind' to get calmer. Eventually, one's life will steady.

So, should we not try to steady our life....

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Can passion change? Confusion sets in!

                                         Can passion change? Confusion sets in!


This is the big question that is bothering me now a days. Can passion change? More troubling is that I have failed to drop my old passions to give way to new ones. In fact there is addition of new passions, and the old ones refuse to die, which means the bag is overflowing now. In fact the real question is how many passions one can handle at one time? Another pertinent question is if what I consider to be passion is truly passion or perforce I passionately get indulged on a subject which is actually part of the assigned duty. Perhaps, I am mistaking my duty for my passion.

Let me be more specific.

In the beginning, I was passionate about the concept of community policing, though I question the very concept in the present form. I always consider it to be an initiative instead of accepting it as a new style of policing. This tenet is based on the fact that policing in itself is community policing, as police's existence is- in, with, for the community. Hence to my understanding rechristening policing as community policing is not required. Certainly I think that by discussing more and writing a bit would help me contribute my share in better policing, acceptable to the community. It is from this logic that my passion flows.

Suddenly, I was exposed to a new subject called human trafficking. A simple introduction turned to be my biggest passion. I totally submerged myself in researching on the subject and realized how limited was our understanding. How the definition and action is governed by convenience of some powerful groups. The more I read, experienced and explored the field, through interaction in person as well as virtually, I realized that there is lot to be done. I must have been teased scores of time for losing sense of time, words and emotions when it came to discussing human trafficking. I have been strongly advocating to the champions in this field to revisit the definition of human trafficking and make it more comprehensive to address various other dimensions of human trafficking which is not covered in current UN Palermo protocol definition or definition given in IPC or adopted in trafficking bill.  The same passion still continues, and given an opportunity still I can go on and on and on on the subject. To have a think tank organization on human trafficking is my dream.

When on deputation, during one of the assignments, I landed up working with Youth. I realized how vulnerable are youth of this country. The demographic dividend that we boast of can become a baggage or burden if their energy is not constructively channelized. The mental health issue of youth is a concern, which unfortunately no one intends to talk about. Youth of the current generation is living in a virtual world, and his/her real world is totally eclipsed by their exposure to what is fed virtually, mostly through social media or other virtual medium. Most of the youth in the community tend to overrate their aspiration and desire, which doesn't match with their actual potential leading to huge gap in expectation and achievement. This is causing frustration and anguish, which is resulting into mental health issues. Aggression, depression, disinterest, non-focus, non-commitment etc are corollary to the mental issues. I got very serious on the subject of Youth development and wanted to redefine volunteerism in this country, so that Youth are brought close to reality. 'Know your community by being with them and through them know yourself' is what I advocate. That will help one gauge their realistic capacity by enhancing their emotional quotient through experience quotient. I must have spoken in scores of forums on the subject and pitched at all levels my idea to redesign the approach towards youth development. That passion too hasn't waned yet.

I thought my kitty was full and juggling with these subjects, going to different forums to speak and learn, was putting to test my wits. As luck would have it, I landed up taking up new assignment, which deals with subjects of Social Defence including Drugs, Senior citizens, Transgender and Beggary. All subjects are of equal importance and directly relate to self dignity, quality of life and survival issues. These subjects are becoming my new passion. Amongst all, the subject of transgender has caught my maximum attention. The trauma that a TG is subjected to since childhood and never ending survival challenges they face is shame to other community members. What moved me most was a statement of a transgender- 'We are visibly invisible'. How true it was. They exist everyone know, but when it comes to addressing their problems everyone is in denial mode. Exploitation within and out of the community is prevalent and it sustains because most fail to acknowledge their existence.

After much introspection I find that some of the issues which I passionately work on were never professionally assigned to me, for example human trafficking. Similarly, I am attached and working on some subjects with same fervor and sincerity despite having left the official assignments for years now. If these issues still pains me, triggers anxiety and touches conscience, and I wait to grab opportunity to contribute when and wherever possible then certainly the passion is alive. So, I have come to conclusion that I am living with multiple passions.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Recidivism

Way back in 2017, I had written a blog on 'reviving my dying habit'. I had cribbed on failing to be regular in posting blogs. That perhaps, motivated me to pen down few blogs in short span, but again the habit died. It seemed, that, small revisiting myself blog, gave a boost to my writing by injecting some stimulant shot. However, the effect was ephemeral, till the potency subsided and wore off.

I am still wondering why do I lose track and fail to live my passion- writing and thinking loud in letters. Delhi as a vibrant city, many times sucks your vibrancy or diverts your energy into other things, which may not be of your liking. It could be extra time consumed in traveling, struggling through the choked roads, witnessing on daily basis the road rage or to avoid the pressure of traffic and letting the driver face the brunt, gluing the eye balls on the smartphone in hand. Another option, time and again chosen is to call people whom one had missed calling while in action during work. All these are tiring and exhausting, and add on to the burden of daily official work rather than being a catharsis. Unfortunately, it is not a revelation which comes with difficulty, but still these actions mentioned above remain the best buddies during traveling, which consumes hours in Delhi.

Why does this happen? why do we indulge in activity which is painful instead of being relaxing. To me it is because we get unmindful. Mindfulness is what is missing in Delhi or any similar fast life places. We get swept away in the rat race, to prove that we can thrive in daily unhealthy competitive chores for professional survival. In any system it is not your decision which is supreme. There are multiple factors and actors who define your path. It is omnipresent and mere part of journey. But, still, life comes to a standstill every passing day, totally bogged down by the happenings of the recent past and the current day developments with expectation that only self is the cause and effect. Unquestionably, time has proven that everything becomes immaterial as the days pass, but in anticipation the unpredictable future is predicted and stressed drawn from nowhere affecting the present. Certainly, it doesn't mean that all actions go waste and there are no ramifications or spill over in future, but most of the energy wasted are on those issues which are insignificant and mundane.
This is the cause of thriving business for advocators of peace, either in the form of spiritual guru or some de-stressing activity promoter.

All said and done, still I have failed to unfold the mystery of my writing hibernation. To have diagnosed the ailment and not taking recourse to treatment is callousness. And personally a 'sin' for me, as writing pushes me into the world of exuberance. This intermittent falling back into non-expressing zone is 'recidivism' to me. The knack to offload the mental occupancy and unburden the shoulder of unnecessary baggage is what I have lost. This skill is intrinsic and has to be nurtured by self. To practice consciously and mindfully is what is required. Perhaps, this piece is an attempt to re-dig into my consciousness and re-realize the fact that nothing is going to pop up from an alien world to pep me to get back into my thinking boots and don the expressing cap.

In this piece I have tried to put my own self to describe the real situation of many more. Life moves on even if we live the way we want to or we don't. To others, possibly, what we do is of no significance and consequence. It matters only to us, in particular 'me and I'. For my life stays with 'me'. So, let us live a qualitative life as defined by ' I ' but certainly without transgressing into the domain of others ' I ' space.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Nature's uniqueness!

Lying on the floor in open of my terrace with my younger son cuddled in my arms under the blanket on a cool cloudy day was a great feeling. In front there was a row of trees loaded with fresh green leaves wiped out of all dust due to early morning rain. In one those trees, the mulberry were turning red, in mid ripe stage, and the parrots were savouring over them. Other birds too found their own sweet fruit without being challenged by any other flock. There seemed no competition or struggle as the fruit was in abundance. It looked beautiful to see small red berries placed comfortably between green leaves and small twigs which swayingly held the weight of birds, which feasted without rush. All seemed to be harmony and peace.

What a delight was it to see the reflection of greenery in the cloudy weather. Rainy day is so romantic and if it is holiday it brings all sweetness and affection in you out to express. I was romancing with my son and puppy pug, which was hardly a month and half old. My wife was busy inside working on something. In this mesmerising moments, despite all bliss I was somehow falling back into office mode, which had not been very sweet in recent past. Habitually, I tend to get very philosophical in such situations. Love and affection transforms me into hard positive thinker and unfortunately that is what is spoilsport to my wife sometimes :) She alleges that I transcend to a different world when I am close to nature. Nature churns me inside out, draws my inner feelings outside and I start thinking loud. And, whoever is unfortunately next to me has to bear the brunt of my trance. 

All these trees loaded fully with leaves looked so vibrant. They were rejoicing their existence in close proximity, with branches of one another indisputably crossing into each others space. With breeze they would kiss each other, embrace and let go. The birds flew from branches of one tree to that of another tree and not a single tree complained of change of company by the birds. They smiled and swayed in acceptance, with belief that their love is being shared with more. Every leaf of a tree was different than other leaves of the same tree. And, so did every leaf differ from leaves of other trees. There were almost a dozen trees visible to me, making a humble crowd, and none of the leaves were same. They were all different. So, million of different leaves lay next to each other, embracing, kissing, playing without ever complaining. And I think it is possible just because they acknowledged the difference and appreciated it. The difference was essence of nature. 

Here, we struggled all our life to be critical about the differences existing in human beings. Why, for what reason, did we want to make the difference look unnatural and forcibly try to make unnatural look natural. That is to make people believe in what I think and what I perceive as right. I had no answer as to why I wanted everyone to be me, by disrespecting my uniqueness and uniqueness of others. To make someone to be me, in fact, I was compromising on my uniqueness. Uniqueness is Nature. And Nature is so simple and Simplicity is what we don't trust. We make simple things complex in an attempt to achieve simplicity. 

And, believe me, as a spoilsport I shared my thoughts loud with my ten year old son. He further drew towards me hoping for me to stop. Looked at the trees and birds to understand a bit. Looked back at me, and cried loud, 'Mamma are you calling me,' and took the puppy in his arms and left :)

 I was left alone again ruminating. I smiled loud again expressing my hidden feelings. I called him, 'Hey! It is not your mom. I am calling you. Come back dear!' 

He returned with a smile and said, 'I believe you dad. You are unique'

And, I laughed and said, 'So are you dear'.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Diagnosed of!

Our elder son had come to visit us from Mumbai this weekend. He is doing his undergrad from Xaviers College Mumbai. Our younger son, who is still a minor at 10, studying in grade five, misses his brother a lot, but is always in a denial mode. So, is the elder one, who snatches occasions to tease him full throttle, though it is loaded with love and affection. The age difference was eight years and eight days.

Whenever together, though they would be glued to each other as inseparables, they kept fighting with each other at the drop of a hat. The fight between the two would be hilarious, though sometimes this brotherly fight would get little irritating when the younger one would start shedding tears in gallon. His tears were not because of any violence but for failure to match the elder's absurd comments, which made no sense to anyone, except to the younger one. His defence to the losing verbal duel would be to hit the elder robotically and transform his smile/laugh into whine. The wet eyes gave him an excuse to vent out violently. The greatest of all was the 'never giving back' policy of the elder. He never reacted physically and to defend himself from attacks would transform himself into the foetus posture. However, the intensity of his tirades would keep increasing with increase in the intensity of physical attack on him by the younger.

I was at my wits end when the elder one made a very absurd comment. Out of the blue I heard him say, 'You know, I was diagnosed of Madhav when you were born'. This statement, as usual, made no sense to me. 'Madhav' is the nickname of the younger son and 'Udhav' for the elder one. I questioned him the meaning. He, flat faced, said, 'As a person is diagnosed of some disease, I was diagnosed of Madhav when he was born'. It took sometime for the meaning to sink into me. But Madhav was quick to pick, as always, and retorted, 'And, I was diagnosed of Udhav the day I was born. At least you lived without any diagnosis for eight years, but I am suffering from the day I was born'. His wittiness was unexpected. And the expression was an example of great ingenuity. I laughed till I had spasm in my stomach.

Immediately, I started thinking of all the people I am diagnosed of, from the day I have come across them. I dare not name them here :)….. All of you are welcome to count your own diagnosed of lot.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reviving my dying habit

It has been long that I posted any blog. It is difficult for me to discern the cause of this gap. Is it because of writing block or just because I have stopped penning my feelings. For me writing in any form, fiction or non-fiction has always been my time tested way of venting out the pent up feelings. However, of late, unfortunately I have dropped my good habit. Now, the question arises how do I then release all that builds in me.

Through this I am trying to really find an answer to my own questions. If I look back, I have failed to address my problem. Things have been piling up within me and challenging harmony. And, to my dismay I have done nothing to solve it.

Life is so easy that we deny to accept and live it simply. Our favourite slogan is 'life is very challenging'. We prefer to be in denial mode. We have imported so much of cynicism in us that our suspicion eclipses the smoothness of the nature. Nature is natural but we force on ourselves to look at it unnaturally. Everyone here is a preacher and a failed practitioner. The gap in practice and preachings is covered by being a hypocrite. And unhappily I realised that I am one of them. I have denied all these days that my lens too is fogged. Not necessarily what I see is what it is. That is true because my mind says it is not and my heart wants to believe it is… My lens too changes colours depending on what I want to see and that is governed by strong emotions. I fail to control my emotions, and to justify my failure I proudly brag that I am too emotional.

I remember, in my childhood whenever I used to complain about a person, my mother would give a very simple solution by saying, 'Have you ever seen all five fingers same.' I would check my hand and acknowledge the difference then and there. But, as a grown up now, despite that I repeat those childhood lessons to myself many a times, I, as a habit, deny to accept that if I am thumb then another person has the right to be middle finger.

Every finger has its own strengths, forget weaknesses. I am asking to forget weaknesses because we do not appreciate our own weaknesses so we should ignore others too. Hunting for weaknesses in others is jolly good passion. We go on and on and on without realising that hunting for weaknesses in others is basically our main weakness.

I am through this writing trying to get back to my old habit to write what I feel. Feelings are not stable nor permanent, but at the moment they come, they leave their mark. In my writing I am trying to exhibit that mark in black and white. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

'Team India'- A vision starving to be a reality

Happy Independence Day! 

In speech today from Red Fort, PM Modi visioned 'Team India'. He said that 125 crore Indian citizens are in this team. Was it symbolic message, a sarcasm to mark the dysfunctional monsoon session of Parliament. Crores and Crores of rupees was spent in vulgar display of political hegemony. Inflated egos flew in air punching the helpless 125 crore citizens hard. This 'Team India' should not remain a verbose, but a reality. 

Wake up India! Time to be selfless apolitically patriotic in real terms. I appreciate the concept of solidarity, spirit of oneness, vision of inclusiveness and sense of ownership of this nation. This country is mine, yours, theirs and ours! Celebrate our strength and weakness, as they complement each other and gives us reason to move ahead!