#IamChristian #IamMuslim #IamHindu #IamSikh #IamParsi...

Written by Lalita Ramdas | Published on: December 21, 2017

#IamChristian#IamMuslim#IamHindu#IamSikh#IamParsi, Jain, Buddhist,Jewish...



And in the wise words of Rehman Bhai, our fruit man in Alibag: #HumSabInsaanHain


For the last three days our home in Alibag has been full......Of family, and friends. 

Eldest daughter Kavita, from the USA, with her daughter, our very special Indo Paki ...Hindu .. Muslim...Agnostic ... Atheist... Grandaughter....
With them came Andrew Frisbee..Miru's significant other... White...From a christian family
And we were delighted to have newly weds Sahiba Sawhney and Himanshu Vaswani ..
Sikh ..Hindu..Panjabi .. Sindhi...
 
And we walked, we talked, we joked, we reminisced , we discussed the state of the world...Thanks to the Trumps, the Modis, the Erdogans, the Dutertes, and too many others, bent on destroying the fabric of human relationships, the Iove that binds, bent on creating hate filled fanatics ....
 
And we cooked and we ate.....Deshi, Firangi, all kinds of food - and we imbibed too - spiritual refreshments of many kinds!!
 
And above all we shared our mutual passion for music ..And song...and rhythm
 
Everything from Christmas Carols, to bhajans and every conceivable form of music.....You are so right Jawed Naqvi. 
 
Music helps cut across all religious dogmas, bigotry and intolerance - and keeps spirituality alive
 
(And our Hindutva goons are trying to stop those harmless joyful carol singers as well)
 
From the time I was a little girl...our family has celebrated and enjoyed every possible religious and cultural festival. And that has continued into our life and many homes....and people would often try to find out who and what we really were - whether we were Hindu, Muslim, Sikh , ya Isai
 
No wonder then it was never a problem when our children and nieces and nephews, and now grand children - brought in muslims, christians, atheists, blacks, whites, British, American, Sri Lankan and Pakistanis into the family fold....
 
And as Xmas season rolls around...My own years in convent school bring to the fore, a deep resonance with silent night, holy night, and come all ye faithful ... Son in law Carl - a southern Baptist from Virginia, and Mallika - our youngest - are in Florida for Xmas - , And the Pakistani part of this crazy adorable clan are gathering for a family wedding in Karachi .....Kavita and Mira have just flown to Karachi - but via Oman - taking a long and arduous journey because our brilliant leaders have ensured there are no direct flights to connect us any longer. Where my African American son in law Carl had no problem in being issued an OCI card [Overseas Citizen of India!] poor Zulfiqar - who genuinely should qualify by virtue of being born in Quetta, is finding it difficult to get a visa to visit his in laws !
 
As we gather together and celebrate Xmas, Deepavali, Id, Guru Purab, Bonalu and Brathakamma - the Telugu - the Tamil - the tribal Goddesses and Dalit festivals, and ...I think with a sadness that is impossible to describe..the opportunity that we have deliberately destroyed, and lost, in this country, in this region - this sub continent ...We who could have walked down the path of a Tagore , where the mind is without fear and a land of freedom - have now  to follow a Savarkar.
 
Imagine if we could have had the wisdom and generosity to celebrate this extraordinarily diverse heritage that is the glory of India...The exquisite richness - the bewildering and glorious diversity of ethnicities, of customs and rituals, the cacophany of languages and many tongues, the undoubted world champions of cuisine and food , of music and art, and craft and natural and architectural masterpieces...
 
Instead look what we are doing to each other..Thanks to a narrow, bigoted and hate spewing regime, mindless puppets singing hosannas,  and a Parivar which does not understand the meaning of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam . 
 
So Merry Xmas to all - heres to a great 2018 - may we fight the forces of hate and divisiveness with all our united power and energy .....spread love and togetherness and work for a world without barriers and boundaries and no visas and no immigration authorities! 
 
And to FB, warts and all, I still say - you have served to give so many hours of happiness - with old and known and so many new and wonderful friends....so stick to inclusion and no exclusion! Am off to hang up my Star of David light outside....