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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Greetings On Ganesh Chaturthi

Dear Amitji,

“Greetings for Ganesh Chaturthi .. Ganapati enters our homes on the 5th and leaves after 11 days .. immersed in the sea here in Mumbai .. with the prayer and the hope that he shall return again soon .. to adorn our homes, our lives and our living ..”
(DAY - 3079)

Sir, happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all and prayers to Him to bless our homes with  peace and prosperity. Wish you a great visit tomorrow, September 6, to ‘the great Lal Bagh cha Raja ‘murty’, the most popular place of seeking blessings from the Lord ..’. I always made it a point to visit the great Lal Bagh cha Raja whenever I came to my company headquarters for some work. Godrej, before moving to their very big complex in Vikhroli, were located at Lal Bagh, very near to the seat of the Lord. Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated at big scale, not only at the Head Office in Lal bagh, but also at the New Delhi branch, in which vast majority of service staff were from Mumbai and worshipped Ganpati Bappa Morya with great enthusiasm on Ganesh Chaturthi. It was a holiday in the company, but we all came specially for sometime to perform Ganesh puja at the office premises.

Sir,  American reverence for Hindu Gods is not new. President Obama himself was reported keeping a small locket of Hanuman in his pocket as a lucky charm during his Presidential campaign.  Tom Brady, who is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football, keeps a four-inch statuette of Ganesha, believing him to be a ''remover of obstacles'' - and who better needs obstacles to be removed than the playmaker in the rough and tumble game? Brady's Ganesha devotion came to light after journalists crowded around his locker after the quarterback led his team New England Patriots to a fourth Super Bowl title last week. Prominently displayed in the locker, reported USA Today, ''was a four-inch bronze elephant-headed statue - Ganesha, the Hindu God. Or as Brady quietly told a visitor, 'The remover of obstacles.'
Lord Ganesha appears to be becoming the favorite of museums in America and the West.Many prestigious museums already own sculptures and other artifacts of Lord Ganesha. Internationally renowned Portland Art Museum recently acquired an 11th century Lord Ganesha sculpture for around $69,000. Various renowned museums in USA which have acquired Lord Ganesha statues and other artifacts include Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia; Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California; Museum of Art and Archaeology in University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri; Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio; Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California; American Museum of Natural History, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania; Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland; etc.

The religion of the earliest known North American Indians bears many analogies to and apparently has sprung up from the same ultimate sources as our own venerable Sanatana Dharma, a fact that is evidenced by their rituals and religious beliefs and symbols. One of Lord Ganesha's oldest symbols, the swastika, was one of the central motifs used in the designs and patterns of many American Indian tribes and is still seen today in their beautiful blankets and pottery. So the great God Ganesha is not really new to the Western countries, but quite old. As Hinduism emerged in North America in the twentieth century, Ganesha led the way. One of the first traditional temples to be built was the large Maha Ganapati Temple in Flushing, New York. It is in this twentieth century, in the decades of the 70s and 80s, that Lord Ganesha came to be traditionally enshrined in magnificent multi-million-dollar Hindu temples. We find Him in New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Concord, Livermore, Fremont, Denver, Houston, Nashville, and hundreds of other places. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by various Associations of North America in Temples across USA, the biggest being in Philadelphia. Since 2005 the festival is conducted every year in Bharatiya Temple, Chalfont, Pennsylvania. The 10 days are marked by processions, devotional programs, cultural events, India filmi-orchestra and a weekend carnival. While the Marathi community plays a big role in organising the festival, participation from all communities such as Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, North Indian, Bengali etc. is seen as the reason for its success and uniqueness.

With regards and best wishes for PINK

Tilak Rishi


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