PICKING UP THE BATON
By R. Suryanarayan
That was from most readers who read the inaugural issue of Sindhishaan. It was very satisfying for the entire team to receive many generous palms for the labour that went into brining the publication to you. Thanks. Many Thanks. (You don’t expect us to reveal much about the friends who pointed at a few gaffes, do you?) There was a mixed response to the editorial, “The current generation is not interested”, written by yours truly in the inaugural issue of Sindhishaan. Even as I firmed up my starched collars to some nice, polite and courteous fellows, came this snippy retort from Ranjit Lala, my young friend, “How dare you say we are not interested, you mad madrasi?”
“Haven’t you seen me attending all social functions? Haven’t you heard me fluently conversing in near chaste Sindhi with my relatives? You madrasis ape the west more than we do, you double-crossing hypocrite!!!!!’ he snarled.
Just as I was ‘beleagueredly’ looking around for some cover and protection, came his supportive wife, “Have some sweets, bhai sahib.” I was immensely grateful to her for being so warm and kind and was just about to chew the first bite of her yummy offering, when he roared “This is a traditional Sindhi sweet. And she made it herself. So much for your horrendous observation that the Sindhi youth is not interested in their culture. I have not forgotten the last time I came to your place and was offered a Punjabi samosa, you pseudo madras!!!”
I mutely managed to say my first words of the evening. “Ranjit, why are you so upset?” He promptly growled “That article on the Sindhi youth. It pokes.” I defended, “But I was only trying to coax.” He roared , “All hoax!!!” Both of us did not catch the poetic ends to our statements.
The debate won’t end. But I am glad it happened. There was pride in what Ranjit said. There was a little guilt and realization too. There is furious determination to ensure that his little daughter, Simran, grows up to read and write the Sindhi language. As I couldn’t dare to smile at his face, I gulped inwardly, satisfied that Sindhishaan had touched a chord.
This is what Ms. Anupa Nagrani, our new-found friend from Los Angeles, had to say in her mail, “I have been reading your magazine for the last few days. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the layout and the material. The magazine was handed to me as I am researching the Sindhi Culture and making a presentation in this year’s Sindhi Sammelan in Los Angeles to the Young Adults on how we have such a beautiful culture that we are so unaware of, and what we can do to revive it. Sindhishaan surprised me by touching on every subject of what my forum is based on. You are doing such a wonderful job.”
No, we are not gleeful about her candidness in admitting that there is a way to go for the Sindhi youngsters in knowing about their culture. We are delighted that she is making a massive effort to stand up and pick up the baton. We hear that she and her friends put up a great show at the Sindhi Sammelan in Los Angeles, held in July 2001. You will read about that in the internal pages. Many congratulations to them, with the best of our wishes for continued efforts to garner more youngsters into their purposeful mission.
We know that there are many other youngsters, around the world, who have pioneered impressive initiatives. Like the “Young and Essentially Sindhis” group in London. We have not missed noting their pride in calling themselves “essentially” Sindhis. We are sure that there are other untold and leading groups in other locations too.
Sindhishaan would be glad to be supporter of all such activities. Our publication and website could have sections for your group, that could help you to not just communicate with your local members, but also help in allowing the world to know more about you. We would be delighted to form global Sindhishaan Youth Groups (SYGs), if some of you can spear local community activities. The SYGs could nurture and encourage talented youngsters to take the lead.
Here’s cheering for your Global Sindh, guys!!!