In a first ever virtual memorial day celebration, India Association of Greater Boston commemorated the 2020 Memorial Day with fitting tributes from war veterans, state legislators from all over New England, covid survivors and front line doctors. The event took place on Monday, May 25th, 2020. The day started with honouring the ultimate sacrifices of the many fallen heroes who died while serving in the US military forces and in line with in a true tradition of visiting memorials and cemeteries (virtual) and having family gatherings to remember these soldiers. The responsibility of being grand marshal for this virtual parade was taken by NH house speaker Steve Shurtleff. This was followed by New England legislators sharing their messages with community, starting with Congressman Mr Chris Pappas, MA State Senator Mr Jamie Eldridge, Nashua Mayor Mr Jim Donchess, Deputy Speaker Ms Karen Ebel, State Rep Ms Latha Mangipudi, MA state reps Ms Kay Khan and Mr Tackey Chan, Ex State Reps from VT Ms Kesha Ram, Ex state rep and current congressional primary candidate of RI, Mr Bob Lancia, MA community leader Mr Nam Pham & Ex-congressman Paul Hodge. NH Congresswoman Annie Kuster sent her tribute via pre- recorded video.
The speakers spoke of intense personal experiences and talked about how these sacrifices have given us the freedom and the way of life that we enjoy today. Speakers also urged people to remember on a daily basis the ultimate sacrifice given by our heroes.
In a year where we lost 93 veterans to COVID in HOLYOKE, Massachusetts, dedicated time was given to share experiences of COVID survivors and front line doctors fighting this ongoing battle. IAGB’s very own, past president Mr Anil Sehgal, shared his own experience of a successful battle that he had to take against coronavirus. Dr Charudutt Paranjpe & Dr Rekha Bhandari shared their own experiences of fighting this virus from front lines and offered advice to veterans and senior citizens.
In this time of being “Alone Together” More than 50 people, including many veterans and ex IAGB officers, joined this virtual parade on ZOOM and session was viewed by more than 3400 people across all of New England area.
So take the time, not just on Memorial Day but every day, and take a moment to say thank you to our fallen heroes. For those who never left the battlefields, we must hold them up in our heart and continue honour their memories.
As American poet Robert Frost said, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”.
Often while rushing through the humdrum of life I’d find myself repeating the lines. “What is this life, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare” by WH Davies.
What else would aptly define the busyness of the day, when to-do lists were longer than the arm, yet life silently begged for us to stand a while and just be?
My love of poetry started in middle school, where English teachers made poetry come alive – the passion they infused the class with, the debates they encouraged that kept me engaged.
Reading the English translations of Nobel Laureate Tagore and Kalidasa made me wonder about the beauty of the originals and how much more powerful they would have been!
I count among my favorites Byron, Keats, Shelley, Tagore, Kalidasa to name a few.
I fell in love with poetry in general and especially with “Bangle Sellers” by Sarojini Naidu.
The poem that describes the journey of a young girl through her life with colors of bangles, the bangles that she wears at every stage in her life – why does it stop after the woman becomes a wife and a mother. Why wasn’t there a bangle color after that stage in her life? This was a question that has often bothered me.
Poetry has been a part of my life even after graduating school. Like everyone who loves Bollywood, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the sheer magic of Bollywood lyrics.
Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Majrooh Sultanpuri amongst so many others gave word to songs to suit every mood. If you can’t find a poem to express in Bollywood song what you’re feeling, you just haven’t looked hard enough!
Of my current favorites is this gem, that I can’t resist sharing, penned by Javed Akhtar from the movie “Kal Ho Na Ho”
“Chaahe jo tumhe poore dil se
Milta hai woh mushkil se
Aisa jo koi kahin hai
Bas wohi sabse hasin hai”
Poetry transports us to another world – a world of mystique, a world of fantasy, a world of hope. It is therapeutic – a way to process experiences and emotions. Poetry enriches, challenges, empowers and inspires the human spirit.
Poetry steps in to provide solace, reduce tensions and give us hope. To fill in the silence with meter, words said and unsaid. Poetry is that balm that heals the soul, a salve to wounds that we were yet unaware of.
In these unexpected times, when families are cooped up in close quarters, we have a greater appreciation of solitude.
If I were to sum it up in verse-
“They flash upon that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude.
And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils”.
Some of my favorites are listed here- [need links for poems]
I wandered lonely as a cloud – William Wordsworth
Bangle Sellers – Sarojini Naidu
The Elegy on the death of a Mad Dog – Oliver Goldsmith
Join Us in our Run and support our IAGB fundraising efforts to help our local food banks and homeless shelters!
Before the pandemic, Feeding America and its network of 200 food banks served 40 million people. As the virus continues, we estimate that 17.1 million additional people could find themselves without enough food. Along with that, experts are also predicting that the COVID-19 pandemic will increase homelessness between 40% and 45%, nationally. That fact is particularly worrisome because advocates confess they already lack enough resources to fully address the current level of homelessness. Many people in our community who were employed before the pandemic now find themselves laid off or having reduced hours. Often, that means hard-working people who are doing everything right will need a little extra help feeding themselves and their families.Along with that with social services stretched thin and businesses shuttering, rather than keeping people away from shelters, the virus has driven many in. This is where food banks and homeless shelters step in – to fill the gap during the pandemic and beyond.
For food banks, pantries, meal programs and the people who visit them , the pandemic has meant a tremendous shift in not only the need, but how those programs are operating. And for shelters, the issue is having people trapped on the streets and exposing themselves to the risk of COVID-19. Hence, we at IAGB have taken two prong approach- we have taken all our effort in supporting our local food banks so that no one goes HUNGRY and supporting homlessness shelters to move people off the streets and into SHELTERS!
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT IN MAKING THIS HAPPEN. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS RUN/WALK WITH US AND PROMOTE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND 100% OF YOUR TICKET PRICE WILL BE DONATED TO SUPPORT THE FOOD BANKS.
Rules and Regulations
Register for the Bhaag IAGB Bhaag Virtual Run/Walk on our site
The registration can be at an individual level or at a family level – Age is not a concern – all proceeds will be donated to a good cause
Virtual runs – run or walk outdoors but limit the time on roads and continue to support safe and healthy running distances and social distancing
This Event is just for “one”day (Saturday, June 20th 2020) and our suggested run time is between 8am-8.30am (we recommend morning run/walk to beat the heat)
Set your running trail in your neighborhood and run/walk 5K or more, at your own pace, and make sure to track it on your prefered app.
Pick up your t-shirt from the location we announce, wear it on the run day to show that you supported our fundraising.
At the end of the run/walk, take a picture of yourself or the family and your track record , post on Instagram/Facebook with the #BhaagIAGBhaag
Maintain 6ft distance and STAY SAFE!
REGISTRATION INCLUDES: Optional Performance Wear Tee T-SHIRT – Wear the T-Shirt as part of the Run. Only the first 100 registrants will get the t-shirts.
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM THE ORGANIZERS: With endurance events shut down nationwide, gyms closing, stores being closed…this is our attempt to help keep everyone focused on healthy living, spread a little playful humor all while doing some good deeds in the process. It is not intended to be insensitive or downplay the gravity of the illness. It is very serious. When the virus completes its course, we need you healthy and back on the trails. Please follow all the guidelines from the State Governor and CDC. Stay healthy, fit and don’t become a couch potato! Let’s beat this virus together.