Monday, November 16, 2015


I've been absolute appalled by the recent happenings in Paris. Even more horrifying are the comments about terror in Lebanon the previous day. Much closer to home, there is the constant debate on the 'Beef Ban' and other various other issues. And the one word that seems to be on everyone's lips these days...and on all the newspapers as INTOLERANCE. 

20 years ago, the United Nations designated today (16th November) to be observed as the International Day of Tolerance. 

And looking through the musical glass, I'm reminded of this beautiful song from the 1980s referring to how the keys of the piano - black and white - work together to produce great music. 

Ebony and Ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Why can't we?

Just returning back to work today, after an extended weekend of Diwali holidays. As I travel in Mumbai's public transport system, jostling for the just enough space to place a foot, walking shoulder to shoulder and trying to find enough space to walk, neither I nor the hundred and thousands of people care about what religion, community or economic background the person standing next to us - or ahead or behind of us belongs to. We all have a destination to get to and a time-frame within which to reach. All of us work together for our homes and families and together for the economy. Work may take us many places - even across the globe. And we still put our efforts together to make the world a better place. 

Early in 1985, a group of musicians got together under the banner of USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) to record "We Are the World". The song bears a special significance for me and the family, since it is one of the songs that we've sung together. My grandmother celebrated her 75th birthday that year, and the around 40 of us who gathered to celebrate this occasion at her home, joined in perfect harmony to sing this song - from the little to the oldest. 

While we speak of the importance of tolerance on the macro-level, we possibly face greater challenges with tolerance at the micro-level, starting with our own homes and families - the spouse, the in-laws, the children - extending to our place of work, there may be someone or something that just tend to wind us up the wrong way. In these times, we many need divine assistance or help to keep us tolerant.

Irrespective of each of our religious beliefs or orientations, I invite one and all of you to pray for ourselves and others - strongly believing that "God Will Make A Way".

I invite you to look for an opportunity during the course of today to excuse something that you normally wouldn't. Let's make sure we have a tolerant achievement for this day. 

And share this thought with all the people you can today on this International Day of Tolerance. 

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