Saturday, March 23, 2019

A lasting image -Saalumarada Thimmakka, the Padma awardee 2019 blessing Kovind, the President of India-

Last week I happened to see the below photograph released on FaceBook by the office of the President of India. As you know, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. I found it genuinely beautiful.

Saalumarada Thimmakka  blessing Kovind, the President of India

The photo shows the moment just after a barefooted venerable woman Saalumarada Thimmakka, an environmentalist from Karnataka received her “Padma Shri” award from Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India. Immediately, it came naturally to her to bless the President of India by placing her hands on his head. 

A deeply touched President commented the following: “Saalumarada Thimmakka represents the resilience and determination and perseverance of the ordinary Indian citizen, especially of women in our country. May her example, and that of every Padma awardee, inspire our India to greater heights “

Why I felt touched –just as the President of India - was because here you see an old, uneducated, childless woman who used to work as a labourer in a quarry in a famished village in Karnataka making an example of herself by winning the battles of life and entering the Rashtrapati Bhavan –the Viceregal Palace of the British- to receive one of the highest honour our country could bestow. She has also won various other national and international recognition for her yeoman work of planting and tending to 385 banyan trees along a four-kilometre stretch of highway besides 8000 other trees elsewhere. And this old, poor, down-to-earth mother hailing from famished surroundings after receiving her award blesses the first citizen of this country who lives and administer from one of the monumental and plushest state buildings on this planet. Absolutely moving!

I found the above act of Saalumarada Thimmakka blessing the President unique.  This act of blessing could come out only from a fearless mind that sees no difference among people in terms of gender, position, status in society, age or wealth. It could come only out of an equanimous mind that is serene and motherly at once.  This represents all the fine elements of over five thousand years of Indian civilization that had realized God in every living and non-living objects.

Salutations to mother Saalumarada Thimmakka and the President of India for a lesson in praise of humanity!

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