Power Up For Life

Subtlety Of Endurance

Ezekiel Baskar Nallathambi, August 14 2020 

We, Indian youth, regarded as the backbone of our country, are more than 423 million, one fifth of Indian population, from age 15 to 25. We confront growing challenges to living a disciplined life. Proper all round development happens if youth fail to fall prey to addictions, the hampering ramifications of the media and questionable forms of entertainment.

I still see solutions which impact the life of youngsters to make a better India and a better world. 

Using music

Mental strength can develop through music. I use musical notes to generate a calm soothing frame of mind. I began learning music at age 4. The strength of music was that it added tone and rhythm to my daily life. It keeps me focused. It shapes personality in admirable ways. 

So I went further. I learnt to play musical instruments. To face challenges and impediments, mental strength is an indispensable need for today’s youth. Just listening to music pays great dividends because many musical compositions from classical to jazz are without words - words that could lead to another set of thoughts … to mental chatter. Instrumental compositions can be given one’s own personal interpretation. As the lead in my school choir or singing at prayer meetings, I had great ways to promote music among youngsters. I encourage my friends to learn music too.

I still continue learning music. 

Ezekiel performs music at an event in Goregaon, Mumbai. 

Associating with elders

I came across a poem in my schooling days, titled ‘Our Treasure’, written by Cara Marie Filipeli. It mentions the value of the elderly and how it cannot be missed. Until then, like many others, I did not understand the value of the elders. On my next visit to my grandparents house in Aurangabad, I chose to spend time with Nana, my maternal grandfather and go along with him while he went to different places in the city. His caring, considerate manner, non-judgmental attitude, his love and support made such an influence that it shattered my distorted opinionated view of elders. In unbelievable ways, it changed my ‘youthful’ perspective. 

From then on, I scheduled time to work for senior citizens. A Rotaractor while in college, I did multiple projects for them. My friends and I visit elders’ homes and the Dada Dadi (meaning Grandpa Grandma) senior citizens park in Borivli. As a precaution, the park closed as COVID-19 spread. When it opens, I’ll meet those elderly friends again. 

Savita Baskar and her son flank SC Nirmal as he launches the book authored by his grandson. 

Some neglected by their children, some losing their loved ones - listening to their challenges, it dawned on us that while they were as young as us, they never imagined they would be discarded or left alone as they advanced in years. It brought immediate understanding of how they too have the same urge to enjoy life, about how important our life's perspective towards them is. Time with senior citizens has been very fruitful for my mates and me. My 21st birthday was a memorable one because more than 50 elders attended the party. There is no greater value to one’s life than having the blessing and values imparted by these wonderful elderly souls. As guest of honour, Nana launched "Living It Fruitful”, a book I authored.

They need youth like us as friends. In one such friendship, senior citizen L Fernandes invited me for his 61st birthday. My visits, our chats and discussions - the connection between the empowerment of the elderly and the young - strengthened his confidence. I joined his family in the celebration. 

A clear winner in reorientation: social work

Ezekiel and college volunteers talk to children in Vatsalaya Foundation in Mahalaxmi West,Mumbai, Maharashtra 

Volunteer Ezekiel gives drinking water during the drought of 2016 in Marathwada, Maharashtra 

Ezekiel’s visit to a Vikramgad Taluka Ashram in Palghar district, Maharashtra in 2018

L to r: actor Ayush Tandon, Ezekiel Baskar,CABM Association Secretary Ramakant Satam, assistant film director and author Harsh Badheka Masrur, former CABM CEO Suresh Rajan Iyer, West Indies Man of the Match award winner Kevin Douglas at the T20 World Cup in 2017

Underprivileged, specially abled people and orphans broadened my mind. The gift of life serves a wonderful purpose. Respect is a great emotion, an emotion that values human beings and understands their problems. Youth face problems by disrespecting people, by their ignorance of social issues. I held that attitude too. But participating in social service changed my views.

Involving youth in humanitarian works is another great solution that helps them understand life’s various layers, angles, dimensions and perspectives. It can eradicate youthful complaints and ingratitude. When involvement in humanitarian work brings returns, that joy can eradicate every question and the sorrow of existence.

The fun of sports

Sports are an excellent way to disconnect from meddlesome mental chatter. Datta Gaikwad, my gospel singer friend who is blind, has a memory to hold the lyrics of a 1000 songs and can mimic 40 artists … he brought this home to me. I organised a cricket game by the blind, close to KC College or Kishinchand Chellaram College, at Oval Maidan sports ground in Churchgate. 

Instinctively, you may ask ‘how can they play cricket’ ? Rest assured, it is definite. 

The Indian blind cricket team won FOUR World Cup matches, winning the final against Pakistan twice!  The best blind cricket teams are in South Asia. It is genuine cricket played by the blind, surprising, thrilling, full of suspense, excitement present in equal measure as in a normal cricket match. My own pleasure was to use my pocket money and gift cricket bats to the Mumbai blind cricket team on my 21st birthday. 

Winning a game, any game, requires sportsmen who enter the field and focus, disconnecting from all other troubles. For that duration, it keeps the players detached and disconnected from the other struggles they handle in life. It is all about empowering oneself and having a firm grip on one’s own special abilities. 

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