Order of Canada Felicitation Speech
Museum of Hindu Civilization, Richmond Hill
February 10, 2013
I am grateful to all of you for your generosity with your kindness. I am blessed; I am humbled; and am extremely happy for getting Canada’s highest civilian honour, Order of Canada.
When wonderful event like this happens in your life- it doesn’t happen just like that or you are someone special- unless people before you and around you have paved the path and made your community known and important. It is individuals like Dr. Doobay and friends like Vasu Chanchlani/ Ramesh Chotai and other very well-known community members and those who quietly do their part so that one day one of their own gets to be recognized. I am fortunate that I have reaped the fruit of the seed that was sowed before.
I am blessed as I know for sure if I was on the Selection Committee of the Order of Canada; I would have thought of scores of people ahead of me deserving of this award. Despite that I have been chosen for this award and they found me worthy of it- I am blessed.
I am humbled for receiving this honour. The glory is not all mines but in large measures I am reflecting the aggregated glory of so many friends and my family members, who have contributed enormously towards who I am and where I am. I have grown with the Hindu teaching that says “Namanti Phalino Vruksha Namanti Gunino Jana: shushkakashththashcha murkhashch na namanti kadAchan” (नमन्ति फलिनो वृक्षा नमन्ति गुणिनो जनाः । शुष्ककाष्ठ्ठश्च मूर्खश्च् न नमन्ति कदाचन् ॥) The branches of a tree laden with fruit bend downward just as the highly cultivated persons bow down out of respect to others. The unwise (murkha), however, are like the dry log that never bends. I am humbled and bow down to my gurus, my parents and all those in my life whom I owe so much.
I am extremely happy for being admitted as Member of the Order of Canada and believe that this award is not given at conclusion of the community work and pursuits of one goal as final result. Rather, I see this as the Second Stage Booster for the Rocket of Life to ultimately reach one’s Mission Station. This honour will definitely enhance my credibility and open doors to make better use of life that would bring me in the midst of greater good of All.
My friends! I strongly believe, it is not the big days of life or big things in life that is more important and sustainable as much is the ongoing beautiful and meaningful small things. With that thought, I would like to share a poem of Ben Johnson with all of you:
It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make a man better be;
Or standing long an Oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald and sear;
A Lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night;-
It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be.
Thank you and namaskar.