Thursday, July 23, 2009

Guest Post by Sylvia Weber, author of The Wolves' Keeper Legend

A couple of days back, I had posted a review of The Wolves' Keeper Legend by Sylvia Weber. Do check it out by clicking on the title. Here is a guest post by her.

Homeland of heroes by Sylvia Weber, author of The Wolves' Keeper Legend

There is a deep and unbreakable bond between Portugal and India. This love story started in the fifteenth century, with the journey of Vasco da Gama across the Atlantic and Indic oceans. At that time, India was like a distant, beautiful lady in the dreams of a Poet. Everybody sighed for her and everyone wanted to find a way how to reach her. Multiple obstacles had to be overcome, the fear and the preconception had to be defeated. The Portuguese child had to go through a voyage of maturity to become a man and conquer her love. And so he did, travelling in his little caravels, facing abysses and mountains of water, unknown monsters and countless perils.

Since that time, India remained in our hearts, as a world of magic and music, of mysticism and culture. Beauty that words cannot describe, with her golden skies, her deep blue sea, her sumptuous temples and her majestic peacocks. How I remember the Jewel of the Crown, by Christopher Morahan and Jim O’Brien and the Passage to India, by David Lean, images that marked my vision of India forever.

India is, for me, a country of heroes, more than anything. Three personalities to whom I look up with reverence and the most respect, and whose footsteps I try to follow every day of my life. None of these, I must say, is more or less important than the other – all of them are heroes who the world couldn’t live without.

The first of my heroes is Gandhi. He was born at 2 October 1869 and deceased in 30 January 1948. Since 1915, he lived in India and operated a true peaceful revolution against the British imperial tyranny. A revolution of heart, of mentalities, with no weapons but the power of word. He fought against oppression and discrimination, standing by those ones who couldn’t defend themselves, because they had no power and no voice. He gave a soul to India and this is the reason why he is called the Father of the Nation. There is no way how we cannot admire this man who moved mountains with his ideals and beliefs.

The second of my heroes, but never the least in terms of greatness, is Mother Theresa of Calcuta. She is my strongest reference and my highest ideal. This extraordinary lady lived to serve the human being, seeing in the poor the image of Jesus. Her heart could embrace all a nation and the world. She is the image of perfection, of abnegation, of generosity. She gave up everything, a comfortable life, to live side by side, hand in hand with the “poorest of the poorest”, to give a little joy to those to whom life was only suffering, to build hope where there was only darkness. She saved children, old and ill from the despair of loneliness, she took the food from her mouth to alleviate the hunger of others. Her home was India, her heart was India.

The third, whom I’ve been with in Portugal and who I will never forget is the Dalai Lama. He is an absolutely fascinating personality, with a Philosophy of life that, being practiced, would change the world. He never talked only about the Tibet of his heart, but he has a vision of a whole world of Peace, where all mankind hold hands and builds a better future. He talks in behalf of the children, the victims of war and poverty, the unprotected. In his vision, the sharing, the acceptance and the forgiveness are paths to achieve higher wisdom and Peace. Also, I must say, it was India the country that gave him refuge and home when his life was threatened and when he had nowhere to go.

So, I have all kinds of reasons to love and respect India – the beauty in body and soul of that lady who Portugal fell in love with.


Thanks for writing this, Sylvia. Goa is a legacy of Portugal. One can still find traces of it there. And do visit India, whenever you can. I am very glad you wrote this.


The Reading Momster said...

Thank You Sylvia for writing such nice words about India!
Thank YOU Gautami!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lovely post. As Gautami said we find a lot of Portugal influence in Goa even today.

And you know what? I once met Dalai Lama. Not actually met but performed in front of him and his 100's of followers who had come to our school. I was playing a Buddhist and I remember many of his followers complimenting me on how nice I looked. Sorry for the tangent, but its just a very fond memory I have. Thanks for bringing it back.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. Thanks you.

Sylvia said...

Thank you to you all, Gautami's readers. The words you said are so sweet that found a real echo in my heart. My own personal bond with India certainly will grow from now. I felt so moved and so rewarded with such beautiful feelings, that I think that really there is a reason why those heroes fell in love with India and couldn't leave it. I thank you deeply for your kindness.

Beth F said...

Beautiful post! I have always wanted to visit India. Maybe someday.