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October - November 2006



From: Mr K. Dewan
Finchley, North London

Dear Sir
There is something charming about us Hindus when we do uncommon things in our rituals. This is about the daily collection of coconuts at a temple in Orissa.
“Faith moves mountains and in this story faith moves thousands of coconuts everyday to the temple called Maa Tarini temple. This huge offering of coconuts amounts to about 15000 daily. There are groups of volunteers running a voluntary service so that the fruit arrives at the temple everyday. This free service depends on a network of collection boxes placed all over the state on roads and other temples and even on buses. The devotees take the fruit kept by the roadside for a bus to pick it up. If you hold a coconut in your hands on a highway, the next bus passing that route will at once stop to pick it up and take it to the temple at Ghatgaon in Keonjhar district.
The drivers have deep faith in goddess Maa Tarini. They provide space behind the driver’s seat for a pile of coconuts. Even the buses on a different route will take the coconuts and drop them in a collection box of the other bus which has Ghatgaon temple as its destination. Sometimes coconuts come from distant Bengal and Bihar through this magical network. This has given birth to a thriving Sweets and oil industy. On important festival days, coconuts can total more than 100,000. Coconut seems to have some magic about it.

Yours sincerely
Kanwal Dewan

From: Raj Kapoor
5, Totternhoe Close
Kenton, Harrow Middx.
Dear Sir
It seems Muslims in India are ignorant about the meaning of ‘Vande Mataram’, the national song of India. Vande Mataram simply means, “I bow (salaam, namaste, pranam) to you, my mother. (Here mother refers to the country).
The full translation of the song is:
Bow to you, Ma Bharati!
Bow to you, my mother land!
You are blessed with rushing streams,
You are bestowed with fertile soil,
You are glorified by cool breeze,
And the dark waving fields!

Pure as the bright heavenly stars,
Adorned with blossoming gardens.
With an enchanting smile,
With words as sweet as nectar,
Bestow your blessings on me!

Who can say that you are weak?
The voice of seven crore,
Roars your fearful name!
In the seven crore hands,
Flashes the sword of liberty.
Oh Mighty Goddess! Oh Saviour!
Loveliest of all earthly lands,
Mother great and free!
I bow to you, my mother!
So you see it has nothing to do with Hindutva. Just as we have accepted Sir Mohammad Iqbal’s “Saare Jaahan se achchha, Hindostan Hamara...” Regards,
Yours faithfully
Raj Kapoor

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