Tuesday 23 January 2018

WAVES, WINDS & WORDS OF WISDOM (Jagriti Yatra - Kanyakumari)

Arise! Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached.

Date: 26th December 2017

Travelling 2,136 km, all the way from Mumbai, we covered one-fourth distance of our yatra to reach the first destination of our enriching journey, the beautiful land of Kanyakumari. 

Reaching the southernmost tip of peninsular India surrounded by Lakshadweep seas, on 26th December 2017, was a historical moment not only because this was the longest stretch covered in the last 10 years of Jagriti Yatra, non-stop, but also because on the very same date 125 years back, Swami Vivekananda had attained enlightenment after 3 days & nights of meditation.

To venerate, recreate & relive this historic moment, 'Rashtra Dhara Swim' was organized, wherein selected people led by Barkha Kedia braved the waves and swam from Vivekananda Rock to Vivekananda Ashram, embracing the crimson sunset. 

125 years ago, culminating four years of his travel, Swami Vivekananda, a man of spiritual order and a worshiper of humanity, swam to a rock, meditated, and realized his life's mission to arouse the nation from slumber and rediscover its past glory and took a Sankalp of envisioning and building a new India. To honour his vision of 'Vishwa Guru Bharat' and philosophy of national integration, Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built on the same rock, in 1970.

Reminiscing the same philosophy and with the Sankalp of building India through enterprise, the events of the evening were lined-up. Amongst the palm trees swaying in the wind, their rustling leaves & the sound of the tides, the program commenced with the flagship event followed by Samudra Samvad & Sankalp Ganga. 

During Samudra Samvad, we were addressed by the Governor of Pondicherry, Kiran Bedi Ji, on a phone call, who was a Yatri in 21-day Azad Bharat Rail Yatra, 1997. She described such journeys as life-altering and rare.

 In her message to the youth, she expressed the importance of staying sensitive, making a note of such experiential journeys and waking up every morning and thinking of learning and doing something new each day. She added that as part of learning by doing we reach out, stretch ourselves and move beyond our comfort zones. She emphasized on getting up each morning with a purpose and regarded these little habits as transformational.

In her message to the women on the Yatra, she said that an empowered woman can be more powerful than an empowered man and that being empowered will enable any woman to earn respect and be heard.

Talking about her views on bold ideas that India needs she inspired us all by saying that we should see every problem as a eureka moment and focus on finding the solution without giving up. She added by saying that the focus of the citizens needs to change from being competitive to being collaborative.

Her speech was followed by an enlightening panel discussion. Mrs Vanitha talked about how an umbrella idea can hold other ideas within it. She encouraged people to take collective responsibility and work together in communities and families as that is how India is built. 

Mr Shashank Mani talked about civilizational responsibility, moral authority and taking pride in India's culture & values. He explained how India's democratic counterpoint can shake the colonial heritage and is very important as India might become the largest nation in 5 years. He concluded by saying that a proactive approach is needed to strengthen our national culture. 

Mr Shalabh Mittal brought our attention to how thinking as individuals & transforming ourselves can help us in self-actualization. He also explained how Mohan became Mahatma and Naren became Vivekananda.

Toward the end of the evening, Mr Rao from Vivekananda Centre especially came to address the gathering. He talked about the feeling of unity, solidarity & cohesion in hearts of people and the importance of the sense of common citizenship. He concluded by saying that if we love India we will become a part of this land and that unless we love our nation we cannot serve in the true sense.

After the brainstorming session, all the Yatris were brimming with ideas while taking the Sankalp (pledge) and released the brightly lit lanterns into the night sky.

The drone aesthetically captured the Yatris traversing this beautiful land while also covering the cross-cultural friendships amongst all of us that made us recognize the leadership we all had to become messengers of national unity and integrity.

I would just like to leave you with one message - Find your rock!


  1. Felt like day 1 of JY again,very well written :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you :) I am unable to see your name though. Would you mind sharing?

  3. This is well written as well as surprisingly well recollected. Kudos! Keep writing.

  4. Very inspiring and well written! Would love to read more about your experiences during JY.

  5. Very well written. Reading it was actually re-living the days of Yatra!!

  6. Superbly narrated.. Relived the Kanyakumari day again..

  7. Took me back to everything we did. Thank you!

  8. Neatly written. Linked to this post from my JY blog @ http://saiy2k.blogspot.in/2018/01/jagriti-yatra-2017-this-is-just.html

  9. Awsome my sis!! I have read your writing for the very first time and it feels overwhelming👌🏻
    Great job dear!! Well done😜

  10. This is so inspiring di 🥀 it's really amazing! ❤