Sail for Peace

23 Dec

…is the name of the effort I was part of this afternoon. And oh what a chore it was! Clad in a Baywatch-red life jacket, I hopped aboard a snazzy, all-white-and-chrome speedboat manned by a cute Ozzie sailor that whisked me off to a little private sailboat with 5 of my friends and family. We took in the sights of the Bombay harbor, chomped on chicken rolls, quiches and brownies, gazed lovingly at the Taj and attempted to imagine how the terrorists could possibly have sailed up to this gorgeous city and wanted to annihilate her.

Aquasail India, the company started by India’s first gold medallist on international waters, has come up with an interesting way to help the families of the 14 Mumbai police officers who died in the line of duty during the 26/11 terror attack. All proceeds from cruise bookings this week go directly toward the said policemen’s fund. I am unable to answer specific questions as I was a guest on this expedition and the info-mail I was to receive hasn’t made an appearance, but (see details below) you can contact them through their website or call one of their skippers– Abhishek– at 9969372914 and they’ll be happy to help you.

If you’re interested, make a trip sooner rather than later, because this offer’s on only for a week.  And honestly, I can’t think of a more enjoyable, relaxed way to reach out to my city.

More efforts, of course, continue here. And we’ve only just begun.


Edited to add: Received the Aquasail e-flyer this morning. Am posting a relevant excerpt.

The team at Aquasail felt that we need to do something with boats and sailing to make a statement, to sail beyond, to tide us over this feeling of sadness. As we talked about this we thought about what to do involving all of you who share with us a love for Mumbai and its amazing spirit as well as a love for the sea and all that it means to us. Why not use our boats for people to come together in a way that would be positive, bring in energy and revive a sense of hope?

And from this came the idea of a Sail For Peace & Freedom From Fear. . To use our boats to raise funds, help those affected in a small way and demonstrate a spirit free from fear. So join us for a sail for Peace & Freedom from Fear in the Mumbai harbour. The fundraiser is on from 20th Dec to 26th Dec. Please donate generously for every sail as per your ability (minimum Rs. 1, 000 /-). Every single rupee thus collected will be used for relief to those impacted by the events of last month. The recipients of this donation will be the widows and families of 14 very junior policemen who laid down their lives during the terror attacks. The money will be given to the Ashok Kumar Foundation who will ensure it reaches them.

As you sail in the harbour, you will see the physical scars of a city that was under siege but demonstrates a spirit that has the power to heal. In our own quiet way we hope this would be one very small and token step towards creating a positive wave of energy, of saluting Mumbai, of remembering and perhaps finding stronger ways of addressing the challenges before us. We hope to see each of you Sailing For Peace & Freedom From Fear and donating towards this cause.

3 Responses to “Sail for Peace”

  1. Sociologist on the Loose December 24, 2008 at 1:49 am #

    hey, saw a link to your blog on maidinmalaysia, and am glad I dropped in. Thanks for this post.

    Yesterday, I had dinner with a bunch of pot bellied, 35 year old, green-card holding a*holes (sorry, can’t think of a politer word that accurately describes these people), who told me that “all this involvement among middle class Indians is going to die out in two months, max.” They were also proud of never having voted except for when they first turned 18. And of course, they voted for McCain because “there was something not right about Obama.” His race, perhaps?

    Anyway, am still physically sick from this dinner, and your blog was balm for a discouraged soul. Thanks for being out there! It gives me hope for my country.

  2. D December 24, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    It’s heartening to know that the post-26/11 reactions are being channelised to do something positive like this.

  3. Orange Jammies December 24, 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    Socio: You know, NRIs and their numerous types is a book in itself. A chapter of which I shall scribble someday. And while I resent this particular group’s attitude as much as you do, I must acknowledge that it stems from past experience and will, in this case, not resort to stomping about like I am wont to, but will quietly go about my meagre efforts because really, our energies are needed elsewhere. I don’t get Republicans and I’m sorry to say but they’re not even that. They’re just a bunch of disengaged losers who’re full of themselves. There. I vented too. 🙂
    P.S. You’ve heard of, haven’t you?

    D: I suppose it’s because the middle and upper classes, vilified as they may be by some people post the attacks, have the means and the time to put together reconstruction efforts. Also, it was not the usual blow-up-and-move-on kind of situation, so there’s more control over where and how energies can be directed. I’m fervently praying the efforts continue until they are needed.

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