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Love and Light

Region 4 - Global Service Day: Coventry & Rugby Sai Centre

The weather was perfect on Sunday the 19th of July, not too hot with a gentle breeze, a lovely summer's day. An ideal day for our annual Global Service Day event held jointly by Coventry and Rugby Sai Centres. As always a great deal of care and preparation had gone into ensuring everyone had a fun and memorable day.

"Consider all as members of one divine family. Regard yourself as a trustee and use your wealth and talents for the good of others. Use every opportunity to help others. Be compassionate at all times. Students in particular should always be ready to go to the help of people in distress. God today is in search of good men. Everyone should strive to be sincere in thought, word, and deed. Then you need not go in search of God. God will discover you". Baba

This year over 120 volunteers planned, arranged, practiced, booked, cooked, cleaned, lifted, fixed, sorted, sang and helped in every way possible to make it a success. Alongside all the hard work was the underlying love in every task that was undertaken. Global Service Day has a real knack of unifying everyone involved and this year was no exception.

Our 100 guests had come from a number of local institutions including the Asian Blind Association, Bonds Hospital, Frank Walsh House and Millhouse Court. They were treated to some wonderful performances; we started off with six young Bharat Natyam Dancers, SSE & non-SSE girls from Coventry and Rugby centres who delighted us with two traditional classical dances performed in unison and one Bollywood dance performed by two of the SSE girls this year.

This was followed by heart-warming songs from the Singing City choir who perform at various festivals for the elderly including Coventry’s Godiva Festival and have been working with BAFTA award winning composer, Ilona Sekacz. This was their second attendance at the Global Service Day following a very warm reception last year. They were more than 10 performers who filled the floor with harmony and cheer.

Our now resident DJ and entertainment maestro Ian King picked up the pace with a medley of old and new favourites and encouraged lots of participation and singing. Ian has been a key fixture at Global Service Day over the years entertaining in his own outgoing style. In his spare time he features in a local band.

With the action filled programme, appetite for lunch quickly grew. Lunch was being swiftly served with a smile by an army of our volunteers.

Ian helped us work off lunch with another round of foot tapping melodies and now we had been joined by Lady Godiva who wasted no time getting onto the dance floor and getting everyone else on there too! As always helping to make the day even more special for us all.

The Singing City choir, recharged after lunch, were back and had made considerable efforts this year to deliver an unsuspecting twist by reciting an old Indian classic song ‘Yeh Dosti’ from the Bollywood film ‘Sholay’. It was a beautiful gesture which brought laughter and cheer across the audience and a lot of active participation as well.

It was great to see such interaction which reminded us what Global Service Day was all about.

"Fill your time with good actions. There is no greater Sadhana than this. Sanctify the time given to you by good thoughts and good actions. For this, you need to cultivate the company of the good, which will in due course lead you to liberation. Fill your mind with thoughts of God. Engage yourself in godly actions. This is true Sadhana". Baba

Bingo was up next with Mike and Rupert, both regulars to Global Service day doing the honours in English. Naginbhai Prajapathi provided translation in Gujarati. With everyone seated it was time for some concentration on those winning numbers.

As the afternoon drew to a close it was back to Ian for a final blast of tunes in the summer sun to accompany some delicious dessert.

With the day at an end and after a heartfelt thank you and farewell, our guests were escorted back to their vehicles for a safe journey home. Global Service Day had again captured what is good about the human spirit. It is worth reminding ourselves of Swami’s message - ‘Love all, serve all’

Jai Sai Ram
Pravin Gaikwad
SSIO UK, Region 4