30 April 2016

BACKING THE BLUES: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Leicester

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Leicester lights up blue backing the blues

This is it.
The foxes have nearly made.
They have nearly made their mark.

With just three games remaining for our beloved foxes, it looks as if they could secure the title as early as this Sunday, that too against one of the biggest names in English football, Manchester United.

Leicester is buzzing with excitement, hope and belief. In the 20 years that I lived in the city, never has there been a time that has been more motivating, energizing and captivating. The foxes are now on the verge of securing the biggest achievement any football club has ever seen. Truly well deserved! 

Football has truly bound the whole city. We may not have anything else in common, but football is our religion. Something we all know about, deeply care about and undoubtedly talk about. Over the last week Leicester has been painted with a sea of blue, with many famous landmarks of heritage and culture such as the Leicester Guildhall and BAPS Swaminarayan Temple Leicester lighting up blue showing their support for the blues!

The journey and story of the foxes is one that is truly remarkable. It personifies hope and breaks the boundaries of imagination, it empowers one, allows us to believe in ourselves, tells us nothing is impossible if we put our mind to it. It is a story we can all relate to; the fearless are without race, caste or creed. A game so beautiful it attracts us all.

I have got to admit: I'm no football guru. Prior to the last two seasons, I had very limited knowledge of the game; from the rules to the clubs to the players to me it was just one big fad... Nothing more than a huge money making business that sold nothing more than overpriced tickets to the nation.

My journey with football as a team supporter began watching the foxes being beaten by Watford following a penalty that the foxes lost. Trust me, it hurt to see them lose...

Such a small event changed my perception, football was now closer, football had come home. I suddenly found myself constantly being surrounded by football talk. I sat, I wondered about the game. I read into the technicalities, rediscovered the big clubs and witnessed Leicester battling themselves out of relegation zone. This was a battle that the whole city fought together!

From my early childhood, being a member at the local BAPS Swaminarayan congregation I have been taught the values of respect, determination and unity. The ideals of becoming well educated, well-articulated citizens of our country, to serve the country and its people has been deeply engraved in me through the activities and seminars held at the Mandir. 

My Guru and ideal role model  Pramukh Swamiji has always lived his life with the ethos and motto of 'In the joy of others lies our own...', and taught me that 'Hardwork + Prayers = Success' such teachings are universal, they are found in all walks of life; football or religion for we are all fearless.

Technology always lets you down when you need it the most, we've all been in that awkward situation where we wanted something to work and it let us down. Well there was a similar situation at the local BAPS Mandir, but lord behold us with thy blessing, the projector is back and running and I'm pleased to announce that the Mandir will be lighting up blue at least until the last day of the premier league on the 15th of May.

In final thoughts, if the power of the masses is correctly harnessed and channeled in the correct direction even the impossible becomes possible to achieve, Leicester City Football Club is a living example of it. The world has hope, football is the way we will all be united!



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