Last month my Industrialist neighbour Ashok Bhai Parekh informed me that a play named ’Yugpurush’ about Mahatma Gandhi’s spiritual mentor Shrimad Rajchandraji will be staged in Khartoum. I had never read or heard about Shrimad Rajchandraji. I revisited the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi –‘The stories of my experiments with truth’. There I found in Chapter 26 the title ‘Raychandbhai’. This was the person Gandhiji often referred to as Kavi (Poet).The other name for Raychandbhai was Rajchandraji and Shrimad was an honorific or title. The play directed by Rajesh Joshi, written by Uttam Gada and music scored by Sachin-JIga is an award winning play. Besides many awards, Yugpurush has won the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence Award 2017. The creativity and techniques in the play are par excellence. The actors were amazing with 11 actors playing the role of more than 50 people. The lead role of Shrimad Rajchandraji was very well portrayed by Parthsarthi Vaidya . Gandhi was influenced by three persons in his life: John Ruskin, Leo Tolstoy and Shrimad Rajchandraji and of course Shrimad Rajchandraji a living contact had the deepest impression. Raychandbhai sowed the seeds of Truth, Non-violence and Compassion in the mind of Gandhi. They had met in Bombay and continued to exchange 200 letters while Gandhi was in South Africa. The spiritual relationship transformed Mohandas to a Mahatma. Kavi told Gandhi how one can’t wash the blood stains of violence with violence. You need the pure water of non-violence to wash the stains of violence. He also taught him that life is temporary and the body is perishable but prayers lead us to God and the prayers remain forever. This play has had more than 900 shows in almost 300 cities in many languages all over the world and touched the hearts and minds of more than 600,000 viewers. Many of us in Khartoum were lucky to view this play at Friendship Theatre Hall on Friday 29th September. There were two shows one in Gujarati in the morning for the Omdurman Indian Community and another in English in the evening. Ambassador of India H.E.Amrit Lugun welcomed the viewers and the Chief Guest was Federal Minister of Culture Altayeb Hassan Badawi. There were other dignitaries present at the show including Actor and Director Ali Mahdi Nouri who found the play amazing from every department. We remain ever grateful to the benevolent sponsors of the play and the joint organisers namely Embassy of India, Khartoum and Omdurman Indian Community for bringing this heart touching and thought provoking play to Khartoum.
Yugpurush is an award winning play performed by artists from India. The play in English is about Mahatma Gandhi and his spiritual mentor. Book your free tickets at
http://Buytickets.at/yugpurush for Friday 29 Sept at 4:30 PM at Friendship Hall Theatre. If you have any problems call Grishma Gandhi 0923047382
Mani Menon, M.D., is a pioneer in robotic surgery and one of the foremost urologists in the United States. The first robotic prostate surgery program in the United States was started by Mani Menon, at the Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI) in 2001. The VUI was the first institution to offer the surgery on an out-patient basis. The robotic approach that Dr. Menon developed, the Vattikuti Institute Prostatectomy (VIP), revolutionized the field of Urology, and has become the gold standard for the surgical treatment of prostate cancer. The enhanced nerve-sparing technique developed by Dr. Menon, the “Veil of Aphrodite,” has dramatically improved erectile function outcomes following radical prostatectomy. Dr. Menon also developed the first catheter-free approach.
The above information was shared with a group of healthcare professionals in Khartoum by Dr.D.V.S.L.N Sharma, Senior Consultant Urologist, from the Department of Urology and Robotic Surgery at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad, India. A member of VUI, Dr.Sharma has been inspired by Dr.Mani Menon and performs Robotic Surgery in India. Dr.Sharma had first mastered the basic surgery, laparoscopic surgery and then has learnt robotic surgery which he is practicing since 2013. Due to small incisions, less trauma to the body and greater surgeon precision, robotic surgery provides the following benefits over traditional open procedures including: shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, less pain, fewer complications, including less risk of infection and faster return to normal activities.
Ministry of Health, Sudan has signed a MoU for sending Doctors and Nurses to Apollo Hospital at Hyderabad for training in an exchange program. This will certainly benefit the patients in Sudan.
In Sudan, Fridays are dedicated to the family when all children meet at the father’s house for breakfast. This writer had the privilege of being with such a family last Friday. This was the house of Abdallah Khalil the second Prime Minister of Sudan from 1956-58. Abdallah Khalil’s son Amir had visited their farm house in Omdurman that morning and brought plenty of dates and other fruits. Amir Abdallah Khalil showed me his father’s room which was no less than a museum with antique collections of typewriter, telephone, music recorder, trophies, rifles and swords. There were photos framed on the walls showing Abdallah Khalil with many heads of state. The one that caught this writer’s attention was the one with Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. This photo was taken when Nehru visited Sudan.
Abdallah Khalil’s son Amir served the United Nations for 4 decades. He retired as Assistant Director General of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. After retirement he was assigned to UN headquarters at New York as Advisor to FAO for Security Council Affairs. Currently Amir is the Chairman of Omdurman Teaching Hospital.
This photograph shows Eid greetings being exchanged with a hug after performing the last Ramadan prayer in the mosque, be it with friends or strangers. Photo & Design Credit to my colleague Eng.Khalid Saad
Dhirajlal Tribhubandas Ramjidas Shah was born in Sudan in 1930. He was the senior most active member of the Indian Community in Sudan. He had narrated to me the day in 1956 when he had received Mr.Kidwai the first Head of Indian Mission in Sudan. Dhirubhai, as he was called, was agile and alert even at the age of 87. He attended all events, be it the National Day celebrations at the Embassy of India in Khartoum or celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday at the Indian School in Omdurman. I last met him on 7th June, at the Iftar jointly hosted by the Indian club and the Police Association of Omdurman .He was the cynosure of all eyes even on that evening. He breathed his last three days later. We pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace at his heavenly abode.
The Police Association of Omdurman felicitated Dr. Anil Kumar Mithani at an Iftar hosted by the Indian club in Omdurman on the 12th day of Ramadan. Dr.Anil Kumar Mithani a Senior Consultant Urologist and President of the Omdurman Indian Community (truly the Indian diaspora, Sudanese nationals of Indian origin mainly from Rajkot) has excellent public relations. Senior Police Officers like Haytham Osman and others participated at the Iftar which presented a commendable group performance of songs and dance by children of the Police community. Ambassador of India who returned from Asmara the same evening attended the event. He conveyed Ramadan Greetings to all and praised the Police for the good job done since the law and order situation is very much under control in Sudan. He appreciated the joint cultural exchange between the Police Association and the Indian community and looked forward to more such events.
Exchange of Cultural Programs is a symbol of strong bilateral relations between two countries. So is the case between India and Sudan. Embassy of India in Khartoum in partnership with Ministry of Culture Sudan brought Goa Kala Academy under the aegis of Indian Council of Cultural Relations in New Delhi.
Goa Kala Academy performed folk songs and dances of Goa at the National Theatre of Omdurman on Thursday 18 May. Goa is a picturesque state in the West Coast of India. Goa has its own rich tradition of folk lore and folk art tradition. A ten member troupe from Goa Kala Academy performed various folk songs and dances with colourful costumes and ‘props’. The dance forms ranged from winding and unwinding of braids with brisk footwork, lamp dance with gymnastic skills balancing the brass lamps on their heads, warrior dance with swords and horse heads on the waists and stilt dances.
Minister of State for Culture Dr.Hasabalrasoul Ahmed inaugurated the program along with the Ambassador of India Amrit Lugun. They were joined by the Commissioner of Omdurman Majdi Abdulaziz.
The audience comprised Ministers, Diplomats, Dignitaries and members from both Sudanese and Indian communities. The Cultural troupe will also perform in Madani.