by Suman Gupta
Mumbai, January 2018: Birthday is a momentous occasion. Most people crave for an exclusive birthday – one that they can cherish forever. Merrymaking and being with the near and dear ones often top the list. However, very few care to celebrate their birthday for a distinct social cause and to create a difference. ‘Showman of the Millennium’, Subhash Ghai preferred the latter way to celebrate his birthday and contributed towards the preservation of Mother Nature.
The director par excellence, begun the joyous occasion with tree plantation at Whistling Woods International (WWI) campus. Subhash Ghai encouraged one and all to plant at least one tree on their birthdays and inculcate the practice of conserving the environment.
Speaking of the initiative, Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, WWI shared,“I believe every Indian on their birthday should plant a tree wherever they can. Instead of cutting a cake, planting a tree will help in the betterment of the environment and will be a small contribution towards their country.”
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI said, “The culture of tree plantation is not new in WWI. Since the beginning, we have been planting trees on the campus and a lot of legendary people have been a part of this initiative. Subhash Ghai (dad) had made a promise that on his every birthday he would plant a tree. He also believes that not just him but everyone should also do the same as it will bring a huge change in the environment. He has shown us a way to help the environment by simply planting a tree.”
While surprises are an integral part of all birthday celebrations, the students and the faculty put together a tribute for Mr. Subhash Ghai. The maestro was overwhelmed by the love showered on him as HODs of each School came forward and shared their rendezvous with their beloved SG sir and how he will always be an inspiration to them. They shared personal anecdotes on similar lines where SG sir has been a mentor, a guide, a philosopher and above all a friend.
The students paid respect to the director in a unique way. While the School of Fashion gifted him, a portrait made with satin ribbons along with a Nehru jacket, which they designed for him. The School of Design gifted him with a photo-realistic oil painting portrait on canvas. The students of the School of Media and Communications showcased a beautiful video where various people shared birthday wishes for SG sir and how he has been the epicenter of this institute. The School of Music specially composed a song on him, commemorating this occasion. The creative students of School of Animation presented him with an animated video as well a caricature, which the director adored!
Subhash Ghai truly touched by the unique birthday gifts by his beloved students and faculties, became emotional and took a trip down memory lane with his words. “The vision that I had 10 years ago for this school and the hard work that has been put into the institute; today I feel that I can see the results of it. After me, my kids Meghna and Rahul took over the operational functions of the institute. Today WWI is internationally acclaimed and is amongst one of the top 10 institutes across the world and we are proud of it. This all wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of our faculty, experts, staff and the management. Through WWI, I wanted to bring a change in the educational system, where the personalities of the students will be developed in such a way so that they can contribute towards humanity and global diversification. And going forward, we will adhere to this philosophy.”
Sujata Paranjape, Director, All India Radio also took the opportunity to felicitate Subhash Ghai on his birthday as well.
Subhash Ghai thanked all for the birthday wishes and shared, “When I started my career in Bombay and faced initial failure, I choose not to give up on hope and to remain focused to achieve my dreams. One must remain passionate enough to reach their goal and for success will follow. My advice to one and all is to respect their parents, learn from them and to work hard. There is no shortcut towards success, and one usually has to face an initial bit of struggle for that. He further added, “Don’t set short time goals but believe in long-term targets. The latter is difficult to achieve but will help one build a promising future!”
The spectacular evening was concluded with the cake cutting ceremony, where all his near and dear ones participated.