Friends, the literal meaning of this proverb as per the ‘Concise Oxford Dictionary’ is to seize opportunities for profit. Well, this declamation contest is an opportunity for me and if I do well I am sure I will profit by carrying home the first prize.
Let me begin with the current political situation in our country. The new ministry at the centre was formed at the fag end of ’89 under the leadership of Shri V.P.Singh. Public expectations were high and it was felt that things would change for the better. But, what do we see? As usual most of the MPs and MLAs are busily engaged in holding onto their seats, going for frequent jaunts abroad on one pretext or the other and managing to establish their near and dear ones in key posts in the Government. They know that this is a golden opportunity for them and so they ‘make’ hay while the sun shines. Tell me, during these nine months since the Government came into power has it solved the common man’s problems? No, not at all. There is neither sunshine in his life, nor has he made sufficient hay.
Let us now go to the computers. The computer has captured the imagination of the people. It has become an important tool for marching successfully towards the 21st century. If you open your newspaper you will read several advertisements about schools offering courses for beginners, for students, for housewives, and for executives. They charge high fees and loot the gullible customers! They are least bothered about the quality of their teaching. They are merely cashing in on the craze for computers and minting money. Yes, they too are ‘making hay while the sun shines’! We do hope that our school is an exception.
Let us next see how this proverb applies to the film industry. Till recently, our Hindi films were masala-movies full of ‘dhishum-dhishum’, songs and dances, with a routine storyline. When for a change, a filmmaker made a sensitive film like ‘Maine pyar kiya’ on the theme of love and affection between a poor girl and a rich boy who had to face many challenges to be united at last, it won the hearts of the filmgoers and for once the cinema houses ran ‘Housefull’ as compared to earlier days when they ran almost empty because of video piracy. The film makers of this film made huge profits. Realising this, other filmmakers who wanted to make hay while the sun shone, came out with films with similar names and similar stories, but they did not do as well. The sun had hidden behind the clouds and the hay had turned wet!
I can give you many more examples where new industries have come out with products similar to successful products of other companies. Take for example ‘Nirma’ washing powder. Seeing its success, other manufacturers came out with; ‘T-series’, ‘Budget’, ‘Fena’, ‘Sasa’, etc. It is doubtful whether they will make any hay.
Thus it seems that making hay while the sun shines has become the national pastime. Why to talk of the nation? Lets talk about this contest. I can see sunshine like smiles on the faces of the judges and the good response of my friends who are present here. So, I think that I too have made hay while the sun shines. Friends, there is no harm in making limited hay when the sun shines, but before venturing, please don’t be guided by the whether forecasts of the ‘Doordarshan’ for it may rain when they say there would be sunshine and vice-versa. Here’s wishing you all the best of hay making until the sunshine lasts.