Mumbai: Ailing Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray`s health concerns have figured prominently in the international media, television channels and news agencies, especially in neighbouring Pakistan and Nepal.
Thackeray`s improved health was highlighted by the BBC, New York Times and all top Pakistani newspapers, according to a Shiv Sena report Saturday.
In Nepal, King Gyanendra Veer Vikram Shahadev and Sena activists in that country offered special prayes at the world famous Pashupatinath Temple Friday, according to a Nepali media person, Ashok Nepali.
Former Pakistani cricket Javed Miandad has sent a message saying he would pray for his friend Thackeray`s speedy recovery.
"I have met him several times in Matoshri and been accorded a warm welcome. We were like friends and religion never came in the way of our friendship," Miandad said of Thackeray, known for his shrill anti-Pakistan views.
Mumbai Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam, who is an ex-Sena Rajya Sabha member urged all north Indians to commence this year`s Chhath Puja with special prayers for Thackeray`s speedy recovery.
A resident of Daund, Pune district, Mohan S. Yadav, accompanied by his sons Raj and Uddhav, is camping outside Matoshri to present a mobile phone to Thackeray.
It is shaped like a car and has an exclusive ringtone, `Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji` specially made for Thackeray. Yadav and his sons Raj and Uddhav rode on a motorcycle to present it to Thackeray after he recovers.
Thackeray`s huge statue made of sand in Gujarat`s coastal village Thangad is drawing large crowds of admirers. Its sand-sculptor, Rajesh Muliya, inscribed a "get well soon" message on it.
A teacher from Ulhasnagar, a town in Thane, Prakash Mali, has written a letter in his own blood with a prayer for Thackeray`s quick recovery.
Meanwhile pujas, aartis and havans continued in temples and public places, besides special prayers in mosques, churches and gurudwaras across Maharashtra for Thackeray`s speedy recovery.