Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fr. Stan Fortuna...

Attended a retreat at St. Theresa's church recently, and Fr. Stan Fortuna, a Franciscan Friar from New York, was in charge of leading the prayer service. He is entertaining and quite talented too, he played a variety of instruments, and mixed the different sounds up using a kind of mixer and he rapped and sang and he was literally all over the place. It was different, a nice experience... he seemed fascinated with the traffic here. He was like 'I pretty much live on the edge, being from the Bronx (a dangerous neighbourhood in NY) and all, but you people here... you take living on the edge to a whole new level with your driving. Is it because you believe in reincarnation, is that why you all drive recklessly?' He was like India has the Beep addiction, you cannot stop beeping... and then he went on to make a song about it, the 'beep beep' song.

Well Father, it was a nice evening, I liked being there... wishing you a safe flight back to New York.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Picturesque Proclamation...

During my days at Santhi Nilayam, I had a lot of nuns and priests as friends. In fact, most of the contacts on my phone were either fathers or sisters. Many of them still keep in touch, and whenever I come home I try to visit them in whatever new convent or parish they have been transferred to. This time I went to meet an old friend, a Mother Superior who is now serving at a convent not far from my place. This being the monsoon month, the drive to her convent was pretty awesome, with light rains and breathtaking scenery and Johnny Mathis crooning from an old cassette. I kid you not, I went in a car that had an old cassette player and Johnny was singing 'Laughter in the rain' just as we were enjoying the rains, it was wonderfully perfect. Here are some pictures taken along the way...
  Beautiful huh...
Paddy fields and coconut trees and the hills and the clouds...
A canal... 
Hills... twin peaks.

 Marshy land...
Rubber plantation...
  Rubber sap collected in coconut shells...
 Another pond...
Went to meet a priest who lives near this river...
Amazing place, hardly any people around...
  Banyan tree vines hanging overhead...
 Quaint scene...
 Another river...
 Cascading in rhythm...
At an old age home...
  Amazing huh...
 Almost like a volcano...
 Nice drive...
Almost like a painting...
These pictures are like a proclamation of the majesty of our Creator... 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Santhi Nilayam, School for the Mentally Challenged...

After a long long time, I visited the special school I used to work in, and the kids have all grown up...tiny tots now taller than me and sprouting facial hair!!! I was flummoxed... gosh, time changes everyone and everything. Wonder what changes they saw in me... anyway, I was just happy to be back there. Went early to catch sight of that yellow school bus turning the corner and to watch all the kids tumbling out. While I was working there, that yellow bus turning the corner always marked the start of an exciting day. Right from the moment the kids hit the ground, the fun starts... that place will always be shrouded in hues of warm sunshine in my memory, it is a great place to be. 
On the way to school, came across a few students...
The special school, Santhi Nilayam (means Abode of Peace) 
Great place... 
The school bus and the kids...
The assembly itself is heartwarming, a kid recites the prayers and the others repeat after him, in their characteristic sounds and half utterances. 
These guys are a hilarious bunch, the one in the centre is an old student and he comes to help out everyday with the kids. 

Old posts from when I was working at this school:

Derryl (you've got to read this, it's funny)