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And when the earth fades...

And when the earth fades
Falls from my eyes
And you stand before me
I know You love me

I was in church with Jen yesterday when they started singing this song and immediately we glanced at each other and smiled. It is one of the songs we sang when we were in the choir and whenever I hear this song, this stanza makes time stop for a few minutes. Nothing that is happening around seems to register as I am suddenly transported to a moment between two worlds. That moment when the earth fades, you wonder how it will be... you wonder what comes next. There are a number of books we can read, stuff we can research to try to know what happens after we breathe our last breath... but I don't think anything can prepare us for the final event. It will be good, of course, no doubt there... life gets transformed, but still, that point, that exact moment when the earth fades... it's just too big to put into words, it always leaves me pondering, hoping that it will be as beautiful as my human mind …

Colourful Chaos

Celebrated Holi yesterday and it was pure madness... random people coming upto you and rubbing colour on your cheeks was a little disconcerting at first, but after a few minutes you get the hang of it and it's crazy fun after that. I've always wanted to be part of the colourful Holi celebrations, like the ones we see in movies and pictures of India... that look so captivating and brimming with energy. This was exactly like that, and despite the rainbow hued aftermath that followed, I know I want to do it all over again next year with better protection, now that I know what to expect. Play mostly with kids and people who give you the good vibe, ignore the rest and go with a bigger crowd.

Here's a slideshow of the pictures we took (use the link if the above video doesn't seem to play)...

Homegrown friends...

Have you noticed how some things never change, how time seems to stand still when you are with some people. For instance, with the siblings and cousins there's a timeless ease... we have grown up, got married, changed over the years, yet, at the same time we haven't. It was the same recently when friends from home had come to the city. All those years spent under a clear blue sky practicing for the choir... the natural high that comes after singing, laughing, hanging out together... that simple feeling of being alive and in love with the world, that's how it was the past few weeks roaming around with homegrown friends (a Zac Brown Band pun).

The Saturday choir practice sessions, ganging up after Sunday mass and the caroling craziness: those are some of the best memories of home. Those days are always shrouded in warm hues of sunshine, I still remember the gentle evening breeze with its warm summer scents seamlessly mingling with the notes of As the Deer, You are my All in…

December 2016 and January 2017

The last few months of 2016 were crazy in so many ways. First there was the money issue (when the higher denomination notes lost their value overnight) which created a mess of economic proportions. The insane queues at banks and ATM's and all the scrambling that was happening to make sense of it all, made November quite memorable.  Around the same time, Trump came out victorious which I thought was pretty hilarious... a sort of validation that people are the same everywhere, based on who we elected here.  Anyway, after the chaos of November, December came with her own brand of drama. I heard of Cyclone Nada, but I was busy in Nagercoil then enjoying a birthday party...Even that was fun, surprising the birthday girl who did not know that I was at the airport with dad. She walks up and down and I'm hiding behind the newspaper pretending to read it, then I see Manoj by her side, and they finally come out and she is hugging my dad and after that I walk up behind her and tap her on t…

Rome, 2015

My first time in Rome and it was a blurry of opulent and grandiose churches, nothing really stood out, except for the church of the holy steps. I remember that church distinctly because people were kneeling while climbing the steps (apparently those are the stairs Jesus climbed when he was sentenced by Pontious Pilate), everything else is just a blur... all the churches were crowded, teeming with people. The Sistine chapel was bursting with tourists, hardly any space to breathe, pray or reflect. In that sense, Rome didn't really imprint on me, it would have been nice to skip all the churches and crowds and just walk the streets, like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. But that wasn't possible, we didn't get to see the Trevi fountain either, which I was kinda looking forward to, had saved a few ten rupee coins to throw into the water, but that place was under construction so we had to skip it. Anyway,  here's the defining image of Rome, the Colosseum, we didn't go in…