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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 backthere. 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.  T…

The Ten Commandments of Christmas

Last Sunday in church, leaflets with the following 'Christmas Ten Commandments' were handed out and the parish priest Fr. Joe Andrews discussed them with the congregation.   You shall not leave 'Christ' out of Christmas, making it 'Xmas'. Christ is the reason for the season.You shall prepare your soul for Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts that your soul is forgotten (a good confession is a nice way to prepare your hear for Christmas)You shall not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality. (Prepare yourself with prayer and the Word of God.)You shall not neglect your church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season. You shall not neglect the needy. Share they blessings with the many who will go hungry and cold unless you are generous.You shall not neglect thy family during this season. You shall not forget the elderly and those who are lonely at Christmas time.You shall not value gifts received by their cost. E…

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…