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Showing posts from 2019

Where Will They Celebrate Christmas?

There’s a beautiful song called Christmas in Heaven, where Scotty McCreery, the singer, wonders how a loved one who has passed away is celebrating Christmas. Scotty sings:

Are you kneeling with shepherds before Him now?  Can you reach out and touch His face? Are you part of that glorious Holy Night? I wonder what Christmas in Heaven is like.
We’ve all lost loved ones, and the memories will always remain, but how are we going to remember the ones who died (and those who remain traumatised) due to the deep malaise that infects society. Rape is the sort of horror that cannot be put into words because words do not exist to describe what Aruna Shanbaug, Jyoti Singh, Asifa, Priyanka Reddy, the Unnao case survivor and countless others went through. As we prepare to welcome the new born Christ into our homes, let us first examine our hearts and find out where the sickness lies.

We live in a society, and the family is the basic building block of any society. The first seven years of life are …

Musings on love, sex, society

Do not, do not, do not!
The father in church intoned
What, she thought warily
Gratify the needs of the flesh, he preached.
Why not, she mused, smiling at the one
Sitting beside her, oblivious to the sermon
It is beautiful to love and be loved.
What's there to be scared
When love exists deep in your soul
No amount of denying can bring peace.


So the other day the father in church was talking about how it is a sin to gratify the needs of the flesh. And all I could think about was why, why is he so scared, why does the church seem scared of sexual union. Isn't that how the priest exists, because his parents decided to have sex (unless he was conceived clinically in a petri dish). Why does our society fear sex, why does it have such a bad connotation? Why couldn't the father bring in love, why couldn't he say that if you feel a connection or if you really love the person then it is beautiful, otherwise, it might end in heartache. It's not only the father... while hangi…

Mountain gods with their gentle songs...

This picture was taken circa 1990 when the mountain gods (the western ghats) with their gentle song were all we could see everywhere we looked. Check out the mud bound road and the half-saree clad higher secondary students (akkas then)... life was amazing here, it took me years to realise that.

Here I am at one of the mountains thirty years later, just soaking in nature and contemplating how far I've come from that little girl who hated this village and couldn't wait to leave. Life always surprises you in the most beautiful of ways when you learn to go with the flow. You may not get the view you were hoping for, but you will be rendered speechless by the view that awaits you, it will be something you never thought could exist and yet here you are... reveling at how the universe has always got your back.
This is one of the pristine beaches back home... the sun on one side, moon on the other.  I sit here typing all this as the rains fall outside while I sip on warm tea from this …

How Do We Hark Back?

An article I wrote for the church magazine...

In Genesis, when God created everything from nothingness, s/he knew it was all good, “God saw all s/he had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Everything that existed from the beginning of creation was perfect like the Creator. That’s how wo/man was formed too, in the image and likeness of God, in all perfection and goodness. This is the state of grace or the Garden of Eden, where humankind lived in harmony with creation. Since humans have a dual nature, that of being one with the creator yet at the same time being temporal in flesh and blood, this equation of grace was bound to change, when the temporal takes precedence over the eternal nature of being (our spiritual nature). That’s when evil/bad was conceived in the image and likeness of wo/man. That’s where humankind stands now, at a crossroad, forever wavering between the spiritual and the temporal, not realising that our true nature is spiritual and that existence in t…

What's up Doc...

So this happened...

     I presented and defended my doctoral thesis titled "An Exploration into the Resilience of the Human Soul and Evolution of the Human Self: A Study of Select Autobiographies of Artists and Statesmen"  at the university and I can't believe it's over. It's actually... overwhelming to think of how I got into it in the first place. I had to quit my job cause I was in and out of the hospital, those were the dark years as I call them. I wanted something to do, and since I'm in the habit of devouring books, I thought why not get a Ph.D. in it. So started foraging for a university, a guide and after all that fell in place, the topic had to be decided. I remember Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt was quite fascinating in its various aspects and I thought why not work on such real-life stories that make you feel... that pull at your heartstrings. So got together with my guide and her guide who is a colossal giant in this field and we discussed…

Excerpts from my diary...

NEVER stop doing your pushups, that is one exercise which gives you upper body strength. Never not love, that means when you feel and do things with love, you're making life beautiful for you and everyone around you. Know that life is good, you may not understand or even figure out what you're supposed to do or be, but with good intentions and the air of positivity surrounding you, life will always be good even when it is troublesome. Eat healthy, you'll feel good in your gut... but don't go overboard with the diet. Over time you'll tend to figure out what suits you, don't define yourself to any diet, it beats the purpose of sharing/breaking of food with family and friends. Read, always read and gather words, you like them. Read the good stuff that makes you gasp in wonder and happy to be alive. Always spend time with children, nothing purer on earth. Learn not to hear things that serve nobody, the acrid bitterness and negativity that builds up in people can d…

Heaven is not faraway

An article I wrote for my church magazine...
Heaven is not faraway
Growing up we get the impression that heaven is a place, somewhere up there in the skies. That’s how catechism makes God sound like a huge bearded man just wafting through the skies, watching us all from heaven. But oce you grow up and start reading and thinking about the bearded guy in the sky, you tend to realise that God is a presence that permeates all of creation. God is One Consciousness, pure creative energy pulsing with love. We are all individual manifestations of this divine energy, so whether we are aware of it or not, we are all holy. We are living temples of the Divine Creative Energy that permeates everything in existence.

Once we realise this simple truth that we are all children of God, and thereby we too have the same divine energy and power, then heaven becomes a reality right where we are. We tend to create heaven when life is lived with good intent and purpose, with the implicit belief that everything…

Hues of Warm Sunshine

The special school I used to work in released their Silver jubilee souvenir this year and here's something I penned down for it.

Hues of Warm Sunshine

     Shanthi Nilayam, School for the Mentally Challenged in Paruthivilai, is one of my favourite places on earth, I loved working here. I remember waking up in the morning and wondering, ‘what is going to happen today?’. Every day was exciting, you never knew what was in store – the kids were so unpredictable, the teachers were a hilarious bunch, and the sisters were always welcoming. My tenure in Shanthi Nilayam was an immeasurable learning experience, filled with joy, fun and togetherness. There is a quaint little chapel in the convent, one only has to enter it and spend a few minutes; the calmness and serenity of that simple chapel fills you with an inexplicable peace. Those were the days when I didn't mind working extra hours or even during Sundays, cause work there never really felt like work... it was just one big happy fa…

Memories...

Videos of our 2017 trip... looking back at them now, I'm speechless and filled with wonder. Let's see how it all feels when I scroll through these pages when I'm sixty years old... gratitude filling every fibre of my being. From Pisa, to Rome to Florence... exploring Italy.
Road trip to France...
Our trip to Barcelona, Spain..

In Geneva...

The journey back...

So after dropping Nam off at the airport in the previous post, me and Vinod stopped by this pretty church near the airport. To see a painting that Fr. Gabrielmentioned when we met him recently.  And here's the painting by the Swiss artist, Alexandre Cingria,... who is best known for his work on stained glass windows. Inside the very simple and charming church of Cointrin (the location)... A Hungarian mass was about to take place and the people were so kind, that me and my brother stayed for the Hungarian service. We stopped by migros on the way home and I picked up this apple strudel... my last pastry here before I leave the next day.  Then came home and made this huge savoury puff pastry for my brother to take to work the next day.  Spent the rest of the evening packing and weighing my luggage, then went to sleep.  Woke up the next day, made some breakfast for my brother and he went to work. Then I made this tortellini, that you get in ready to make packets. You just saute them …

Street Food Festival, Geneva (September 2017)

After exploring Coppet, we took the train back to Geneva and then bus 8 to Old Town, and walked a bit to reach the Geneva Street Food Festival. My brother met us here, and we spent the evening strolling around trying out different kinds of food... Cute food trucks...

One of my favourite foods here, crepes...

A cheesy spinach crepe...  The pie truck... The Churros truck... Eating under the trees... Pizza... See, how they take care of their surroundings... nobody dares dirty the place. I wish we, in India, could cultivate a culture of cleanliness... in thought, word and deed. It was nice... just strolling around, watching friends and families having a great time. The goodlife indeed...  Some Japanese food... Which tasted pretty good... We picked up a Lobster roll here... My sister loves lobster and prawns...

An Aperol, got a nice buzz with this...

Always fond of seafood, my brother picked up this fish and chips...
After this, we went home and crashed, it was long day checking out bea