Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Christmas Story

Three days to go....

Everywhere I turn, I see the nativity scene displayed. The great Christmas story retold. And I wonder...

Which Christmas character am I?

Mary: Righteous and meek, she gave her all for God. Submitted to His seemingly impossible plan, risked her life for the love of God.Am I like her? Do I care about the worldly laws or about God's great plan?

Joseph: The man who supported something that he, I am sure, was not able to comprehend fully. Helped the hand-maiden of God, was equally vital in the birth of Our Saviour. Is it me? Do I, like Joseph, help others carry out the Divine plans?

Innkeepers:'No place. No place'. They did not have place to help poor, needy people. They had to run a business, and businesses are not run on sympathy, isn't it? Do I fill my life with such a lot of worldliness that when Joseph and Mary along with the unborn Redeemer come knocking on my heart, I shout 'No place. No place'.

The Magi: The wise men of East. They traveled thousands of miles, carrying gifts with them, never losing the track, ever focusing on the star. Bringing gifts to lay before the King. Do I seek the Lord, ceaselessly, caring gifts of my talents to lay down at His feet?

The Angels:  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. The angels, we all know, praise God all the time. And on this particular occasion, they praise and sing and tell all who would hear about the Glory of God, and about peace and good will toward all men. They spread the word to the shepherds, so that they would see the Blessed Babe. Is this me? Spreading the Good News? Giving never ending praises?

The Shepherds: Out of the town, in the cold night, tending flocks, these simple folk were one of the few to leave everything they were doing to go and meet the Promised One. Can I leave aside by daily tasks, to witness the beautiful, marvelous events that God directs...

There are many more, but I do not want to make this post extremely long and boring.....

So what role are you playing this Christmas????

Last Few Days of the Year

So, it is. The year 2010 coming to an end. And I am busy running about, completing pending tasks, shopping for the Christmas season, decorating, cleaning, eating, singing, dancing. And I am trying to fit in a lot of activities in these last few days of the year.

It is almost like a ritual every year, come the last two weeks of December and we all are deeply engrossed in our end-of-the-year work list, meeting friends and relatives, setting up parties and meetings. A mad rush to get the best out of the days.

But this year, I want to sit and reflect, I want to see what I did all year long, what did I find, what did I lose, how did I utilize this special and precious year of 2010? To analyze and learn from my mistakes, to strengthen my good points (yes I do have good points!) , to fix the hearts that I broke, to thank the people who helped me when I was down.

I want to switch off the hectic schedule for a while, and thank all my friends of old, who stuck by my side even though I was not exactly a great friend. I want to thank the new friends I made, who accepted me with open arms, the way I am, overlooked my downside and  helped me feel better about myself.

The elders I cannot forget, for their constant support and guidance, my mum who made sure I remained rooted in reality, my sister who keeps tolerating my extravagant behavior, my brother who still treats me like a baby! All these people have been with me, helping me cope throughout this year.

 I cannot forget certain people too, who have been by my side or sometimes against me, but each time teaching me something new, helping me grow in wisdom and understanding. I say a prayer for those who do not explicitly come in the category of friends or family, but have still played a vital role in shaping my life.

And I say sorry too, for all my stupidity, for every time my tongue caused a wound, for all the things I did which I should not have done and for all the things I ignored.

As the year dies slowly, so do I wish that my faults die with it, and as the new year arrives, may I be a fresh and new person with the conviction of constant improvement.

Love you all who helped me!

May God Bless All.

PS: Hey friends, the comment section is open for all who would like to thank me ;-), sorry's are accepted too :-D

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jesus - The Super Glue

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Wish you all a whole, unbroken life!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Are we really ready to die for the ONE who died for us?

The two thousand member church was filled to overflowing capacity one Sunday morning. The preacher was ready to start the sermon when two men, dressed in long black coats and black hats entered through the rear of the church.

One of the two men walked to the middle of the church while the other stayed at the back of the church. They both then reached under their coats and withdrew automatic weapons.

The one in the middle announced, "Everyone willing to take a bullet for Jesus stay in your seats!"

Naturally, the pews emptied, followed by the choir. The deacons ran out the door, followed by the choir director and the assistant pastor.

After a few moments, there were about twenty people left sitting in the church. The preacher was holding steady in the pulpit.

The men put their weapons away and said, gently, to the preacher, "All right, pastor, the hypocrites are gone now. You may begin the service."

Funny! Isn't it. I read this joke on Willing to take a bullet for Jesus? and I rolled with laughter. Once that feeling subsided I read it again. And I began wondering, it is funny, and it is true. If I were one of the members attending mass that day, I would have been one of the first people to run away.

It is so easy to sing 'All to Jesus I surrender', and so very difficult to do so. We all seem to forget that we have been called here as soldiers, we are in the midst of an age old spiritual warfare. Our Christian people of today seem to lack the warrior like qualities, we do not wont to give anything up for Christ, we do not want to suffer for Christ, we do not want to fight for Christ, and we do not want to die for the One who died for us even before we were born.

As it is said in 1 Timothy 6:12 - "Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." How can we sit and do nothing when war is upon us?

We are all called to be soldiers, every day is a battle against Satan and his principalities, every living moment of our lives we need to fight against the false rules and laws of this world, against the evil and sinful thoughts cropping up in our minds ever so often, against the temptations that come in so many various forms, against the act of justifying our shortfalls, against our own human nature so that we can 'take hold of the eternal life to which we are called'.

Now, when I say 'die for Jesus' I don't mean go literally to a war torn country to become a martyr, though that day might soon come to see us. What I mean is that we need to carry forward the battle, death for us is no longer something bad or something to be scared of, death now holds a totally new meaning. By the death of Our Lord on the cross, he has regained for us the eternal life that was lost on account of Adam's sin.

We need to stand for truth, for justice, for peace, for all the righteous causes, against all the wrong notions. We need to follow Jesus, take His road, follow His footsteps. Yes His road leads to the eventual death, but that is not the end of the road, there is a life, beyond the confines of the world. Pursue it, fight for it, die for it.

The battle is on soldier, march forth to Victory!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Plea to all Girls

Please watch this video first before reading further

The tension is thick in the air making it hard to see
The fear of what is to come and what will become of me
I say a prayer, help me not run away
Will You please hold me?

And sing me a love song again
Say the words that heal my heart
Sing me Your love song and then
Let Your words remind me who I am

You've never failed me before why do I feel betrayed
If I'd close my heart to You now the darkness would have it's way
I crave Your voice help me not fall away
Will You please hold me?

And sing me a love song again
Say the words that heal my heart
Sing me Your love song and then
Let Your words remind me who I am

'Cause You are all I need
And all that I want is You with me
You are all I need
And all that I want is You with me

So sing me a love song again
Say the words that heal my heart
Sing me Your love song and then
Let Your words remind me who I am

First of all, I praise God for band like BarlowGirl taking up issues like this one. How many of the girls really do not care about their weight, size, skin tone, hair, feet, face, hands and what not...

This world has made a simple living, loving, beautiful woman into an object. An object to sell products, to seduce men, to brighten things up! You gotta be size zero to look perfect, you should have a perfect, no blemish skin to look great, you need to have those shiny hair to look good in the eyes of men.

Stop it world! Cause we girls are not listening to these lies anymore, God made us in His image and likeness and as shown in the video and written in 1Peter3:3-4 "our beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

We are all beautiful, we are all lovely, just the way we are. Tell me dear girls and ladies, what is the point of starving your God-given bodies to just end up looking like a corpse? Many young women have lost their lives due to false body image and anorexia and bulimia, I have seen girls going on all fruit diets, skipping meals, eating nothing, drinking nothing, killing their bodies and minds bit by bit.

We say our bodies are the temple of God, and if we do not eat properly, aren't we sinning against our body and against God. It is important to live a healthy lives. Girls and women are not decoration materials, we are living human beings with the breath of God in us.

My humble request and plea to all the girls is, please do not judge yourself by the worldly measure. Your unfading beauty is what counts.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Humble Beginnings

There are a lot of great characters in Bible, Noah, Abraham, Moses, King David, Simon Peter, Paul and so many more. All of these were great people, all most all performed marvelous miracles, rescued the Israelis, healed the sick, confronted the evil ones. Reading about their feats and doings makes us feel that these people were endowed with extraordinary powers, full of superhuman strength and will, they were like the super heroes of old.

I am such an ordinary person, for me to read such fantastic stories in the bible means only to marvel at the things that happened in the past and convince myself that all these are the works of the extra-ordinaries, the ones who are cut above the others, with special supernatural powers. But that is what I thought in the past, and I was so wrong.

When I really sat down one day with The Bible, to again read about the great deeds of the great men(and women like Ruth and Esther, not to forget our Beloved Virgin Mary), I found a pattern in these stories, a strange pattern indeed.

Noah - A righteous man, was an ordinary citizen, not a judge, nor a king, nor a rich man living in a big house, just a common man doing common things, until one day when God calls for him, gives him a command (a ridiculous one at that, how many of you would build a boat on the land?), but Noah did it.(Gen 6:22)  Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. We know the rest. Noah ended up being one of the few people alive after the great deluge!

Abraham - The father of our Religion. Actually the father of the three major religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Abraham, who once was Abram, was again no one important in particular, just a regular guy living with his family. And what did God ask of him? Abram leave your land, your father's family, move out to a place I show. If God asked the same of me, I am pretty sure I'd say, 'You are kidding me, right! There is no way I am doing this God.' Well, God did promise Abram that He would make a great nation out of him, but seriously which one of you would move out of the comforts of your home to an unknown place even if the promises are big, oh, and God did not say He would be paying the traveling cost! But Abraham had to do what God asked him to. (Gen 12:4)  So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Wow! Abraham was 75! And I am not ready to do it even at a way more younger age. This dude's got guts! So father Abraham leaves and goes through a lot of unknown countries, lands into trouble a few times, and so on, but does end up being a great nation and father of a lots of people!

Moses - Prince of Egypt. How many of us have had the first journey of our lives, floating in a basket over Nile! A Hebrew child escapes death, is raised up among the royals and practically has lead a really good life in the palace. You'd say he is lucky, he got it easy. Think again. He was a murderer. Despised by his own people, exiled and made into a laborer. God made a wonderful and a little ironic demand from him, go save the people of Israel from the clutches of Egyptians. Yeah right, like I can just walk into the land and bring them out, also these people hate me, come on God why are you trying to get me killed? That would certainly have been my response. Moses was not up for it either. He argued in every rational way possible. What name should I give to people - Say that I AM WHAT I AM, they will never believe I came with God's message - Show them these miracles, I am not a good speaker - I am giving you speech, No I am not doing it - I am GOD, THE GOD, I can do everything, I am with you always, I will directly feed words into your mouth, Nope, I am NOT going to talk to the pharaoh or the people, give me some else to speak - Alright take Aaron with you., he will do the talking fine! When he finally does arrive into the land and meets the Pharaoh, we know that he does a marvelous job and takes the Israelis out from right under the nose of the Pharaoh, causes a great damage to the Egyptians, brings a big number of people to the Promised Land, on the way gets the 10 Commandments and really becomes a great hero.But he does all this only after saying yes to the seemingly impossible plan of God.

David - The shepherd boy, the King. The youngest in his family, only took care of dumb sheep, before killing the giant, Goliath, David expelled the evil spirit which was upon Saul(for more details read 1Samuel 16), a small young boy, with not much skills in weaponry then kills a giant, there was something about him, he pitched himself against the giant, and what a faith he had! 1 Samuel 17:37 David said, ‘The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.’ We know he was crowned the king, and he fell later into sin, but we also know, he rose again, he repented. David was a great musician and singer too, and he dedicated his skills to glorify the Lord. From Shepherd Boy to King to being the forefather of Jesus, this man had a great journey.

Simon Peter - A middle aged fisher man. Unlearned, simple, poor, ordinary man, who made a living by catching fish. And now he holds the Keys to Heaven. He fell on many occasions, but was ardent in his faith, when Jesus asked him to follow, he left everything and went with him. Did you notice that Peter left everything, right after he got the biggest catch of his life? With the amount of fish he had caught, he would have been a rich man in no time. Yet, he left it all, and ran behind the Son of Man. Ask yourself, will you leave your 5 figure salary job that you just got to follow Christ? A great disciple, martyred for Christ, he is a perfect example of human failures and God's divine love. A great leader, could make a lot of people follow him, performed miracles and gave great teachings. A fisher man who was a nobody become a great historic figure.

Paul - What can I say about him, great man, learned, with a lot of power and political connections, a great Jew, and a great persecutor of the followers of Christ. This man when he heard the voice of Jesus, and afterwords miraculously regained his eyesight started following Christ immediately. He, of all the people knew the most about the persecutions that would follow, for he himself was once the persecutor. He knew how the followers of Christ were ill treated, massacred, tortured, treated like animals, he had seen the worst, he knew that following this group would lead to a life of torture and pain and ultimately an immature death. Yet he knew in his heart, who the Living God was, having encountered Him personally. He followed Christ, through all trials and tribulations and strengthened others to do the same. He knew Christ was worth dying for.

Jesus - Man and God. Born in a manger, lived as a carpenter, died as a criminal. Nothing I can say about this wonderful man and almighty God, will be enough to justify the true character of Christ. Humble, meek, calm, merciful yet firm and rooted. We know He carried no money, did not have a stable address, no lasting shelter, no food stored in barns. And we also know He lived a lot more fruitful life than the whole of humanity put together. He obeyed God the Father, obeyed even to dead, and not just any dead, the most defiled and embarrassing death of that time.

What is common between all these men?

They all had humble beginnings, even Jesus, they all were common people leading common life, but when God picked them for His work, they gave themselves up for the cause. The only thing extraordinary about this people was that they had extraordinary FAITH and extraordinary OBEDIENCE.

We do not have to be bible scholars, we don't have to be fluent in English, we need not be great achievers, we do not need to be rich or handsome or charming or intelligent. We just need to believe in God's power and obey His command (however stupid or unconventional it may sound at first). We need to listen to what God has to say to us, and give up our lives for His cause. Once you give yourself to Him, He will take care of everything.

And so my prayer for today is,

Living God, grant me a heart that desires Your Will continuously, give me the strength to follow You to the ends of the Earth, grant me the Spirit to accept even the most unusual plan that You have laid out for me, give me the courage to face the ridicule for being a disciple. Make my life an instrument for the coming of Your Kingdom. Give me the will to obey You under all circumstances, without questioning.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Awaiting the best time of the year


You might say it is a little to early to shout that, but I really can't wait for 25th of December to dawn. I am already under the influence of 'Christmas Spirit'!

It is indeed the best time of the year, the cold winter, bells chiming, carols being sung, Santa and his gifts, friends, family, cakes, sweets, and the loving and innocent Babe in the manger.

The three kings, and shepherds and angels, Our Lord made a real entrance into this world. No other baby boy must have created such a lot of hype and happiness and political upheaval at his birth.

I am preparing for Christmas, I am preparing for the coming of Christ, I don't want to be like the inn keepers who said no to Mary and Joseph, I want to invite them into my home and into my heart. I want to spread the news and the Christmas cheer about His coming. I want to make sure this time the King gets a royal place to be born in. A clean and loving heart is what would be fitting for Him.

I want to know this young lady who took up such a daring task of delivering the Child of God against all odds. I want to know how did Mary get the guts to say YES and how can I get the same conviction to say it. How did she believe in God's plan and stuck to it till the end, when all I do is try to run away?

It is a marvel and a mystery, this birth that took place more than 2000 years ago, the event still makes people to pause and think, it still ignites the fire of God's love in every heart, it still shows that there is good on earth and it will remain forever. God becoming man, becoming a Baby so pure, frail, innocent. I do not comprehend it in its fullness, this act of kindness, mercy and love of God, but I am glad He was born for me, for you, for all who are alive, for all who are dead and gone, for all who are yet to come.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


The single most biggest thing we all crave for is ACCEPTANCE. We all need it, well all want it; acceptance is what gives meaning to our lives. We all seek consent, from our parents, friends, lovers, spouses, even from complete strangers!

From infancy till we grow old, we want others to see what we have done, we want them to listen to what we say, to look at what we are wearing, and the list goes on... We are happy with a consenting nod and disappointed by a disapproved frown. A child will first show who he/she is, and if the child feels unaccepted he/she slowly tries to remodel according to the latest convention to fit in with the crowd, to be accepted as one of them. 

Girls going on crash diets, men trying to build muscles, youngsters trying to get hold of the next smart phone, older folk making arrangements to fit in with the younger crowd, westernization of eastern cultures, change in eating habits, changes in language and dialects, body art, hair color(hey stop looking at me!), junk food(I know it is tasty), smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, pre-marital sex ; are all examples of humans taking extreme steps to be 'cool' , to 'fit-in', to be 'hip', to be accepted by others.

But what is even more striking is that most of the above mentioned changes taking place in our society are seen among teenagers and youngsters. It is because they are the ones who need acceptance more than any other age group, full of fear of rejection they fall into folly of 'peer pressure', ending up doing things they would never have done with themselves if they knew they were accepted just as they are.

Dear young boys and girls, even if this material world, even if your friends, even if your own parents do not accept you, Lord Jesus will. He loves you all the way you are, He doesn't care whether your are fat, short, dark, uncool, buck toothed, ill dressed, poor, failure, nerd, stupid or any other worldly standards that make you feel low.

He created you in His image and likeness, He loves you, He accepts you, don't let the world fool you or blind you. You are perfect in His eyes.

I don't know what to do

My heart says something,
My mind says something else;
The world says a different thing too

I wanna take this up
No, I wanna keep it down
So many options, why not few?

Change it, change it
Keep it same! don't change
I'll take green, maybe blue.

Left is right,
And right is wrong;
Sometimes too short,
Sometimes too long.

I don't know what to do
And I know you don't too!

It is OK to make mistakes

Oh God! I did it again!....

I should have known this was to happen, why didn't I just listen to myself.

I'm such a loser, I don't do anything right....

How many of us have said the above mentioned lines or some variations of it? Is there anyone who has never done a mistake in life, never messed things up, never done anything embarrassing? I have.

I make mistakes, lots of them. From small ones like misplacing things to big ones like taking wrong decisions; and you know, every mistake takes our confidence down with it, we lose hope in ourselves and its just terrible. And then sometimes I wonder what would it be if it were otherwise, if I had not taken that decision and ended up in a soup, wish I had not kept this book here where it would become wet.

I hate that feeling when I know that I have faltered, but then once I am out of the gloom, looking back at the mistakes of my life I know that somewhere, somehow I have gained something. People may have ridiculed me about my errors, I may have wallowed in self-pity and so on... Yes, I don't get a hit all the time, I have my own share of misses too. But every such miss makes me stronger to face the world, makes me more mature to see the things in right light, gives me an insight about wondrous workings of the world and most of all tells me that my mistakes may be a momentary entertainment for others but for me it is a life long lesson.

I now know it is OK to make mistakes, of course as long as you gain and come out of it, because if we don't fail how will we succeed!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Inescapable Reality

      Till yesterday I was joking about you and me
       Now it looks like an inescapable reality
        Is it time, is it heart;
        or is it destiny playing its part?
        Passing feeling or permanent change
        now so close, so near,
        You were once out of range
        Can I deny it? Run away?
        Should I face it, change my way?
        I am scared, confused too.
        What I feel, what you say
        All these things, are they true?

       Till yesterday I was joking about you and me
       Now it looks like an inescapable reality
Note: Open to all interpretations, but please don't call it just a piece of jumbled rhyme!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Pitcher Plant of India

A pitcher plant is a carnivores plant that 'eats' flies, insects and insect larvae to get nutrition. Insectivores or carnivores plants are actually fascinating, they look like normal plants, with roots, stems and lovely flowers; but when you see them in action, you see a wonderful mechanism provided by nature to them to become accomplished hunters. It is indeed marvelous to see a plant capture a fly and then digest it leaving just a husk behind.

Now that you are familiar with the category the pitcher plant belongs to, let us become a little more specific about this particular genus. The pitcher plant is called so because it has a pitcher like  cupped form of leaves with a lid. In this 'pitcher' these plants capture their prey. These plants belong to the nepenthes genus.

During my stay in the village of Meghalaya, we went to this power plant which is situated up in the Khasi Hills. Here I saw a peculiar sort of a plant every where among the hills.


The locals told me it was the Tiew rakot plant, found here in abundance; but when the power plant engineer told me it was the pitcher plant, and was an endangered species I couldn't believe my eyes and my ears! I remember asking him,'The pitcher plant? The one that eats flies and insects?'. The answer I got was affirmative, and the feeling I got was that I was a part of one of the Discovery Channel shows!

I could not believe my stroke of luck to find an endangered carnivores plant in the hills of India. But there were more surprises in store for me. Do you see a pitcher like growth in the above image? With a closed lid?
Well that is the food bowl of the plant. All the insects, flies, larvae are caught in that pitcher shaped organ and then digested in it. Gross, isn't it?

So, here I am amid the scenic beauty of the Khasi Hills, still trying to digest the fact that I am here among the abundant growth of pitcher plants, when I see my lovely local friends jumping up and down the hilly slopes there hands full of the pitchers of the plant.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw them opening the pitcher and drinking its contents as if it were the elixir of life. It took a lot of self control not to throw up to see them drinking from the fly digesting innards of a plant. What I found out later was that this 'water' trapped in the pitchers was of medicinal value and could cure stomach and kidney problems. They asked me to sample one, but for me the idea was still too gross, I just did not have that sort of guts to taste that fluid. Yuck! Anyways to try and convince my friends not to offer me this drink, without hurting their feelings was a tough job. But eventually they stopped forcing me.

They filled the rest in a bottle and after that I remained thirsty till we reached back to the village, eyeing each bottle of water offered to me suspiciously. I do believe them, it must be having some undiscovered medicinal value. But for me I was satisfied to carry a specimen of the plant to take back home. Later, at home I did a bit of research and found that it was the only pitcher plant India has and goes by the botanical name of Nepenthes khasiana. 

It is a marvelous plant, the wonders of Creator reflecting in its uniqueness. All I hope and pray is that it should not become an extinct species. Discovery Channel, here I come!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reconciliation - For All Round Peace

Reconciliation is a term that has a lot of depth in it(at least for me). All Roman Catholics know that the sacrament of reconciliation is a great gift from our God. Today, here I would like to explain reconciliation as an act from different levels and point of views, and how it leads to an utmost level of peace, because we all know peace is so very important for a healthy and full life. To be simple there are four types of reconciliation:

  1. The Divine Reconciliation: Okay, this is the obvious one. Reconciling with our Creator is being in one accord with Him. Our will and His will need to be the same, our dreams, our actions, our feelings, all should be in sync with the Almighty. It is an empty life if we are away from God, if we have not reconciled with Him. So the Divine Reconciliation is the first and foremost step to attain peace. Our God is a God of Peace and obviously to get peace what could be better than to go to the direct source of never ending, everlasting PEACE.
  2. Reconciliation with Fellow Humans: Once thorough with the Divine Reconciliation, most of us already know that we cannot be at peace with God if we hate/dislike/are indifferent to a fellow human being, be it our family, our friends, our colleagues, or a stranger walking down the street. As long as you have something against someone or some community you'll never be able to remain in your reconciliation with God. Removing prejudices helps a lot in this case, also forgetting old grudges; and most important of all forgiveness for others can help us in human reconciliation. When I have nothing against a single person on this planet, I am at peace.
  3. Environmental Reconciliation: Oh please, don't call me a green freak! I don't need to say much about the human made afflictions that Mother Earth has to go through. The human greed is stripping away the earth of its beauty, tapping into powers way beyond our control and messing up with the fine balance of the universe, the way it was created. Picture this, a great man totally reconciled with God and fellow beings and sitting in an underground bunker waiting of a freak tornado to pass, will he be at peace? I don't think so. There will be some who will say that nature, weather and atmosphere are not in our control, but I would like to counter, true it is not entirely in our power to avoid certain environmental mishaps, but that does not justify our constant interference in the natural balance of Universe. Reconcile people, reconcile. With the nature around you, before it is too late.
  4. Self reconciliation: When was the last time you thoroughly loved yourself and found nothing lacking in you? I am not talking about being narcissist, but we all do hate ourselves fully or partly. 'I wish I was a little taller','I need to lose weight','I don't like my complexion','Why doesn't my hair remain straight!'... The list goes on. Seldom in life do we love ourselves the way we are, we always try to change something in us. Of course, changes and improvements are good and needed part of our growth, but is it absolutely necessary not to like ourselves? How can I give love to others if I don't love myself? How to I be at peace with others if I am not at peace with myself? Self acceptance and positive self image can help us in the long run. Self reconciliation is the toughest of all, but once achieved there is no looking back.

Peace be with you all....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Our Journey Back Home

Our Journey Back Home  

The return journey was pretty uneventful (compared to the previous journey, ofcourse). We reached station on time, the train arrived and departed on time and we had our proper places.

On our way back we discussed and shared different experiences that we felt during the village stay and at the convention. We also discussed our possibilities of being or not being a part of the next convention in Jalandhar. We all decided to be back to Shillong next year just to relive our memories and to meet the new families that we are all now a part of.

Excited to be back after a life changing experience we all couldn’t wait to meet our families and friends to share our feelings and experience.

National Youth Convention – Shillong

National Youth Convention – Shillong

Due to heavy traffic we reached late to the venue and thus I missed the welcome march and mass. But I reached when the North East was showcasing its rich culture through the various forms of dancing. After a wonderful cultural evening we retired to bed.

Next morning, 14th October, we started with the morning prayer by the Taize brothers, followed by inaugural function with the chief guest, the governor of Meghalaya Shree Musahari.

The three days in Shillong, we had rejuvenating talks, workshops on various current issues and cultural programs at night by different regions of India, and who can forget the live performances by the very talented north eastern bands and choirs. I was a part of the workshops on peace building by Fr. Jerry Thomas and prolife by Mr. Sebastian Kattukaren. Both these workshops broadened by horizons and filled me with the spirit to do something for the society at large.

I made a lot of friends from different parts of the country, learnt a lot about the Indian diversity. I also enjoyed being a part of the Eucharistic Celebration in the Syro Malankara and Syro Malabara rites.

But the cherry on the cake was the Concluding Eucharistic Celebration by His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, who is the Apostolic Nuncio in India. The Holy Mass was attended by more than 1,00,000 Catholics from Shillong and nearby diocese. His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore read out the message from Holy Father, His Highness Pope Benedict XVI for the youth of India. During the sermon the Archbishop Salvatore appealed to the youth of India to take out time from there mobiles, sms, internet, television and to give that time at the service of Our Lord Jesus.

During the closing ceremony of the VIII National youth Convention, the venue for next youth convention was selected, the venue being the city of Jalandhar.

I knew I was taking back home a lot of things from Shillong (no I am not talking about the shopping I did...), I learnt a lot, enjoyed a lot, and met youth from all backgrounds. It was a great experience altogether.

The Village Exposure

The Village Exposure

Three girls from Mumbai, a sister from the same place and I were all assigned to Ladrymbai Parish(Good Shepherd Parish) headed by Parish Priest Fr. Sherman. Due to multiple delays mentioned earlier we reached the parish house after 12:00am. The parish priest and others, even though we arrived late, were there waiting for us to welcome us.

We were treated with warm cups of tea and snacks at midnight to cure us from the weariness of our long journey; their impeccable hospitality was enough to make me forget the painful journey.

The Mumbai girls left immediately to their village after the snacks, while Sr. Erica and I were asked to spend the night there and then to leave the next morning for our village. We were shown our rooms with comfortable beds and warm blankets and after refreshing myself with hot water provided I retired to bed.

Next day after a healthy breakfast, we left for our village, Jalyiah. As we entered the house of our host Christopher, we were welcomed by a bunch of school kids ready with a welcome song. We had a bit of rest, met Christopher’s wife Maria Goretti, their three children, eldest girl Deikmen I Mary,7 and sons Edisuk, 4 and Fridian Joseph 3. Then accompanied by Christopher, Sr. Erica and I left for house visits.

We visited many families, Catholics and pagans, rich and poor, ones with concrete homes and others with thatched houses. Everywhere we went we were welcomed as one of them. I witnessed poverty, sickness, illiteracy and yet among these simple rustic people was a love far beyond comparison.

Evening we were welcomed again by the church youth group outside the church followed by a community rosary. In a village of 600 families there were only 60 Christian families, but all of them had a strong faith.

The next day we visited the Leshka Hydal Power Project, a 3 hour uphill journey from our village. The natural beauty of the hills took my heart away and I really wished I had more pairs of eyes to take in the beauty. Majesty and power of Our Lord could be witness in the hills and valleys. The power plant was gigantic in proportions, and one could clearly see the reach of human intellect.

Returning from the project, we had a mass in the local church. It was our last night in the village and the villagers were ready with a farewell song. Next morning we left for Shillong.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our Journey from Ahmedabad to Shillong

Our Journey from Ahmedabad to Shillong

We had a train at 3:30p.m from Ahmedabad to Howrah and then another train from Howrah to Guwahati, from where we would be taken to Shillong in a bus arranged by the ICYM (Indian Catholic Youth Movement).

But as we all have experienced at some or the other part of our lives not all goes according to our plans. And so when we reached the station we came to know that our train was delayed by 7hours! Well that was certainly a bit discomforting. Fr. Lawrence suggested moving to Gomtipur parish to spend time and we all agreed. The delay did cause incontinence but I also got to visit a parish I had never visited, pray in a church which I would not have been to in normal circumstances, meet a loving lady who at once was filled with motherly care for me and to have a delicious supper.

We reached back to the railway junction only to be welcomed by the news of further delay of the train. When we finally boarded the train after 12:00a.m we had to hunt for seats(did I mention we did not have reservations?). Well after a lot of hardwork and haggling with the TT from Fr. Lawrence and boys we finally managed to get a place to sleep. For another night we again had to hunt for a new place, but somehow amid the chaos I felt very calm and safe deep within.

Soon our concern was not the place to sit or lie down in the train, it was to catch the other train from Howrah where we did have reservations. Our train which was initially 7hours late was now running 11hours late, further more delay and we would miss the other train.

We entered West Bengal with the delayed trained which threatened to be delayed further and it seemed like a race against time. As our train took a halt at Sankrail(a local station) which is about 20mins from Howrah in an express train, our fellow passengers and locals asked us to get down and board a local train to Howrah which would get us to Howrah earlier than our express. It was a chance we took and went for it.

We boarded the local at 3:20pm and our other train to Guwahati was at 3:30! We were all a bit scared, as it was a huge gamble, but for me apart from being scared I was enjoying the experience of traveling in a local West Bengal train, again an experience which I would never get in normal circumstances.

In 30mins we were approaching Howrah Junction. As we were entering the station we were all filled with the same emotion, the one that you get when you are entering a station and witnessing your train leaving the station. It is bitter. It is hard. But well there was a little compensation, atleast we reached an hour before our ‘express’! And we did manage to get another train to Guwahati.

Once we reached Guwahati on 10th Oct, we were welcomed by NYC volunteers, and before we knew we were in a bus going uphill to Shillong!

8th National Youth Convention-Shillong

8th National Youth Convention-Shillong

On 7th October morning I woke with a mixture of feelings going through me; I was full of anticipation awaiting a new adventure in life, I was filled with excitement for this would be my first trip to North Eastern part of India, I was a little confused knowing not what to expect, but most of all I was prepared with the determination of representing Gujarat and the Arch Diocese of Gandhinagar.

It seemed like yesterday when I had a call from Sr. Josephine to find someone to go to NYC to be a part of the convention representing our Arch Diocese, though it actually happened months ago I could clearly recall saying ‘yes’ to it without even thinking. So, on the day of departure as I was readying myself I was thanking God for the once in a life time opportunity I had received.

On 7th October accompanied by Fr. Lawrence and Arvind from Nana Kantharia, Vinod from Vadgam and Jagdish from Kalol I set forth to experience a new world. Just a day before leaving I found the theme song of NYC from the internet, and before I knew I was in love with the song. The theme of NYC being ‘Live The Word, Liberate The World’, the song was so apt and appealing that I could not wait for the actual convention.

I would like to divide my experiences into four major parts for ease of writing and also to maintain a proper chronology. The parts are as follows:
·        The village exposure
·        Our journey back home.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Quotes III

Well here is another part of my quotes. Do not forget to tell me which one is your favorite. For the first two parts kindly go to My Quotes and My Quotes II

  • Be where you are, and you will never grow.
  • Not all the things you think you need, are good for you.
  • What you can, what you should, what you must; are all dependent on you.
  • Courage is, turning a deaf ear to what your fears have to say.
  • Use brain first, brawn next.
  • If your rose is a thorn to others, it is not a rose indeed.
  • Never break a broken heart.
  • Don't have a price, have value.
  • Helping strangers can be a great personality boost.
  • We celebrate birth, we mourn death and we sleepwalk through life.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Love Your Enemies... Or Atleast be Tolerant to Them

We all have someone, we don't get along with, don't we? I have one... oh wait maybe two... three? Oh leave it lets come to the point.

In such a diverse society we live in, there is always someone out there that we totally dislike. This dislike can be because of the differences between two person, because of some past event that hurt, because of competition, because there is a thing called hatred at first sight.

Anyways whatever may be the reason, the fact is that we all do have these enemies.

Now, our behavior with the people we don't like, distinguishes us from others. as Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke 6:32-36  "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

OK, to be very truthful, this portion of the scripture is something I have been trying to attempt and have failed a lot of times. I tried everything, but somehow I am not able to like(let alone love) my enemy! So now I am trying another method.

Instead of trying to 'love' or 'like' these people, I am learning the virtue of tolerance. I am letting these people be, I believe once I master the virtue of tolerance(not in the negative sense), I will move towards accepting them, the way they are, differences and everything else.

Acceptance will be followed by respect, which will be followed by 'love'(well, if everything works out fine!).

The point here is, it might not be possible for us to instantly love or like a person we have something against, but we all can atleast practice the act of tolerance and mercy.

We should not forget that the heavenly Father loves us despite our iniquities, we too should practice patience, mercy and love with our fellow brothers and sisters.


He broke the 20 year old fast

There was a 30 something guy. He was the regular guy you meet in day to day life. He had a stable job, a beautiful and helpful wife, a kid who was his life source. Life was a feast and he had fun living everyday a full life. Lets call this man Joe.

Now Joe had observed a strict fast for last 20 years, nothing at all could make him break that fast, the coaxing of his wife, the bullying of his friends, the gentle requests of his parish priest, the subtle hints of the neighbors, nothing. He had everything in his life(or so he thought) and he really did not need to break his fast.

Now, Joe was leaving for his office one fine morning, when he met with a terrible accident. Joe was hospitalized and was on life support. When Joe regained consciousness, Joe saw his family and friends around him with concerned looks on their faces. Joe's child finally came forward, held his father's hand and said. "Pa, won't you break your fast?".

Joe went into a flashback and his entire life seemed to be fickle and empty. He decided to break his fast.

Slowly he looked up, as the entire group stared at him in disbelief, Joe looked at his wife and said,"Honey, will you please pass me the Bible."

His 20 year fast of not reading the Word of God, was broken.

Months went by, and Joe read the Bible with interest and vigor, he was still in hospital, and doctors said he was reviving faster than usual. Six months later, he left the hospital as a changed man. He thought he had everything he needed in life before the fateful accident, thus he never used to read the Holy Scriptures, after the accident when he saw everything he ever owned could be taken away in a split of a second, he came to know that the Bible and the words and promises in there were his only hope. The more he read, the more his heart took courage.

How many of us are Joe? Fasting from the daily Bible reading. Are you waiting for a life threatening situation to turn towards the Word? Think again. You might not be as lucky as Joe.

Break Your FAST

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Broad B@nd~ A Band of Computer Engineers....

Presenting a band made of computer engineers... Here's the lyrics to their first worldwide hit....
Put your hands together for....
Broad B@nd

        Oh I need to meet the deadline
        Gotta make this code work fine
        The requirements and specifications don't match
        Yet I am paid twice my worth, so whats the catch?
        Me, the bestest student of my batch
        Now am sitting on a design egg
        Dunno when it'll hatch
        Oh I need to meet the deadline
        Gotta make this code work fine
        The Gantt Chart is made, still dunno what to do
        200 lines of code, what it does, no clue
        Oh I am suffering with pre-development blues
        sleepless nights! sleepless nights!
        Got that funky UI! PHEW....
        Oh I need to meet the deadline
        Gotta make this code work fine
        The launching day is here, they say
        I've worked on this project night and day
        My baby application will take its first steps today
        I squeal, I dance, like a 3 year old
        Some like, some don't, who cares what they bray.
        Oh I finally met the deadline
        And am sure my code works fine!(?)

P.S: This obviously is a figment of my imagination... But the lyrics are my own so DON'T TOUCH! Oh, and I am not paid twice my worth, I am one of those under paid, over worked employees....

Is Your God Mute?

I was once watching a TV show on mute(don't ask me why), and I could see the video, the characters with various emotions on their faces, talking, doing stuff, joking....

I could see everything, a crystal clear image, but with the sound on mute, it made little sense... I could not enjoy that show. Once the volume was up again, the show made so much more sense, it become very enjoyable, the jokes were funny once again, I could understand the characters and the situations they were in. With the volume turned on I felt like I was a part of the show.

Sometimes in our lives, we tend to turn off God's voice. Yes we still can see His miracles, His wonders, His marvels, but somehow we remain untouched, confused, directionless even after witnessing glorious events around us, don't we?

What we forget is to tune into God's hotline and listen to what He has to say through each event, each action in our lives. Sometimes it is even worse than turning off God's volume, we not only turn God's voice off, we add our own rattle, babble, chaos to our life.

I remember being in a situation, where I could see all, hear nothing and I cried out in exasperation, "Oh God! This doesn't even make any sense...."

And I got a funny reply,"Did you try to listen to the commentary that was running with the visual..."

Oops! Missed it!

Well now I know I can't afford to keep God on mute, can you?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Minor Basilica that I couldn't help but adore

When I visited the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount(aka Mount Mary), Bandra, Mumbai; I was filled with an awe. I stood there stupefied in the church compound, jaws dropped, eyes popping out, trying to take in the entire architecture...

The Exteriors

 A quasi-gothic architecture, pointed arches, spires, nave, transcept, ribbed vault.... It was beautiful beyond words.

 More than a 100years old, this Basilica has been a place of worship for people of every religion. In modern day Mumbai, the church takes you back in history of colonial rule under which this church was built.

Standing outside, trying to take in its beautiful form filled me with various emotions, I felt very small and inconsequential, in front of this giant structure, I felt so proud and lucky to be able to see 100+ years of love, worship, faith that exuded from this place. Its majestic appearance was a reflection of the majesty of the Lord it served.

The two spires reminded of the Glory of Christ, the transept and nave, a symbol of the Cross and the divine sacrifice.

The Interiors

 If the exteriors where awe inspiring, the interiors where jaw dropping, the nave, the aisles, the ribbed vault, the choir(as in architecture), the clerestory, the sanctuary, the main altar, the chancel, the cupola....

Ribbed Vault, though not captured clearly



Resurrected Lord


Crucifix within the Chancel

Jesus, on the left of the main altar

Mother Mary


Everywhere that I laid my eyes I was filled with wonder, and my heart on its own began a worship of God, before I knew I was engulfed with the power of a presence, beyond time, beyond borders, beyond limit, drawing me closer to a Living God, wondrous and mighty, holy and eternal...
                    I will be back here...

Note: For my lovely friends and readers, who did not follow majority of the architectural terms, I am sorry to have confused you, but I am sure you will agree that this place is awesome.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


The Holy Bible, the Eucharistic celebration, the sermons, the preachings and teachings all tell us about the LOVE.

The love of our Father who saved generations by having mercy on them, the love of the Son, who allowed sinners to kill Him, so that our sins may be forgiven, the love of the Spirit, that keeps us moving forward, holding the fort against evil.

For years I have been trying to understand this unconditional, unmeasurable, unchanging, non-demanding, liberating, selfless, forgiving, merciful, LOVE.

Why does our Triune God love the world so much? Why does He keep forgiving our transgressions? Why do generations after generations fail and fall into evil, just for Him to lift them up and love them still?

Why He loves me? A weak Catholic who has many flaws?

I kept asking these and many other questions. But slowly a realization dawned on me.

It is not for me to understand His Divine Love, it is for me to accept it.

Accept it as a fact of my life, as a fact that the world is the way it is because He loves. That is what He does. For my part I have to love Him back the way I can, not to sit and analyse it, not to try and understand it.

Simply put, if there was a "Why" i.e a reason for God to love us, the moment that reason was gone, so would His love be gone. But that is not the case, is it?

So well this small, sweet voice in my heart told me," Let Him love you girl, all you have to do is accept this Love, and feel its presence everywhere around you."

He Loves You,
It is upto to you to accept it or ignore it or to question it like me.

But whatever you do, the fact remains.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Inside Every Sinner is a Heart of a Saint

Who is a saint? 
The person who has been canonized by Vatican? Ones with a halo around their  heads? A person who is humble, does miracles, is always doing Godly things?

To be downright honest, I don't know, how to define a saint.

What I do know is that anyone, yes just anybody, of any race, any gender, any religion, any age can be a saint. 

Yes we are born with a sinful nature, yes living in this world has now become lot more tough than what it use to be. But what we always tend to forget is that we have a Great God, who is also our father, and we have Jesus, who died for our sake. Now all we have to do is ask, act and love.

ASK God to help us be a saint
ACT according to His Will
LOVE everyone alike

Just give it a try, I am trying it too. I know it will be hard, you'll have your pitfalls, but don't give up.

Try it, you might get a halo!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Quotes II

Here are some of more....

  1. Death is not an event, its not a state. Its like passing from one room to another through a door, and you call that door, death.
  2. Your enemies are here to get the best out of you.
  3. Outcomes are only limited to our imagination.
  4. People laughing at you are not making fun of you, they are just trying to make up for their prejudices.
  5. Be the best of what/who you are, not the second best of what someone else is.
  6. 'I love you' is the most selfish sentence, I keep myself first and you are thrown in the last.
  7. Gravity pulls you, God only nudges you.

I AM, therefore I am.

When I think about my Existence, on this planet... from a particular moment of time, till the death of my body, I wonder: whom do I owe my existence to?

Is it a mere accident? From conception, to development in the womb of my mother, from drawing my first breath after my birth, to becoming a thinking, talking, walking, eating individual, its more than a coincidence, that I exist in a particular country, for a particular time span, doing things I do, meeting people I meet, changing, making, bending, breaking, mixing, fixing, living....

I am here to 'be' and to 'do'.

I am a part of a purpose, a greater plan, which I cannot fully comprehend.

The Maker, created me, to be a part of my family and give them love, joy, sorrow, tears, anguish, agony, pain, fulfillment, pride, accomplishment, assurance and a whole lot of other things that builds every individual of my family(by family I mean my extended family, including my friends and dear ones), and makes them strong to face the world.

I am here, because HE is here, because He wants me here, because He has a plan. A great plan, for me, for you, for all of us.

And so I say,

I AM, therefore I am.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Person I love talking to.

She is always there when I want to talk. Always.

When I am down, feeling like the most wretched person on earth, she's there to lend an ear. When I'm jumping up and down; as excited as a 3 year old, she's there to share my excitement.

    When I'm anxious, she's there; mad with joy, she's there, doing crazy things, she's there; hunger pangs 3o'clock in the night, she's there; feeling sick, she's there;bad hair day, she's there... well the list is endless.

I just love talking to her, she seldom interrupts, and when she does its always with gems of wisdom(no not the out-of-the-world, utterly unrealistic wisdom, its the kind that I can understand and follow).

She knows what I mean when I say,"No, I am totally fine, just a li'l put off thats all", when I am actually dying with anguish. Her listening abilities have always controlled my mood swings.

So you ask me who she is?

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Hold your breath for the one and only.....


Well, I am always with me, I love talking to myself (not loudly though!). Try it! Be your own best friend.

Lots of Love,

PS :No I am not suffering for split personality or multiple personalities disorder...

How I start my day...

All those who are not interested... Leave immediately...

Just wanted to share my morning activities...

  1. Wake Up(most important).
  2. Thank God(for all.... well almost all...)
  3. Fix my self (includes bathing and stuff...)
  4. Have breakfast. (most important meal of the day)
  5. Get Ready for work.(not one of my favorite tasks)
  6. Reach office
  7. Go to the washroom, look into the mirror, smile at myself and say 'You Look GREAT!'(I really do, always, every day...)
  8. Do step 7 as often as required.

Boring you say? Lies may be for some... Well, I think not...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Quotes

Well here is a list of my quotes....

  • Don't try to control life, instead try to control yourself.
  • What makes me different; makes you unique too.
  • Life can be harsh, but only for those who are not prepared for thunderstorms.
  • If you want bread, bring your own flour.
  • Shouting is acceptable only when the person nearest to you is a mile away.
  • Traditions are habits passed down through generations.
  • Try everything else before trying violence.
  • When life throws you, did you try bouncing back?
  • Sharing is a noble act, but only when you share it with the one who needs and not with the one you like.

There are more of these... will post them on a later date.

If you've heard, read, seen any of these quotes before, well I only have to say that someone had similar thoughts. 

Disclaimer: The above mentioned quotes are mine and mine alone, any similarity found among these and other quotes is purely coincidental, if you still feel I've ripped it off someone else' website/publication do let me know about it with proper references to support your claim.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Just Have Today....

Have you ever made plans for near and distant future? Well, I have. I have made great plans for distant future(owning my own company) and small plans for near future(getting that brand new cell phone). There are times when I spend an entire evening just making plans, setting goals, looking for alternatives etc.

So, do I achieve my goals? To be truthful, most of the time, yes.

I know what I have, and what I need to make my tomorrow the way I want it to be. Sure, there will always be unforeseen situations and hurdles between me and my goal. But I have TODAY.

It's the only day I have control over. Its the only day where I can execute my plans and my actions. Its the only day where I can live the way I want. Its the only day through which I can make a difference in my life and in others lives. Its today.

Every day, inch by inch I move towards my goal. A lot of us say "One day at a time..." but how many of us truly believe it? How many among us actually take one day at a time and live in that day fully, without brooding about their past or worrying about their future?

I control my future and I control my past, by this simple method: I control my TODAY and live it to the fullest.

I just have today, and so do you. Make most of it before it becomes yesterday....