Tuesday, 30 September 2008

How deep is my 'Christianity'?

Reading an interview of Karan Thapar with the Archbishop of Delhi on CNN-IBN today, ( http://www.ibnlive.com/news/devils-advocate-archbishop-says-ban-bajrang-dal/74560-3-single.html ) something struck me from the sharp questions put forward to the Bishop. At one point he asks, what about muslims who were sidelined so far? - or something to that effect! Perhaps the Church feels a bit lonely today because we never came out strongly VOCALLY when there was any national threat or a communal riot between hindus and muslims. No doubt we would have done the most amount of ground work in rehabilitation and attaining peace but did we made our stand LOUD and CLEAR. Today we are attacked from different corners and therefore we feel hurt. Did we feel hurt when Godhra happened? Did we feel the pain when muslims were targetted for bomb blasts in several parts of the country? Perhaps had we stood by those victimised and empathised - VOCALLY and VISIBLY - we would have not been the only one's talking today.

An after thought: We were enough 'Christian' before to feel the pain of others?

I also need to rethink this whole reflection, replacing the 'we' with 'I'.

Refreshing day

Today after many days - or months, I'd say - I made a deliberate choice to spend time with people chatting on the corridors and porticoes. Well, these fellows are no strangers, they are all my students and young Salesians themselves. It was great!!!

It was not that we talked something big or serious. Just silly stuff. But what I liked most was that they came and spent time with and around us all, very joyfully. I know that I've not been the most delicate or tender person with them in their early formation days. Yet, the fact that they still remember and are willing to see me as someone who is really interested in their growth was very heart-warming.

Perhaps, I need to rework my daily programme. Sitting at the computer I realise I have broken one of the first 'to-do things' that I'd listed for myself before I took charge: not get stuck to the office! Interacting with Brothers this morning and afternoon, I realised that this is exactly what has happened to me.

Monday, 29 September 2008

The angels

The feast of the archangels is an interesting one. Normally all feasts are of human beings, so then why this abnormal "celebration"? Perhaps because they set before us a challenge - a challenge that we very well know cannot be attained to perfection. We can never become angels - at least in our bodies. But we surely can be like in spite and with our bodies. We do not know their thoughts but we surely know their deeds. So the feast is a good reminder that we - mortal though we are - are capable of doing angelic deeds.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Remembering the Titans

Last night I made it a point to watch Remember the Titans. The film is based on true events and takes place in 1971, and is directed by Boaz Yakin. It stars Denzel Washington and Will Patton. I remember seeing bits and pieces of this movie earlier. Yesterday when I saw an ad about it on TV, I not only watched it but also recorded it. The movie is great inspiration on triumph of human spirit rising above all discriminations and man-made hurdles. The black and white members of the football team clash in racially-motivated conflicts at every moment. Denzel as the coach manages to achieve some unity when he takes the team out for a camp - pushing them to the limits. What is most remarkable is how the team - now united irrespective of their colour- stands up to the challenge of the college campus, the society at large. According to me that is the litmus test of the 'conversion', the decision to stand tall and true. The whole story about them defeating the other reputed teams, though joyful, does not dampen the feeling of goodness created when people with differences - all man-made - decide to be united and stand for each other.

Another trip to the airport...

The last time I went to the airport to pick up someone, I had carefully planned to skip the parking fee - to the extent of parking outside the airport on the highway at 11.30 in the night! I was happy to have saved that bit of money till I reached the last check-post before getting on to the ramp in the airport. I was told that I would have to pay Rs 30 even though I did not stop the vehicle anyway in the airport - airport tax!! I was furious. I remember blasting that poor guy at the counter - that too at midnight! Today much before I reached the last check post, I had the money and the coupon ready. It was easier this time. No tempers, no tantrums!

It all depends on our mindset. The way we work things out. The way we decide to deal with ourselves that gets reflected on the way we deal with others - perhaps the other way around too.

Religion and conversion...

Was happy to read a very sensible article by Ammu Joseph in The Hindu today (September 28, 2008 Supplement p. 5). In a sense the person tries to make sense amidst the whole violence and tension created over the last few days in the country. Talking of conversions, the author states:

'So for every story about a convert who switched religions for gain of some sort, there are several about persons who make use of the educational, healthcare and other services of faith-based organisations without changing their creed. And for every story about a family divided by religious conversion there are many about families who find their own amicable ways of dealing with religious difference.'

'Why then should citizens not seek refuge in whatever faith answers their particular needs, spiritual or otherwise, at particular times? What right does anyone else have to question their right to do so?'

Later in the articles comes this interesting statement: 'In the midst of all the mayhem we may be missing all kinds of opportunities to "cultivate hope," ... '

Now that's something I would whole-heartedly agree to. At the end of the debate, would it be worth it at all? Would the goal we arrive at with or without someone be worth it? If at the end we stand all alone and have no one to share our joy or at least see in the eyes of the other the jealousy...

Friday, 26 September 2008

Standing for values... at the cost of human life!

While in very many parts of India there is violence, destruction and bloodshed, it is interesting to take note of how politicians and media polarise issues and colour facts - each to their own advantage. However, the most deplorable of all amidst this whole cacophony is the neglect of human life and dignity. Lost in a debate of words and churning out of concepts is the real value and sense of life - a living person.
After all the education attained, the degrees secured, the 'standard of life' we claim to attain, how can we be so fickle minded to overlook the most essential and be carried away by words, emotions and prejudices - none of which are mine, neither are most rational and least of all humane! Haven't we reached a level of critical consciousness capable of seeing through things and concentrating on the most essential? Each one fights for something or the other: religion, rights, freedom, secularism, party, name, fame, property... but ultimately I wonder if it strikes anyone, what if there is no human life at all? Would all these exist without life?
As I mull over these disturbing questions, i realise the thoughts on human life and dignity sound familiar. Then I remembered the Strenna!! There had to be Orissa, Karnataka, Delhi... all that for me to understand and be touched by the Strenna!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Mission

I read the message of the Holy Father for Mission Sunday (Oct. 19, 2008). Frankly, not impressed!! I know not why! Anyway, was then thinking what is my understanding of 'mission'. I put these few lines - rather, WROTE these few lines.

My mission is to live my CATHOLIC SALESIAN life to its hilt. (I would not like to use the word 'proclaim'. It has a very limited connotation today). Therefore whatever it would take to LIVE as a CATHOLIC and a SALESIAN, I'd do it to the best of my ability. As for the question of conversion, as someone said, 'that's God's work'.

But I should confess, there are times when I have not made the choice of being a Catholic and a Salesian, explicit. Not for fear of any fundamentalist repulsion or danger, just fear of not living up to it.

Passionate love - the only possible love

This evening as I was trying to search a bookmark on a page, I came across this line (in bold!): In the discernment process of a vocation to religious life, it is not only good to desire to a married life but sometimes necessary. For some this may sound shocking... not for me! I fully agree with this proposal/fact. Several times, the emphasis is on "passionless love" - which I believe is non-existent. We cannot love someone dispassionately! When we really are in love we love with our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole body. There is no half love or partial love. So if I'm speaking of love, I don't find any reason why it should not be qualified with 'passion'. So is the case with commitment - there is no temporary commitment (one can read that as vows or profession)! A commitment is a commitment. How you live that commitment is all that matters.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Education in fundamentalism?

I thought the majority of educated people would find this whole current happenings very disturbing and would outright condemn the violence which is on the increase. I was in for a rude shock when I started reading the comments on the e-news bulletins. Very many of them seem to accuse the Christians of "seducing" and "brain-washing" the poor and innocent to 'get converted'! The style and choice of words leads me to the conclusion that these people are educated and well-to-do. While it is true that the bulletins also screen comments, I have a fear that this mirrors the response of the greater majority of those capable of making a difference. I always thought that the illiterate and unemployed are the ones exploited to do such dirty job by some brilliant brains with vested interests. Now it looks like the top creamy layer too is no level-headed-thinker! I would not even by surprised if most of them passed out of a Christian educational institution.
That triggers another question in my mind: Have we failed to give witness to a secular, humane and upright thinking/attitude that would govern the life of our students?

The call centre cock

The other evening Fr Noel was speaking about the 'Call centre cock'! Well both our rooms are adjacent to the compound wall and our neighbour has a big compound. So till some time ago there were dogs - and that too with a big mouth and a bigger/louder voice!! Sometimes they could be a big nuisance... but I never heard them!! Now he says there is a cock which begins to crow at 11.30 in the night!! So he named it the call centre cock!! This working at night seems to be a very viable option for guys like me - given the fact that during the day there is hardly any decent stretch of time wherein I am not 'disturbed' by someone or the other. Not that they are wasting their time - but I can hardly complete something with some concentration. So in that sense, I'd better not speak about those people working at the call centres, at all odd hours!

Monday, 22 September 2008

In the service of the mission

This evening I got a call from a Sister who has been very humbly asking me for some information on the Salesian cooperators for nearly two weeks. I did try to trace some material for her but didn't succeed. I'd asked someone directly dealing with the Cooperators to help me with some material. Last time when she called me I was away from the Provincial house and had directed her messenger to the person to collect the matter. Today she tells me she got nothing still! I was very embarrassed. Here was someone so keen on trying out 'new frontiers' and seeking my/our help... and ....! To add to my guilt, she was apologising for constantly calling me up! Anyway, I had some matter on my computer and I mailed it to her just now. Trust she would be able to put it to good use.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Planning, Reading and memories

Reading an article by Etienne Wenger titled 'Communities of Practice' which I found amidst all the other papers circulated during the national convention on Juvenile Justice, I was reminded of something of my childhood days. When as a family we would go to a theatre to watch movies, watching the posters of the same movie after having watched the movie took a different significance and was a very curious enterprise. So was reading Wenger's article after the Consultation. Much of the jigsaw puzzle gets clearer - though far from resolved. The whole idea is so clear and inspirational yet we spent two days arriving at it without wanting to make a conscious effort to arrive at it. It's amusing how the previous night of a national convention we gather to discuss what would be the outcome of the convention - and YET arrive at now!!!

Learning from the 'method in madness'

Helping out at the national consultation on Juvenile Justice was an experience in itself. Reminds me of the phrase Fr Maliekal sometimes uses: 'method in madness'. Though I must admit that I am yet to find the method - because I still see more madness than method in the whole programme - I would say there's always something to learn from everything. Positive elements: so many people - zealous and self-sacrificing, nice interaction with a variety of people, informative, inspiring sessions and arguments, time to catch up with some good friends, being with Fr Koshy!

I don't mention the negative elements for they may exceed well beyond the available space - may be I need to take a 'historical distance' from the whole event to comment negatively on it. Anyway, the best I liked about the whole experience was observing people as to how they go about their work. Like the quote I read somewhere a few days ago (something like this): Some turn up with their noses in the air, some turn up with their head held high, some turn up with their faces downcast and some don't turn up at all!

Life in a metro...

Going to Ramanthapur by bus was a good experience - besides the thrill of going by bus just like good old days!!! Luckily I did not manage to get a seat, or else I'd surely have fallen asleep! While standing I was looking out of the window at the passing shops and displays and posh, neon lit city that Hyderabad has evolved to be. After a while I noticed that those standing around me too were looking out just like me. But not with the same intention. I was looking out like Socrates doing window shopping to see and enjoy things and say, how many things he can joyfully live without. Written large on the faces of those around me was: Just one entry! Perhaps, their yearning was to enter those posh shopping malls, try on some of those clothes displayed in the glass case, sit at those eateries with a cup of something... just once at least!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Another day of these days!

This morning was another typical morning that I'm having these days! Never managed to get to my office chair and sit for a while without being called for, called by, or asked for!!! Go out of the office to do something and before you are done with that, there are another two more things awaiting your 'immediate attention'. Everyone wants their work done and it is all 'urgent'. Tired, but I just realised, none had to turn back unattended!! That's a real feat, I'm managing to achieve these days - but at what cost.... I don't think I sit and calculate that for now! Look forward to a different orientation for the two days ahead at Ramanthapur during the Juvenile Justice workshop.

Identity and association...

This afternoon listening to Fr Palli talking about different groups claiming and fighting for 'identity' something struck me. Each one wants to carve out his or her own identity - individually and as a group. It is true that we all crave for an identity, a recognition that we belong to someone, or some group. But identity is not created in isolation. It is formed only in association. I identify myself, to someone, in the light of a particular context, in a specific time... all in reference to someone or something. Never in isolation!! I don't deny that there is a great amount of 'distinctness' when speaking of identity but it has to be complemented by the rest. "I" cannot stand alone for long!!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Glimpses of myself in the light of what happens around

Was shocked to hear of another death - that of a priest - within a month. When Venkayamma said they should have at least some respect towards priests, to avoid all such things, I retorted "It's nothing to do with priests or religious, it's a HUMAN LIFE!" But then I realised, I was not so perturbed when I heard of the Orissa killings, not when I saw the photos of the victims of violence in Orissa, not when I read so many reports and bits of news on the paper and net. I was disturbed because it was a PRIEST who was killed! This made me accept what Prathap has always been telling me, our secular identity, "aboveness" is not always too deep. My emotions and rationale however liberal and social they may be, when it comes to my own - be it people, place, things, history, language, culture... - I AM affected. My reflections and sentimental graph when learning about the happenings in Mangalore is surely higher than when I read about Orissa - though I 'know' very well that in comparison to what happened in Orissa, the happenings in Mangalore are but passing.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Prayer and prayerfulness

This evening reading the latest May-August 2008 Salesian Animation Notes, I came across this interesting reasoning proposed by a certain Francis Ring. He hypothesises that had Jesus' disciples approached Jesus twenty years after being taught the 'Our Father', with the same request, 'Jesus teach us to pray', then Jesus would have had a different answer. Why? During those intervening years they should have improved and their prayer far deeper than the early stage. If our prayer is restricted to the prescribed patterns that we have grown up with, then we are still at a very primitive level in our prayer life.

Another interesting observation the author, Fr PO Jose makes is the distinction he draws between prayer and prayerfulness. While prayer is the conscious effort we make to be aware of God's presence, prayerfulness is the constant awareness of God's presence in our lives - it is being rooted in God.

Karl Rahner adds: Allow the basic ultimate human experiences to come first. Don't go talking about them, making up theories, but simply endure these basic experiences... silence, fear, the ineffable longing for truth, for love, for fellowship, for God, loneliness...

The Salesian Project of Life too invites us to make of our existence an attitude of faith...

The Visiting God

This morning during the Morning prayer and Mass, this phrase 'God has visited his people' repeated itself. I said to myself, surely given the present state of affairs, God will only be able to 'visit' and not 'stay' long here on earth. But even in this 'visiting' there is a great sense. Perhaps God wants not to interfere too much with the matters which otherwise we mortals manage - or so we claim! Moreover, it is also good that we begin to take responsibility of what we are up to day in and day out. Like the small boy when told that he's going to have a baby brother saying, 'Thank God! After all there is only very little you can blame on the dog.' So the conclusion: let God and let us, lest we negate each other!

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Salesian Brother... snippets

Here are a few things that I came across on the web today, things said by Brothers from around the world:

Being a brother, also called “lay brother” or “coadjutor brother” is a lot more about who you are and a lot less about what you do.

Salesian Brothers

These days whenever I get a call from Br Meril, the Convener of the Brothers' Congress, I say, "not again". Well, it's that I have to prepare a talk and I haven't even given it a thought. He calls me up asking for the talk!! Today as I was browsing round, found several interesting things - most interesting among them, Chris' blog! He's still the same! Reading him brought back to my mind the days we shared the study hall in Nashik.

Another interesting thing I discovered is the video on the Salesian Brothers. (Got to see Br Emile Dube too!) What struck me most was the statement of one of the Brothers: "If I wasn't one, I'd become one!" Check out the video: http://www.outsidedabox.com/videos-single.php?video_ref=110

The fear factor

Listening to Fr Palli this evening made me realise that mostly those who terrorise others are the most frightened themselves! The string of events in Orissa are a clear example of this. We often think that the Christians are living in fear and trembling - yes, they are. But more than them are the religious fanatics who are frightened so much of their own loss of identity, hence this recourse to violence and vandalism. If these fundamentalists were really fulfilled and mature people the thought of hurting others, leave alone outsiders, would have never crossed their minds. Moreover, all reports of violence and looting are reported as though done by a mob. Surely only those who are frightened take the cover of the mob. Someone who is clear and sure will not only speak about it boldly but also stand by his words and his people in times of need.

Life in the fast lane...

Every trip to the airport reveals something interesting and amusing. So did my last trip last night. Normally the speed at which the vehicles fly past clearly indicates whether the passengers are taking off or going in to pick up someone. Those intending to pick up someone from the domestic side, and are known move not faster than the third gear! Then they have to stop a couple of times to clear the front glass. If there is no patrol van or officer, they stay put along the road side - only to move/drag on and halt a little ahead. But once their mobile phone rings, zoom they fly. Those on the other hand who have someone to board the flight, they just fly past - at times even over the speed breakers. Earlier there were a vast majority who would come to just see the airport! One could see large groups of families just flopping on to the pavement of the ramp to have their meal!!! It was just another picnic spot.

Then there is the whole kilometre long runway, even for vehicles going up the ramp to pick up someone! (The drive into the airport itself is 7 kms!) And to get on the ramp you have to pay - additional if you park. Most of the drivers, like me, do as much as possible to evade the parking fee - even if it means parking the vehicle along the highway outside the airport for hours at end.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Ideal time and real time...

Today I realised how much I missed out on friends and companions who had called over the last few days just to say hello! When I checked out my mobile inbox and missed call list, it was quite long. Not that I was free and avoided them. Just that they happened to call when I was really caught up with something and I had said to myself, let me attend to them later. That 'later' never happened. I really need a 'retreat'!!! Luckily most of my friends know me and they understand that I am not a guy who'd avoid someone!

Last night as I was scratching my head for a quote to display on the welcome board for the meeting beginning tomorrow, I came upon this one: Most of us wait for the perfect path to begin our journey, without realising that paths are made by walking, not waiting. Perhaps I need to learn from that. Friends are made - and kept - not by waiting for the ideal time to talk, catch up with them, but by a casual call, a mail and a thought now and then. Just to say hello and say you're remembered.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

A weed weeding out itself!

Today's news says 'Mr Advani vows to weed out terrorism' Well, that's the first time I hear a weed trying to weed out itself! I really am amazed at the sheer guts of people like Advani and Modi to carry on their "mission" in spite of and through all the sweet talk they do. That they are brilliant in their mind is no doubt, but do they have a heart? Or is the heart merged into the brain? Such people surely have not only a thick skin but a very thick skull too! (Anyway, nothing more lest I too am carried away by my emotions rather than guided by reason and logic!)

Roots

This morning reflecting on the first reading taken from the letter of St Paul to the Corinthians, where in speaks of the type of fruit and the tree that bears the fruit, I realised how important the roots are. Most often we know and see the exterior and are either fascinated or turned off by the mere appearance of things. What really causes the exterior is most often the interior depth. But we cannot change our past, our family, our background, our upbringing, our complexes that we've grown up with... how then does one change? How does one put on Christ? Is St Paul expecting the tree to transplant itself into another soil? I don't think so. It is true that the tree cannot transplant itself - that I cannot undo my past, or erase my background. But then I can surely spread out my roots in search of the good soil - the Christ! No doubt this is who and what I am, but need not always blame someone, somewhere and somehow escape this present reality. I can always aim for the best!

Friday, 12 September 2008

iGoogle

Yesterday I took time to create an iGoogle account. It was not that difficult given the fact that I had an email and reader account already in Google. What amused me was the fact that I'd learnt it when I'd been to the Philippines in October last year and only now did I really get to do it! After spending all that amount of money and time getting ready for that trip, I start getting to do the basics NOW!! But the concept is interesting and it is nice to see people making available such technology and know-how for free for others. That is real charity, I believe. In today's era, bridging the gap between the information-rich and the information-poor is a real challenge. Would love to explore other avenues possible in this arena.

Sliding the water up!

Driving this morning from the Novitiate in the rain was a lovely experience. Sitting in front I could see the rain drops fall on the glass in front but instead of rolling down, they were flying up! Due to the speed at which we were travelling, the rain drops which got accumulated on the front glass kept sliding up!! And we always thought that water slides down!! Life also runs that way, I guess. When you are on a mission and are passionate about it, all the rest give way to that one goal you wish to achieve - even if that means, 'sliding the water up'! Like Santiago being told in The Alchemist "When you dream for something the whole world conspires to it."

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The rat trap

Last night our driver Venkat brought a rat trap. Nothing unusual until you see the trap yourself. It was nothing different from a new CD pack!!! The logic used is that it has a stick pad which traps the rat. (Of course, killing it remains a task!) But it is a rat trap! What amused me most was the scepticism of Thomas - true to his name! He was sure that no rat would be trapped! This morning Venkat comes to my office beaming: 'Br a rat was caught in the trap!'
We prevent much good from being done because we lack the faith that it can be done. So much so we not only make the least of efforts ourselves but also prevent anyone from taking a step in that direction. The net result, we remain where we are. Well, even if we fail, we've at least tried it in good faith. I'd prefer to try, risk and fail than not try at all.

The us and them...

After long came across this article from the Hindustan Times written by Karan Thaper: "Does the VHP have the right to speak for you or I? Do they reflect our views? Do we endorse their behaviour? They call themselves the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, but who says they represent all of us? This Sunday morning, I want to draw a clear line of distinction between them and everyone else. My hunch is many of you will agree. Let me start with the question of conversion — an issue that greatly exercises the VHP. I imagine there are hundreds of millions of Hindus who are peaceful, tolerant, devoted to their faith, but above all, happy to live alongside Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Jews. If any one of us were to change our faith how does it affect the next man or woman? And even if that happens with inducements, it can only prove that the forsaken faith had a tenuous and shallow hold. So why do the VHP and its unruly storm troopers, the Bajrang Dal, froth at the mouth if you, I or our neighbours convert? What is it to do with them? I therefore believe the time has come for the silent majority of Hindus — both those who ardently practice their faith as well as those who were born into it but may not be overtly religious or devout — to speak out. We cannot accept the desecration of churches, the burning to death of innocent caretakers of orphanages, the storming of Christian and Muslim hamlets even if these acts are allegedly done in defence of our faith. Indeed, they do not defend but shame Hinduism.."
Well, that confirms that silence in times of injustice and oppression is a greater killer than the perpetrators of the injustice. Most of us in religious life are good people... it is only that we consciously prevent ourselves from becoming better people when we remain silent in the face of vices being done in our presence, right under our nose. The justification: 'I'm not doing it." But by not condemning it and helping the other go downhill, we are not doing anything saintly! At times it is essential not just to realise the 'us' vs 'them' debate but also to make it explicitly known, especially to our own people.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Creating a rut...

We evidently begin to grow 'blind' to things we see daily and get used to. I realised this when Fr KM Sebastian prayed for Fr MD Jacob during the Morning prayers. I see him practically everyday but the thought of praying for him never occurred to me - perhaps the loose talk going around about him has got the better of me! But when Fr KM prayed for him, his prayer was sincere and revealing. It may also be true that when I go to some place other than my own, I'd see things differently and in anew than those who are accustomed to see it daily. So much for falling into routine and creating a rut!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Living - and preaching - integrally

Jesus' preaching had an impact so powerful that it still echoes. But then why doesn't so, our Sunday sermons? Perhaps we contradict what we spoke about last Sunday!! Well that's what I realised today! The sermon was certainly speaking the very opposite of what was said last Sunday! Now I don't remember what the Gospel was last Sunday - or even this morning! But the sermons were truly in totally different directions. That set me thinking how difficult it must have been for Jesus to speak for three years to different groups, different contexts - unless he KNEW what he was speaking and was COHERENT in his thought. I speak now because I've got to speak. That's why I believe more and more that we need to see the whole picture of life rather than get stuck to bits and pieces. Knowing life in as broad a sense will help live those bits and pieces practically, meaningfully and happily!!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Meditation (dis)attractions

Sitting for meditation this morning I started planning all the works I have to do today! At a certain moment I realised that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do in the office, here in the meditation. Then I justified it saying that there is so much work and I'm struggling for time. But that was the very 'excuse' I'd never permit to my students at Karunapuram. I realised that what is increasing is not the workload but my 'feeling' that the work is increasing! It was then that I resolved - at least for today - that I will not moan the work at hand, nor complain about it to anyone. I will not sympathize myself! And related to it, not pull on my hair on the head - 'cos that what I do when I'm worked up!!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Remembering Mathew Sir!

Before the Teachers' day passes by I'd like to remember very fondly the best teacher I had in my life - especially during my school days: Mathew Sir. Well, that's how we addressed him. For me he was the best. Besides being very talented and competent in the all fields, he was a real educator. He was not very flexible but he was not rigid either. There are many teachers in my life who never scolded me or beat me. But somehow, Mathew Sir stands out, even though he once shouted at me on the stage practically before the whole crowd! I still remember him red with rage for 'standing there like a log'! But then he did not give upon me, he helped me get back to what was assigned to me - and I did it! He was very intolerant about lethargy and that's what I liked the best in him. He gave his best and demanded the best of us - nothing less, nothing more! Thank you Sir!

Kandhamal and Calvary

Reflecting today while reciting the rosary on the fourth sorrowful mystery, I thought there was not much of a difference between Jesus on the way to Calvary and the poor helpless Christians in Kandhamal and other parts of Orissa. Perhaps Jesus was a bit lucky in the sense, he knew for sure that he'd be killed by the time he reaches the end of the road. Those poor people in Orissa may be running helter-skelter without knowing at all if they'd make through it alive!! God be with them!

Monday, 1 September 2008

I cannot do all things...

Given the number of people who call and ask for some help or the other, at times I wonder if St Paul was fooling around when he said, "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me!" Well, I certainly pray - and wish to say - "I cannot do all things!!" Looking back I've realised I've grown more sober. I very well remember those days when a little bit of additional - unexpected - work and I'll fire anyone and everyone who comes my way. Now the additional - unexpected - work is a daily, every moment affair! It's after long that I fired the dhobi today! At the rate at which I used to flare up earlier, there'd be hardly anyone left in the campus by now who wouldn't have heard a piece of my mind! So far so good!
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