Sunday, 31 May 2009

Human rights

This morning onwards a sentence that I read in passing has been haunting me (I think it was the headline of an article in The Hindu a couple of days ago): Talking about Human rights has more to do with the spine than the muscle! Even this morning during the Mass, this thought kept troubling me. Every time I think of people like Fr Palli and company, I feel small. Yet that feeling never gives me the courage to venture out... perhaps I still lack the courage to face the 'real' world... so I'd prefer to stay safe and proud in my 'comfort zone'. Anyway, this afternoon Fr Palli rang up and asked me to download a song from the net. As he described the song I remember hearing it long long ago... It is in the movie Forrest Gump! Sung by Bob Dylan it is titled 'Blowing in the wind' (I thought it was something like '...the answer my friend is deep in your heart...') Whatever, it may be, the song is very meaningful!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Supper out

I thought I was the most stingy Salesian there could be when it comes to spending money for others and myself too. Well, that was till last last night! I was invited for supper out last night by a confrere taking the Brothers who helped him in the summer camps over the last month - as a driver! I accepted for the offer and went along - and I'm glad I did. For if not, the Brothers would have starved last night! It was really embarrassing when he would ask the attenders what would be the cost of such and such an item, first of all! Then looking at the menu card he couldn't believe the rates printed. So he'd shut the card very often, only to open it again to see if there is anything cheaper than that.

The brothers on the other hand were another type: when asked what they'd like to have for the main course, immediately replied, "Rice!" Well, the Confrere tried to convince them to try something different than what they normally have at home... but in vain. I then knew that it would be the same rice-chicken combination for the Brothers. And it was!

Lessons (especially for myself):
When you want to be generous, BE GENEROUS. Don't count the cost!
When you want to eat, eat well ... but try some variety, when there is an opportunity. Lest you end up always, with chicken bones!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Adieu Fr Moja

This morning received the sad news of the demise of Fr Guisseppe Moja... a good old Salesian whom I remember during my stay at Matunga, Mumbai. I never had the chance - or never took the chance - to meet and interact with him personally. However, I distinctly remember Fr Ivo and others in the Provincial house speak much about him with a great sense of pride and joy.
Listening several speak so highly of him was always a thrill ... that I too have something in common with him... my Salesian identity. Now that he is no more, may his soul rest in peace! Something concrete and very valuable that I have of him is his translated work: Don Bosco: A Biography. It is a beautiful one which evokes a great zeal and love for the one whom we all love and admire... Don Bosco. Surely only one who is madly in love with him would be able to create such a magic! Thanks to Fr Moja and others like him whose infectious love and 'craze' for Don Bosco goads us towards living his ideals!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Kids

I had a day out today with Edward!! It was good. The best part of the day was the drama at imax while the movie was on! I was really dozing. However, there was this small fellow sitting next to me with his mother. The mother patiently was translating the English commentary to this guy into Telugu. And before she could complete her translation, my friend had a question ready! So it went on. The only times when the mother did not translate was during the descriptions about the sexual intercourse of the cuttlefish! But even his mother's silence evoked questions: 'Mama, what is the fish doing?', 'What is happening?' Oh, I enjoyed the boys steady flow of questions right till outside the theatre, when the guy at the exit kept saying, "Please come in a single line!" And Vishwas, (I later inquired from him his name), was quick, "Mama, why should we go in single line?"

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Feastday prayer!

It's been long since I posted something. Today as I sit after wrapping up the May 24th celebrations, I surprisingly feel still fresh (Perhaps the afternoon rest - dead sleep - is the reason). Anyway, it is nice, that I did manage to spend sometime with Edward, a companion of mine from Chennai. Also made it a point to call home and wish Papa and Mummy on their wedding anniversary.

So at last, I am taking a day off - tomorrow. Am going to take Edward around the city in the afternoon. Look forward to such day offs!! Shall make them possible henceforth.

Will be hitting bed with one real prayer: Lord, make the profession ceremony a quarter of its length!! Let the Mass get over within an hour and half - not more!! Please, let Your will be done, and not of the individual animators and coordinators!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Adoption

My aunty and uncle who have been married for almost three decades are childless even now. Whenever I enter any new chapel, I somehow remember them... I do not know why. Anyhow, there is one thing that I always wanted to tell them but have not mustered enough courage: that they adopt a child. Among my relatives back in my hometown if there is anyone I am close, it is them both. Yet, we have never ever spoken of children in our conversation. For one, I myself have always consciously avoided this theme.

Today as I came across this video, my mind once again went to this dear Uncle and Aunty of mine. May God decide what is best for them!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Drama, wine and branches!

My last day at home for my annual holidays... Though I did not manage to do anything of what I had planned for, except for the most important one: spending time with Papa and Mummy. I had greatly wanted to organise myself for the year ahead. Now that it did not happen, no big worry. I at least am fresh enough to do so once I reach back the Provincial house. However, have more or less, chalked out a plan/schedule.

This morning during the Mass, there was a girl, may be 14-15 years old, but not mentally sound. She had seated herself right in the first pew!! Then she wanted to take part in every movement in the Church: offertory procession, readings, communion (in fact she tried receiving communion in all the possible lines with all decorum... had she not put up a show earlier, she would have easily been given communion, thinking that she was a regular Church-going-Catholic!). All efforts to take her away from the Church proved futile for she would instantly go and take her place in the first pew, at any such effort. Anyway, he presence in the Church made me feel small... she was certain and determined to be part of every aspect of the Mass and my thoughts often took off for a ride!

And as always, on the other side of aisle were two small children who were lost all the while in watching this mentally challenged girl. Not that the three altar servers were doing anything different! And as usual, I too was lost watching this whole drama... and once in a way getting entangled in the wine and branches part of today's Gospel.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Of angels and demons...

The Church in India is up in arms against the new film being made and released in India titled 'Angels and Demons'. Well, there have been quite a few mail forwards, petitions and announcements as to why it should be banned. While all this is going on, the producers and directors of the movie are having a good laugh! Without any effort on their part, the whole Church is carrying out the publicity stunt for the same. They needn't really waste time, money and energy on creating trailers, posters and newspaper ads... the Church is doing it far better than they could have imagined.

I don't understand why we don't see the point. Well, if there is a movie with something objectionable in it, why make a hue and cry about it? By doing so, we are only making it all the popular and creating an insatiable curiosity in the people. Just let the movie run...

I remember while in Matunga 2004-2005, the same time round when the Da Vinci Code was released. I really admired the courage and brains of one of the Parish priests who far from forbidding his parishioners from watching the movie, screened the movie in the parish hall. Right after that he held a panel discussion with all those present and a few elderly, mature and well-balanced faithful. He himself was there to clarify doubts, clear uncertainties, and disprove myths. Now that's what I call, tackling the bull by the horns.

Media responsibility

This morning's DC carries a very disheartening tale of a woman being stripped of her dignity by society and the media as well! That she was burnt by a stalker was bad enough (she suffered 90% burns). Then was denied medical attention. To add insult to injury were the media personnel who went about their cool professional style of clicking photos and videos of her as she lay on a shabby table without a stitch. So much for humanity and craze for news and trp ratings.

The only silver lining in this whole episode was that locals and policemen pooled in money to pay for the ambulance to carry her to the nearest decent hospital (120kms). Hope she survives and continues to be the pride and bread of her family.

Congrats to DC for reporting this, sans a picture! If media themselves do not check one another, there would be real decadence to a point of no return. Such conscious drives against each other keeps the media in tab and responsible to the society.
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