Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Anyway, it went on well. I was happy for most of the Brothers did their role well. I was following up the second years in the hall and they did a swift job of putting things back in their respective places in just one hour... neatly!
That's the third course address to the Bishop...!
That's the archbishop of Visakhapatnam, Kagithapu Mariadas, whom we felicitated for his golden jubilee of Ordination.
After the Mass, the felicitation programme, we had the lunch
This was the special counter for the fruits salad and ice cream... the most sought after item in the menu.
Monday, 29 November 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
I very well know that I've been delaying this whole hullabaloo with the sole intention of getting the Brothers to focus on the most important aspect of this present state of formation: philosophical studies. Rather than have a month long preparation, I just started exactly a week-long preparation. The results are practically the same. And as Thathi said, this strategy of an intense preparation rather than a prolonged one is best for any activity with young people... except study and assimilation. Perfectly true!
Even those not gifted with a good voice or a sense of music sing, if not for love of music at least for revenge at God for not having blessed them with that grace!
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Then there was another small fellow strolling up and down the aisle as though inspecting the guard of honour. He was least bothered about anyone trying to get him to stay still in one place. Nor was he concerned with the strange looks and glares of the elders. He was all by himself and enjoying every bit of it.
Looking at all these kids, I'm reminded of Chris and I'm sure he is doing similarly crazy and funny things.
Friday, 19 November 2010
Given all the discussion and opinions we shared, what I liked most was that we had the good of the Brothers in mind, always. At every juncture we kept reminding ourselves that they were the centre of our efforts and endeavours. Another strong fact that kept emerging often is that the Brothers are more frightened of their own companions than of the staff. There are very few who, first of all have a stand, and fewer still who are willing to stand by their own opinion rather than fall for the view of others, knowing very well that what others want them to accept and voice out is not true or beneficial. I kept asking myself: if today they cannot stand for what is right and just amidst their own companions what and when will they fight or stand on behalf of the poor and downtrodden?
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
The Indian philosophical method of neti-neti rings a bell here!
Perhaps this process of negating what a thing is not, is a very intuitive process. Of course, we can just say that a fan is not a tree, but to be able to say that it is not a helicopter is something more formative than the former. Or to say that it is not a living thing... by saying so we have negated all living beings. The search is now narrowed down and further intensified...
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Listening to their arguments and Biblical quotations (literal meanings drawn from some quotes their know by rote!) I had pity on God... I had to really defend Him from His own 'staunch' believers. Some of the recollection talks and sermons they hear too add to their 'madness' that it is enough to have faith, blind faith and no act or effort or struggle on our part, for God to work in and through us. I do not deny that God is capable of that too, but that should not be an excuse for our lethargy and lacklustre life.
Monday, 15 November 2010
As for me, I think that's a major difference: On a ship, a warship at that, one cannot survive without being passionate about sea and voyage. Anyone without that passion will be soon back at home looking for 'greener' pastures and certainly not be watching the vast 'blue pasture'! However, in the Seminary most carry on without the least of passion, neither for God nor His people!!!
Then I just mentioned about the movie Bruce Almighty and asked them to come up with a list if each of them were 'God almighty'... with all the powers of God to run the world. Let's see what they come up with.
However, since the time I did my B.Ph. paper on the 'goodness' of evil, I have really been blessed with seeing things differently. What exactly makes the world great: perfection or lack of it? I believe it is imperfection. It is difficult and hard, but better than having everything perfect.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
After the programme, I took up animating the children for some party games, as they were not really prepared to handle the whole group together. It was good occasion for me to interact with the children after long. I'm glad I was there and had that time. The whole afternoon (from 3 pm onwards) was once again spent in the office, resolving issues and settling matters!
However, as I spent the morning looking at myself, I was feeling a sense of insecurity! I am wondering what exactly am I doing? I very well know that I'm doing quite a few things, may be too may at the same time or setting into motion quite a few initiatives, both here in Kondadaba and in NJ, Vizag too. But what ultimately am I doing? I really am not sure. I need to get myself straightened about who and what for am I doing all of this, before I find myself lost, lonely and mad.
Friday, 12 November 2010
Today he called upon all of us to be 'websites for God'... 'places' where people can find information, knowledge and a first hand experience of God and His Divinity. Well that's a novel idea! Technologically speaking, a religious or a consecrated person is one who ought to be a man of God. So he or she should be a treasure trove of godliness and virtue. Well all this makes sense especially in the light of the numerous scandals and scams that go on in religious houses and within the Church.
Sunday, 7 November 2010
What I liked of this whole episode was the joy of being part of the enthusiasm of the boys. They very well knew that they were not going to move into the new building, yet they were all eager to do whatever it was necessary to make the occasion grand. Some of the smaller fellows may have had absolutely no idea of what was going on, apart from the fact that there was 'something' happening. Perhaps if we had taken the whole lot of them to some other unknown place and area to work and prepare, they would have, but only if they had instructions from us Salesians and the staff. Their attachment is to people not to things or buildings or structures.
Unbendable steel, bends. If the fury of the winds is unstoppable.
I've learnt to never underestimate, the impossible.
Thursday, 4 November 2010
The worst agony of the day was having to waste six thousand rupees just because one of those who turned down our invitation for the inauguration of the building on Nov. 7 suddenly decided to make an appearance. So had to recast the inauguration slab within hours of getting the first one... six thousand rupees rotting in the garage without redemption (that's two months salary for most of our staff). That's the whole problem with these dignitaries. Their decisions change the world and the most affected are those who slog it out for a daily bread.
The conclusion of the day was good. I took some time to chat with the boys waiting for their turn to take bath at Sabbavaram. Boys, at last... if not the first!
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Last evening was a happy one, not for all the complaints and squabbles I had to listen to, but for the reunion of two children with their parents. Yesterday afternoon when I reached Navajeevan, I found two new boys, Akbar and Ahmed. They had run away from their Madarasa and were keen on going back to their parents in Kharagpur, West Bengal. In the afternoon I sent two staff members to the Madarasa where they boys said they ran away from. The staff couldn't locate any such hostel at the place mentioned by the boys. Then in the evening, I asked them to call up the home mobile number the boys gave, just to assure the parents that their children are safe with us. The moment they heard news about their children there were shouts of joy and tears at the other end of the phone. It also turned out that they were just living here in Visakhapatnam itself. Within half an hour the parents and the children's uncle were at Navajeevan. After speaking to the staff they came to meet me. They were so grateful and happy to have their children back. The father could not move from the auto as he had a broken leg and a crippled hand. He broke down when I went to meet him on the road and assured him that his children were fine and that they could take them home without any formality or payment!!
One joy to negate all the negativities of the whole day's work and disappointments!
I spent the whole day in bed today!! Call it luxury or misery or both, I just couldn't help it. My whole head was like a big crude piece of lead weighing a ton!! Added to that my nose and throat were sore like hell. So for once I did not hesitate to swallow a tablet this afternoon. I just cannot afford to be down again tomorrow. So I guess God has His own ways of making me take medicine and not take pride in avoiding it.
And in the mail that I received from Fr Koshy this evening, this is what I found at the end of it...
The darkest stars have the brightest stars.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
However what amuses me is the grit of people. Left to me, I'd just sit back in my room and 'enjoy' the rain (if I didn't have the inauguration of Sabbavaram coming up this weekend) - 'all the days of my life'! People outside too did the same... till Sunday. On Monday morning when the rain did not show any signs of leaving, people were out of their house, back to work!! How fast we get around (and over) situations and do not let them hamper our life, when it is a matter of survival and sustenance!
I remember hearing a couple of years ago that the JMJ Sisters have (had?) a Sister who was incharge of all the constructions in the Province. She had her own team of masons, carpenters, welders, suppliers and all that jing-bang and she would be there to make sure that the building being put up (a JMJ institution, of course) is near perfect. Can we too follow suit? But on the other hand, did we become religious for this? If not one among us, who then will feel the work as 'our' work and get things done right?
However there is another dimension of this whole process that is nagging me. Why at all spend so much on cement and bricks and paint? Why not invest it in people? Make use of existing structures or adapt our expertise and services in such a way that most of our energies is not spent on putting up buildings, in the first place, and the rest, in maintaining those... but on empowering people.