Thursday, 31 December 2015

Reminiscing 2015

As the year 2015 comes to a close, I realise it has been on the most touching years of my experience.  Surely there have been more 'downs' than 'ups'.  Nonetheless, I'm contended with what has been laid before me.

It is a year that I've

  • seen the worst of Salesian religious life, not so much the scandal but the mediocrity which is perhaps the hidden and the beginning of the former.  
  • waged an almost losing battle against a sort of lethargy and complacency against the very people appointed to ensure a certain credible standards in our life and behaviour.
  • been frustrated at my own efforts of being a passive observer in spite of my vigorous attempts to be and do otherwise. 
  • also had a refreshing break at Punganur (which would not have been if not for all the above).  The warmth and the freshness of a school setting, in a rural area. 
  • had and still enjoying the enriching stay at Ramanthapur with the children from a different setting - each one a world apart.  
  • come close to several of whom were almost at the edge of my life. Met friends (though not in the most joyful of circumstances) after two decades or so. 
  • been supported by quite a few, understanding the pain and suffocation that I was going through within.  Their concern and guidance has indeed been a great source of strength.  
  • questioned much... my principles, my values, my methods, my priorities and in doing so learnt to see things around me in a much different light.  
  • missed the classroom. 
  • spent three months without the internet and enjoyed bliss! 
  • had very many moments of total blankness... a sort of dilemma unable to decide what next... but surprisingly been very calm and serene about and in and through it all. 
  • gossiped much, prayed less, written very little, hardly read ... but observed quite a lot.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

In a courtroom

For the first time I entered a courtroom today - a civil court in Sangareddy, Medak district. It was in connection with a land dispute we are embroiled in for the past ten years. I accompanied our accountant, who was to be cross-examined today as one of the witnesses who signed the gift deed (which is now being contested).

Anyway, I was impressed by the neat halls, verandahs and the whole structure of the building.  What impressed me most was the decorum in the courtroom.  Everyone who entered the courtroom, the lawyers in particular, would greet the judge with a namaste or a gentle bow.  That the judge hardly noticed these salutations is secondary.  It reminded me of our entry into the Churches and Chapels!  Then it struck me that this too is a place of respect and reverence.  Not necessarily for the person but for the role he is carrying out - that of ensuring justice for all.

The second thing I liked was the reverence all the lawyers had for the judge.  I'm sure not all would be pleased with him or approve of his decisions and that some - or most - would even curse him outside the courtroom... but in his presence they were all very very respectful and disciplined.  Even the senior lawyers much beyond the age of the judge himself, were of the same attitude.

Finally, the judge himself was very stern and sure of his role.  He reminded me of Fr Ivo who has the knack of asking one sharp question and leave us all bewildered.  Right at that moment we would not understand the relevance of that question but a calm and prepared reflection would help one see the centrality of that question to the matter in discussion.  This judge too had that unique ability.  He was stern but polite and most importantly swift.

Monday, 28 December 2015

No Jesus here!

Two days ago I let one of the 7th class boys accompany me to a Parish to deliver the cake pieces the Parish Priest had ordered from our bakery.  Upon reaching the place, the Mass was going on and the boy was surprised at the huge Church - in comparison with the small community Chapel we have.  So I asked him if he was interested in seeing the Church from inside.  He was eager. So once we handed over the cake, we walked into the Church. I asked him if he wanted to take a closer look at the sanctuary and the altar and he nodded with a smile. Since the Mass was already over, we took some time admiring the Church and as we came out, I noticed the adoration chapel attached to the Church.  I asked Gowtham, if he was interested. He was.  This was a small bare room, well lit with the Blessed Sacrament.  Once inside Gowtham smiled and said, "Our Chapel is bigger than this!"  Then he made a very solemn proclamation, with a very serious face, as if he had discovered something: "Anna (Brother), there is no Jesus here!" Well there certainly was no statue of Jesus but Gowtham did not know anything about the Blessed Sacrament and I did briefly tell him that Jesus was indeed present. He then seemed satisfied to know that it was still a Church, sans all the paraphernalia.

As we drove out of the place, I smiled to myself thinking, luckily the Parish priest did not hear Gowtham's comment or else he would have installed a statue of Jesus - and a couple of others - in that Chapel too!  

Why only me?

I had a similar experience as this with one of the smaller fellows who is just getting used to sitting in a class for a while (even if that "a while" is less than 30 mins) ...
Also a further insight, we never think as adults we learn something new or different everyday too. As children this is considered a 'must' but as adults we feel we have learnt enough!  Perhaps life would be as entertaining it is for kids, if we as adults too keep learning things rather than behave as 'know-all wisecracks'!

Band-bajaa

I volunteered to drop a visiting priest at an ordination ceremony this morning.  Just as I dropped him at the venue, in walked the Archbishop, the Provincial and the ordinanadee.  All of them preceded by the band and each of them garlanded.  

The first thing that came to my 'pictoral' mind when I viewed that scene was that of devotees taking a sacrificial lamb for slaughter!
The whole scene of the band and procession and photographers and everyone paving the way for the "dignitaries" was so distasteful and nauseating that I speedily departed from the venue.  

I've thrived without any of these things so far and I hope no one will think of such fanfare for my funeral either. 

Growing in responsibility

Dealing with the bakery and the cakes production and sale, I realized that it was much better letting K------ (the baker and instructor) to handle the major responsibility.  I let him take up the orders, decide the time and work schedule with the boys, coordinate (along with J-----, the driver) the delivery mode and timing, issue the bills and even collect the money.  I could really see that he was enthused about this process.  His sense of responsibility was good.  Someone warned me that he could swindle something or some amount.  But in the light of the system he is following and keeping me informed there was hardly any space for any malpractice.  Even if he did engage himself in something, what's the big harm? In comparison to the net gain of him growing in responsibility and attachment to the task, the institution, and the boys, what he helps himself to is peanuts!  I only kept providing him with suggestions and occasional help in planning and coordinating.  I always ensured that he gets his due praise and credit.  So far has worked great. 

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Digital story of the Nativity

Couldn't help but insert this digital narration of the nativity... remember it very vividly from over the years, since I first saw it on youtube.

Baking Christmas

Now that Christmas is over, so is the busy involvement in the bakery.  For the first time, except for the fact that we were baking cakes for Christmas, there was anything "Christmas" in all that I was involved in.  It has been over a week since I attended Mass, leave alone participate in the morning or evening prayer and sit for my meditation.  It was been a crazy running around and trying to coordinate the baking, securing orders, distribution and setting up of stalls and what not.

At times my conscience pricked me when I crossed the chapel to reach my room - going to my room itself was a rare occurrence! So I'd step in to wish Him and say a brief 'hello'.  So now as I sit back and review my Christmas this year, there is hardly anything related to my previous living of this solemnity.  This is the first time I've been involved in something so much that I've totally lost track of the usual mode of celebrating Christmas.

Did I miss prayer?  Did I miss Him?  Did I feel His presence?  Well I may not have been a good religious, in that pietistic sense but somehow I feel, I have grown in relationship... even with Him. My understanding of my boys has matured (at least a bit) and so has my rapport with the staff and other confreres.  Not that all is rosy and perfect... far from it.  But my relationship is more genuine and open.

So much for a baking Christmas!

Religion and Business

Sitting for the vigil Mass and seeing the youth group burdened by the weight of the collection boxes, it struck me that the Church was getting a collection for free.  Perhaps much more than what my boys and I would be making after slogging it out for 10 days round the clock in the bakery. I'm sure the Christmas collection of the Parish would easily be more than the profit we make in the sale of cakes from here.

Religion is indeed a profitable business!

Christmas plane

Though I did not read or hear much about Christmas this year, the one thing that caught my attention was the analogy given by someone to the boys a couple of days ago.  He narrated a story of a father and son spending time on their rooftop and when a plane passed over their head, the boy asked the father, "How do we go up there in the sky to board the plane?"  The father replied, "Son, we need not go up there, the plane itself comes down and we can then board the plane."

Well, that's what Christmas commemorates: God coming down to help us show the way.

"Free" craze

During the Christmas vigil Mass, I watched a very weird and nauseating scene in a rather well-to-do Parish and that too involving well-dressed educated people... all scrambling for the freely distributed piece of cake! I've seen beggars and those deprived of food do that, but to watch this "elite" group do it was quite irritating and beyond my comprehension.  I guess it is a certain craze for "free" goods!  

Thursday, 17 December 2015

He went about doing good...

This evening as I sat alone for evening prayer, it occurred to me how lucky Jesus was!  He was totally free of all administration, projects, accounts, purchases, documentation, maintenance works, paying salaries, staying in touch with the donors, settling staff squabbles (this one I think he too had a fair share - the apostles ensured that!), circulating data and names, ...

He went about doing good!  

I was wondering when we would reach that level of efficiency in pastoral ministry... doing good, without breaking one's head about how to go about doing good!

The mobile crib

This Christmas baby Jesus will have to find a place other than the manger.  The one at the Castilino family is no more safe!

I was told this morning that the crib at home is already set up. Courtesy: the insistence of my nephew.

But this crib is mobile and is all the while in motion.  Courtesy: my niece!

Either she is at the crib, talking to the cattle, et al. or she is taking the sheep out to the garden, the camel to water and the donkeys, to God alone knows where!  Sometimes the bell around the ox's neck is passed onto to St Joseph!  At times she is feeding the members in the crib with the bowl and spoon, just as she is fed by the elders at home. Mummy says she has already made a couple of rounds of the house finding the "lost" kings, "grazing" sheep, "wandering" donkeys...

I wonder where would baby Jesus end up!

Fr Thathi, the Fifth Provincial of Hyderabad!

On December 16, 2015 Fr Angel Fernandez, our Rector Major, announced Fr Thathireddy Vijaya Bhaskar as the Provincial elect of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad (INH). He succeeds Fr Raminedi Balaraju as the fifth Provincial of Hyderabad. As we rejoice at this announcement we gladly welcome him back to the Province (from the Generalate) and sincerely thank Fr Balaraju for his yeomen services to the Province.

Fr Thathi as he is fondly called in the Province, will certainly draw heavily from his experience as the Vice Provincial of Hyderabad for the past 5 years till he was called to the Generalate. He is all of 41 years (being born on October 10, 1974) but much loved and admired by the confreres and all those who have been in touch with him, ever since his initial formation.

The Province stands to gain from his multi-talented personality who is able to put his hand to anything and produce quality results. Besides being a qualified formator (skilled and trained in Philosophy) he also has completed his Ph.D. from UPS, Rome. Passionate about social communication, he recently directed a movie on Don Bosco titled 'The Journey'. He has also been the editor of the Province newsletter 'Kaburlu', and the delegate for Social communication for two terms . His love for the poor has found concrete expression in his dedicated work with and for the street children of Visakhapatnam, while being fully involved in the Philosophate at St John's Regional Seminary, Kondadaba.

His organisational and relational skills were made visible especially during his stint as the vice-provincial. After animating the 8th Provincial Chapter he was also elected as the Province Delegate to the 27th General Chapter. Besides being blessed with qualities of the head, he also has a large heart and a sane balancing ability of both. These externally visible features rest strong and rise deep from his inner convictions and principles of Salesian Religious life. Counting on all these rich qualities he was called to the Generalate in August 2015 to be part of the Youth Pastoral Team. The Province is indeed blessed to have him back as its chief animator.

Fr Thathi hails from Reddypalem, in Mahboobnagar district of Telangana and is the eldest in the family of three children. He lost his father a year ago and is much doted on by his beloved mother, Mrs Maria Rani. He joined the Salesian aspirantate at Gunadala, Vijayawada as an eighth standard boy and went on to make his first profession in the freshly bifurcated Province of Hyderabad (from Bangalore) on May 24, 1993. After his theological studies at Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore he was ordained a Priest on January 3, 2003.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Deliberations...

This afternoon, we sat to do the evaluation of our clerics in the community - a formality aimed at their growth, at the community level.  As we started I was surprised to see the same evaluation format which was discarded last year, in favour of the one that I had proposed to the Province.  During my last days in Karunapuram I had proposed reviving an old format (with some modifications) and also supported my opinion with proofs and valid documents.  So convinced were all those formators of the Province that they included this as the first and most important point from the formation team to the Province leaders meet.  I also remember being invited to speak to the Rectors of the Province about this point - something I declined stating that it was the responsibility of the one incharge of formation.  I had made available the new format, the procedural change I personally envisioned and the necessary reasons for making this shift.

Today my Rector recalled that it was all spoken of during the meeting... but why then were we still using the old version?  No decision was taken!! There was half a day of discussion, an agreement of most of the members attending the meeting but finally no one said or deliberated anything. So the old remains!  Great!

Foreseeing the past

Attended Anand's memorial Mass this morning.  It was rather sober and smooth, just like his funeral.  This time, I did not go home.  Wanted to but had to drive home those who came with me to the Church, but did not want to go to his house.

During the homily to distract myself I was wondering what would people be saying at my funeral about me. Would it be like this priest blabbering about some eternal life and resurrection and all that stuff without any clue of what Anand went through in his life or what he believed in.  (Most of the stuff, the priest was saying, I'm sure he himself is not believing!).  However much to my dismay, and surprisingly he concluded the sermon soon - meaning really soon!  And so did my exercise of foreseeing my own funeral oration.  

Fare/Get well

The other day we arranged a small farewell to one of our volunteers from Accenture, who was very much involved in the education of the school going boys for the past two and half years.  He coordinated a whole team of willing colleagues to tutor our boys in preparation for their exams for the time he was here in Hyderabad. On the eve of his departure to Chennai, we organized a small farewell gathering with the boys.

The boys knew well in advance that he, Pradeep Anthony was leaving and they found their own ways of expressing their gratitude to him.  Some gave him gifts (chocolates or drawings or something edible they bought for him). Some organized as a class and gave him some presents.  One particular class also got him a greeting card: "Get well soon!"

Knowing well our boys he took it all in his stride and saw the sentiments rather than the words. So did we.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Visitors to DBNJ

Yesterday and today we had a string of visitors and sponsors... of various things and sorts.  Some sponsoring food, some cash, some clothes, some sweets, some offered books, some stationery and some basically to enquire about the possible modes of involvement.  It is rather taxing to meet them all and worse still is the amount of time that is consumed in speaking and interacting with these guests. While on the one hand, it is a good sign that people would like to get involved in the lives of these children in their own ways.  However, on the other hand, some do it out of pity.  That's quite pitiful!  Such 'pity' acts I always discourage and brush away.  Because that truly belittles the children, of which I do not approve.  I'd like to give the child an integrity and dignity which it is due... not some pity.  I aim to help children grow with pride and honour, able to ride upon their own confidence and not on someone else's leftovers.

One thing that sponsors first observe among our children is the spontaneity and their joy at being here.  No long faces or sad looks.  They are at home with the staff, with us Fathers and Brothers, and among themselves too.  They need not act before guests and put up a facade, like in some other childrens' homes.  They are the same as everyday, every other time.

(the temptation to take snaps of these guests always tugs at my hands but I resist... would like to keep the focus on the children) 

Courage or Cowardice

The suicide of my batch mate set off a weird conversation with another friend yesterday night.  When the latter heard that the guy had committed suicide, he exclaimed, "What a courageous guy!" Truly I was surprised.  I asked him what is courageous about committing suicide?  His angle was that normal people cannot dare touch their own lives.  It really takes a lot of grit and courage to commit suicide.

Perhaps.  But I believe that only the act of dying can be called 'courageous'. But everything else is actually a sign of cowardice!  If someone is committing suicide and would be labelled courageous, then he or she should adopt a really gruesome means of ending one's life.  That I doubt will ever happen.  However, basically suicidal tendencies are a sign of ailment and they need help.  Unfortunately by the time the diagnosis is done, life is done away with!

Maybe all the unfortunate who reach the decision of committing suicide, should join the army and go to the frontlines or enroll themselves in some daredevil sports where risk of life is very high.  At least they'll die gloriously - if at all there is any glory in taking one's own life! Anyway all these are thoughts and talks of those who are too busy living... God alone knows what's really going on in the mind and life of the one who resorts to such 'deadly' acts.

Another buried!

Today had the hard task of burying another of my novitiate batchmate and what made it worse, was the fact that he too decided to out the same way as did the previous one: suicide!  This guy was not a typically outgoing or adventurous type. He always was and continued to be a loner, seeking comfort only among a few like-minded introverts.  For them they found the whole world and everything about it, faulty.  However, he had a rather heavy load of downs - while the possibilities were mostly ups! His marriage broke up a couple of years ago. His father passed away 11 months ago. To make matters worse, he seemed to have been "inspired" by our other batchmate who decided to take his own life, not even a month ago.

Ultimately, hopefully his agony (real or imaginary) is no more now.  That's the only consolation. 

Friday, 11 December 2015

Missing the Obvious

While searching for a particular anecdote I came across this particular one from Tony De Mello's The Song of the Bird (could not but vibe with it, having been in similar situations in my class room, on several occasions)...

Nasruddin earned his living selling eggs. Someone came to his shop one day and said, “Guess what I have in my hand.”

“Give me a clue,” said Nasruddin.

“I shall give you several: It has the shape of an egg, the size of an egg. If looks like on egg, tastes like an egg and smells like an egg. Inside it is yellow and white. It is liquid before it is cooked, becomes thick when heated. It was, moreover laid by a hen...”

“Aha! I know!” said Nasruddin. “It is some kind of cake!”

The expert misses the obvious! The Chief Priest misses the Messiah!

Burning with a hunger

I spent the morning at our novitiate house interacting with the 8 novices of our Province.  It was good.  After long, engaging myself in a discussion and that too discussing matters concerning vocation and religious life... it felt good.  Moreover it was good to be questioned about some of the things I said or what they had heard of religious, or priestly life.  Though most of it was the usual set of questions that I am asked: Difference between Brs and Priests? Response of my parents to my decision to be a Br?  Formation course of both?  My experience as a Br among Priests?

However, there was something that I emphasised most during the interaction with them: A diminishing HUNGER or PASSION for anything in life.  That they seemed to have grasped and acknowledged too.  I did not speak of passion for Christ or God, at all but rather insisted on having a passion for atleast something in life.  Unless there is that hunger we live a very complacent life ... and modern notion of religious life, further strengthens that lethargy and mediocrity, I added.

Charity - The flex-photo mode

A growing sickness among Priests and religious, even among Salesians: Photos with the flex in the background while doing some good or charity!  What a disgrace!  It looks so awful and nauseating.  Posing for photos while distributing aid to the homeless or gifts to children on the occasion of a feast.  If Jesus were to be present for such occasions, I'm sure he'd have some harsh words for such 'flex-photo' celebrities!

One argument that I've heard from those involved in such antics is that the 'donor agents' want some proof.  Well, then send it only to those donor agencies. Why publish on every website and every social media available?  Why brag about it for  about a hundred and one times?  Do it, forget it and get on.  Why harp on it for ages to come?

Good to keep in mind Jesus' saying: While doing charity, let your left hand not know what your right hand is doing.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Everyone is called to be a Saint


Finding peace

There are times when I close myself in my room, seeking solitude and rest.  At times it helps, at times it only aggravates my disturbed mind.  And the other day as I was changing the page on the calendar, I read this quote (by Virginia Woolf) at the bottom of the page:
You cannot find peace by avoiding life.
I guess she is right. Being an ostrich does not help, certainly not the ostrich itself! But I guess one does need moments of silence and being all by oneself to make some  sense of what is going on around me. However, it is also a matter of prudence, when to withdraw and when to charge headlong!

Christmas vs Holy Mass

Fr TD's pet theme this season is 'Christmas mischief'.  Well he certainly has a point to state and in our conscious efforts to disprove him, we only end up confirming what he states.  His point is this: that Christmas is basically a mischief, a bluff, to distract people from the real spirit of the celebration. While it is only a commemoration, a remembering of an event that happened centuries ago, we tend to make it a fact today. We skip the reason for God's incarnation and get fixated on the petty reality of the manger, the crib, the birth, the celebration.

So I asked myself: Isn't the daily Mass of greater and richer meaning than Christmas?  While Christmas is merely a remembrance, a commemoration of His birth, the Mass is a reliving, a reincarnation, in flesh and blood, in reality, here and now. So to not see the depth of the Holy Mass but to prepare for Christmas is a sort of blind football match we all enjoy - playing and 'watching'.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Participation

Fr TD John brought to my attention, an interesting news item in today's The Hindu.  I could not get the printed copy in the house and so looked it up online.  The title is 'Woman speakers missing here!' The piece laments the absence of women in  a conference discussing women in Islam!
The stage was set and the seminar’s topic was the ‘Role of Muslim Women in the Changing World on national-level’. And the venue was the Urdu Ghar, which is in the heart of the old city at Moghalpura. It might sound empowering, but it lacked something very important: women speakers. How a seminar can be held on the role of women without actually having even one woman to speak on the issue itself was perhaps not lost on the speakers, who participated in the Urdu and Persian seminar here on Tuesday.
While we may find this amusing and even ridiculous, I find it strange when we practice it often and with no second thoughts, especially in dealing with children and young people.  We, grown ups (formators, educators, teachers, staff members) decide for the children what is best for them.  We somehow are convinced that we know best. Perhaps! But perhaps not the best!  Involving the child and the youth makes a huge difference for them.  They grow, become more involved, take up responsibility and make a difference - so do we!  Mistakes and even blunders may happen... but the final or results later in life are worth those mistakes.

Priesthood and Service

I'm right now engaged in an interesting discussion or sharing of ideas with someone about Brotherhood and Priesthood.  It is more of a casual conversation. I then extended some bit of it to someone with similar ideas and he came up with this suggestion:
Abolish the laity! Priests will automatically be in the right place!
Basically it is about position, authority and posts.  In the words of this person...
Religious life has caught on to the evils connected with hierarchical priesthood. Hierarchy and the Gospels cannot go together. Privileges are part of hierarchy. The deacons were asked to help the apostles, to help in the service. This did not mean that the apostles stopped being servants and become masters!!!!! 
What an Irony that now all the laity are required to fulfil the role of reminding the priests of the secular reality! The priests can then live in a different world – of no responsibility and all the privileges! Double whammy! Neither service, nor work! Just enjoy power and pelf! Just today ------ told me, “I always thought priests were close to God!”
Being part of a larger discussion, this piece above may be misleading.  However, the point is that religious life and priesthood need to get back to Jesus' basic style of living.  The more institutionalized it gets, the more it will move away from the Kingdom.

The Braying Donkey

The other day Br John gave a nice goodnight.

There was a washerman and he had a donkey and a dog. Since the donkey was most useful for him to transport clothes he loved the donkey more than the dog.  Sensing this the dog was waiting for an opportunity to give back to his master.  One night thieves entered the house and the dog purposely decided not to bark.  The donkey noticed this and was getting impatient: Why isn't the dog barking?  The dog decided it was his time to get back at his master and stayed quiet.  The donkey unable to bear this tragedy began to bray.  The master at first was irritated. He shouted from inside for the donkey to be quiet.  The donkey held its peace for some more time, thinking that the dog would take the cue and start barking.  When nothing of that sort happened it started to bray again to alert the master.  The master, shouted out from inside for the donkey to stay quiet.  The third time this happened, the master came out and bashed up the donkey for disturbing his peaceful sleep.

Moral: Do your own duty.  Don't try to do someone else duty leaving your work undone!  What you are supposed to do, do.
Well, one can always argue from the donkey's perspective: commitment, loyalty, sacrifice (if need be), charity, crosses for those who do good... et al.  So which one is correct then?  Swadharma or service of others? 

Catechism undone

There are three boys among our children getting ready to receive First Holy Communion.  They regularly attend the catechism classes and are actively involved in the Sunday Parish too.  However, in comparison to the other boys, one of them is a real 'rascal' - not so much in the sense of mischief but in the sense of devotion and relation.  Something I have observed among most of our boys is that the prayer before meals is said with utmost devotion and reverence.  Looking at them pray before meals is a sight to behold and I should say, none of them waste food either.  Of course, some are finicky about some types of meals, most of them do not make any fuss.  But one of the Catholic boys is most often distracted during this prayer.  While everyone is with eyes closed and palms joined, this guy is fiddling with his keychain or the zip of his pullover or meddling with his neighbour's shirt.  Wonder where does all his catechism lessons goes into?  

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Cyclic activity

Life here at Ramanthapur is basically a 'one-day-at-a-time' affair!  Most often by the end of the day, the list that you began to work on, in the morning is no where done... not even the first thing on the list is ticked off!  Why is that so?

Well, that's because by the time I started the first task, there is someone or something that has come up.  Attending to that latter task you encounter something else along the way, needing immediate attention.  By the time that is almost done, something else goes wrong somewhere or there is some emergency, if not in physical vicinity, at least on the phone!  That's how it all begins ... and never ends!

So by the end of the day, when I 'try' to review my day, I still have the list, intact!!  And them am too tired to see what actually did I complete!

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