Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Happy Children's Day (Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Birthday)

November 14th, the birthday of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, is observed as "Children's Day" all over India.

It brings back pleasant memories of enacting dramas at high school with my beloved friends. Our fan-club included many of our teachers as well. At times, I've been surprised by the shellacking we used to receive, when some teacher did not like the very performance, other teachers had applauded. That was a fundamental lesson that I learned early on: some dislike what others like and so learn to live with it. :)

By the way, Happy Children's Day

"Ordinary men and women are not usually heroic. They think of their daily bread and butter, of their children, of their household worries and the like. But a time comes when a whole people become full of faith for a great cause, and then even simple, ordinary men and women become heroes, and history becomes stirring and epoch-making." 

-- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Letter to his daughter Indira, dated October 26, 1930 from Central Prison in Naini

Sunday, November 03, 2013

An Usher's Judgement

I was late for mass, this evening. First Reading was already over and the responsorial psalm was on. As usual, I was perusing the missal reading from my iPhone. The usher, who was a few feet away, came closer with a stern susurrus: Sir, could you please turn off your phone? 

I looked into his eye and spoke with a gentle susurration: But, am following the Missal on my iPhone. 

Not expecting that, he seemed to be taken aback by his presumptuous judgment. He then left with a softer susurrus: Oh OK.. am sorry.

It is true, many are not that concerned about social etiquette, when it comes to using cellphones in public. So, this gentleman could have presumed that to be the case here.

However, he was wrong in his judgment.

This simple incident did not annoy or irritate me. Rather, it made me contemplate. It made me question myself, what would I have done in a similar circumstance, with the roles being reversed.

Human foibles make us more -- not less -- human!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"I will have a Son like my Father."

Little girls, have bigger hearts. Their innocence and pristine thoughts are a thing of beauty.

Today, my 6-year old daughter narrated a story to me. From the description of it, it was clear she was narrating the story of greedy Midas, who was accursed with a blessing to turn everything into gold.

After this vivacious little-angel, finished the story, I asked her:

"Sweety, when you become big, what will you ask for? What would you wish for? Will you ask for gold? Mercedes? Houses? Money? Things?"

"No Appa!"


"I'll ask for a nice'll ask for a nice son."

With a curious face, I asked,  "?? Nice son?"

"Yes, Appa! Nice son, just like my Appa!"

I was obviously moved and didn't know what to say next. So, I asked,

"But, why? Why like Appa?"

"Because my Appa loves his child very much. If my son is like my Appa, he will love and take care of his children very much too."

What a logic and lofty thought! When a child's innocence commingles with its own sense of fair logic, the outcome is always almost one of spotless beauty: Immaculate.

For a moment, I didn't know what to say. A flood of emotions just engulfed me - just the same as when this little one was born.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thank you, Embassy of India, Washington DC

Quite an amount of gripe has been spent on the bungling of Indian Missions abroad, that even the inner-circles in Delhi started to wonder, how best to serve Indians living abroad.

But, the Embassy of India in Washington DC, did come to the rescue of my friend yesterday, within just a few hours.

My friend -- an Indian citizen -- completely forgot to notice that his Indian passport had expired, on his way to the airport on Friday. He could not board the flight and just sent his son and wife to India, while staying back to renew his passport at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC.

On Monday, July 30th, he went to the Embassy of India in Massachusetts Ave in Washington DC. The Consular staff not only got his Passport renewed within a few hours on the same day, but, seemed to be very sympathetic and understanding of his plight.

While he was very concerned as to how long the whole affair would take, the Indian Embassy not only helped him, but, certainly played a Good Samaritan role as he left to India today, July 31st!

While I had been slightly critical on some of the bollix-ups before, I will be certainly remiss, if I fail to acknowledge this wonderful example of administrative efficiency on the part of the Indian Embassy in the Nation's capital.

Kudos, Embassy of India for putting a smile into one of your compatriot's family.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Truth is still the truth - Mahatma Gandhi

Ever afraid of speaking the truth and being the lone person to stick out your neck? Ever been bullied and sullied? I am sure, this quote from Mahatma Gandhi should dispel any such fears or dilemmas. Truth IS and WILL always be truth, no matter what. What an awesome quote! Love it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Everyday Heroes

Mass just ended, as I type this from the Sanctuary. Just prior to dismissal, two people shared their joy: one was a young woman with a head without a single strand of hair due to cancer and a young man battling his addiction.

So what is heroic about them?

I do not want to belabor on the topic, but, think of rising up before a crowd of 300, boldly acknowledging your suffering, weakness, and shame, without any fear!

Especially, that young man, who pointed to his companion and said, since her entry into his life, he was able to battle all his addictions successfully!

I wish both of them the very best, for their valor, humbleness, and poverty of spirit.