Monday, 30 July 2007


Thank you dear friends for your kind words of sympathy and encouragement.God has been good to us .

Since the past two days my fever is controlled ,but I 've been coughing like an old horse on the way to the glue factory.I am allergic to changes in temperature, that causes headache and sinus problems. I called up a doctor friend and she recommended a cough syrup which has helped.But I feel awfully weak, head feels funny and my mouth is bitter.

We 've been having a steady steam of visitors and telephone calls.Aunt Sybil is getting more and more confused and frustrated day by day. we 've kept an ayah (maid) to look after her.

Since the past 4 years I 've been battling with sickness, old age,disability and countless other problems. All this has taken a very heavy toll on me.So I am going to offer voluntary service to teach English to the female students of the Seminary, (many of them need to develop their language skills). I will ask them to give me transport money as the college is far from my home.This will give me a chance to get out , use my skills and socialize.I am being very hopeful, lets see if they 'll accept me. the Principal is a family friend though.

Yesterday July 9th, was my elder BIL 's birthday.They live in Canada.We wanted to celebrate here, but I didn 't have the strength to cook, so Mama volunteered. She not a cook but reminded me that she made a cake once and sambar (Lentil with veggies). She made quite a decent soy dish.And for the evening meal I just made Maggie noodles.

Gotta go and give Sheeba a tick bath, I discovered three ticks hanging on to her yesterday that gave me the jitters.My dogs are absolutely tick free, ticks just tick me off.

Friday, 27 July 2007


Dear friends my Dad 's elder brother Uncle Kenneth passed away on July 24th after a long illness.Now he is resting in the Lord.He was 80 years old and had been the Pastor of our church for several years as well as holding an official position in the Tax Dept.

Aunt Sybil had a fainting spell on July 23rd. and I admitted her in the same Catholic Hospital where Uncle was being treated.the doctors said they cannot do anything more for aunt except keep continuing her medicines.She is 85 years old , is suffering from dementia, lost her bladder control, glaucoma has taken away her sight and is very weak and frail. She might not live long.

As I was preparing to bring auntie home from the hospital , uncle had the seizure.It was a very traumatic situation, auntie was on a wheel chair just outside his room, when they were trying to revive him. Pastor Shay who has been a great help all along turned her chair around so she could not see what was happening.The doctors,(who know me) and the hospital staff were amazed when they saw us dealing with 2 relatives in a precarious condition.

As they were working out Uncle 's bill and other formalities, I had to help the hospital worker to wheel Uncle 's body to the morgue, which is an unthinkable thing for an Indian woman to do.

Its very difficult for me to describe my feelings as I suffer from bouts of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after dealing with my father 's death in that same hospital.

Then began the long and extremely stressful process of informing all relatives and friends etc.Pastor Shay took care of the funeral arrangements so i was spared that.The internment took place on the 25th.

Sonia and her husband arrived and many other relatives. and friends. Sonia was a real comfort, they left today.

All this has taken a very heavy toll on me and I am down with viral fever and flu since the past 2 days. We are worried about aunt Sybil too the death of her younger brother (Kenneth) has affected her very badly.

Sometimes i feel I have come to my rope 's end, but God lifts me up. Underneath are the everlasting arms.We 've been having evening prayer meetings in Aunt Virginia 's house (Kenneth 's widow)

Please pray for us we need healing physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and everything else.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Remember to pray for us

Thank you dear friends for your encouraging words and prayers.I know God is with us, He has never forsaken us. Our faith is tested from time to time.The Bible says welcome trials as friends, because they come to make you stronger and develop your patience . If I never had to face troubles I would have been the most impatient person in the whole world.I need a lot of work in that area.

My father 's elder brother, Uncle Kenneth (80 plus) is quite ill. He 's been doing quite badly since some time and we did not approve of the level of medical attention he was getting, but it was his wife 's choice He had a massive heart attack this morning, God saved him otherwise he would have gone. Pastor Shay and friends got him admitted in Intensive care in a Catholic hospital where we go for our treatment. He 's in the care of a reputed cardiologist. Uncle 's kidney 's are also damaged. He 's some better but the doctor said the next 48 hours are critical.

Its very stressful for all of us. They don 't have any children. We are their are their next of kin, so we feel responsible for them, and they are our neighbours too.

Thank you for your advice and prayers for Aunt Sybil. After that I am coping better. And by God 's grace she is doing better too.

Since the past 3 days the electricity supply is driving me crazy.You know what that means.

Anyway on our Indian political scene, the die is cast. Voting is over for our next President. People have several reasons for opposing Mrs Pratibha Patil.I too have some (altho I support her party) but my foremost objection is that she looks like a Saasu Maa (mother-in-law) of an old black and white movie( But I think she 's a velvet covered brick) I am putting myself at great risk here and people will think I 'm politically incorrect etc. etc. I am not against Saasu Maas In fact if I come across an organization in support of 'Cruelty Against Mother-In-Laws ' I 'll join it.But I want our Prez to look something 'else '. Sorry Pratibha Baa.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

What If

What if God couldn't take the time to to bless us today because we couldn't take the time to thank Him yesterday?
What if God decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we didn 't follow Him today?
What if we never saw another flower bloom because we grumbled when God sent the rain?
What if God took away the Bible tomorrow because we would not read it today?
What if God took away His message because we failed to listen to the messenger?
What if God didn 't send His only begotten son, Jesus because He wanted us to be prepared to pay the price for our sin?
What of God stopped loving and caring for us because we failed to love and care for others?
What if God would not hear us because we would not listen to Him?
What if God answered our prayers the way we answer His call for service?
What if God met out needs the way we give Him our lives?

"Then I remember something that fills me with hope.
The Lord 's kindness never fails
If he had not been merciful
we would have been destroyed.
The Lord can always be trusted
to show mercy each morning.
Deep in my heart I say,"The Lord is all I need.
I can depend on Him"

Lamentations 3:21-24 (The Promise Bible)

Last night the building contractor gave us quite an inflated bill which took us by surprise.The estimate he gave us was much lower.Sometimes these people don 't reveal the true costs . Once they start working they drop the bomb.Please pray that the Lord may provide.

Our next court hearing is on July 28th. Its a Saturday but I 'm hoping something will come up.

Sometimes I get disturbed and bowed down with all these cares, but I remember the promise of Jesus "If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens come to me and I will give you rest.Take the yoke I give you.Put it on your shoulders and learn from me.I am gentle and humble and you will find rest.The yoke is easy to bear and this burden is light" Matthew11;28-30 (The Promise Bible)
There are a lot of loose ends to tie up and I feel very weak and inadequate. Please pray for me.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Are They Watching Hope Floats?

This is called real tubing. A friend emailed me this photo. This could be the aftermath of the rains in Mumbai (Bombay) which flooded many areas.Look at the helpless man standing outside the door.

Maybe they were inspired by the community Roman bath still prevalent in some parts of the world. They have the soap and water just need towels.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Osama Bin Laden 's 27 year old son Omar married British grandma Jane, 51 years old. She goes by a Muslim name too and has been married 6 times.Omar 's got another wife.

Omar is not being allowed in Britain as he cannot provide his Abbu 's (Daddy 's) address. Jane wants to meet her illustrious sasurji(father-in-law) and ask him if he is really involved in terrorist activities.She doesn 't think so.

As wedding gift to the British nation Al Qaeda 's second in command Zawahiri has threatened to increase terrorist activities on the island.He is very angry at the knighthood bestowed on Salman Rushdie.

Well, you can never tell with love and war.


Today we had good music in church as a gentleman attending played my keyboard. I am a string instruments person, I 'm not good with keyboards.

Chole Bhature
For lunch I made chole/bature. Its fried bread with chickpea curry. And a yogurt salad with dried lotus seeds (makhanay). For dinner I will make scrambled eggs with tomatoes and onions.

Lotus seeds

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Hindu Prayers in the US Senate

The US Senate opened with the chanting of Gayatri Mantra for the first time on Thursday July 12th Hindu priest Rajan Zed sprinkled holy water from the River Ganga around the podium to purify it and them chanted prayers from several Hindu scriptures. He was the first Hindu to do so since the formation of the Senate in 1787.
Wonder if the Indian Parliament will ever commence with prayers from the Bible?
In God we trust.

Dancing Matilda

I got this photo from A blog with fantastic pictures.

Yesterday I played hide and seek with the electricity
danced with the Internet
and wrestled with the computer.

We did not have power supply from 10 am to 7.30 pm. It rained in the afternoon so that was a relief.Should rain some more,its hot and humid.I put on my global warming clothes. I 've recycled old sarees into 2 sleeveless shifts and a shalwar kameez (Indian top and loose pants).I've not worn sleeveless clothes (Mom does) but now I am because the temp. is unbearable and they are so comfortable.

My computer went crazy because of the voltage fluctuation. I called up 2 of my friends but they were at work.So I just banged and pottered around on the keyboard (its also troubling me) and got it fixed up.I had misplaced my last electricity bill receipt which was needed to confirm payments. We searched all day praying desperately and I finally found it late night. God is our very present help. Just when I feel like burying my head in a sand pit He comes to the rescue. 'Endure hardness as good soldier of Jesus Christ ' is sound advice from St Paul in times like these.

Aunt Sybil is 84 years old. She is suffering from dementia. Living in the past now.Remembers things from long ago and wants to act accordingly, can 't relate to the present.She is a very sweet tempered, non verbal, frail old lady, a retired school teacher, loves animals and has been a care giver herself.Blind in one eye and has little vision in the other because of glaucoma. She suffers from delusions, sees Sheeba 's puppies...Sheeba never had any puppies. In the evening she wraps a few clothes in a towel and wants to go 'home '. She 's been living with us since the past 25 years.If anyone has faced a similar situation, please tell me how to handle it.I get pretty stressed out at times.I m concerned for her safety. In the afternoon I put a camp bed for her in my bedroom for siesta as she walks around the house and I want to keep an eye on her.I just need to know how other people handle such cases. We try to humour her and joke with her also.

Friday, 13 July 2007


Uploaded the above photo from Dick 's blog

Thank you for your comments on my last post 'Aside ' I just want to make a clarification.Its the money conversion which surprised me not the amount.What might be normal & regular for somebody could be a huge amount for another person.Maybe I over reacted because I 'm facing a challenge in this area.
We have love both for the rich and the poor.I grew up in a very rich neighbourhood.Our neighbours were businessmen and industrialists. We went to a rich kids school.We were not economically advanced but we never felt that way.Its not the amount of money you have, its your attitude towards it.I pray for myself;Lord keep me away from the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. These creep in very subtly...specially when when you re in a shopping MAUL. LOL!

Thursday, 12 July 2007


This is the Shakespearean aside in which a character goes to one side of the stage and talks to himself/herself.

I read on a blog that someone needs $18,000 to renovate their basement.I could renovate my church & turn the campus into Hyde Park with that.Couldn 't stop chuckling to myself.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Pushed by Poverty

This story appeared in the newspapers and TV news channels yesterday.

A man threw his 7 year old daughter, Sarita into the Gomti river as he could not afford treatment for her kidney disease.Fishermen rescued the girl and took her to a hospital.Her mother was found but the father is absconding. The police are trying to hunt him.

P Chand, a fruit seller in Mumbai (Bombay) took Sarita to the KEM Hospital there, where the doctors said Rs 300,000 (US $7500) were required for a kidney transplant. Chand did not have the money. So he brought Sarita to Jaunpur and threw her into the river.

We come across stories like these everyday. Incidents like suicides, murders, child sacrifices and disappearances induced by abject poverty and despair.The list is endless.People are drawn towards terrorist organisations and leftist and extremists groups because they are promised money and protection, apart from being attracted towards their philosophy.

We have a great responsibility to provide relief to our less fortunate neighbours.We provide employment to widows and physically challenged people, just because we know there is no one to look after them.Sometimes I feel very frustrated dealing with them as they are not efficient and I have to do half their work, but my mother reminds me of the purpose behind keeping them.We feed them and give them clothes ,medicines, fruit and vegetables from our garden etc. to help them meet ends. We allow poor people to collect firewood and cattle grass from our church campus instead of selling it.At times I feel we cannot afford house help and I could do the work myself to save money, but my mother prevents me from doing so.This is our social and Christian responsibility and outreach too because we teach them about Jesus our true Guru.

Maybe I 'm taking this passage out of context but James 2;15-17 says "If a brother or sister is poorly clad or lacks food for each day,And one of you says to him,Goodbye,Keep (yourself) warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body,what good does that do? So also faith if it does not have works(deeds and actions of obedience to back it up),by itself is destitute of power-inoperative,dead." (Amplified Version Bible)

Pray that God may enable us to carry out our mission and keep us humble and obedient to His call. All hail the power of Jesus name.


On the afternoon news we heard that several individuals have come forward to help Sarita also the Lions Club and a hospital in Bangalore. A lady is willing to donate a kidney. Praise God.

I am playing hide and seek with the electricity and broadband connection. The electric supply is like a candle blowing in the wind (people in the west cannot imagine it), the broadband keeps snapping off all the time. Faulty technology can either drive you up the wall or make you patient. Colocasia leaves, they are quite ornamental too

I am going to make fritters with colocasia leaves for dinner and a stir fry with string beans and soya granules with Indian bread called chapattis.The colocosia fritters need a lot of preparation.You have to make a batter of chick pea powder, spices and tamarind juice.Layer the leaves with the batter,roll them up tie them with a string and steam them. After that you cut them up and deep fry them in mustard oil. They are
delicious.Some people have them with a gravy. Above left : fritters , right :colocasia roots which make a delicious curry and stir fry

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Jarred for Life

Uploaded this from letsbefriends. Cute isn 't she?
If you can 't bell the cat put her in a Bell jar, that 's what Jerry said.He actually looks like Tom

Monday, 9 July 2007

Open the Roof

We had a visiting preacher at our church. Dr. Patra holds a high position in the Forest Dept. as well as being an advisor to the dept of Forestry in the Christian Agricultural University.
He spoke on the incident from Luke 5 in which the paralyzed man 's friends opened the roof of the house to let their friend in to meet Jesus as the entrance was too crowded.And when Jesus saw their faith he healed the man 's body and soul.This story set me thinking about how we can 'open the roof 'to introduce our friends to Christ.

We can do this by-
Praying for them
Helping them in practical ways
Inviting them to church or Christian meetings Providing a listening ear- A girl with a personality disorder talks to me for long periods of time on the phone saying ;you are a believer that 's why you listen to me, nobody else would.
Going the second mile-My father was a great one for that.In fact my last argument with him a few hours before he died was about this.He was making an expensive long distance phone call to book Christian retreat accommodation for a rich college professor whom he did not know.This man was a friend of a cousin of a relative (quite complicated).

I 'm sure , friends you have many good ideas on how to 'open the roof '


This morning when I checked the Nehemiah Project 's (church) bank account I was very worried as our workers are asking for further payments and we have to pay our daily helpers.My mother and I were debating as to how to remedy the problem. Should we stop the renovation or dismiss our groundskeeper and night watchman.I went to the bank to withdraw money feebly telling the Lord that I trust in Him.

When I returned Mama gave me a FedEx packet which a gift check in it enough to pay the next installment to the workmen.God is faithful...Jehovah Jireh!

Had another close call this evening. I took Sheeba out for a walk securely leashed (she really enjoys that) as well as to collect some clothes from the tailors (I am recycling old saris into salwar kameez (Indian blouse and pants) and nighties. On the way we met an couple of stray dogs whom we chased away but just as we turned the corner we came face to face with 3 ferocious Doberman who were unleashed.They started to move menacingly towards Sheeba.I could not stop screaming. Luckily the owners were there and they grabbed their dogs by the tails and I just ran down the street.Its very irresponsible for people to walk their dangerous dogs unleashed.

Actually Mama had warned me about the dogs but I thought she 's never seen any, she doesn 't go out walking.Mom 's a prophetess.I gave her a weak watered down version of the story otherwise she would have given me her 'I told you so ' lecture.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

7/7/07 New 7 Wonders

The new 7 wonders of the world are

The Taj Mahal of India
The Great Wall of China
Petra in Jordan
The Colosseum in Rome
Brazil 's statue of Christ the Redeemer
Peru 's Machu Picchu
Mexico 's Chichen Itza pyramid
I just wish the Egyptian pyramids were on it.If I ever win any money in the game show 'Who wants to be a Millionaire ' I will go on a world tour of all the 7 wonders.

All India is celebrating the inclusion of the 'elegy in marble ' the Taj Mahal in the list of the 7 wonders of the world.It was built by the Mogul Emperor Shah Jehan as a grave for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1653.It took 22 years to complete with a workforce of 20,000 people, many of whom were brought from far off places.It cost 32 million rupees to build it. What would be the present day value is unimaginable.

The exquisite carvings and lattice work and the centotaph. Legend has it that after the mausoleum was completed the emperor had the hands of the master craftsmen cut off so that they would not be able to replicate their work for another aspirant. The descendants of the sculptors live in Agra , the town where the Taj is located.
Indian Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore likened the Taj Mahal to a teardrop that glistens "spotlessly bright on the cheek of time".
I must dig out an old photo of mine at the Taj Mahal.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Snake Ahoy!

Captain 's log dated Friday, July 6 2007

A visitor at Pastor 's Shay 's house spotted a long dangerous looking snake near the gate at night. The reptile slid off rather unobtrusively into the bushes as per the advice of PETA.

Captain 's log dated Saturday,July 7,2007

There was a fair amount of commotion amongst the construction workers this morning. They spotted a large black snake sliding along the church roof on which they were working. I asked them to dislodge it with a long bamboo pole while I ran to get my camera to capture a good photo for progeny.While we were getting ready the venom spurter took refuge in the rafters. The men refused to resume work afraid it might reappear again. Some of them are Hindus and worship snakes and are against killing them.Later on when their chief came, he reassured them that they would not be harmed and they started working.
A snake and mongoose

We have plenty of snakes and other exotic wildlife on our church campus. We have our resident mongooses who fight and kill snakes.My Dad and Sonia have killed several snakes in the house, but they are not visiting us very often these days. Not that want them to.Many of them are really harmless but we don 't take chances. Once my Dad shot a cobra as he couldn 't get it with a stick.

Its true what Ross Perot said"If you see a snake just kill it-don 't appoint a committee on snakes " (I did n't say this PETA) And for Ross Perot snakes could have other connotations.

Chanakya, a wise Indian politician , strategist and writer (350-275 BC) said,"Even if a snake is not poisonous,it should pretend to be venomous".

Good for politics and the jungle!

My mother is better now and is able to eat some food. Doctors say the high humidity causes health problems.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Mango Mania

My friend Janet expressed concern as to how Condi will be able to eat mangoes with a knife and fork. She jolly well will be able to if she follows the famous tried and tested ' Jeeves '
method.I learnt this at Woodstock School.

Make a deep incision all round the mango keeping it upright.Hold it in both hands and give it a give it a twist. The two halves of the mango will come off clean exposing the seed as shown in the picture.Then you can dig in with a spoon.(You can do this to avocados too.I 've never had one.One avocado costs $2 which is very expensive.)

There are more sophisticated approaches to the operation which I 'm sure Ms Condi 's kitchen staff knows about.

When we were kids , we ate mangoes street style. Just peeling off the skin and chowing while the juice dripped off our chins and hands right down down to our elbows.
Its peak mango season right now and there are unlimited varieties to be sampled

Our vegetable man has a young daughter who is physically handicapped, maybe its polio.He got her married to a disabled man thinking they both would support each other . The marriage was a disaster right from the start. On the nuptial night he got drunk and beat her up.Within four days the battered girl had to return home to her parents. The hapless father faces a conundrum as to how he can make his daughter financially independent so she can support herself. He is thinking of taking a loan and opening a small shop.It is quite an uphill task for this economically backward man to empower his child.

My mother saw him chewing tobacco and advised him against it as it could give him throat and mouth cancer. Tobacco chewing is a major cause of cancer in our country. Today he told mama he had kicked his habit immediately after being cautioned. Praise God.

We don 't lose an opportunity to warn people against the ills of such harmful addictions.If only we could make a tiny difference in someone 's life.I once gave money to a poor old rickshaw driver to show himself to a cancer specialist as he was in such a bad shape. He promised he would go, but we don 't know what happened to him.

Mama is suffering from a gum infection.Her face was swollen mighty bad. I couldn 't take her to the doctor as our car is dead. So I went to our family physician and described the symptoms, he wrote out a prescription which is helping her. I am making semolina upma for her which will be easy for her to eat.I like upma too.Its a savoury South Indian dish good for dieters too.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Sunday blessings

On Saturday Pastor Shailendra, (himself an ex-Hindu priest) had a conversation with a Hindu priest. The priest looking for a ritual client tried to inform Shay about the various rites and rituals needed to pacify the gods and planets. Shay said he knew about all these things as he was a priest himself,but now he was a priest of Jesus. The Hindu man was really shocked and said he had betrayed his brotherhood and he should make amends for that.

Shay said he had found the way, the truth and the life and he would hold on to that.The priest said it seemed Shay had many problems in his life and he needed his help to get rid of them.Shay said he may have troubles in life but he knew the God who created the universe and He would take care of everything. Shay said he knew the priest did not have any money for his next meal and he was trying to get a client who would at least give him Rs 51 ($ 1.25) so he could buy his dinner.He priest gazed at Shay really intensely and Shay began to pray for him in his heart.

The priest asked Shay what would he get if he became a Christian.Shay said he would get abuse and rejection in return.The priest hung his head and went away.

Narrow is the path which leads to peace ,joy and salvation,its a road less travelled.Broad is the road to perdition.

Juggernaut, a Hindu peasant man who is our church groundskeeper does not fully believe in Christ but we 've been giving him Bible teaching.He visited a Hindu guru (teacher) one day .Many people were coming to the the guru and laying down offerings of fruit, sweets, flowers and money at his feet. The guru, at the end of the day would sell his offerings to various fruit and sweet vendors. Jags questioned the man saying ;why was he making people bring offerings to feed the gods, the gods should be feeding them.The guru asked Jags to keep quiet as it would damage his business.It seems some of our teaching has influenced Jags thinking.

The General Secretary, of Indian Evangelical Mission, John Wesley and his wife Mercy visited us yesterday. We met them after 25 years.They are here for an alumni conference at the Seminary.We reminisced the days when John was a seminary student and used to play the guitar and violin and bass for a Christian band I had formed called Singing Disciples.Every Saturday John and a group of seminary students used to visit our home for fellowship. College rules were very rigid and Rev. Kramptz (Canadian OMS missionary) the principal had given special permission to the boys to visit the Singh family.Many of our friends hold leadership positions in both Christian and secular organizations. We are so proud of them. Its a joy to meet them.