Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Conference in Pictures

The Conference took place on the premises of an English medium school owned by the Anglican Church.
An uncle (Dad 's cousin) founded this school years ago. He left to start his own school and migrated to the USA after retirement.
This is an old part of the school preserved very well.
It was built during the British Raj
This is is the modern school hall .
We had our meetings in the nursery cafeteria

Behind the school is this
communication tower which connects me with the rest of the world

Another view of the school

Basketball court

Dr. P (left) is a teacher in the engineering College here.
He is also a leader and elder in his Brethren Assembly Church.
He led in the Bible Exposition
Evening devotions with
Bro J (right) , guest speaker who was a banker for more than 35 years, now he is a full time pastor, he came from Hyderabad
Since there were people who spoke different languages.
The messages were delivered in English and were translated into Hindi.

Worship Team

This brother is visually challenged and teaches
in the Benaras Hindu University , a university of
international repute.
Along with his teaching he is a strong witness for Christ.
He holds a Bible study in his home every week.
I was really challenged by his life,not to be slack in my spiritual life
and face my disabilities with courage.

Breaking up into groups for prayer

Taking notes

We had 80 registrations and many visitors too.
You can see me sitting on the bottom right hand side corner

Men 's fellowship.
The two main speakers having a chat

Mum 's fellowship

The youngest Conference delegate 10 months old

This little fellow had such a bright smile and was ever ready for a photograph.He is enjoying a guava.

The kids having fun.
We had 4 wonderful days of fellowship and teaching and my spirit is renewed and refreshed.
My parents were co-founders of the UPEGF.
The conference organizers wanted my mother to come for at least one session, but she could not make it,so a group of them
came to visit her at home today after the conference was over.
We had a time of re-counting old times and a visiting pastor prayed for us.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Sunday Blessings - Mother Attended Church

My mother was able to attend church, today
after a gap of several weeks so we celebrated by
making Shake n ' Bake Chicken with
mashed potatoes Yesterday Sheeba chased a mongoose into the house

Here she is trying to dig it out from under a large steel trunk
I had to tie her up in the end
to enable the poor mongoose to sneak out.
In the evening I attended the Conference meeting.
Had a good time of fellowship and met many old friends.
I will take pictures tomorrow, as I forgot to take my camera today.

Diwali Celebration

Today is the first day of the Hindu festival of Diwali or Deepawali.The goddess of wealth Lakshmi is worshipped tonight. The streets are suffocated with people buying kitchenware, household stuff and gadgets, jewelry , sweets and fire-crackers.

The videos I have posted will give you a glimpse of the celebration

I wish my Hindu friends a very happy Deepawali

Friday, 24 October 2008

Dr DoLittle 's Photo Album

Found these funny photos on the web. I wanted to share them you to make you smile.

Nine to bootI am not a pooch as you can see.
I deserve to be included in the
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
I am Puss Without Boots
but I laugh all the way to the Bank
And in opposition to the
anorexic Dow Jones
I am not in the favor of shedding a single pound
My advice to you is

Who cares for MacDonald 's now
Please pass me the Ketchup and

All hung out to dry.
They should teach us how to use
the washroom

I like doing the cartwheel in slow motion
We call it the dogwheel

We are cool
That 's why we 've switched off the fan.
On a more serious paw, sorry note
I discovered Mark Driscoll 's blog called
Check it out for some
rad reading

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Street Scenes

Last week and on Monday I took Sheeba to the Dog Care Centre for shots.
She really enjoyed the rickshaw rides but threw a fit upon seeing the vet.
Holding on to an excited Sheeba, I took these photos from a moving rickshaw. These are the works of roadside artisans from a gypsy tribe.

They make idols of Hindu gods and goddesses, garden ornaments, animals and birds.

Below are some garish parrots with cows and elephants

These are religious figures.With the upcoming Hindu festival of Diwali they are very much sought after by people of the lower income group.
Well to do people and those with better taste shop in other places.
These days the Chinese have invaded the Indian market and China -made festival ornaments are being sold cheaper than the Indian made ones thus causing a setback to our local potters and artisans.

These are the un-painted , un-glazed figures.

Some gypsies sell hand-made flower bouquets.
Here is a coconut cart in front of a hospital we passed by. Fresh coconut water is very good for convalescence.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Stories of Courage and Challenge

During my blog travels around the world I come across stories and posts which lead me to thank the Lord for all the blessings He has given me and reach out to people around me. They are like guideposts.

Read about GAIL 'S visits to 2 special ladies. She is a new friend of mine. Gail was a nurse in Saudi Arabia and now lives in the USA.

(photo courtesy Felisol)
FELISOL my Norwegian sister describes a visit to an island garden in Norway. ..called Mangela.She 's got beautiful photos of the garden on her blog. It was planted by a man called Aasmund Bryn.

In 1965 at the age of 35, doctors pronounced him terminally ill. Bryn, a horticulturist took refuge in this island away from the hustle and bustle of life. He planted seeds which gave him the courage, strength and determination to battle his disease and purpose to his almost ending life.

The result was a unique garden with plants from all over the world.

(photo by Felisol)

Bryn survived his illness and is now almost at the end of his life in his 80s.

You can check out their WEB SITE HERE

Brother Jim serving the Lord in Mexico has a very good post on POVERTY and a moving video called An $8 Hotdog. You must watch it.
It encouraged me to be a good and responsible steward of what the Lord has given me.

My heart was strangely warmed by all these posts.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

India 's Zubin

India 's Zubin Mehta who has conducted orchestras all over the world visited Mumbai (Bombay) last week with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Western classical music comes to Mumbai this week (updated to last week) as the city marks the birth centenary of one of its most famous sons with a star-studded series of concerts.
Zubin Mehta will take to the stage to honour his late father, Mehli Mehta, conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and soloists including Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, soprano Barbara Frittoli and pianist Daniel Barenboim.
Profits from ticket sales at the event, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday, will go towards the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation and the creation of a school to nurture the best of India's new young musical talent, organisers said.
"I wish my father was here personally today," Zubin Mehta told a news conference Monday, his voice cracking with emotion. "The programme we have chosen was completely his favourite music... It's music he himself performed."
He added: "This is a mini-festival of classical music which has never been staged in India."
Mehli Mehta was an Indian conductor, violinist and teacher who did much to put Western classical music on the map in India in the 1930s and 1940s, founding the Bombay Symphony Orchestra and the Bombay String Quartet.
He later became leader at Britain's renowned Halle Orchestra and set up the American Youth Symphony after moving to Los Angeles and becoming active in the university music scene. Mehta died in 2002 aged 94.
Zubin Mehta, 72, is also a renowned conductor, while Mehli Mehta's other son, Zarin, 70, is executive director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Most of the performers have never played before in India and Zubin Mehta told reporters he hoped the experience would act as a spur to young people to become interested in Western classical music.
Domingo and Frittoli will headline an open-air concert Saturday at the Brabourne Stadium cricket ground, singing extracts from operas like "Carmen", "Aida", "Tosca" and "La Traviata".
Mehta added that there was no direct competition with Indian classical music, which exponents say is currently suffering from a dearth of younger players and singers.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blog Action Day - Poverty

While visiting my friend Michelle 's blog in Ukraine I came to know that today is Blog Action Day on which bloggers worldwide a choose burning topic to blog about. This year 's theme is POVERTY. India is a land of untold wealth, natural resources and man-power yet she is in the vicious grip of poverty and destitution.

Illiteracy,the vagaries of nature, feudal and caste system, over population, corruption in society, lack of proper governance, unemployment, disturbances in society like terrorism and communal violence and colonial rule are some of the causes which have enslaved my countrymen into poverty.

We have made phenomenal progress in the past 60 years of Independence but we are hampered at every step by the above mentioned reasons.

Let me introduce you to some people from impoverished backgrounds.And tell you their stories

This is Jagarnath, who is the odd-job man for our church. He belongs to a poor peasant community. His large joint family struggles to maintain a small farm in a nearby village and Jagarnath has to come to the city to work in order to earn extra money.He can read a little bit and has learnt some city ways. But he turns to his village customs when he needs to remedy something.

Sometime ago he had pain in his eye. Mom and I sent him to a semi-govt. charitable hospital. He returned after a couple of hours and said he had to pay Rs 25 (about 50 cents) to see a doctor, so how could it be charity.

They took him into a room where a man vigorously washed his eye which he did not like at all.Then they made him read some writing on a chart (vision test). A man said his eyesight was weak and he had to buy eye-glasses for Rs 400 (about $10).

Jagarnath found this absolutely ridiculous and walked out of the hospital in a huff. He showed us a scrap of paper which we could not decipher.

We tried to send him to another place which was completely free but he refused . He took some leaves of the neem tree, heated them and bandaged them on his eye like a poultice and after a while his pain was gone.Good old village treatment!

This is Teerathnath, Jagarnath 's younger brother. He also comes to the city occasionally to earn money as a daily wage labourer when there is a financial crisis at home.We provide both brothers and other working visitors from their village free shelter on our church campus.

When he went home his wife made us some rustic sweets as a thank you present. I have seen that the poor are very large hearted.

This is our goat lady. She comes over to take grass and suitable leaves and greens for her few goats.We give these people our vegetable and fruit peelings for their animals. In India nothing is wasted.

The man and two women are daily wage migrant labourers from Bilaspur

They are prisoners of abject poverty so contractors hire them and bring them to the city to work on building sites. Sometimes they work as bonded labourers when they cannot repay their debts.

These are the children of one of the women.They can 't go to school as they hang around the place where their mother is working.

There are several NGOs and Govt. organizations who are providing education and help to children like these.

I could go on forever but let me end with this powerful video in which you can see the wealth and poverty of India rubbing shoulders. Yet the divide between the rich and the poor can be likened to the chasm between heaven and hell.

We are called to do whatever we can to provide succor to the dregs of society and show them the love of God
Check out Julia 's blog for a stirring post on the same subject

This is the witness
of Job who faithfully walked with God.
12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.
13 The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing.
14 I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth. Job 29 ;12-17 (Bible)

Indian Author Wins Booker Prize

Aravind Adiga has won this year's Man Booker Prize with his debut novel The White Tiger.
The 33-year-old Indian-born writer was also the youngest author on the shortlist for the £50,000 prize.
He wrote "the kind of book I'd like to read", he told the BBC. "I like books that have ideas in them and that move and entertain."
The chairman of the judges, former politician Michael Portillo, said: "In many ways it was the perfect novel."
Adiga beat favourite Sebastian Barry to take the accolade as well as the other contenders, Amitav Ghosh, Steve Toltz, Linda Grant and Philip Hensher.
The White Tiger, a tale of two Indias, tells the story of Balram, the son of a rickshaw puller in the heartlands, one of the "faceless" poor left behind by the country's recent economic boom.
It charts his journey from working in a teashop to entrepreneurial success.
It's a quest to break out of the circumstances you find yourself in - it's a quest for freedom
Aravind Adiga
"Making it to the shortlist on a first novel is sort of like winning and anything beyond that is quite a bonus," Adiga said.
He said the book was set in today's India and "revolves around the great divide between those Indians who have made it and those who have not".
"At the heart of the book it is something existential," he added. "It's a quest to break out of the circumstances you find yourself in - it's a quest for freedom."
'Perfect novel'
Announcing the winner at a ceremony in London, Mr Portillo said: "My criteria were 'Does it knock my socks off?' and this one did ... the others impressed me ... this one knocked my socks off."

Aravind Adiga on winning the Man Booker prize for The White Tiger
Mr Portillo said what set the book apart was its originality in showing "the dark side of India".
He said: "The novel is in many ways perfect. It is quite difficult to find any structural flaws with it."
There were more than two contenders for the prize on the shortlist, but the winner was "absolutely not a compromise", Mr Portillo added.
"There really was a decision. The judges were asked to express their satisfaction and they all did."
Adiga is the fourth first-time novelist to win the prize. Previous debut winners were Keri Hulme's The Bone People in 1985; Arundhati Roy in 1997 for God of Small Things; and Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre in 2003.
Adiga is a former correspondent for Time magazine and has written for the Independent, and the Sunday Times.
The win means he can expect an upturn in sales and added recognition.

The five other shortlisted authors can also expect a rise in sales
Adiga, who had been given odds of 7/1 to win before the ceremony, dedicated the award to "the people of New Delhi".

The award, which honours the best fiction written in English by an author from the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth, was handed out at the Guildhall in London on Tuesday.

(taken from

Other Indian authors to have won the Booker Prize are

Salman Rushdie (UK/India)

Arundhati Roy

Kiran Desai

Several Indian authors have have shortlisted for the prize over the years.

Faces of Prayer

Matthew 18:3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. I took this photo at the Kidz Fest.Look at the different expressions.
Specially the little boy with a finger in his mouth and eyes half open.

Thank you Pia for a gift from the Phillipines. Autumn comes late in India, so I saved it for the season to change.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Indo-Canadian Thanksgiving

My sister Anjali and BIL Prem celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving Indian style in NB
Their friends , Ruan and Kumari were visiting them with their three children

My innovative sister who is a very good cook made a tandoori turkey for the weekend celebration.
It must have looked like this picture I got from the web.Tandoori cooking uses Indian spices to bake fowl. I wish I was there at the Thanksgiving table.
Anju 's next 2 weekends are booked too
1. Saturday morning Men 's Prayer Fellowship followed by brunch.
2. On daughter Mahima 's birthday weekend 9 of her High School girl friends are coming over .
Anju you certainly have you hands full with your teaching too.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian Friends