Saturday, 31 October 2009

Make Me A Channel of Your Peace

The spindle and desk of Gandhi in his Sabarmati
Ashram museum in Gujarat

I read a post by my blog friend SHERRI
and the prayer of St Francis came to mind.
I learnt this hymn as a child and sung
it in church and Christian meetings .
The words are the true essence of our faith
Sometimes when I receive a gift from
someone, my mother is quick to remind me
to either give it away or save it for so and so.
But I am selfish , I don 't
often do it.
When I got a bag of candy my Mom wanted
me to save it for others.
But I was too weak to do that.
It is my prayer that I
incorporate the words of this song
more fully into my life.
(the above photographs have been taken from the web)

A prayer of St Francis of Asisi
Make me a channel of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love, Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord, And where there's doubt, true faith in You Make me a channel of your peace, Where there's despair in life let me bring hope, Where there is darkness - only light, And where there's sadness, ever joy Oh Master, grant that I may never seek, So much to be consoled as to console, To be understood, as to understand, To be loved, as to love with all my soul Make me a channel of your peace, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, In giving to all men that we receive, And in dying that we're born to eternal life

Friday, 30 October 2009

Let the Games Begin

Thank you for for prayers and good wishes friends. I was up and about today and able to go out on business.
Yesterday we watched the grand opening of the Queen 's Baton Relay in preparation for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games Oct 2010. It was a gorgeous and colorful ceremony broadcast live from Buckingham Palace . Indian sparkle and glitter against the backdrop of British pomp and pageantry. Fun to watch.

Dance, dresses and drums from different parts of India virtually turned the majestic Victoria Memorial into a mini-India as the countdown for the 2010 Commonwealth Games began with Queen Elizabeth handing over the baton to President Pratibha Patil.The relay kicked off from the Buckignham Placae in London. A bunch of British students also joined the celebrations chanting the Sanskrit verses from ancient Rig Veda.As the sanskrit prayers speaking of unity and humanity of these students from St James school revereberated in the forecourt of the Buckingham Palace, the crowd joined in withencouraging cheers and claps for their effort.The students provided the perfect icing on the vibrant function by performing Indian classical dance forms Bharatnatyam, Kuchupudi and folk dances like Bhangra and Dandia in front of Queen Elizabeth and President Pratibha Patil.Eleven athletes from India are part of the big show. Queen Elizabeth handed over the Baton to President Pratibha Patil. While England is represented by the legendary Lord Sebastian Coe, Katie Holmes, and Monty Panesar, India's bearers are its three medallists from the Beijing Olympics, former cricket captain Kapil Dev and Sania Mirza among others.

(Below -India 's legendary sprinter Milka Singh

also known as The Flying Sikh.

He is 80 years old now and he has won 77 times in

80 international competitions)But all eyes are on Suresh Kalmadi and Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell who have had differences over the utility of Federation CEO Mike Hooper."We always have issues, but we're talking," says Mike Fennell."There are issues but we will manage... as long as I can play tennis that's fine," says tennis star Sania Mirza. "It was my childhood dream to meet the queen," says Olympic medal winner Abhinav Bindra."It's interesting, you're part of your country and doing something as big as this, it's a great event, I will be happy and proud," says Kapil Dev, former India cricket captain."It's going to be fantastic, it's a matter of great honour and pride and I'm glad I'm here," says Misha Grewal, former national Squash Champion.Queen Elizabeth handing over the baton to President Pratibha Patil marks the journey that will last over 11 months before ending on October 3 next year in New Delhi.

(courtesy NDTV)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

I took pictures of some buildings
on one of my rickshaw rides.
This is a popular hotel.

New buildings are coming up everywhere

A Bank and the Lakme Beauty Salon
The Salon is so expensive that one has to visit the Bank before stepping in.
So its a good idea to have them
in close proximity of each other.
A new shopping complex under construction.
The whole day today I was not well.
Had terrible stomach cramps and felt cold and sore.
Seems like some kind of virus.
Sheeba is not used to seeing me laying down
so she was quite curious as to what 's wrong.
She kept pawing and licking me
and kept me company at the foot of the bed.
I am some better now.
The cramps are milder.
But still don 't feel too good.
Oh well, its the change of season!

Monday, 26 October 2009

A Father' s Story

Last week on my way back from shopping I got onto a rickshaw
and noticed the driver 's clothes were dreadfully torn and dirty. On reaching home I asked him why he was wearing
clothes which were falling apart.
(Most rickshaw pullers are shabbily dressed but
their clothes don 't have holes in them.)
Perhaps, on finding a person willing to hear his tale of woe,
the poor old man related his misery to me.
He belongs to a village 100 kms away from the city.
His one and only son has been missing since the past one year.
He has searched high and low for him and reported the matter to the police
but no one has cooperated
and he has been left floundering in this hapless condition.
He owns a small farm in the village.
When his daughter in law suddenly died his son
decided to become an ascetic or sadhu.
The father built a small temple for his son
where he could perform his religious duties.
The village headman wanted the piece of land on which
the temple was situated.
Whe family refused to part with it.
(the father believes ) the powerful headman
had his son abducted and killed in order to grab his land.
The woebegone man showed me a sheaf of official papers ,
complaints and applications which he has
moved to search for his missing son.
He is completely shattered and broken down.
He also lost his wife.
Nowhere to go he came to live in the city with his grandson.
They are most probably pavement dwellers
because he was unable to tell me where his home was..
I was so moved by his story I gave him double the normal fare
and a bag full of clothes .
I told him I will pray to my Guru Jesus
to provide help for him.
As he disappeared into the night with a
joyful heart I thought of
so many other people like him who have lost
their near and dear ones -perhaps their
only crutch in old age.
What can I do to bring succor to an aching soul.

I am reading this book in which the author deals with
a Biblical approach towards poverty.
On the back cover it says;
Serving the poor is a Christian virtue but there are a host of ways
in which we can act.Such an agenda needs a wide biblical vision
in the light of the massive problem of poverty.
For the author Dewi Hughes says that the kingdom of God with
Jesus Christ as king is fundamental to this vision.
The book argues that the church as the visible community of God is given the task of blessing the poor. Asserting that what people do
flows from what they believe.
Hughes explores the place of religion in perpetuating poverty.
From this foundation kingdom principles are applied to the worlds of
economics, politics, ethnic identity and gender.
Finally the author considers two issues
that threaten wide scale poverty in the future
namely, population growth and
degradation of environment.
THe Hindustan Times newspaper says ; in India the poverty line
is set to rise and the number of the poor is going to swell .
38% of India 's population will dip below the poverty line instead of the present
28.5 %.
On the other hand Indian economy is burgeoning
and the number of millionaires is increasing everyday.
The gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
The task before us as a nation and as individuals is phenomenal.

Beauty for brokenness,hope for despair
Lord, in your suffering world, this is our prayer.
Bread for the children, justice,joy, peace,
Sunrise to sunset your kingdom increase.

God of the poor, friend of the weak.
Give us compassion we pray,
Melt our cold hearts, let tears fall like rain,
Come change our love from a spark to a flame.
Dewi Hughes

Friday, 23 October 2009

Mahima 's Special Day

I enjoy watching cookery shows on TV.
Its not just the recipes,
most of them are too complicated &
impractical or use unavailable expensive ingredients.
Its the technique of cooking I like to observe.
Some of our cookery shows are very light hearted and full of comedy.
I enjoy that.
Earlier this week I saw an Italian model make
stuffed aubergines. Actually she stood there looking stunning
while the Indian chef did all the hard work.
I liked the recipe.
So today I made an Indian version
Italian style stuffed aubergines.
Turned out quite good.
Mom can' t go to McDonald 's
so I got her chicken burgers.
Today is my niece Mahima 's 17th birthday.

Happy birthday Mahima.
Her name means Glory or God 's Praise.

She is a very talented lass. Excellent at school work.
Likes to paint and cook
and is very tender towards children.
I have 4 nephews and only one niece.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

A Day at the Doc 's

We went for Mama 's doctor appointment
this afternoon.
Waited 3 hours for him to see us.
But when he finally examined mama 's eyes he said she doesn 't need an immediate surgery. The cataract has to mature.
He has asked her to come again for an eye glass test.
Since the eye surgeon is my cousin,
we had the privilege of waiting comfortably in his living room.
His dog Dash or Dashing is very cute and friendly.
I took photos of him sprawled on the sofa. He lay down at my feet and asked me to pet him.
I wonder what his breed is.
This is a nice glass topped table
with a driftwood stand.

To pass the time I walked around in the
garden and took some photos.

It was a nice day.
We had our lunch at 5pm.

The doctor 's wife teaches English Literature
at the University.
She has taught all of us sisters.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

How smart we are

Watch this video

Two Prayer Requests
Tried to fix an appointment with an eye
surgeon to examine my mother for her cataract surgery. He gave me an appointment for 1 pm tomorrow (Oct 22nd)
Please pray for my mother, she is a little anxious.
In a few days time we are going to start repairing another section of our church wall which fell during the monsoon. Please pray for this phase of our Nehemiah Project. Specially for God 's provision in the midst of skyrocket ting costs.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Kuch Cook Hota Hai -Weekend Cooking

With festivities in the air
and Sonia 's 9th wedding anniversary on the 18th,
I made some special food to
regale Mummy and myself. This is beginning a Ziploc omelet.
Stir up veggies of your choice with cheese herbs etc with eggs
and pour it into a quart size Ziploc freezer bag.
Boil it for 15 minutes.

And voila!
Here your lovely oil free omelet.

These are dahi vadas.
Lentil dumplings soaked in
a yogurt sauce.

Matta Paneer which is a curry
peas and cottage cheese in a tomato based gravy.
Fresh green peas are too expensive
so I used the dried ones which are
soaked overnight.

And this is my very first pumpkin pie.
All my life I had been reading about this pie and
looking at its pictures and never tried baking it.
My bloggie friend PENNI sent me the spice mixture and the lovely autumn decorations you can see here and candy.
So I just had to bake my very first pumpkin pie from the scratch.
I cooked and pureed the pumpkin and baked
the pie shell.
It was fun and an anti depressant
as I was feeling low last weekend.

Thank you Penni for being my inspiration.
In the first photo you can see a B/W
photo of my parents
taken a day after their wedding.
This video I could entitle
Sheeba and the firecrackers.
Its not much of a video, just Sheeba barking at the crackers.

I took this video from YouTube it will give you an idea
of Diwali fireworks in an
affluent neighbourhood.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Shop till you Drop on Dhanteras

Yesterday was Dhanteras the first celebration
of the five day festival of Diwali or Deepawali I went out on a short walk
to watch the eager shoppers
and take photographs.

These are street stalls selling
decorations and religious items for puja.
Everyone was in a hurry to get their bag full.

Down this post I have provided excerpts from Wikipedia
which will give you more information
about Dhanteras

A stall selling puffed rice or lie-lava
and sugar animals which are offered to deities and eaten
during this festival.

Clay idols of gods and goddesses

These are baskets of raffia grass
you can buy them for your house or as gifts.
They are very pretty

This is an attractive wall piece.

More than a 100 years ago
Dr Sam Higginbottom and his wife Ethel,Presbyterian
missionaries came to Allahabad to establish
an Agricultural college
(which is a very large university now)
Ethel taught the women of the nearby villages how
to make baskets with raffia grass so that
they could get income by selling them.
This trade is flourishing till today.

Decorative items made with clay and painted.
Little houses, pots and toys
all fashioned with clay.
Children of all religions must
have them to play with.
When we were little our parents used to
buy them for us.

These are earthen diyas or oil lamps.

Lighted shops to attract customers
This is a jewellery shop

Its raining lights.
This shop beckons you to
come and buy gold and silver from them on this auspicious occasion.
This is a short video to give you a feel
of the atmosphere.
Don 't the vehicles honk loudly?

Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival. The festival, also known as "Dhantrayodashi" or "Dhanwantari Triodasi", falls on the auspicious thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Ashwin (October/November).[1]
The word Dhanteras, Dhan stands for wealth. On Dhanteras, the "Owl" form of the Goddess Laxmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to customary purchases of precious metals on this day
To mark the auspicious day, houses and business premises are renovated and decorated. Entrances are made colorful with traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. To indicate her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the nights.
On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck. "Laxmi-Puja" is performed in the evenings when tiny Diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. "Bhajans"-devotional songs- in praise of Goddess Laxmi are also sung.
"Naivedya" of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. There is a peculiar custom in Maharashtra to lightly pound dry coriander seeds with jaggery and offer as Naivedya.
In villages, cattle are adorned and worshiped by farmers as they form the main source of their income. In south India, cows are offered particularly special veneration because they are thought of as incarnations of the Goddess Lakshmi.