Category Archives: Delhi

Shhhhhpppplaaaaaaashhhhhhhh!

There are few things more irritating than people in cars splashing muddy water all over you. The situation can be even more annoying, if its raining & to avoid the pelting rain you’ve taken shelter in a bus stand and a callous driver drives by, making the most of the puddle in front of the bus shelter.

The helplessness of the situation, a combination of a bruised ego, a wet attire and an indifferent ‘prick’ driving away usually leaves you livid & a choice combination of expletives most assuredly follows the trail of the car

You feel offended, you feel violated. You’re wondering how in the world does a guy like that even manage a driving license. You might even choose to get even more personal: maybe it was inadequate parenting or maybe schooling…Whatever it be, the guy had to be lacking, right?

I, who consider myself to be fairly civilized, enlightened in the ways of ‘being human’, cultivated in etiquette, was an unfortunate participant in a similar episode that played out on a wet Sunday afternoon…and, however brash this may sound, I was the driver!

With Dengue playing out like one of the original 10 plagues, my mother-in-law (MIL) was also not spared & she had to be admitted in the emergency room of a hospital, not because it was an emergency but that it was the only remaining room in the hospice. As a dutiful & loving son-in-law, my core responsibilities included lending emotional & moral support to the family & ferrying food & family members between home & the hospital.

It was the responsibility of ferrying food that I was fulfilling when this regrettable incident occurred.  With the rain creating rivulets on my windscreen & the wipers working overtime, striking the optimum view was tricky. However, with the hazard indicators switched on & speed reduced to a snail’s pace, I was pretty confident that I was the epitome of a model citizen.

As I approached the turn to the hospital, I could see a number of people taking shelter in the bus stand. This crowd included people who were genuinely waiting for the bus, bikers (even their raincoats weren’t good enough for this downpour & frankly, I prefer having the bikers off the road!) & people who generally didn’t want to get wet. All huddled together in the temporary refuge, they made a sorry sight. While I did notice the bus shelter & the crowd, owing to the relatively clearer side windows, I failed to notice ‘The Puddle’ right in front of me (refer: rivulets, right balance etc..).

The Puddle, if it were a motion picture would have the baseline “The colossal”. Long & deep, thanks to the stellar efforts by the municipal corporation to harvest rain water, this mass of water was ‘clear & present danger’.

The reduced speed, originally meant to be a driving aid, now became my worst enemy. The car’s pace was optimum. Optimum enough to splash maximum water on all the unsuspecting bystanders. While the written equivalent of a splash is ‘Splash!’, this particular splash might be more aptly put into sound as ‘shhhhhpppplaaaaaaashhhhhhhh’

As I slowly passed through the length of the bus shelter, I could hear cries of shock ,of being confounded at the monstrosity of what I had done. An entire mass of people who thought they had made the best decision in that moment of time had obviously been proved wrong.The very space that was meant to be a refuge from the rain had become a mass shower room for them. While I hope some may have welcomed the unexpected splash, I am assuming most would not have been open to the idea.

Looking back through the rear window, I tried to get a glance at the mess I had created but was granted mercy by the very rains that had led to the creation of the puddle. Slightly perturbed but largely nonchalant, I continued my way.

PS: I humbly apologize to all who were at the receiving end of the splash. I have also learnt not to be too judgmental of driving errors, especially ones which involve splashes

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The Honorable Bee!

the Bee Hive

“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.” – St. John Chrysostom

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Tweets of Thanks!

Indian Silverbill

A whistle here ;a whistle there

A call here;a call there

Freely we chirp; in this wilderness so bare

Raising our tweets in thanks

To Our Lord God, of us, who takes care 

Black Redstart

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Let it Rain

Monsoon Moon

Is tonight the night when our thirst will finally be quenched?

Is tonight the night when this scorched earth will finally be refreshed?

Oh Oracles of prosperity!Let it rain, let it rain we pray

 Pour out your hearts on us without further delay

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One Evening

A Delhi evening

“Kaw” crowed the crow to his partner

“Isn’t it a beautiful evening? the air’s so fresh & the sky’s so clear”

“Kaw Kaw”, agreed the partner

“Life has given us yet another reason to cheer”

“Out of my way” bellowed the frustrated fellow

“I have mails to send and deadlines to meet

Meetings to attend & tasks to complete

No time to be patient & slow

My precious time I cannot forego

I have no time for this beautiful evening

Till money dost come, my life can have no meaning”

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The War of the Pigeons

Rock Pigeons perched on the Madrasa Dome

“Onward we shall march”, announced the general to his peers

“They destroyed our abode, now we shall destroy theirs”

“How?” questioned the little soldier

“Their monuments are ugly but unyielding

Their cities crowded but well guarded”

“Chase them away” suggested the Peckers

“hmm” murmured the General

“Build nests into their edifices” suggested the Nesters

“hmmm” responded the General

“Poop shall we?” queried the Bombers

“Our acids will decay their edifices

They will rot in disease with our feces”

“Poop shall we?” inquired the Bombers again

“Poop we shall” confirmed the General

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Precious Sleep

The Sleeping Pups

Precious sleep precious sleep

Thy last few moments are oh most cherished

Wish thy dreams were the reality to keep

Life in this world would then be so easily accomplished

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We Three Chicks

Taken at Deer Park, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi

Geese Chicks

We three chicks of orient are

hatched this week into a world so bizarre

Intriguing & Perplexing as it all seems to us now,

We won’t glance up till our folks dost allow

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The Madrasa

Firuz Shah Tughlaq’s Madrasa at Hauz Khas (established 1352)

The Ruins of the Madrasa

I was once the glowing pride of emperors

The coveted abode of seeking scholars

Today, as I lie in ruins, may my crumbling edifice continue to inspire

an education that the world treasures forever

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Which School are you from?

I am a Syrian Christian and being one exposes you to rituals and customs which are very typical to the church. One such ritual, called the Hoosoyo, is associated with the ‘Holy Communion’. The Holy Communion is a sacrament where the ‘body and blood of Christ’ (bread and wine/water) is shared with believers who see it as eternal life being bestowed upon them through the union with Jesus Christ.

In the Syrian Christian tradition, one must have not had food or water for at least 6 hours prior to receiving the communion and it is mandatory to undertake Hoosoyo to be able to partake in the Holy Communion. Though the term sounds complicated it involves the priest touching your forehead, saying a prayer of forgiveness on your behalf and making the sign of the cross. The entire process takes 5-10 seconds. The process of handing out the Holy Communion, on the other hand, is a more elaborate process with the Church curtains opening and ‘Achen’ coming down the ‘madbaha’ (altar) to give out bread and water to the believers who are standing in a line with there hands folded in prayer and reverence

As a 4 year old, the elaborate process of communion never ceased to amaze me. The entire church joining together in singing praises while Achen (the vicar), would pick a piece of the brown bread and toss it into the receiver’s mouth. The receiver would then go onto have water and gulp the bread down. (It is believed that not even a single morsel of the ‘body of Christ’ should remain in the mouth). What intrigued me more was that everybody I knew seemed to get a chance to taste that seemingly delicious bread (I didn’t know it was bread at that time) while I would stare and gape at them, puzzled.

A few Sundays of gaping helped me make up my mind. I had to have that elusive bread and it seemed easy to obtain it. I just needed to stand in the line, fold my hands in prayer and open my mouth in front of Achen. My parents did not need to know of this covert operation and everyone would go home happy.

And so the day came when it was to be my turn. the curtains parted and Achen came down the stairs. Looking around and seeing none of my folks around, I slipped into the line, unnoticed. As the line progressed, I became increasingly nervous of facing Achen. Achen knew me and my family quite well and I hoped that he would stick to the business of tossing the bread into my open mouth rather than ask me questions in front of the entire church.

That was not to be. As I arrived in front of Achen, I saw a glint of suspicion in his eyes. He proceeded to ask me ” Have You taken Hoosoyo?”. The Key senses activate their own defense mechanism when they feel that the subject is incapable of handling a situation. My ears refused to hear that question and instead, interpreted the question as ‘Which School are you From?”, a question with the ready answer ‘St. Columba’s School’.

Achen wanted to say more but eventually had to succumb to the pressure of feeding many more needy, open mouths and I made a dash for the safety of the church crowd….A great escape indeed.

ps: The incident was eventually conveyed to my parents, who being responsible Sunday School teachers themselves, ensured a sound scolding followed by a strict warning was implemented.

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