Tag Archives: India

The Lilies of the ground!

Flowers in the windPhotograph taken at Windflower resorts, Pondicherry, India

Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith!:

Luke 12:27-28

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Be the Light to this World!

The Lighthouse

Photograph taken in Pondicherry, India

An inspiring illustration of shining Christ’s light to others occurred during WWII, when the Russians began their counter march against the Nazis. A young Nazi soldier found himself behind Russian lines.  He was bleeding from a gun wound in one arm.  Bewildered and afraid, he found his way into the home of a poor Russian peasant. She welcomed him into her humble home, and offered him food and rest.  He did not understand why she was so kind, since he was her enemy, but before he departed, he noticed how she would stand before her icons of Christ and the saints, praying. This soldier recalled years later, “I could see God living in that home, even though I had never known Him before. Before this, I believed that God didn’t exist, but that the State was my god. And this false god taught me to hate those who didn’t believe as I believed. Although I had never even seen a Bible in my life, no less read one, from the witness of that woman, I came to realize that God was alive because I saw Him in the life of that poor peasant woman.”

A short time later, as this same soldier attempted to find his way back to the German lines, he became lost and returned to the home of this friendly Russian woman, only to discover that her home had been burned down because of what she had done to help an enemy soldier. Well, the soldier did eventually find his way back to the German side, but he found his way back as a new man! He had seen the light of God! And following the war, he decided to dedicate his life to serving Christ and trying to share the light of Christ with others, all because he witnessed God’s love and mercy through this humble Christian woman! – This story is an excerpt of a sermon from here

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven – Matthew 5:14-16

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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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Have Courage my friend!

Amidst the waves

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Photograph taken at Pondicherry,India

“Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honor your patience.” St. John of the Ladder 

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The Last Generation

Marine Drive

Photograph taken at Marine Drive, Mumbai, India

The Holy Fathers were making predictions about the last generation. They said ‘What have we ourselves done?’ One of them, the great Abba Ischyrion replied, ‘We ourselves have fulfilled the commandments of God.’ The others replied, ‘And those who come after us, what will they do?’ He said, ‘They will struggle to achieve half our works.’ They said, ‘And to those who come after them, what will happen?’ He said, ‘THE MEN OF THAT GENERATION WILL NOT ACCOMPLISH ANY WORKS AT ALL AND TEMPTATION WILL COME UPON THEM; AND THOSE WHO WILL BE APPROVED IN THAT DAY WILL BE GREATER THAN EITHER US OR OUR FATHERS.’ – From ‘The Sayings of the Desert Fathers’

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Reaching the Port!

Men on a boat

 

“To reach a port we must set sail –

Sail, not tie at anchor

Sail, not drift.”

                                                                   ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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God’s ray of Love

Light on water

As God illumines all people equally with the light of the sun, so do those who desire to imitate God let shine an equal ray of love on all people. For wherever love disappears, hatred immediately appears in its place. And if God is love, then hatred is the devil. Therefore as one who has love has God within himself, so he who has hatred within himself nurtures the devil within himself.  – St. Basil the Great, Homily on Asceticism

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Be Exalted! Oh God!

Soaring High

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let thy glory be over all the earth!
That thy beloved may be delivered,
    give help by thy right hand, and answer me!

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The Orthodox Faith – Praying for the departed

Moving around the cemetery with the censer

Achen(Father/Priest) with the censer

Achen with the censer

Achen  moving around the cemetery praying for each of the departed family members

Achen passing on blessings to everyone

Achen passing on blessings on culmination of the prayers

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Up in the Himalayas: Manali

The soul is at peace, the mind is at rest

It’s Where humans live in peace and nature unveils its best

Snow capped Peaks

Russet Sparrow

Lizard

Weaver

bird in the hills

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