Saturday, December 25, 2010

What A Wonderful Christmas!


I had the most amazing, the most blessed, the most exciting and the most memorable Christmas season ever! Had quite a few first-timers this time!

To begin with, I had my first ever Carol singing competition early this month. It kept me really busy with the practise sessions and all. After all, I was incharge of my paltan from my parish! (pssst...so now you know the reason why I din't write all this while!) We had marathon non-stop fun filled singing sessions right upto the D-Day! It was all so much fun! Singing the wrong notes, then correcting them only to sing the wrong ones all over again! Deciding on the costume, the message, the standing arrangement and a million other things. And - at the end of it - we LOST! But it was alright; we aren't bitter losers, but cheerful players. It din't diffuse our over charged batteries one bit!

The second first timer was going for Carol rounds door to door till 2am in the early morn! Yes, you read it right, this shameless Christian has never gone around singing "Joy to the world" home to home ever before! *slap* But, better late than never, right? And to make up for my lack of enthusiasm for the last 24 years of my life, I did something extra - *surprise everyone* - I played the mighty drums! Now before you picture a bald-head-scarfed-sivamanied-me banging heavily on some round metal plates, lemme tell you; I din't go that overboard. It was a side drum (the ones to be hung around the neck) that I played. And I must say - I throughly enjoyed beating the shit out of someone (if I may say so!) and I did a pretty good job too (not my words, but the co-carolers said so...ask them if you doubt my skills!) It was all good until the side effects appeared. Well, I sprained my neck and couldn't turn right nor left, giving my forever wandering eyes a much needed break! Hmmm, to sum it up; it was really good! And I am glad I went caroling before I hit the grave!

You thougt my Christmas is over? Nah! There's one more first timer - and the best of all of it - the icing on the cake as you may call it! We, as a part of the youth club in my Church went to an orphanage nearby and spent the beautiful Christmas evening with the differently abled inmates. I don't wish to call them in the medical terms, because I din't see any of them as being a little loose in the head; but each one of them were unique and talented in their own sweet little way. One of them thought he was the asli AB and the Amitabh out there was just a nakli! He sang & danced to popular hindi tracks with so much of enthusiasm and frevor that it put my 24year old self to shame! And if you think he was some little Johnny, lemme tell you he must have been atleast some 50years of age! Look at me! *slap* Then met another precious creation of God - this masterpiece could tell the time correctly, be it any time of the day! And mind you, this man may never have seen a watch his entire life (he is blind) They all had their problems and worries, but it din't seem so. All of them were so full of life and energy! It really put me to shame. The joy on their faces as we sang Carols was priceless! It was indeed my bestest Christmas ever!

Probing inwards I realised that at times (most of the time) we cuss and curse and fret and crib about that one little thing that God hasn't given us yet. And we forget all the blessings He's already packed us with. The visit to the orphanage gave me a new insight to life, it made me probe deeper, made me look more inside and less outside, it taught me that real happiness is in making others happy and real joy is in giving and not receiving, it made me value my life and my health and my loved ones a 'lil more. It made me love me a 'lil deeper. It made me more a human. It made me, Me.

It made me realise -
There's a world outside your window, and it's a world of dreaded fear,
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears.
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom.

It gave the meaning to the lines -
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you!
And it made me ask -
Do they know it's Christmas time at all??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Do You Rather Wanna Be?


Back in the good ol' days I learnt a song at school which I chirpingly sung and hummed along - The Butterfly Song. The words went like this -

If I were a butterfly, I'd thank you Lord for giving me wings
If I were a robin in a tree, I'd thank you Lord that I could sing
If I were a fish in the sea, I'd wiggle my tail and I'd giggle with glee
But I just thank you father for making me, me.

For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me.

If I were an elephant, I'd thank you Lord by raising my trunk
If I were a kangaroo, You know I'd hop right up to you
If I were an octopus, I'd thank you Lord for my fine looks
But I just thank you Father for making me, me.

For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me.

If I were a wiggly worm, I'd thank you Lord that I could squirm
If I were a fuzzy wuzzy bear, I'd thank you Lord for my fuzzy, wuzzy hair
If I were a crocodile, I'd thank you Lord for my great smile
But I just thank you Father for making me, me.

For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me.


Those were the days when the cares were few; fun was more and laughter was all around. Those were the days when I really loved being 'ME'. Those were the days when I meant the lyrics as I sung along!

But today, so many cares, so many worries, I wonder if God's idea of making me 'ME' was all that good! Of course, He is all powerful, all knowing, all wonderful, and all of that and I really don't mean to question His mighty creativity skills - but wait, is 'ME' a real good idea? Maybe to Him, but not much to me. I'd rather be a Bappi and swim stretching my fins in the in my small lil world called the fish-bowl with nothing to do but pout my mouth and suck in water and throw out whenever I'm a lil full. After all what do fishes do all day long?!?! Or I'd be better of a bird, singing all day and flying from tree to tree around the wide, wide world with no extra flying charges or boarding passes or seat belts or nosey passengers. And maybe even having the sadistic pleasure of shitting on all those people I've always wanted to!

Whoa! That sounds so liberating! Only if I were a bird! Then maybe I'd gladly and assertively sing - I thank you Father, for making me, ME!

Meanwhile, all my adversaries can rejoice at the idea that I ain't a bird!

Till then, lemme think of some other ways of shitting on people!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pet-o-Mania!


One more birthday just whizzed by! This time was different. Unlike the other ones, I bought myself a gift! No, not the boring kapdas! But I got myself a handsome pair of twins! Now before your thoughts race past the roofs, lemme tell you what I actually got myself!

Always wanted pets from a long, long time! Tired of waiting for someone to gift me; I bought myself one. No, not a cat or a birdy or a puppy; but a guppy! Yep, guppy fish! Bought two of them. And thou shalt be called Bappi and Gappi. They are two tiny fishes of the underwater fauna, nesting in a polythene bag that I got them in. I din't really plan to buy them when I set off on my journey. Loitering around the busy bazaars, I walked in a tiny aquarium bargaining and clobbering about fishes and fins and walked out with a bowl, two tiny-tots, some liquid and fish food. All for less than 200 bucks! Cheap no? What else do you expect from a eternally miserly idiot like me!?!? And then began my gestation period!

Carrying them in my shaky hands was as if I was having them in my bachha pouch! Phew! I was so damn nervous as I tugged them along the busy streets. My senses were extra alert and sensitive. Every screeching bike or a honking rick seemed a nightmare and I was worried about the trauma it would cause my babies! I guess this is what motherhood does to you! Hmmm, I did start feeling like a brooding hen; only I had fins instead of wings under me! Boarding the bus seemed another herculean for the mother of two in tow! Against all odds, I finally reached home safe home and let my babies have their first glimpse of their new world! I wonder if they were they were scared or excited. I din't hear them cry; but they were thriving with life for sure!

And now as I pen this, they are circling their small round world, round and round. A lil scared as they are as I knock their glass, I know they will learn to love mama with time. I really hope they do!

At 24, I don't really know to look after myself; I dunno how do I bring up my babies! But it's worth a try, no? At least I won't have diapers to change nor potty train!

P.S. Flashback of the journey, I now realise I walked out with a dreaming wish, but that wish remained just that - a dream. Maybe better luck next time!

Till then, lemme fish!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Love Story


From this moment life has begun, From this moment you are the one.
Right beside you is where I belong. From this moment on.


Wondering why am I talking about love at the time of this brewing summer heat of April? Well, it's 'coz I've been seeing this one love story blooming and growing for a very long time now. And so I thought of penning it down. Here it goes.

In Kerala, there was a tall, fair and handsome lanky guy with thick dark locks who lived with his parents and went to a nearby school. A 'lil away from his home, somewhere lived a dark, slim and beautiful girl who was blessed with the typical long, dark, thick black curly Keralite hair. She went to the same school as the he. But, they never met! She passed by his home daily on her way to school. But, they never met! And in summers I guess she may have stopped at his doorstep for a glass of water. But they never met!

Both he and she came from very poor families and so had to leave Kerala immediately after their schooling to fend for themselves. He went to Madras first and then to Bhopal and then to Jhansi and then later to Bombay. She came to Bombay. But, they never met! In an unknown place they tried real hard learning the language and the people. Later they got a job and got very busy with the work and everything else. But, they never met! How could they meet? But, God had some wonderfully beautiful plans in His mind for them. When they were of marriageable age, their parents who were still in Kerala started looking out for them.

She knew what she wanted : A tall guy! He didn't know what he wanted! Finally the families met. She said, "He's tall, but too thin". He said, hmmm well I don't know what he said! But I bet it must have been love at first sight for him. She was such a beauty after all! And then? And then, they got married. It was a typical arranged marriage. It was on Sunday, the 14th of April 1985.

It's been 25 years today. I am seeing this couple daily for the last 23 and a half years of my life. And I still see love in their eyes. So much love! He's still tall, fair and handsome, but not lanky anymore! His salt and pepper hair are thinning slowly revealing a nice round football ground right there in the middle of his head. She is still dark, thin and beautiful, just like yesterday. Her locks have a soft glow of gold in them. He and she are still so much in love, even after all this time. And together, they paint a picture of where I want to be tomorrow. They have been together in sickness and in health, in joys and sorrows, in the ups and the downs, she was always there for him; and he for her.

The Bible says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

I see this verse personified in their eyes and their lives.

He and she are my beautiful parents. And today they have turned silver together, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder; sharing their life, sharing their thoughts, sharing their emotions, sharing their dreams, sharing their fears, sharing one another. I love you mom and dad. God bless you this day and always.


Every now and then, I tease my dad for having married a karathe penne (dark girl) when all the matrimonials scream "...wanted a FAIR girl..." But I know that their union was never a mistake or foolishness or anything else, it is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. My mom and dad were meant to be... Thank you Jesus for my beautiful parents. I could never thank God enough for them, no never!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Listen


So many times in life you're at crossroads where you do not know which way to go. Sometimes this confusion is not because you have too many options in hand, but most times it is 'coz you do not really know what you really, really want. And this can be frustrating at times, most times, if you get what I am saying.

And then you feel like tossing a coin upwards, or look for soothsayer, or browse through the newspapers and read what the stars have to say (sic), or just look for a serendipitious sign around. Makes sense? No, at_the_least for me! How could you look around and outside for something that should come naturally to you from within? You will know when it comes from within, trust me. You don't need a someone to rant out your future. Your heart will tell you that. Your heart will tell you exactly what you need to do, where you need to go, what you need to love, what you need to let go; all you need to do is just listen without prejudice. And listen patiently to that little voice of God that speaks in your heart. That feeble, fragile and faint little voice called conscience. Most people do not realise that conscience needs to be handled with care. Most people forget if you do not listen to him now, he will hold his peace forever. And that my dear friend, is not so a good thing to live with. Without that little voice of God still beating in our hearts we would be animals on twos. I bet God doesn't want that to happen. There is still time, it is not too late, yet. Don't let him die! No, not yet. 'Coz if he dies, you will too, eventually. And I bet you don't want that miserable death, do you? Don't you dare disobey or ignore him for long. Who knows, he may be dead by tomorrow. And you may never know what may befall you. Sounds scary? I know it does.

Folks, listen - to the sound from deep within.

This reminds me of a hymn we sung in school:

Listen, let your heart keep seeking,
Listen, to his constant speaking,
Listen to the spirit calling you.
Listen, to his inspiration,
Listen, to his invitation,
Listen to the spirit calling you.

He's in the sound of the thunder,
In the whisper of the breeze.
He's in the might of the whirlwind,
In the roaring of the seas.




Friday, February 5, 2010

A Walk To Remember



I recently saw the movie "A Walk To Remember" and it got me thinking and questioning my existence and my life here on earth. What are here for? Just to be born one day and then die and fade away some other day? Or is there a little more than that? Are we here just by chance? Or are we here to fulfill a deeper calling? What are we here for really?

In the movie Mandy Moore plays Jamie Sullivan, a young devout Christian girl whose ambition is "to witness a miracle" - which she does - by transforming and changing and beautifying the life of the young reckless 'lil hero, Landon Carter played by Shane West. She changes him from the inside-out. The once upon a time high school bully is transformed into someone so caring and sensitive, and all that Jamie did was being kind, patient and loving towards him. Something that seems so out of the world idea to most of us. I mean how many of us actually turn the other cheek, huh? How many of us actually walk that extra mile? How many of us still hang on and hold on to the people around us? When was the last time that we did someone something good without expecting anything back in return? I guess, that last time never was. Sad no? And mind you, Jamie was no 'holier than thou' or a 'miss goody two shoes'. She was an ordinary human being, just like us and yet she was different. Different - 'coz she trusted her faith more than her beliefs, her heart more than her mind, her feelings more than her instincts, her love and the goodness in the world than the bad and the filth that we see around.

Its time now to trust the right things and the right people, we need to not let go of a loved one - just yet. Give people one more chance, again and again, over and over. Some of them really need you and your love. Don't just give up that soon, anytime soon. Afterall everyone deserves better.

I too hope to be a Jamie, and then one day when I am done, I hope that my walk here was a walk to remember.

She said, "Promise me you won't fall in love with me.", but that is just what he did.
So, I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I know now you're my only hope.

Sing to me the song of the stars.
Of your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again.
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that you have for me over again.

I give you my destiny.
I'm giving you all of me.
I want your symphony, singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs, I'm giving it back.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Undone Tapestry



So many times in life you feel like things aren't going your way, so many times you just wanna give up - give up on people and give up on yourself and give up on everything else. It's like you have one happy day in your life followed by a million not-so-happy ones. Sounds familiar? I really hope not!!

But what is it that you do on these not so happy, but sad and gloomy days? Well, there's loads that you could. For instance you could sit and cry and howl and bawl about how life isn't fair and how God never bothers to answer your prayers..wow that rhymes!! (I know you didn't notice, so just skim back once more) Or you could go sit in a pub and yank out your sob-story to the least interested bartender and maybe even end up lying in your own puke. Or you could just blow up some smoke upwards, waywardly dreaming and hoping it would puff away your sorrow. Or you could just tie a noose around and say you quit once and for all. Or you could just plan a foolproof way to drop atom bombs on the heads of the ones that caused you pain. And then smile gleefully at your adversary's adversity. There are some people around who secretly hope that Osama would be on their speed-dial. Thank God! Osama's still unreachable to the most of us. But do you really think all this would get the long lost happiness back in your life?? No, it wouldn't. I know, you know.

But then, what do you do in times like these? What do we do when there seems to be a no end to our pains and misery? Well, you could talk to a good friend; or wait - you could talk to your best friend - God. I do both. And then I realized that...

"We're only seeing the ugly underside of the undone tapestry of our lives that God is weaving - from our limited human view. One day, when we're on the other side, we'll see that those weren't just ugly messy threads and loose ends. We just have to wait patiently to get to the other side - God's side to see it from His view. It is beautiful if we don't interfere. Just remember - pray - but don't interfere. You really don't know enough to interfere."

Yes, you really do not know the way that God chooses to work and weave around our lives. What's mess for you could be turned into the most beautiful thing ever in your life! Just wait and be patient. Just stand still and know that God is in control. And remember - have faith in God and know that whatever happens to us is for our own good, it's just that we cannot see it now. And like my friend said, "The clay doesn't ask the potter what are you making?" What makes you think you can? After all, you're smarter than plain clay, no??


Stay Precious and Blessed!

Smile, 'coz God is truly-madly-deeply in love with you, like no one else ever could or would! :)

God Bless.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kerala - God's Own Country!

 
I had been to God's own country - Kerala for three whole weeks and it would really be so not fair if I dint share my travelogue with you. They say, when in Rome do as the Romans do! I say, when in Kerala, do as the Mallus do! So let me list down a few must do things while in Kerala!

1. Go Fishing! Kerala is blessed with so many rivers, lakes, ponds and marsh lands; that you can go fishing anytime and anywhere! Just pop in your fishing rods and there pops out a fish! Also, if you are 20 something pretty young thing, be prepared to be fished (read hit on) by over enthusiastic, over testosteroned, but cute and harmless Mallu fellas! Sadly, I caught none - no fish and no men!

2. Go Bussing! Whoa! The bus rides in Kerala are nothing short of a thrilling roller coaster ride to hell and back (Err back? Conditions apply!) so much that they put Essel World's Thunder and the likes to shame! The bus driver drives the bus as if he has gas trouble-loose motions-leaky bladder-puke all at once and he is rushing to the nearest loo just around the corner! Go bussing after all its not everyday that you get to enjoy such greater thrills of life at such a cheap price! But those walking on the roads- BEWARE! You'll never know what hit you from where! Don't ever walk on Kerala's roads! It is dangerous for you!

3. Go Walking! Ya! ya! I just warned you about walking on Kerala's roads and now I am telling you to walk? Well! Not on the road you dumbo! I am talking about the woods! Kerala is blessed with so much scenic beauty with the woods and the lakes and the trees that walking around this lap of nature is a MUST! Best place to dance around the trees and woo your soon-to-be! Honeymoon bells ringing in your ears, eh?

4. Go Eating! We Keralites can make food out of anything! Trust ME! Take the humble banana plant for instance. We cook the leaves to make koomblapam, the fruit to make the world famous etheka upperi (=banana chips), the raw fruit to make kaa mezhukavarthi, the trunk to make pindi thoran, the flower to make koomb thoran, the roots to make..err I'm not sure if we eat the roots! Will ask mom and get back to you! So! So now you know why we Mallus are taller, stronger, sharper (just like me!) We eat anything and everything!

5. Go Clicking! There is so much variety an colour in Kerala, that it would make your camera go click-click 24/7. Buxom andies in chatta mundu, pot bellies unggles in nothing but a flowing florescent pinng lungis with green flowers drawn in a typical Mohan Lal stlye! And then? And then, there's elephant poop! Have you ever seen an elephant's poop? OH. MY. GAWD! I saw one and that too right in the middle of the road! It was so huge! Trust me! My jaws dropped! It put my entire digestive system to shame! We, I mean us humans can never compete with the elephant in poop business! Buxom aunties, pot bellied uncles, elephant poop - you can't afford to miss nature's oh-so-colorful collage, can you?

I guess you must be raring to go to Kerala now! And trust me, you should! There is a reason Kerala is called God's Own Country! Once you are there, you'll know it!

P.S. I am a true-blue Malayalee penne kocch and I love my Kerala and my fellow Mallus alike!

P.P.S. And thank God that elephants don't fly!! Phew!!


Seri Appol!

Against All Odds


When I first saw you, I saw love.
And the first time you touched me, I felt love.
And after all this time, you're still the one I love.



I have been wanting to play the guitar from a real long, long time - eleven years precisely - if I had to count. And when something is your first love, an eleven-year wait is way too much! Finally after all this time, I got to behold my love in these arms!! My love story is no different. It was love at first sight. I was head over heels in love with my guitar. I used to just keep holding it in my hands, strumming randomly trying to make sweet love (read music) to it!! And then, I got myself enrolled in a music institute, thus solemnizing our wedding. I thought things would be smooth from now on - after all, we were in it together. Then things started getting a little nasty. No, it wasn't me (I am too good to be nasty, no?) It was the guitar! I mean it needed to be dusted, to be tuned, to be strummed, to be what not! And what did I get, huh?? Corns!! My soft fingertips began to harden like those of a blacksmith. There were times we din't see each other for a long, long time (more than anything else - thanks to my hectic schedule). But truly-madly-deeply that I was in love with my guitar, I always went after him; trying to woo him and win his heart just like he won mine! There were times I really missed him so badly. Slowly and steadily the days turned into weeks, weeks into months and at the end of three whole months, my course was over and then came the icing on the cake - a live performance in front of an audience! For someone like me who's never performed before, it was a real dilemma. I started getting thoughts like what if my fingers slipped, what if my chords (both - vocal and guitar) croaked, what if my guitar ran off-tune, and the worst of all - what if my strings just decided to snap all of a sudden?? I had a bunch of what if's before me. Some how, I managed to convince myself to give it a shot and then as the D-day got closer and closer - I fell sick - that too just days before our performance. Could things get worse?? I was running a temperature, had a runny nose, a dry mouth, a spinning head, an aching body and my performance was up in just a few hours!! What was I to do?? Could I just go on stage with the fever, cold, cough, tonsilitis and drowsiness and sing along strumming my guitar, huh?? I had all the reasons to quit. And yet I desperately wanted to be on stage though!! I wanted to prove my love no matter what, against all odds. I din't wanna give up that easily, too soon, not yet!! I drank a few glasses of warm water to soothe my throat, ate something to regain my strength, practised my song over and over again; and finally I went on stage with my guitar. And then, together we forgot our cares and worries and just played and sung together - like one big happy family!! Maybe that is what they mean when they say "in sickness and in health..." we din't give up on each other in our rough times..but we stood by each other and gave it our best shot, against all odds...



"Looks like we made it, look how far we've come my baby!
We mighta took the long, we knew we'd get there someday.
They said, "I bet they'll never make it"; but look at us holding on,
We're still together, still going strong"



video

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