Saturday, September 27, 2014

500 something Grace filled days...

So, here I am after more than a year since I last penned my blog, almost 500 days.. The last 500 days took me ( = us i.e our family) by storm. We were suddenly hit by a strong and sweet hurricane ! Yes, and we loved every bit of it!

June '13: We went down south for some legal work and returned back with little hope but definitely not satiated with the pace with which things were moving in the administration of the government bodies.

July '13: We dismiss a proposal for my sister and then reconsider it after all the talks, prayers and views shared by our close elder people whom we really look upto for advice. The reason why we reconsider the proposal is because the cause of dismissing the proposal was way too peripheral and thought of giving a chance to the guy to prove his mettle of winning over his love's family. The girl's family! Yes, in India you just don't marry the girl, but her family! Pre-wedding it's really a test of time for the poor grooms.

Aug'13:  Oh! On the beginning of the August month, we got hit by the sweet Hungarian hurricane and my sis decides to take the biggest leap of her life so far and jump into the Hungarian storm head on. BTW, the Hungarian storm decided to leave behind his old, well read and marked with pen Hungarian Bible as a souvenir. So, it was decided that whenever he visits our home in India he will read from this Hungarian Bible. Now, this swept my mom off by her feet. It got to! :) However, a tough mom that she is, she laid a condition that he must arrive with his entire troop of family for the wedding. Challenge gets accepted :)

Sep '13: Our agenda gets revised to go South changes. Our usual tight schedule charted for our legal work gets a breather, as we infused our shopping plans for evening in between of our schedule. We had a list to buy attire, accessories et al for the soon-going-to-be-engaged girl.

Oct '13: As per the customs in Indian Christian culture, we organize an event at our home before the soon-going-to-be-broom was going to arrive on the Indian soil. During this, we invite few of our close family friends and pray for the all turn of events that would transpire in the coming days. We conduct a reception at our home with few 25 something guests and then move to a restaurant where we planned out the dinner. The most memorable moment was to see how happy the going-to-be-groom was! His expressions which were so full of happiness from within has got etched in my memories and I'm glad to be part of this special moment of my sister's life.

Nov'13: There were twins ( a boy & a girl) who happen to be children of one of our closest family friend were part of all the events that took place in the past few months and these kids convinced their parents to be allowed to to stay at our home for the diwali holidays with the pretext of saying that they will soon have to let go of my sis from their life once she soon gets married (how cute does that excuse sound  now!). 

Dec'13: The best Christmas I have ever had! The anxiety at our home was swelling along with the happiness, joy and enthusiasm and on top of it with my sis going a bit of Bride-zilla as the wedding date gets finalized to be 6th Feb 2014! The look out for a Hungarian translator in India begins...the toughest part of all the pre-wedding arrangements! Especially, when it is the mandatory clause for him to have his folks here for the wedding as they were fluent in their native language. 

Jan '14: The wedding card, venue, food caterer, church, etc. is being decided with many back and forth calls. Mom paying utmost attention canceling food from different caterers who were adding too much of spice etc to the food. I joined mom in this task, as I became my mom's personal taste checker. I enjoyed having different foods at different caterers.

Feb '14: Feb 2nd the troop arrives at early in the morning around 3:00am. Around 11:00am they arrive at home from their hotel. Since 11:00am of Feb 2nd till date : it has been a rewarding phase of our lives. We are understanding what family actually means. Here's my line: 'Family is like amoeba'. If you are a science student, I'm sure you would guess it right why I said this. :)Our extended Hungarian arm returns back after spending many days here and so does the groom now with a heavy heart leaving his lady behind.

Mar '14: We didn't have the slightest clue of the work being done in Germany. The husband ( note that I'm referring to my sister's husband, as they are the married couple here in this blog post.) does all that it takes with the help of his attorney to talk with the consulate here in Mumbai and get my sister to Germany and viola by the end of March, we get the much awaited call from the consulate of Germany saying that my sis's visa has arrived and she plans to leave on April 3rd. 

The best part of this month: I leave for Munich for some official work on March 30th. Munich, exactly the same city where my sis was going to land on April 3rd.

April '14: My sister is received by her own loveliest people: me & him :) and she is very glad to see me as she thinks that she already had missed me in last 3-4 days. I come back home with loads of memories of we all together. And also, I shouldn't forget the hike in my pay check for this year. April couldn't be less than what I call as blissful.

May'14: A sudden call from the police commissioner of TN to present ourselves in the court for the finalization of the case. This is to our greatest surprise- something that we didn't even dream in our wildest of our dreams. We were so close to the sky literally. We rolled up the sleeves and focusing our energy in getting all the documents etc. ready and flew down south.  

June '14: Getting documents ready for the legal work proceedings and also getting to know more about the summers in Germany. All my energies get focused in completing the course of my Post graduation in Business Administration. I plan to finish my pending exams by Aug 31st.

July '14: We fly back to south and we get the first part of our inheritance- a big chunk. It was as if that all throughout these years, God had kept our inheritance safe and we got the best share of it. Documents submitted for getting processed. In all this to & fro weariness and happiness, I had a constant reminder in my mind about the exams. From July 16th till July 31st, I gave 6 exams and cleared with flying colors. During all of this, my sis & her man join me as the audience in cheering me to complete the exams & assignments as per my set date.

Aug '14: I successfully complete the exam on Aug 24th before my bday, so I have a guilt- free bday with no more worry to finish of my exam and no more guilt that I had to rush in the end because of my procrastination of exams. 

Sep '14: We again fly back down south and we get all the processed documents. I vibexed my sis saying - "Congratulations we won". We legally become the owners of what we were meant to be since so many years..

Now, the basic underlying crux that kept all this roller coaster ride going on in my life was the grace that were constantly seeking for from the Lord. God gave us grace to embrace and accept the folks of beloved son-in-law, despite many challenges that we faced. God gave us enough grace to conduct the wedding and all the proceedings. God gave us enough grace to wait on him patiently and handle the legal hassles that were giving us bouts of desperation in between of almost coming close to an end and losing the entire legal fight. We felt every tiny step of ours was grace filled that took us till here..And now, we again have nothing but to count on His grace to guide us in the coming steps..

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mary's Mamma Mia!

So, yesterday was Mother's day.
My way of making her feel special- giving all respect that's due to her ( which means I ran to shop thrice between twelve in the noon to six in the evening. Without murmuring- that's the big deal here!)

Although my mom was aware of the day being celebrated as Mother's day, still she didn't even ask us to wish her or do something for her. She continued with her Sunday chores- which means spending more time in the kitchen cooking special dishes for my sis who spends her entire weekdays away from home. That's mom. Irrespective of the day, season, time, mood- she continues to give her best to her kids- Selflessly.

Few things about my mom-

Little did she know that the kids of her elder sister that she playfully used to toy around with will one day be entrusted to her with the priced emotional crown of foster motherhood. Earlier, she must have blown thousand kisses to us playfully laughingly, but all of a sudden after being called as "mommy" by us, her kisses changed- they became hard pressed and very close and intimate.

My sister and I were quiet involved in most of the co-curricular activities in school and were always among those getting prizes. During those days I used to observe how other students parents' were more worried and pushy to get their kids on top and how they failed miserably. I specifically remember how a guy named Amit Telang's mom used to even do all her son's project on her own so that he could score more, but unfortunately he never did. My sister and I were skilled in doing our projects on our own and also had a sense of presenting them nicely. All of this with a mom at my home who was quiet simple- who was educated in her regional linguistic which was not applicable in the state that we were living in. Well, I mentioned her weakness first. Her strength - "Encouragement". If we came back from school worried about something new; a skill that we were not equipped with, she would simply quip by saying- "You can do it! No excuses! It's in your genes!". She used to tell how my mom was very talented as a kid in telling stories, painting, sketching, drawing etc. And when it came to studies, she would tell stories of how she had heard (from my biological mom) about my dad being good in sports and  excellent in studies and esp. mathematics as a kid. These stories will make my sis and I go - "Oooooohh............." with our mouth wide open as if some magic spell was cast on us. To top it, she would open Bible and ready out how God's children were born to be the head and not the tail. We would all of a sudden feel like some special kids meant to do something great!  Since primary school we were more of DIY kids! I am proud of my mom making us these kind of kids.

She easily morphed into a father effortlessly. As we were growing up, we never saw her a damsel-in-distress kinds single mother. We saw how for her our protection was of utmost importance and for that she single handedly changed our residence in fortnight's time co-ordinating with our lawyers and the real estate brokers and negotiating a decent deal all by herself. I learned Negotiation.

Growing up, we would keep asking her to tell us more about the love story b/w my mom and dad as we get to hear bits and pieces of the passionate story from our other relatives. She would tell how my dad chased my mom for four long years and how he begged my grand dad to approve. When my maternal grand-dad gave a green signal to my dad but asked him to wait till my mom became 21, from that day on bang till the date my parents wedded, my dad and mom wrote letters to each other.  Interestingly, my dad used to write more letters to my mom. My mom was not able to match my dad in reciprocation as she had an obstacle of handing over the letter in the hands of her younger brother to go and post. My younger maternal uncle was a naughty young chap and would ask for something in return for doing the favour and all this process would consume time and meanwhile, my mom would have already received the second letter of the week from my dad. By telling such stories time and again to us, she instilled the hope that there exists some good interesting men in the world...

As much as she reinforced the hope of true love to us, she also told this awakening truth to me when i got this small crush in my second year of college. She told how in eternity, even the husband and wife won't be husband and wife. Marriage which is an amazing relationship also considered as honorable by God and that which prunes and brings the best in us- When even the best relationship as marriage does not hold its stance in eternity, then a trivial thing as crush is just a futile happenstance which definitely should not be consuming my time and energy and emotions. It's better to be prepared and conscious and not allow one's emotions and feelings to be controlled by another person in whom you have got a simple crush. Result- I never got entangled in any relationships that would have gone that far to have made me cry or depressed.

I would like to go on and on and on about her...but I better pause!

It's such a blessed feeling to know that God has more than compensated in His mysterious ways in the form of one kindness or the other... I've got mom! I feel blessed!

That's her, her and her!!!

With younger bro- her favourite!
With her brood-threes shades of Kids


Doing what she is best at- preparing delicious food loaded with 'love' ingredient.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The BEAUTY Bubble

So here’s my take on the topic “BEAUTY”- a very tricky subject to discuss! Few days back I was reading an article in the tabloid where the infamous Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway commented that how she dealt with the issue of being comfortable in her own skin. She candidly said that throughout her 20s she had been struggling and trying to make peace with herself about the way she looked and she still felt nervous in Hollywood inspite of having a svelte figure and a gorgeous face . This reminded me of the article when in my teens as I looked upon Britney Spears for a while was shocked to read in newspaper where she had commented how she wished she could change her nose. (Well, that’s possible with the technology! But my questions are directed to the subject of viewing oneself as beautiful!) Few days back I also went through the ELLE magazine in which Katy Perry was in the front cover page posing with oomph and inside the magazine in her interview she didn’t shy away from mentioning her struggles with accepting the her body type in the so called ‘zero sized’ crazy industry. She indeed would get disturbed with the gnawing feeling quiet often. But hey! Little did she know that I always considered her as a really curvy and sexy woman. Surprisingly enough, the result of a general poll showcased how nearly 75% of human race view themselves as ‘not’ beautiful! It seems that the human race which happens to be an interesting species has found it so very difficult to be able to recognize their own beauty. The reason behind it so-

I think that the topic Beauty and the self esteem issue are intertwined and both are tricky topics! Every person has a personalized set of theory with specifications for considering a person as beautiful. If we ask whether a random walking person is beautiful or not to anyone, then that anyone will scan the random walking person and see how many specs does he match with the mould set that he has in his mind. If the random person fails to score not so many marks as per their specification- then that person becomes ugly for us. If the person of talk scores all the points as per ones specifications then, that person becomes beautiful! Correct me if I am wrong!

Here’s my opinion on why a person finds it difficult to consider oneself as beautiful: Being able to recognize our own personal beauty becomes difficult because it has very little to do with our actual physical appearance/ face value but everything to do with self value! Valuing ourselves is a decision we need to make daily! I had also heard it once from the pulpit about how valuing your life as being perfect and gorgeous is an act of worship! (it was connected to love-your-neighbours-as-yourself  which means simply that LOVE ONESELF first!) Why did God say that He formed us out of His own image? I believe He said that to remind's not possible for us to not be beautiful!! It's a sham and actually rude on our part to think and constantly think horrible thoughts about yourself, and then worship the Lord and tell Him how perfect He is! Everything He created was perfect...therefore you = perfect! Basic mathematical equation with all Constants no Variable.

It's also a scientifically proven fact that people who viewed themselves as good looking had something more about them- something like more of a glow to their skin and a brightness in their eyes. Those who viewed themselves as ugly and hopeless had duller skin and darker circles rimming their eyes. I also believe that the more beautiful you think you are, the more beautiful you actually will look! The feeling just doesn’t stop to yourself. It transcends on how you view other things as well. Things I never considered beautiful, are suddenly stunning in my eyes. Places I thought I could never find hope, are now overflowing with restoration and promise!

Some people view as accepting GOD into their life as so seriously to an extent that they set some self-imposed rules about the way they look. They say that why do we want to feel beautiful? Well, it’s a natural and holy emotion! No, not conceited or haughty. The Bible clearly states that acknowledging your own beauty is a rejuvenating process! 

Psalm 34:5 says, "Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed." How could you be ashamed of your appearance if you're acknowledging the fact that God made you?!

Psalm 139:14, "I praise You, I know that I am fearfully and beautifully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Hello???It means that your SOUL should know how perfectly He created everything, therefore how perfectly He created you!

Here’s my picture- 

I got that scar as a reminder from an accident that took place when I was four and half- which costed me the lives of my father, mother and bro. My visits to one of the excellent cosmetologists in the city proved to be an interesting visit. The surgeon told me how a super model called “Padma Lakshmi” too has a scar on her fore arm from an accident that she met with during her childhood and she still has the scar on her forearm without undergoing any operation. My scar condition was the same as hers. I anyways am not that disturbed with my scar and to top it the testimonial of a high profile supermodel just backed my thought about how I viewed myself with the scar.

So, I challenge you, beautiful friends, to take the time to tell yourself the things that make you beautiful! It sounds ridiculous, cheesy and goofy, but am sure it’s worth it. And while doing so, don’t you forget to give some hope to someone else in a day about how good they look. You might make someone’s day!

Have a wonderful time feeling beautiful!

These Damned Chemicals!

Here's a poem that I wrote long time back - "These Damned Chemicals!"

My heart has skipped a few times as such
and so at times-
I let it to rest and sometimes let it test
but, Oh! These damned chemicals have their say!

But to my mom's relief I don't give into their whispers so much.
Like Genie got trapped into the bottle
I sold the story to myself-
that damned chemicals were safe if it were stored in heart's cold corner
than going full throttle!

Oh, these damned chemicals!
they made me anxious and put me to unrest

Oh, these damned chemicals!
It made me sprint to the altar to direct my next step

These damned chemicals!
How does it suddenly turn the trees' leaves pink and purple?

These damned chemicals!
Why don't they allow a naive thought to last a bit longer?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

You will Find ...

At my home "Beth El" (a Hebrew word which means house of El/  House of God) you will find strange'lings' and few strange things like:

- Our home is lit up by music right in the wake of the dawn. For years now, don't remember when it started but I wake up to the music in the morning. Not necessarily by the first song that is played, but any song in the playlist that is loud enough will wake me up. So much are we used to music that we sleep with the music on. I sometimes wonder how my first morning will be after getting married - without waking to music in my ears..

- Our family is Nocturnal. Completely. We are generally awake till 2 in the morning. Sometimes, when we look at the clock, we see that it's almost 4:00 in the morning. The above picture was clicked nearly at 3:30 am in the morning (  the clock in the above picture says it all) Also, we are not weary and sleepy-eyed. We are wide awake and giggling. My mom calls us owls and we take it as a complement.

- Our refrigerator never runs short of Choco-pie as it's my mom's fav and the strange thing about our refrigerator is that whenever non-veg is kept for storing, it is consumed in a very short period. While at the same time the vegetables that we buy remain mostly untouched in the refrigerator for days and are eventually taken out to discard.

- We have two huge bean bags in the living room. They are so huge that my mom says that those are our pet elephants. My neighbour kid and I snuggle into it whenever I'm home from office. These two bean bags when kept together serve as a comfy bed and I sleep on it most of the nights these days.

- Our home has many wall paintings! There are 3 paintings that are closely arranged on one side of our living room all of which are painted by my sis when she was in school. This side of the wall is near the dining area and it sure becomes the hot topic of discussion whenever we're having dinner with our friends at our place or when we first timer guests at our place. It's about a Russian story "Avasika goes Fishing" :)

What's cool about these paintings are that they are placed on the backdrop of RED wall! Color chosen by my sis and I as we firmly believe that the red color has some connection with our personality. Also, the red color was inspired by some pics that I saw in my friend's Venice trip collection. This part of the room comprising the red colored wall resemble the houses in Venice, although the aura is nothing close to it though! Sigh!

- All in my family are crazy to learn about different cultures and Mythologies that they keep gifting each other these amazing books to each other on their Birthdays. My bday is coming closer- on August 28th, but my sis has already bought this super cool nearly 4 kgs book for me as a gift which is all about the Art during Medieval Period. This explains how a certain painter during that time went ahead to paint---- Lets say Paris shooting an arrow at Achille's heel. The book will hence dig deeper into how baby Achilles was dipped into the river Styx by his mom Thetis so that he grows to become an immortal man but nevertheless his heel was not dipped as he was held at his heel by his mom's hands. Another recent book as a gift is - "The Complete Chronicles of Narnia".

- Our room is like a mini library, where we have stacks of books kept neatly aside, which are completely untouched. Sometimes I feel that my sister has got this gene from my dad who used to splurge on books. She does the exact same thing. It's her obsession. The only difference between her and dad is that dad used to read those books and she hardly does! Blame the fate for living in the fast paced life of the 21st century!

- My family has an obsession for Israel & Jews! We have numerous documentaries related to Israel and how as a nation they overcame so many obstacles and are still standing tall amongst the Arab in their neighbourhood. I like the movie - "A woman called Golda" based on Golda Meir; the fourth prime minister of Israel. I was really inspired by her character and somehow liked the way 'she' smoked cigarettes. My sister's fav is the book called "My People" by Abba Eban's.

My fingers are feeling tired. It's 12:30am and I gotta go as I need to brush my teeth! More will follow later.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blessing it is, the so called "Suffering"

Few days back a friend of mine said that he had picked up the topic "Suffering" to preach at his church on Sunday. During my discussion with him on this topic, I realized that suffering differs from culture to culture. The meaning of Suffering would vary from one who comes from a third world country and one living in NewYork. Anyways, the usual displays that I see that of suffering ; in streets, the suffering that we experience on loss of a person, the kind of suffering that a family endures to fill each others stomach etc..all of these raises one question- If life is a gift and meant to be lived to the fullest, then why this suffering? This is not the question of the 21st century man but this question has prevailed since a long time- the quest to know more about suffering led prince Buddha to abandon his life in palace and to follow a life of a mendicant. The craftiness of Karma-logy fails to address a way out from suffering. It sure talks about the cause of suffering ( karma & the previous birth deeds)and its manifestations ( failure, suffering in life inspite of your present good deeds). Karma wants you to accept suffering the way it is stating that 'you' deserve suffering because of your misdeeds. I say, what good is a religion when all it can offer is no hope to  mankind, but forces you to take it for granted that you deserve it! Forget about hope on the spot when you need it in a situation but it doesn't even talk about a ray of hope in the end of a dark tunnel. 

So, my question is: are we meant to suffer in life when we are actually called to enjoy life? Honestly speaking, even if I were a person who didn't believe in the true living God still I would have never bought the idea that I suffer coz I'm born to suffer and it's a curse that I carry from my previous birth. Maybe I was a frog in my previous birth?! YUK! Oh, you might as well become a lizard in your next birth. Run............this is not life is meant to be...naah! I'm sure there is much more to life.

Coming back to the central theme - Suffering, I have a take on this topic and it sure stems from the fact that it is rooted in the beliefs that I'm convicted of. Here's my poem that talks about how suffering came into the world. It sure has some resonance with the term 'curse' like other religion does, but how it differentiates is the conquer upon suffering and a promise to eternity. I talk about its origin and the reason why it came into existence and it's entire meaning changed after Christ's death on the cross. Suffering actually prunes a person to his/her maximum limits and helps in making a person more Christ like. Sufferings checks and constantly reminds us to cling on to Him and there is no other better way. As a christian to share in His suffering also means that we will share in his glory one day (refer Rom 8:17v). So, here's my poem on Suffering:

What’s in a bite of Eden’s forbidden apple,
that they were left with misery & Suffering to grapple.
Suffering partnered with generations of mankind,
As it took over Adam’s body, soul and mind!

Adam looked upon God looked upon Adam,
as suffering traded with virginal Birth!
And when the last drop of innocent blood was shed,
Suffering suffered its own death.

Now through the cross did Suffering take another step,
Oh, what joy it is to bear our suffering
when it can bring us closer to our Father's doorstep!

Here's an answer put forth by a friend of mine based on the topic 'Suffering':
Q:Whats the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian suffering?
A:  My immediate answer is that there is not a difference, except a Christian can use suffering to draw deeper on Gods Grace and therefore become more Christ like. I'm not sure if thats the whole answer though. There is a lot in the New Testament about healing, and poverty relief, and actively working to stop suffering. So there is that as well. Also, Christians are called to suffer for Christ - not to intentionally suffer like some monks used to do by whipping themselves, but when we proclaim the Gospel, if we encounter suffering, it is a good thing.

Bottom line: Suffering is not a Curse, but a Blessing in disguise*
So, much did the Father loved us that even when he gave suffering to mankind, He designed it in a way that it would serve as a channel to draw closer to Him and experience His love. Ain't He wonderful?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lady Jane, don't go by my words. I love you still!

I watched 3 movies related to Lady Jane Austen and I have mixed feelings towards her. I wonder how she could write such great all time romantic classics when she herself was engaged once for a brief period to our dismay. May be it's the dearth of so called man-woman "love" in her life that kindled her thoughts, fantasies which eventually resulted into every woman's all time favorite characters like Mr. Darcy, Capt. Wenthworth etc.
Here's my heartfelt tribute to Lady Jane. Wait! by the end of the poem one would think, how can this be a tribute when it is so much like a complaining rant. But that's what it is: a heart-to-heart conversation with the Lady I respect, adore and also complain for instigating the love-wave in me.

So, here we go:  

Lady Jane! I thought of you today
How would have you been if you were born yesterday?
So, “Unreal-ism” is the key of your romantic stories’ plot:
The patient-one’s love last and others’ love rot?!?
Bust isn’t unleashing a bit of one’s insanity
a necessary dash to be added in one’s love-life’s recipe?

Tell me honestly, don’t you write such good-character-always-wins books,
Because you being the Reverend’s daughter?
What if you were someone else’s?
should you have taken the side of Mary Anne’s cheer & laughter?
I don’t like Emma and I guess I never will
Even as I grow old & am on a medication of a hundred pills!

Do you even know why Col. Edmond fell head over heels for Mary Anne?
Not because she was young, played piano & would look like a deer when she impulsively ran!

Ah, what a treat to watch!
To see for Darcy’s sake; imagining myself treading Liz’s path!

So, Mr. Darcy he is!
Why not? Why not?
Handsome and young
So mysterious & mum!

I didn’t like you for a while Lady Jane
After the movies, the memories were making me insane
What joy do you get by knitting such romantic stories together?
When in life, a man’s love is something that you could never gather?
But how could I be so ungrateful in my speech?
When you were the only one to give birth to such classics which are beyond our minds’ reach?!