09 December 2011

Henrietta's Digital Art - Made using Paintbrush!

Presenting some of my doodles using Paintbrush! They all happened unplanned... I let them shape up on their own according to my mood. I am happy with the way they turned out. Some took more effort than others... but each of them gave me the joy of having expressed something from within!

The Indian Girl

Boat at sea

Checks...

Blue

Blending but distinct

Flowing

... 1

The Frame of a Girl 

Help from Above

The Reclining Peacock

A Tablet of Greys

Fragmented Man

Tree

Boat in the Waves

Elephant face

The Heart of Love - Jesus!

...2

The Spirit is Love

The Eye

Feathers

Bright

...3 
Different strokes for different moods...
Everything has its place under the sun!

- Henrietta Decruz

Dabbling with Colors!

I love a lot of things... painting is one of them. I must say I haven't painted as much as I really wanted to in the past. I have painted with water colors, painted on fabric... and recently I was very thrilled to find the opportunity to learn to paint with oil colors!!!

You can see a couple of my paintings here...

'The Mughal Princess' - my own version of the well known artwork.
Painted on spare blouse material I had!!! Fabric Painting



'The Waterfall' - My first oil painting! 
I must give credit to our teacher Hughie Ashing Wong who did a great job teaching us at a Workshop that was organized at the House of Bread!


'A Painting I made as a gift!
The visual shows Jesus dressed as the Hebrew Rabbi that He actually was...
Hebrew alphabets flow down from heaven with significant meaning in every letter!
Water Color

Two Worlds - Freedom vs Bondage
There is light and freedom in Christ!
Water Color
I enjoyed making these paintings...
I am looking forward to painting a lot more now!!!




Selling Dreams - A Song for Recession Times...



Chorus:                      
Selling, selling dreams … (um hmm, um hmmm)
There’s no self esteem (ah huh, ah huh)
They’ll sell you the moon
And if you buy their car
You can be a star (ah ha, Aha!)
Selling, selling dreams (hmm hmmm, hmm hmmm)

1.                  Trendy home machines
Can fill your lives
Clothes and trips and things
Of every size
(Yet) when you go back home
You are still alone
Searching for yourself…    (ah ha, Aha!)               Chorus

2.                Empty, empty words and promises
Are lying all around
For you to choose
Which one will you try?
Any way it’s a lie
And in the end you’ll be a fool to believe it.       Chorus

3.                  Believe it if you want it’s yours to try
There’s no truth or dare
Nobody cares
Even if you slog and work hard like a dog
You’ll spend it in a jiff   (ah ha, Aha!)
You’ll carry on like this till you realize               Chorus


I would call this a song specially meant for a time like this... Recession is causing everyone to regret decisions they made about things they purchased or the loans they took... Everyone is finding new ways to manage with whatever amount of money they have and are learning how tough it is to hold on to one's purse strings!

The song also conveys the message that matters of self-esteem and things that really are important are not connected with the things we have or buy!

You can hear a home recorded version the song at this link:
http://soundcloud.com/henrietta-decruz/selling-dreams-by-henrietta



True Love - My First Song!

Image result for true love images


True Love is the first song I wrote on my own when I was a teen!

The first time this song was performed by me with a band including my sister Agnes, Glentin D'Silva, George and Albert Charles at 'Youthfest 85', for a music competition organized by the Delhi Archdiocese in 1985. Most of the bands sang Boney M songs, we too sang Rivers of Babylon. Nobody expected us to win and we did! I believe this song played a part in our winning the top prize as it was the only original song played there!

Our performance at the 'Youthfest 85' also got us our first television programme on Doordarshan - India's only television channel at that time. Anujith Kumar had watched us perform and recommended us to Youth Forum's programme producer Ashok Budhiraja. Amidst exam schedules and other delays it took about a year but finally the very first half an hour programme featuring my songs was aired on 6th August 1986. It featured six of my original songs in 'Youth Forum' on Doordarshan's Delhi Metro Channel. 

We had one more programme on the DD Delhi Metro channel on 20th July 1987 and our producer Ashok Budhiraja felt that we deserved to be on the National Doordarshan Channel. He introduced us to P.K. Mohanty and a third recorded programme of my songs was aired on the DD National Channel on the 21st April 1987. This programme could be seen all over India! The best thing is our producer P.K Mohanty said he didn't get so many letters for any other programme he made. The programme was repeated on public request so many times that we lost count!  

The current track I have of this song is from the video recording we had of programme aired on the National Channel in April 1987. The programme featured 6 songs written and composed by me. My sister Agnes accompanied me in the vocals. The Band included Alex Fernandes on the keyboards,  (Late) Tony Banks and Mark Fernandes played the guitar and Lucius Fernandes played the drums.

My heartfelt thanks to all the band members and to the DD producers Ashok Budhiraja and P.K. Mohanty for featuring my songs in their programmes. At that time there were no talent shows or means for talented artists to rise and perform before the nation. I am really grateful to God for how he picked up totally a obscure person like me and placed me up on national TV without doing anything to get there.

True Love was recorded and performed for All India Radio, Goa in June 1990. The programmed was aired on 9th July 1990.

I have plans to record this song again with fresh music as it is one of those songs that everyone who heard has loved! It has also won me the maximum prizes! It gives me great joy when the hearers love my song!


TRUE LOVE

Chorus:  
  
True Love, it’s too hard to find
True Love, you’d never even mind
To find a true love beside you today
To find a true love beside you today

1.                  I’ve been walking for almost another day
I’ve been clinging to my thoughts throughout the way
Still there’s not a soul to find
With a heart and perfect mind
I’ve been wandering throughout today.        Chorus

2.                  Since last weekend I’m thinking over it
I need someone beside me when I sit
Still there’s not a soul to find
With a heart and perfect mind
I’ve been wandering throughout today.        Chorus

3.                  When I see someone like me I just think
There must be someone in the world with a link
Still there’s not a soul to find
With a heart and perfect mind
I’ve been wandering throughout today.       Chorus

- Henrietta Decruz (C)



Vocals: Henrietta & Agnes
Musicians - Keyboard: Alex Fernandes
Guitar: Tony Banks, 
and Mark Fernandes
Drums: Lucius Fernandes

Listen to the audio track TRUE LOVE - here 
https://soundcloud.com/henrietta-decruz/true-love-by-henrietta-decruz

19 November 2011

Unshed Tears


Unshed tears... 
Well up when I retrace times that are gone

Moments pregnant with expectation 
Whose hopes were crushed to the ground

Words that tore apart my heart 
While I held my face in a neutral place

People who have come and gone 
Some leaving without an address

A pain so deep I cannot fathom 
A wound so wide it wouldn't heal

Buried in the recesses of my mind 
While I held my face in a neutral place

Lost on purpose with no intention to find 
A wound so wide it wouldn't heal

Somewhere deep inside me is an ocean 
That tosses and turns and makes me want to cry

I look away as though confronted by some alien or stranger 
I flee from the thought of opening that door

What a heavy burden I have laden myself with 
Trudging the long distance journey of life

No one to share it with 
They are all busy with much on their hands

Who would want to speak about heartache? 
Who would mess up a fine young evening with sad tales?

Yet I remember a friend not so long ago 
Who heard my pleas and cried with me

Unshed tears 
Years and years of tears that have gone dry.

07 November 2011

I Am Sorry


I am sorry
I apologize
I am not the person you want me to be
I am different
Someone you don’t understand.

My life experiences
Have been very different from yours
And very painful too
I had to swim across a sea of pain
To get here.

I am sorry
I cannot change my past
Or unwrite my life before
Or become what you think
 I should be.

I would love to be
The person I was before things went wrong
When my dreams were full of joy
When I knew how to trust
And enjoyed every moment.

I’ve struggled a lot to come this far
Picked up the pieces
Got through many dark nights
Shed tears by the bucket
Because it hurt so bad.

I am sorry
I cannot say this is a good world
I cannot pretend that nothing happened
And I cannot say untruths
Just to please you.

I have learnt to keep going
I have learnt I have to be strong
Cos there are times
When you have no one else to depend on
But God.

I am sorry
I haven’t been able to live the life I wanted
And I have a zest for what I missed
Which few can understand
I cannot give that up!

I am sorry
I am not just any average person
Cos I believe that there are no average persons
Everyone is special and unique
And so am I. 

19 October 2011

You Are Not Forsaken


You are not forsaken
Don’t let those doubts take over you
Keep looking for the light
And it will shine on you.

The fears will play only until
You give it a chance to.
Say ‘no’ to those naysayers
And walk on step by step
Towards your goal
Towards your destiny.

Does your heart yearn for company?
Do your tears reflect your pain?
Then know that you are not alone
Others have been there too.

Our dreams, desires and imaginations
Make us feel like it’s now or never
But the truth is things don’t happen
Until it’s time for them to happen
The seed takes time to become a tree
It takes more time before you can have fruit.

So do not fret, just keep your faith
Your trial will help you grow
It is the training of your strength
Surrender to the learning
And don’t hold back any more
The more you co-operate now
The more you’ll learn the more you’ll grow.

Nothing came by fretting
But a lot was surely lost by it.
Why then allow something like that
To overshadow your life? 

17 October 2011

Choose Your Skin with Care


Imagine having to reach a place in life when you have no other go but to have your skin peeled off! Having a small bruise is bad enough and terrible to bear… but having the skin from all over your body peeled? Absolutely unbearable! Well, you may wonder what I am trying to get at. It is simple, if you knew that something you are choosing today would have to peeled off someday in such a painful fashion, would you allow that something to get attached to you in the first place?  

Ours is a generation that easily adapts to new things without even considering what it is we are embracing and making an irreversible part of our lives. I would say irreversible because even if we do get through the consequences of our choices, we are never the same as what we were before we made that choice.

Every choice makes a statement about who we are and what we think of ourselves and how much we care about our future… in this world and the eternal too. Even if the whole world decides to go the wrong way, if we are seriously considering the choices we are making for ourselves and we realize it, we would refrain from following them in doing the wrong thing. Doing so would mean that we care for ourselves truly.

When we make a commitment to love ourselves, we need to assess how we treat ourselves and the things that concern our lives, our minds and our future. Moreover we also need to assess the relationships that are close to our hearts and whether they nourish us positively or bleed us to death in spirit and otherwise. When we learn about how toxic and dangerous people can be it is better we act on such information speedily and do what needs to be done to save ourselves from greater harm. Pretending that nothing is wrong could mean that we hate ourselves and don’t care to deal with something that is harmful for us.

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Here we are first called to love ourselves, to care about ourselves (not in the selfish way which is at the cost of others). And then we are called to love others the way we love ourselves. So if you say you really love yourself, what are you doing about it? What are the choices you are making that shows that you do love yourself?

Would you choose death, disease, stagnation, addiction, emotional problems and dependency on trivial things? Would you choose to live in a way that could end your life in just a few years? Would you choose a relationship that makes a puppet out of you and kills the very spirit of who you are as a person? Would you embrace a habit, an attitude that would lead to your destruction or downfall? Would you take life as it comes and not do something to make it more meaningful and better? 

Take a look at where you are standing… is it shaky ground? Is it firm grounded based on values, principles that will cover you through every kind of situation? If you learn today that you are not standing on firm ground… do something about it! Search for the life that will give you the lasting happiness, peace, satisfaction and success that won’t kill you. Search for the ways that take you to a place where you can live without regrets. Search for the people who will build you up, care for you and not be the reason for you to break and fall apart. Don’t feel paralyzed at this knowledge… get up, dust yourself and move on.

True, during times of change we may feel very alone… but it is worth the pain. Burn the candle for yourself, encourage yourself knowing that you are doing the right thing… and keep going one step at a time. Eventually you will see you have made progress. Eventually you will see other beacons of light calling out to you, other voices saying, “Keep going, we are beside you… you are not alone.” It will be a while… but don’t look back. Keep walking, bearing the weight of your burdens. These burdens are not ordinary burdens, they are meant to make your shoulders strong.

Someday when our lives are over, when we cross that shore that is between life and death, we will be able to look back without regret. We will see a life that was lived well because we stopped to think about what we were doing. Those unbearable experiences of pain we went through when we had to peel off the negative habits, thinking, relationships and destructive ways in us was worth it.

So the question is ‘Do you really love yourself?’ If you do, choose the things that become your skin, your second nature… and a part of you with great care.

12 September 2011

Where do you go?



Where do you go to when the water rises... 
Whom do you go to in the storm?
When everything is falling apart...
And there is no one you can rely on for plain understanding.

Where do you go to in trouble.... 
In moments when the worst drags you down, 
And there's not a flicker of light in the dim-lit dungeon,
The deepest pits of despair and gloom.

Look around and you will see the rest of the world,
Carry on with their chores with no inkling of the searing pain within
All walk with their eyes open but look nowhere,
A straight blank stare never replaced with emotion.

Dig deeper still and you will find, each entrapped in their misery,
Screaming amid the din and cackle of jingles and political trivia
Until the lamp of their spirits blowout
Leaving behind an apology for a life.

Searching for meaning in this existence,
The roads lead from dead-end to dead-end...
Finally, the last lap announces itself,
You pretend you are caught by surprise... “Not me, please, not me!”

Day after day, looking at empty faces,
It seems futile to think that things will change, 
At least it seems that way....  at first, then one simply 
Prepares for the final parting. 

One last look is all it takes...
Just one, to actually see the beauty in mundane things  
And see heaven’s hand amidst the pollution and perversion,
The crass contrast of human and divine creation.

We are lost in the concrete jungle with no directions
To show us that someone has been this way before,
We keep steps here and there to suit our whims or logic,
Without an inkling of what it will cost us or where it will take us.

The memory of the beauty lingers,
Spreading delight within the heart,
A burst of energy rushes through the worn out body
And gives it life again. 

15 July 2011

A Song - Walk & Worship

Today I look back on my life and realize how God walked with me in my bad times, unseen, most of the time unknown to me... Today as I celebrate the day that God chose to bring me to planet Earth, I want to dedicate my life to my Lord and ask that I walk with Him for the rest of my life!


Lyrics of the Song:   Walk & Worship 


1.                Oh God Who never sleeps
Who is taking care of me
All the days of my life
You have done so much for me
All You ask is love
In my heart for You
To obey what You say
And be blessed by You.

Chorus:             So I walk with You my Lord! – (2)
Let my life be worship to You
Let my life bring praises to You
As I walk and worship You
Every moment I worship You!
 
2.                I yearn for Your presence
Because it gives me joy
You’re all I ever needed
Your grace has given me life
Just like Enoch walked
I want to walk with you!
Every day, every night
To be in love with You!                  Chorus

3.                I want no part of darkness
I want to live in Your light
Create in me a clean heart
Help me to live without sin
I want to live
A life that pleases You
You are my God
All I need is You!                             Chorus


Written and composed by Henrietta Decruz

17 June 2011

A Tribute to My Father

I first wrote this post on 17th June 2011. Over time after I wrote this post, I discovered some more things about my childhood and the relationship with my father. A lot of my childhood memories were blocked somehow and I could not remember them for all these years until 28th Jan 2016 when some shocking things came to light as repressed memories surfaced... it was devastating to say the least.
  
My father had passed away in 2006. I spent years just longing for his acceptance and love. The things that emerged from my memory made me hate him because I could see the effects of what he had done and knew that they affected me to this day and time...  

But God, my loving Heavenly Father had been holding me up all through the years when I was treated as unwanted... He became the pillar of my life, the comfort I would run to and the arms I could fall into when I needed refuge and some place to hide. My Abba, my Father Who really loves me wanted me to forgive this earthly father for his deeds, misdeeds and lapses in my life. I love my Abba so much that even though it feels like moving a mountain... I want in every fiber of my being to forgive my earthly father and release him from the pain he inflicted on me knowingly or unknowingly. 

I can forgive my father knowing that he was a hundred or thousand times better as a father than the father he himself had. It is the greatest misfortune to have some members in the family who leave a flawed legacy. A legacy of unrighteousness, doing evil or wanting evil to befall family members, degradation and losses of every kind. My parents had to take a stand against the evil that came from them and broke ties with that side of the family for many years so that we could live peaceful lives. The two of them decided to give us a better upbringing... one of honesty and good values. Thanks to my mother's sacrifices and struggles we received a good education too. 

Today, 7th March 2017,  I came across a short film, 'The Father Effect' and it impacted me a lot... bringing back some memories and tying up loose ends of my comprehension of what happened to me in my life. 

This short documentary by John Finch is a must watch for everyone who has a memory of their father that disturbs them. 


Please visit the website of the makers of this film here. The Father Effect film 
This documentary is just the beginning. They also have a 94 minute long film which can be ordered for through their website. 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYOtmtf0kO9e9FntnZ9ow6Q

I am resharing the same post I had posted on 17th June 2011. I have not changed what I wrote then. The healing process is still going on within me. Watching this film made me realize that I am not the only one who has had to bear pain in this area. There are many more like me... 

My prayer for each person who has had to go through pain due to their father is... "May you get to know the abundant, matchless, unconditional love the Father in heaven has for you! The Abba Who loved me, may He be revealed to you... May your wounds and hurts be healed. May you rise to be all that you were born to be and let the whole world see the goodness and greatness in you! You are unique and special, a diamond crafted by the hand of God! This heavenly Father Who created you sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross just so that all His earthly children could reconnect with Him. He loves you with a great love and wishes to embrace you and fill every void in your life! May you see Him and know Him just the way He really and truly is! May you get to know your true identity as a person. May you be blessed and have abundance and plenty wherever there has been a lack in your life! May you be loved and celebrated wherever you go... because your heavenly Father loves you so! In Jesus Name, I make this prayer, AMEN!!"   

The moment you call out to Him, He will come and fill you with His peace! He knows you and calls you by name... won't you reach out to Him today!! Much love, Henrietta 

Read this to know the great love this Heavenly Father has for you... 



My post from 17th June 2011

A Tribute to My Father

I have a lot to thank my father for. In fact I have more to thank my father for than many others would. I can say that with a certainty because I know that who I am today has a lot to do with what my father was to me while I was growing up.

Let me tell you right here that mine was not a simple childhood. I cannot say that it was rosy and bright, cheerful and lighthearted… there was nothing childish about it. I guess I grew up before time… In a way that is why I still love to allow myself to be a child and enjoy childlike pleasures… However, let me get to the point.

Before I begin I want you to know that I love my father. He was an honest man, a man of integrity. He was very talented, he could paint and make craft items with coconut shells and stuff like that. He was very good with machines, fixing them and doing things around the house. We never ever needed a handyman, electrician or plumber…etc.etc while my father was alive. He was good in sports, football was his favorite game. I remember him tailoring our clothes and trying out new designs on us! I think I get my creativity from him! He could sing and dance well too. He would help Mum bake cakes too. Everyone remembers him as a man of his word.

He at times had a bitter tongue simply because he said the truth. And as we all know – the truth is at times bitter. Well he didn’t stop at that… he taught us too to speak the truth no matter what the cost. He used to say that ‘no one will chop your head if you speak the truth!’ Boy! I remember the price I have had to pay at times for speaking the ‘ugly’ truth! But I would have it no other way because ‘sleeping in peace’ comes easy after saying the truth. However, my experiences have taught me that the truth needs to be spoken ‘with love’ and well, I would say I’m still learning that one.

The tough part of my childhood was being born a girl! Well, it was not my fault but I certainly went through a lot of pain because of it! My father just like a whole lot of fathers in India of his time, wanted a son. He was very happy when my elder sister was born, he doted on her and got her things even if it was hard to get. But things changed when I was born. I’m told that he was very upset to hear the news that it was a girl because he wanted the second child to be a son.

I didn’t know this until I was about 9 years old. The day I learnt this, my whole world crumbled and fell in pieces. Being a very sensitive and emotional girl… I was totally helpless and didn’t know how to handle it. I locked myself up in a storeroom we had, and cried my heart out. I cried and cried but it didn’t change the situation for me.

After a lot more crying I came to a conclusion. I decided that I must do something to prove it to my father that I am as good as a boy, if not better. That is exactly the place where the course of my life took a turn for the better. Unknowingly I had made a deal with myself to excel in everything I would put my hand to. And today I thank my father for that challenge! After I took up my self-made challenge, I dived into every activity with all my heart. I participated in various competitions and did well in almost all of them right through school and college. Today if I am a multi-faceted person it is thanks to these experiences of mine.

Another special thing is that my dad would call me whenever he sat to repair the radio, TV, the fuse or anything else. I remember that my Mum used to dress me up as a boy when I was very small! I would sit beside him and watch him work. He would give me instructions about things and I would attentively learn from him. 

The result is that I am a very ‘different’ girl! I cannot think of any of my girl friends who had fathers who taught them that! In fact years later I discovered that there are many boys who don’t know how to fix the fuse or do the things I could do! To my delight, I have managed to fix some radios, clocks, telephone lines, fuses and even fine tune the TV from inside with just my father’s guidance! Not at all bad for a girl isn’t it? I grew up with a certain confidence in handling machines. I remember him complimenting some pictures I took with the camera and that instilled the love I have for photography!

Dad loved good quotations. He used to have a copy of Dale Carnegie’s book on ‘How to win friends and influence people’. When I come to think of it, he certainly had a good influence on me and a lot of other people. I have carried on that love for quotations in my life too… I somehow didn’t relate it to Dad until recently when I remembered this. I remember him testing my spellings and giving me a dictation when I was in U.K.G. It is no wonder that I am pretty good at it.

My Dad was emotional too. We would see him crying after watching some films. His heart would melt at times. I have seen him befriending the telephone linesmen, the workers… they were people whom nobody would pay attention to or even notice. Yet he would go and talk to them, get to know their names and offer them a cup of tea at times. He didn’t patronize them, he treated them as equals. I feel proud to think that he was so human and that he respected people no matter what rung of society they came from.  

I am able to understand who my father is from the life he has had to live. I would say he was an overcomer. He was born into a family with ten children and faced hardship very early in life since he was the eldest son. He had to struggle a lot just to get himself educated in those days. Having passed the old exam that is equivalent to the 10th Standard today, he applied for the Indian Air Force and got in.

If he had not been in the IAF my father’s life would have been very different and so would ours have been too. But I thank God that he was in the IAF. We got to live in various cities in India that is why I am able to say with complete confidence today that I am totally ‘Indian’!!! A lot of people who have lived almost all their lives in one place don’t have the exposure and the open mindedness that comes with living with different people in different parts of the country.

Though those initial years were painful, my Dad and I did get to be closer in later years. I remember when I gave him a big huge birthday card, his eyes became wet with tears. I remember the look of pride he gave me when I organized a birthday party for his office friends on his birthday just before he retired. I remember him complaining about spending too much on buying him and Mum good watches for their wedding anniversary but later looking at it with emotion filled eyes… Towards the last few years, I remember when I came third in the Bible Quiz competition and got a prize he came right up in front and congratulated me, pride written all over him. Just a few days before he died… he remembered to compliment me on something I cooked. That was very special for me, because in all the years before he would avoid doing that. I wish I had more years to experience his love. 

31 May 2011

Jinxed


One word
One unsaid word
Flowing emotions
Joy, anger, pain, loss…
Ups and downs
A total fool
A dream lost!

Are there perfect dreams
Or people without faults
Who know how to get along
With lesser mortals
Without giving up on them?
Why does it take a mess
To make things fall apart?

A perfect world
Is a myth
A perfect person
A bigger myth
A perfect relationship
Without any flaws
Does it really exist?

One tries
The other gives up
One cries
The other tears up
Broken fragments
Lying around
Flying in the wind. 

Words, My Friend

Words
I missed you.
It’s been a long time
Since we had heart talk.
I’m sorry
I was hiding from you.
Some heart-aches
Some urgent situations
Took my attention away
For a while.

You’ve been my faithful friend
You always listen patiently
As I vent off
The good, the bad, the ugly…
What would I do without you!
As I sit here alone
At my favorite perch on the terrace
And watch the birds fly home
It’s good to have a trusted friend along…
You.

Today was just another day
Routine to the careless eye
But my heart would say otherwise
It touched rock bottom
In sadness and despair
As a dream tugged away
Like a balloon on a string
Cut loose and flew away.
Someone cut the string
So abruptly
I couldn’t do anything.

Words, my friend
Have you met Tears, my other friend?
Well you both should meet some day…
Because what I’m not able
To share with one
I share with the other.
Tears is a friend
I don’t have to talk to
She silently understands
The emotions of my heart
 As tears flow down my cheeks.

Between the two of you
I share my grief, my pain
Even my lessons, the stress, the strain.
Have I ever told you
How much you mean to me?
Well amidst a world full of people
You are my best friend.
You don’t leave me
You don’t deceive me
You never cause me pain
But you are always near
Whenever I need 
A trusted friend!