29 December 2013

Adieu 2013

Related image

As 2013 comes to an end
I find in my hand
A mixed bag of emotions...
A mosaic of lessons and experiences
I have gained from
I will cherish
For life.

A year when I came to terms
With myself
With my life the way it has been
And mustered the courage
To step out to be
The real me
No matter what the cost.

The line is drawn
The lesson learned
The bitter sweet pill swallowed
A gush of hope
Fills the horizon
As dreams long dead
Come back to life.

The long and short
Of life’s story is
No one else lives yours
Just go out and live!
When it’s time to pay
It’s you who pay the price
Why hide when it’s time to shine?

No apologies
To those who never understood
No excuses
For what I was not able to do
No reasons
So someone may accept who I am
If they don’t it’s their loss not mine!

I move on
I will thrive
Who knows how long I have
To live?
These precious moments
When we can leave a trail
Will never come back again.

Live right
Live well
Someday someone
Will your story tell
What do you want it to be?
A story of losses and misery
Or a story of overcoming and victory!!!

I have decided
What I will do...
Thank you God
For 2013
I hope I have learned
All I had to learn

2014 here I come! 

12 December 2013

A Tryst with Colors

Here are some more of my trysts colors... I love those moments I can escape into a seamless world where nothing is binding... I can express who I am and be myself without restrictions!


The bird's eye

Fish... a left hand drawing

Lines 

Stars and colors

Woman brought low

Scarred
So much for now...
Take care!!! 

Musings at year end

I stare at
The canvas of my life
Wondering what I should do
With the lines, the dots and the in-betweens
Trying to make sense of the vague things
That filled my life for years. 
The Canvas of Life

As I fumble and fret about things
That didn’t go well for me
I begin to see
Some signs of lessons
I still need to learn.

‘No wonder,’ I tell myself
‘It took so long for me to get here!’
It slowly dawns on me
That if I had the things I asked for
I would not have enjoyed them
With the wrong attitudes within me.

God in His infinite wisdom
Placed obstacles and detours
In my path
Till I was ready to receive
What He had for me...
Graciously, joyfully
And with the right spirit! 

I now see my life
As a mosaic
There are different colored pieces
Of different sizes and shapes
They all come together
And fall in somehow...
Making it beautiful.

There are a few voids
Still left to fill
I’ve decided not to worry about them
God who helped me overcome
The vague things that didn’t make sense
Will surely have it all planned for me
It will all work out for good!

Armed with a new confidence
I set off again
Smiling within myself
Looking forward to good things
Thinking, doing and believing
The best of everything...
Knowing this time
The voids will be filled
I will be whole and happy
For the rest of my life! 

12 November 2013

GET THIS RIGHT!

Truth 
You have a life that has an expiry date.

You have a body that will not live forever (your soul can live forever!)

You will grow old – it is a fact of life. No matter how much plastic surgery, face lifts or other gimmicks you use – you cannot change that! Your desire to stay young is a means for people to make a fast buck out of you – they cannot deliver what they promise.

Your soul is priceless. It is the only reason you are alive. The moment your soul leaves your body – you are dead! No breath, no life!

Temporary things cannot and will not give you permanent peace and security – whether emotional, physical or spiritual.

  • Youth is fleeting. Nobody can be young too long – you can’t kid people for that long!
  • Money comes and goes, ask anyone who monitors the stock market. 
  • Fame has its ups and downs, now you are a darling and the next thing you are punished for something you did wrong for life – ask Lance Armstrong! Moreover the memory of the public is fickle, fame fades too.
  • Beauty is only for a time (external that is!) Just like flowers fade, skin wrinkles, hair turn grey and muscles waste or sag...
  • Beautiful houses and the ‘latest’ cars or gadgets will be beautiful and the latest only for ‘some’ time. The law of decay will erode their beauty and the newer things will make the latest obsolete sometime soon.
  • Connections with the rich, highly placed and powerful are temporary too. Their places of power are not forever, their term will run out. When they are out of power no one will want to have anything to do with them because they cannot make things ‘happen’ again. Powerlessness makes a person obsolete socially.

Only genuine relationships last. If someone loves you for your beauty, youth, fame, money, power or possessions – they don’t love the ‘real’ you. When you eventually lose them all – which you will, they will be gone too, never to be seen again.

If you don’t believe it, check out the stories of yesteryear heroes, heroines and celebrities who have vanished into oblivion, some living lives of poverty and lost in the unknown, while others died heartbroken due to the fickleness of everything and everyone around them. Sports legends who died in poverty, film stars who were surrounded with fans yet died lonely deaths... Only the wise ones who made wise decisions are around still. Be wise.

We live in a fickle world, full of fickle relationships – if you have one or two good, sincere and genuine relationships – you can count yourself a billionaire!!! They are the priceless – their love and commitment if true is something no one, not even time can snatch from you. Hold on to them for life! 


27 August 2013

The Curse of Being a Daughter of India

Voices crying out for justice

In the ages gone by she was shackled by tradition and kept away from education, married away in childhood, thrown on the pyre of her husband and had to suffer the degradation of being the person of lowest value in her family, clan and community.

Now it is 67 years since independence, she has a right to education, works shoulder to shoulder with men in every field having proven her worth in every way yet there still is a curse on her even today. There still are female infanticides, selective abortions of female foetuses, dowry deaths, domestic violence and human trafficking issues plaguing our Indian women. Add to that the misery that every girl or woman has to face – the lack of personal safety to walk on the streets, go to work or even at home. Eve-teasing, molestation, acid attacks and rape have grown to become a monster devouring whatever peace and security Indian women could dream of. 

The National Crime Records Bureau reports that there has been a shocking 873% rise in rape cases between 1953 and 2011. India’s report card for women’s safety states that one woman is raped every 22 minutes! [1]

A Reuters report states that 244,270 crimes against women were reported to the police in 2012 compared with 228,650 in 2011 according to the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB). They also stated that 98 percent of those who reported rapes last year named parents, relatives and neighbours as the accused. [2]

When we say this I wonder if this is a statement about the state of women in our country or is it actually a statement about the men in our country?  What is it about women that make them so vulnerable and what is it about men that make them behave like animals who have no self-control? Something is wrong with our upbringing of boys and girls and something is wrong with the way our social fabric and halls of justice have been allowing things to get this bad.

The cries of justice have become so loud and demanding that now it seems it would take the death of rapists to put fear into others who would do the same. We have allowed molesters and rapists to roam around freely for so long that they are breeding at a higher rate than we can deal with.

For many years we have read the news of tribal women or women of lower castes and those in helpless situations being raped by men with political power behind them. There were no convictions because these men were protected by powerful people. Those powerful people make the laws in this country, such men are used by them for their personal or political interests. Is it no wonder that our laws don’t have teeth and justice is not done?

Moreover, we also need to question the conscience of this nation. Why do we allow films that devalue and degrade women? Why don’t we question the vulgar worded item songs that degrade women and are aimed at generating lust in men? Why do our high profile ‘dignified’ actresses agree to do songs that cheapen women? Why is it that those who oppose Valentine’s Day do not do anything to stop eve-teasing, offenses against women or check the growth of prostitution and pornography among our youth?
We all have to accept responsibility for what is happening in our nation. Every common man who has witnessed eve-teasing and not done something about it. Every parent of a youth caught in the act who stood by him instead of correcting him and letting justice be done. Every parent of a young girl who didn’t stand with her when she spoke up about harassment. Every teacher, principal and community head who told women to shut up and bear the trauma to save their own faces and name thus perpetrating the injustice done.

People who deal with power, information and media have more responsibility. Whenever we create ads, films, videos, songs or permit something that can have far reaching effects on the masses we have added fuel to the already raging fire. When the law makers, keepers and enforcers themselves have wrong attitudes about women, they fail to be instruments of justice for those who have been victimised in any way.
It seems we need to have a crash course to educate the people of India about the dignity of a woman, her right to personal space, self-respect, to be treated as a person and not an object and also her right to real/true justice. We need a cleansing and overhauling at every level. A commission of enquiry or a proposal for a new law is not going to change anything when the real dirt is inside the minds and hearts of people.

India has lost face internationally. The damage is done. Countries are warning their people, especially women not to travel to India and giving them precautions to follow if they have to make that journey. It sucks even more because we call our country ‘Bharat Mata.’ Have we made our ‘motherland’ India proud? We have allowed some low-life pathetic men to cause our nation to pay the heaviest price within and outside our country. So what are we going to do about it now?

The people of India have risen from their slumber and shown they mean business after the 16th December 2012 gang rape incident. Laws are slow to have an impact unless real punishment is meted out for crimes against women regardless of whether they are cases of eve-teasing, molestation, acid attacks or rape.

We need to weed out those law makers or keepers and police men whose wrong attitudes and behaviour come in the way of true justice to women. We need awareness campaigns and programmes that will instil good values among younger generations.


Moreover we need to train our girls and women in self-defence so that they can give their offenders a fitting response. Perhaps it is time the government considered making self defence training mandatory in all schools. Women in many cultures have come out to learn to fight and defend their country, sad that we have to teach women to defend themselves! We also need neighbourhood watchdog groups comprising of men and women who would deal with boys and men who have a tendency to misbehave with girls or women. It is a necessity now and we cannot expect the situation to change if something is not done now.

Our silence in this area has led to this dismal reality we are having to face today. Let every voice be raised up to support and get justice for the women who have been traumatised. Let every means of creating awareness, giving information and empowerment be used to ensure that this social disease of wrong mindsets towards women is eradicated.

Mera Bharat Mahaan’ should be the slogan of our hearts for our nation... but unfortunately Bharat has lost it ‘maan’ because of the continuous ‘apmaan’ our country men have been meting out to our women. May we turn around this story of apmaan into maan so that Bharat can truly be mahaan, is my prayer for India.

Reference:

04 May 2013

The Treasures of Family Heritage


It is amazing what discovering your family roots can do for you! There was a time when I had lost my sense of identity and purpose in life. I was going through the worst time of my life and I needed something to motivate me to go on. During that time I remembered the things my mother told us when we were children about her Nani Aunties and their achievements.

I visited my uncle Leslie who had letters and newspaper clippings from their time. I read the biography of my great great grand Aunty Josephine Swaris. The other documents he had included a postcard sent by C.P Shukla, on behalf of Gandhiji from Karachi dated 9th July 1934; a reply to her sent by Ravi Varma, the 11th Prince of Cochin, Trippunithura, dated 14th September 1936; a letter of thanks for condolence from V.R. N. Naithyarammah, Springfield Palace, Nilgiris and the first page of a letter she wrote addressed to Gandhiji dated 1st October 1933 in which she reminded Gandhiji about his visit to her school in 1927! 

Mrs. Josephine Swaris, her husband Joseph Swaris
and niece Agnes Appoo

Information from the Newspaper Clipping on Josephine Swaris - my great great grand Aunt 

Ms. Mary Appoo, another great great grand aunt of ours was a religious who had resigned but still kept her religious dress and observed her vows. She was invited by Bishop Lavigne of Batticalao, Sri Lanka in June 1900 to come and start a school. She did so with the help of her own sisters says one report. Thus St. Cecilia's Girl's English School was started. This school was originally started by Fr. Francis Xavier in 1876 as a Tamil school. The English school was later handed over to the Cluny Sisters. Ms. Mary Appoo was known as Sister Mary Magdalene among the local people of Batticaloa. 

Ms. Mary Appoo, her niece Felicy Rosario
and women she mentored
Reading about their accomplishments made me feel proud of the heritage they left behind for us. I could see my own activities, my work with the children in Tulsiwadi and my doing social work in a better perspective after reading about them. It helped me get my sense of identity back! 

Moreover I am happy to reconnect with our family's history in Kerala again!!! Years ago, they had moved out of Kerala and since my father was in the Air Force, we traveled a lot. The result being that I missed a sense of having 'roots. My discovering our Nani Aunties and all the things I have learnt since has given me just that. I feel happy that I can relate to Kerala better now. 

It is good to know about the history of the generations before us. There is so much to learn and be inspired from... Thank God for their lives! Perhaps you should search your own family tree... there could be amazing gems in your family too!

30 April 2013

It's Jingle All the Way for DC


The 23rd of April 2013 was an unforgettable day for me thanks to the Deccan Chronicle!

All I did was send in a jingle and they featured me on their pages!!! Thank you DC for this privilege and the joy you gave me!!! 

The article is marked in yellow...  



I love making songs and jingles... and when someone else enjoys them too, it just adds to my happiness! Bliss! 

Praise God for giving me so much joy!!! 

You Are Not Alone


We live in a world with more than 7 billion souls and yet there are times when we feel alone. No matter how many people we meet during the day we still need someone to talk to, someone to interact with at the end of the day. Sadly, that is not the reality for many of us.

Each of us has our own unique situation and there are times when find there is no one to talk to or go to for advice. Pearl S. Buck said, “The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration. ” 

Don’t worry if you find yourself physically alone! In this age of the Internet, we can be connected with other human beings no matter where we are. We can search for answers and seek solutions, ask for advice and even learn things we longed to learn. If you truly seek the truth you will eventually find it!

There are times when we feel bad about having problems and difficulties that others don’t seem to have. Don’t worry! Even the most successful of persons across the world had problems like you do.

Margaret Mead said, “We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.” Think of every problem you face as an opportunity to rise up and become great.

Thomas Edison had a unique way of looking at his failure. He said, “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

Abraham Lincoln too failed several times in his life. He didn’t give up and the rest is history! He became the President of the United States!

Even Jesus Christ reassured Himself when He was facing the greatest suffering with these words, "Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." John 16:32

Just relax, take a deep breath and let this assurance flow into you – ‘I am not alone!’ Yes, reassure yourself saying, ‘God is with me, with His help I can rise above all my problems. I can be happy and fulfilled!’

Yes you can and you will!!! 


14 February 2013

The Call to Love


It is a tragedy
That people do not understand
God has placed them
In the lives of their loved ones
To love.

The father and mother
Are given the mandate
To love the child
They brought into this world.
The brother and sister
Is given the job
to love, to help and support
While grandparents
Are given the joy
Of doting on their grandchildren.

When each of them
Self absorbed
Caught up in selfish pursuits
Neglect this call
The little one grows up
Unloved, unwanted,
Not knowing what it is to be
Cherished.

Each of us is given a chance
To be a bearer of love
To those placed in our lives
And others around us.
When everyone fails to answer
The call to love
The heart of the unloved one
Shrinks and despair sets in.
One life fails to meet
The challenges before it
Because no one cared.

Parents who do not love
Siblings who don’t support
Spouses who turn a deaf ear
Friends who go away
And relatives who are never there
Are all guilty of killing love
And robbing a person’s heart
Of the opportunity to grow
To glow and know
What true and genuine love is.

Forget about the changing the whole world
If you can change your own heart
And learn to love
You can change the world
For someone near you
And thereby change your own world too.
Stop being miserly with your affection
Give and keep giving love
Someday perhaps
Someone may mirror that same love
When you are in need!

Perhaps you were not loved
Perhaps you were abandoned, neglected
Perhaps no one taught you love
By their example
Don’t worry
Love is its own teacher
And love is the best lesson
Give love as you want to receive love
And love will come back to you too.

You have received
The call to love
Do not neglect it
It is a blessing that will bless you
Not just in the now
But for the rest of your life.
Cursed is the one who doesn’t
Care enough to love.
Their neglect and indifference
Will court them when
There will be no one to care for them.

Love is its own reward
It blesses your heart
Teaches it to expand,
Feel and experience beauty.
Nothing can compare
With that learning
And experience!
Make sure you answer
The call to love! 

07 January 2013

Angry with God?


We often judge God because of what someone else did. Perhaps it was ‘a parent you looked up to’, ‘someone you loved and would do anything for’, ‘a friend’, ‘a Christian’, ‘Pastor’, ‘preacher’, ‘someone serving God in a ministry’ or anyone – even a stranger. They used their freewill to choose and did something that hurt you, betrayed you, broke your trust, offended you, broke/crushed your spirit or degraded you.

Just as Adam & Eve chose to do what God had told them ‘not’ to do and sinned against God, even those who hurt you, abused you, despicably used you for their own intrigues or interests have sinned against you and also sinned against God by doing so.

God being a just and righteous God will definitely deal with them for what they have done. However remember He is also a merciful God and that is why we don’t die the moment we sin or do wrong! He extends the same mercy and grace to you and others who sin against you. He does it so that each person has a chance and some time to repent, change, correct themselves and make amends for their wrongdoing. When He give them several chances and they don’t repent – that is when the Judge in Him arises to do justice to His children who suffered because of the wrong done – thus His wrath.

No one can save a person who has wasted/frittered away the opportunity, the chance and time God gave them to repent and get right with God. When God decides enough is enough – no power on earth, no Satan, nothing can save the person/persons whose time is up. His will – will be done!

Can you breathe one breath after God says it is time for you to die? No! His power is invincible. People take His mercy for granted not realizing it is just a rope given so that they can repent and save their souls from hell, eternal perdition, the lake of fire where they can burn forever.

Earthly judges can be bought – God is beyond the thought of bribing or influencing! He is no respecter of persons. Earthly records can be fudged, erased, manipulated or changed but God’s records are perfect – your every thought, word and deed is recorded in His Book. You think nobody knows – SOMEONE who judges – knows everything about you! He knows the hidden things you did or thought about and didn’t do.

It is a grave thing to fall into the hands of God. Look up the records and see how the mighty have fallen all through history. No amount of money, power, name, fame, cunning could save the in the hour God dealt with them.

The simple, righteous man has a lot to rejoice – for his labours will be rewarded by the God who sees. He may suffer in this world as more and more people choose to go against God and do the opposite of what He said. But he will have the last laugh as he fears the One who has power over both body and soul and the life after the death of this physical body that each of us will go through.

Beware when you cheat and wrong someone – their tears are precious to God. He hears their cries and He will rise up in judgment against all those who wrong His children – both those who know Him and those who don’t.

He cares for the children He created – even those who mock and wrong Him. He makes the sun to shine on them too. He is fair – He give a lot of chances because what is at stake is their ‘soul’ and how they will spend eternity. You will do well if you seek Him, learn to heed Him, learn of Him and live the way He says – for then you will thrive and do well for eternity.

Would you choose to give up billions of dollars for a hundred dollar note? No! Isn’t it? It is downright foolish. Exactly in the same way – you are making a choice now. When you choose to go against God and live the way you please/opposite of what He said, you are trading and giving up your soul’s life – for thousands of years (eternity).

This lifetime is a test to see what you choose. The one true Living God has set before you the biggest decision you will ever make – choose to live forever with Him or choose to burn in Gehenna, the lake of fire for eternity. It is simple – it is His way or the way that leads to the eternal fire! No wonder He gives sinners so many chances to repent – once you are there, there is no way of coming back! It is a permanent change you are making! Take your life seriously. Give more into every thought, word and deed. They matter to Him.

Perhaps you are one of those who think ‘there is no God.’ Perhaps you think that ‘life is to have fun, enjoy while you have the chance, tomorrow anyway we have to die.’ What if you die and stand before the same God whom you denied and have to answer for all that you did? You will not be able to go back and change your life because you realize then that you were wrong. You will have to suffer for eternity for this false belief you held all your life. Too much depends on this chance you are taking.

If you have any doubts about who the real God is and what His nature is, seek Him! God promised that those who seek Him with all their hearts will surely find Him. He will reveal Himself to you if you seek Him! He is much more and beyond what earthly teachers say about Him. Do not depend on someone else’s experience of God to make your conclusions, have your own! He is your Creator too! He knows you inside out, He knows your thoughts – ask Him in your heart – whatever you need to know about Him and He will answer!