Happy Thanksgiving!

People celebrate ‘Thanksgiving’ in so many different ways on several different days, such as ‘Pongal’ in South India to greeting and sharing with the natives by the pilgrims in North America. For us,  since the past 13 years, this has been a moment to offer a special prayer and thanks to all who made and continue to make our lives more blessed.

As always Shiv and I are very thankful and wish all you friends, well wishers and everyone who crossed our paths from the past to the present, as well as all our family members: immediate and extended a very ….

This Week’s Inspiration

….you might have heard the song: “It’s love, it’s love, it’s love that makes the world go around”…..With schools closing in the last week of June, children on side-walks is a common sight in my neighbourhood- be it morning, noon or evening. Every evening while walking back from the bus stop, I always enjoy the lively yelling-laughing-screaming sounds, the kids on bike whistling by and the artsy-kids trying their hands with colourful chalks on our sidewalks and driveways.

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For the past few (4-5) days, we have been in the grips of a severe heat-wave. And coming home after work, the silence on the hot barren roads was understandable but somewhat depressing , until I saw this. The lovely girl from that house is this week’s inspiration!
Simple words, simple deeds yet the thoughts behind are simply extraordinary! You rock lovely girl, you rock!!

Life- A Post By MCT of Auz

His mind returns to thoughts of his father more often now, and with less pain. Perhaps the years have healed the wound – at least partially. He has lived his whole life at a distance since that awful day when dad said, “You are no longer a son of mine. You are dead to me.”

His life has been dead. A life dead to his father. A life without contact, without conversation, without proximity. Never again have they seen each other or heard each other’s voice. Their relationship became non existent. He realizes the awful truth now with many regrets – his life has really been death. Separation from his father had many implications he only begins to realise now. Death to his father was also a death to relationships generally, a death to his self image, a death to his way of thinking and even acting.

Initially he did not want to make contact, but as the years rolled on he tried to no avail. He moved house, he moved phone numbers, he moved email address. Death was final for him. Imagine life reunited with the father. Much would change, much would heal. This would be a new life. In a sense it would be moving from death to life as far as relationship with the father is concerned.

Jesus used this language to explain his mission on earth; sent from the Father to the lost sons and daughters in order to establish a new relationship. Alive in the world we are dead to God – we don’t hear him or see him. This is not the life he wants for us. Jesus came to give us life – a new life in relationship with the father. Jesus said he wanted to move us from death to life, even using the graphic illustration of bodies rising from the grave. For some inexplicable, amazing, mind blowing reason God wants to be in relationship with us – he wants us close, he wants us to know his love, to hear his voice to see his form. We don’t need to be zombies – the walking dead to God. We can have life with God right now. That’s why Jesus came. That was his message.

Sacrifice-To What Extent Can You Go?- Post By KR (part 1)

Full disclosure: KR authorised me to ‘Feel free to knock off’ what I didn’t want. The more I read the more I wanted to retain it all secretly hoping for similar such series. For now let’s walk along KR as he skillfully takes us along the annals of Indian history to Udaipur.

Back in March, JK and I took a trip to Udaipur (Rajasthan, India). Rajasthan is the land of Rajputs known for the valor, pride, benevolence and bravery. When you study Indian history there is a special mention about them for their defense against the invading forces from the west to the great battles they fought, their ability to sign truce with larger rulers to protect their people from destruction, the bravery which both their men and women showed at different times and the sacrifices that they have made. So much that the British Army in 1921 amalgamated six existing regiments and created the Rajputana Rifles regiment.

When we started out trip to Udaipur, my first thoughts went back to school days. Across history, Hindi literature and series of English books by Indian Authors we have been taught about the Mewars of Rajasthan. Five names that came to my mind Rana Pratap of Udaipur, Rani Padmini of Chittor, Panna Dhai of Khumbalghat, Man Singh – Rana’s General and Chetak – Rana’s Horse. The stories around them are all about the sacrifices they made.

To start with Chetak a thorough bred Arabian stud which Rana Pratap rode into war against the Mughal emperor Akbar. The idea of Udaipur and Haldighati to me brought back to memory the beautiful poem “CHETAK KI VEERTHA” (Chetak’s bravery) by Shyamnarayan Pandey that I learnt in school the first two lines still ringing in my years and my saying it again and again to JK as we went by the overnight train. “Chetak bangaya nirala tha, rana pratap ki gode se”. I am not translating it into English lest my Hindi teacher wakes up in his sleep and starts the old punishment again! But that was the extent to which the story of Chetak was ingrained in my mind. Chetak was hurt in one leg and carried an injured Rana Pratap out of the battle field on three legs, jumping across a flowing stream and taking his master to safety before breathing his last on the Rana’s thighs. Visiting some of the sites of the war and the memorial brought a huge sense of respect to Chetak, his valor and sacrifice.

— to be continued