He Is Risen!

“A man who was completely innocent offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” -Mahatma Gandhi

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“Here is the amazing thing about Easter; the Resurrection Sunday for Christians is this: that Christ in the dying moments on the cross gives us the greatest illustration of forgiveness possible.” – T.D. Jakes

To those who believe and revere the day: Have a blessed and joyous Resurrection/Easter Day!

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Thank God It’s Friday – and it’s ‘GOOD’!

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When I was a little girl, I never knew whether to be sad or happy on this day. The visuals and the story of the crucifixion did nothing to convince me it was a day to “rejoice” or be happy about. I was too young to comprehend ‘God’s love’ in connection with ‘sacrificing’ His son for a whole bunch of ‘sinners’ who would happily save a Barrabas and let an innocent, no less God’s son, hang on the cross. So I would try to tone down my play and general joviality in keeping with the solemnity of a death (and worse, a death that I too was somehow responsible for.) I just didn’t get it…any of it!

Then there was the three-hour long church service I’d go through playing with things my mother would make with her handkerchief to keep me engaged. I loved the kerchief mouse a lot! I made it hop and pounce all over and crawl under benches to retrieve it! And the little kerchief purse came next. And when I’d be exhausted and bored with this she’d have some snacks wrapped up and orange juice ready for me, and I’d munch my way through thirty more minutes! The next thing would be to curl up on the bench with my head in her lap and drop off to sleep. That was the spiritual part of my day.  And that’s how it remained until I turned eight. From ten to fifteen, church-going became a sporadic exercise because we moved to the country and our church was about twenty-two miles away.

So it was only after I began going to church regularly, at sixteen, having returned to the city once again, that I began to understand a lot of what had gone over my head earlier.

Now, many of my non-Christians friends or acquaintances ask me why we call it “Good Friday” when our Lord was so cruelly crucified. They listen to the explanation and nod their heads as if they understand but I can see the confusion in their eyes. They just don’t get it. For myself – It’s enormous! This love and sacrifice… and often I wonder – “How?” I don’t see myself or the human race, worthy of such a huge sacrifice. God’s own son sent to die on a cross for my sins! I’m just zapped by the ginormous love God has for us, rather unworthy humans! Every year, come Good Friday, it comes into greater focus – this love divine, this love sublime.

Thank God we have a Good Friday!

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There is something about the cross that compels us to make a choice, either for him or against him. You can’t find a middle ground when it comes to Christ, even though at times we try to. (Fr. Sunny John O. Carm. )

A Winter Wonderland -Picture Speak

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”- Lewis Carroll

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Nainital, in Uttarakhand, India. I’ve lived and worked here and have lovely memories of this hill town.

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A visit To A Home On A Parcela

A ‘parcela’ means a large plot of land in the suburbs or outskirts of a city. They’re usually very big plots….going into acres of land. Back home, they’re called ‘farm houses’ even though there’s no real farm or farming happening on the land.

This was the first time I was visiting one which was private; the family lives there. Many such places are either rented out during vacations to tourists or then they’ve been commercialized as party venues with a crew of party planners who do everything for you. So, this was a first for me and I loved the place that was nestled in the lap of nature, so to say, and our hosts were gracious people.

Here are a few pictures that’ll take you on a tour around the house; no inside pics…it is a private residence! Even so, I’d like to add, the interiors were done up beautifully and tastefully.

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We drive up to the house (parking)

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Our hostess walks us along the driveway to the entrance….but we stop on the way to pluck a type of maracuja off the tree, and proceed to taste the fruit before we go ahead…no fruit gets fresher than this – fresh, off the tree, and sun-ripened fruit!

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One of the dogs accompanies us to the door.

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The part of the casa that opens out onto spreading green foliage – garden, tall trees…awesome place!

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Looking out at the far boundaries of the property, from the terrace.

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View on the left…

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Terrace sit-out…loved it!

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The outdoor barbecue area with picnic table and benches.

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The pool was so inviting!

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We come down to walk around and feel the beauty of nature envelope us.

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The patio…

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Patio…

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This little one was the cutest of the three dogs and was aware of it!

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Rows of fabulous white roses.

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I couldn’t help clicking this!

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The Maracuja tree that stopped us in our tracks and got us eating the (unforbidden) fruit! That yellow submarine shaped thing hanging behind the flowers is a kind of maracuja.

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That’s what we were munching on…bright, orangey flesh, full of little seeds!

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Walking down a path lined with white rose bushes to see the vegetable patch and nursery.

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A closer look at the lovely barbecue area…

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I had a moment of fright and panic on the patio where I was relaxing with my legs stretched out…you don’t see it? A lizard! And I’m terrified of these creepy crawlies… :O

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But my attraction to natural beauty got the better of me…I picked up courage and myself…crept fairly close and clicked a pic of this gorgeously coloured creature….(but I still remain terrified of lizards!)

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The three musketeers…one, the German Shepherd, doesn’t belong to the family, but you’d never know! He spends his entire day here and retires to his own home and family at night!

In retrospect, though I love the countryside (I’ve lived in one such place, back home) and at the time, as I was soaking in nature’s delightful ambiance; the peace and quiet…was so inviting and encompassing that I wanted to stay there forever, I know I can’t do that. I love the countryside, the wide open spaces, the tranquility – but I’m a city girl at heart. No, I don’t have a hectic social life and a nightlife on the town is non-existent. But I do prefer to live in a city and take frequent trips to relax in the quieter areas of the place…a get-away place! I’d feel pretty isolated if I were to live forever in a house on a parcela, however beautiful, attractive, and comfortable it was.

 

Picture Speak – By The Sea

“Look at that sea, girls, all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds. L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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“A fragrant breeze wandered up from the quiet sea, trailed along the beach, and drifted back to the sea again, wondering where to go next. On a mad impulse, it went up to the beach again. It drifted back to sea.” –Douglas Adams

Picture Speak

It was six in the evening. The sun was lower on the horizon. The moon, all three-fourths of it was up in the sky. Caught between the palm trees in the park…

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“Agua…mucha agua,” say two little voices in total awe.

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A few steps the other way…the moon is like a pearl entwined!

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