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Posts about gratitude (old posts, page 2)

A Tale of Bougainvillea

As a kid, I lived in what my relatives called the back of the beyond.
Oh, it may be all the rage now, but Thane was a small sleepy town in the 80s.

Not that it mattered to me.
Home was full of wide open spaces, where we ran and climbed trees and skinned our shins and ran some more.
Home was full of lakes and trees.
And home was full of bougainvilleas.

Bougainvillea pic 1

I was crazy about them.
On the way to school, mummy picked them for me.
On the way to the church, mummy picked them for me
I close my eyes and I can still picture her, all of her slight 5 feet frame; stretching, slightly leaping, to get her son, his bougainvillea.


As I grew up, and we faced tough days, I could never afford to buy mummy anything.
So every Mother’s day, I’d gift her a big bunch of bougainvilleas.

Bougainvillea pic 2

And her face would light up!
Some of it would go into her hair, some on the altar at home.
And she’d look so proud.
And I’d secretly, sadly wish I could buy her something more substantial, more significant than my pretty, soon to be wilting bougainvillea


Years have passed by.
We’ve had so many ups and downs.
Mummy’s been our lighthouse, one that we all hew to.
And I’m all ‘grown up’ now.
I can afford to buy her pretty things.
I gifted her a watch yesterday

Raga Watch pic

And I saw the same joy on her face, the same silly goofy grin, the same hearty laugh.
And the same face, full of love.
And that’s when I realised…

Mummy never cared about what I gave her.
A bunch of bougainvilleas was as precious as a gold plated watch.
As long as I loved her, she’d be happy.

Happy Mother’s day, Mummy!

Lots of love from your two beautiful daughters and three dumb sons :)
And Daddy too!


Toasty Nuts! (Or a toast to Natanya)

Nuts & Me!


(My toast at Nuts’ communion reception on the 3rd of January, 2016 … posted for posterity)

Hello!

Good Evening to all you warm folks …
and a Happy New Year!

That gorgeous girl (sorry not this one – that one) over there is my wife of four years :)

She is Natanya’s much, older cousin :)
Which is how I met Natanya four years ago.
I wanted her to be my flower girl, but when I saw her, it was love at first sight and I asked her to marry me instead!

She very wisely, and very selflessly, asked me to marry Abby and walked us down the aisle along with her handsome brother, Joshua.

She was 4, turning 5 then.

At age 6, she saw her favorite uncle (that’s me), getting fat and so she volunteered to teach me Yoga.
She has helped me stay in shape ever since :)

At age 7, she taught me how to sing my heart out, because she thought I had a nice voice!
So now, nobody beats me at singing “Beautiful Sunday” on karaoke, other than the equally talented Tanya

When Natanya was 8, last October, her Abbygail Aunty fell really, really sick.
I had to take her to a big old hospital in Mangalore for a big operation.
And it was big.
And it was long.
And it took 7 whole hours.
And then, after all that, the doctor said, it was going to take a long, long while before she got well again.

There I was alone, nervous, scared and praying really hard.
And then Natanya (through her daddy) sends me letters.
One, for every day we were there.

  • How is Abbygail Aunty?
  • I really miss you.
  • I really, really, really, really, love you.
  • And just to make sure, that her dumb uncle understood, she drew a heart and explained that, that was the symbol of love; she drew a small sad face crying, and said that that was the symbol of missing some one.

Comforting messages, letters of hope, written by a child who did not ostensibly know any better.

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength …

goes Psalm 8:2

And that was when I knew, all would be well.
That was how Jesus comforted us, and took care of both of us, and got us here today.

So you see Natanya, Jesus has always been there inside you, guiding you.
And today is when He makes His presence felt, to you and all of us,through the Eucharist that you received this morning.

So, on this special day, I have no special advice; just a small reminder.
To do for everybody, what you have always done for me.
To do what Jesus says with his commandment.

Love one another, as I have loved you.

To love, like you always have.
Everytime we meet, you make me a better person.

  • Through your kind words,
  • through your concern,
  • through your little pieces of advice,
  • and through your big, big, smile!

So with Jesus’ help, leave every one you meet everyday, a little better than you found them.


A New Beginning

Abbys hospital tag


It’s been two months since we checked you in.
Four, since we figured out what was eating you alive.
A year and two months, since we started battling it.

You’ve been so brave, through it all!
Through scans and needles and burning meds
Sleepless nights, and broken muscles, and
A lost voice, unable to eat, to speak

And even though you’re tired,
I’m so glad we made it through.
Time to soldier on.
Time to pick up the pieces of our life.

Time to start again…
I love you, wife!


Abby

Happy Birthday Mummy

My mother wants me to write for her …
You wrote for Daddy, she said.
Now write a little something for me too.

Such is Mummy.
Satisfied with love.
So here’s to you Mummy!
Happy 60th!


My mom


Sometimes I think, being a mother is all she ever knows.
She had three boys by the time she was twenty eight.
Daddy worked two jobs, to feed us.
Leaving Mummy to handle three hyperactive boys.
And she did.

Daddy got laid off and was too old to find another job.
While Dad did his carpentry, Mummy figured, she could teach.
With three boys and the home and hearth and god knows how many of the neighbours kids wanting to learn from her.
All this she did.

Well, God’s taking care of us, she thought.
I should give back, she thought
And we don’t have money.
So let me work for him.
With three boys and the home and the little kids coming to learn, there is a little time to go around supporting the Church
As an animator, as an educational resource, an area coordinator, a parish coordinator, a eucharistic minister, a sunday school teacher…
This she did.

And she slogged and struggled and cried and laughed and made her way through life.
She did.

We’re a houseful of boys.
But Mummy’s the strongest.
She carries us all through life.

Her infectous laugh, her naïveté, her determination, her enormous work ethic, have not only inspired us, but a whole generation of people around her.

What little she had, she’s made so much of.

We certainly did not make life any easier for her.
But she still loves us no matter what.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Thus says the Bible.
That’s my mother, says I
A life well lived, that’s my mother.

All that, she is.


4

Abby & Me

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.”


I take thee Abby,
to be my wedded wife,
to have and to hold,
from this day forward,

for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part …

I will love you, and honour you, all the days of my life!


37


I was going to write a “another year, another post” post on my birthday.

I’ll still write that one, because I’m now jealous of Scott Young, who is a decade younger than me and is so much more sorted in his head and his life, that it make me jealous.

However, I got a surprise gift in my mailbox that almost tore me up.
(Yes, the video above)

I met Mother Teresa once, when I was little and all she said to me, as she blessed me was

      “Be good!”

That has always struck me as sage advice :)
So I always try (keyword being try) to leave everyone a little better than I found them.

And I am humbled, when such love is returned manifold!
Thank you Zei!
You’ve made this birthday really special.


Happy Mother’s Day, Mummy!


My mom is a never-ending song in my heart,
of comfort, happiness, and being.

I may sometimes forget the words …
but I always remember the tune

      – Anon


And a Toast to New Beginnings

Derrick & Rajeshwari


Derrick came home two years ago in December to tell me he liked a girl.

Then he told me that she was older than him.
Then he told me she was Hindu.
Then he told me, she was a divorcee with a kid.

All of this didn’t surprise or bother me.
I’d be OK with all of this no matter what, if the girl’d be good.

What did surprise me, was that my brother, my impetous, independant minded, “I am my own man” brother cared enough about this girl to seek my approval.

Which I can tell you, has happened rarely enough, I can count such moments on my fingers.

(the approval seeking … not the girl meeting)

I met her. We spoke for two whole hours.

And I came away with the belief she was too good for him.

That all these “strikes” notwithstanding, Rajeshwari was still too good for Derrick.

I firmly believe that my brother is marrying up.
I firmly believe that Rajeshwari’ll, finally make an honest man out of my brother.

I’ve seen them together for the past year and a half.

My brother is a more peaceful, more happy, and dare I say it, more sane person, because of her.
Rajeshwari is already more than a sister that we boys ever had.
She’s compassionate, she’s kind, she’s full of joy and has a wicked sense of humour.

They’re good together. And Jai completes them.

This apparently, is the place where I’m supposed to impart worldly wisdom.
From my own short three year, crazy roller coaster of married life, all I can say is,

      Be together.

      Be happy.
      Be sad.
      Be angry.
      Be stupid.
      Be idiotic.
      Be ecstatic.
      Be determined.
      Be brave.
      Be whatever you want to.

All this and more’ll be infinitely better, if you do it together.

So here’s to the two of you …

Be happy!
Together!