Monday, September 22, 2008


The majestic Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Kochi is steeped in history. This Catholic church was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul 1V in 1558. It was spared by the Dutch conquerors who destroyed many Catholic buildings. Later the British demolished the structure and Bishop Dom Gomez Veriera commissioned a new building in 1887. The cathedral was consecrated in1902 and Santa Cruz was proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul 11 in 1984.

This magnificent Basilica is one of the important tourist attractions in Kochi. Come, let us go around and enjoy the beauty, splendor and grandeur of this historical monument which is standing as a silent testimony for the greater glory of God.

(Kindly click on the photos for a larger view)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


There are thousands of people who earn a living in this world through their own initiative, enterprise, wit, and sheer hard work. They don’t have rich parents, education, capital, regular shops, government assistance and bank loan. They don’t have casual leave, sick leave and privilege leave. They don’t have life insurance, medical insurance and theft insurance.

They are not interested in strikes, lock outs and bandhs. They work practically every day without a break. They are not interested in politics. They don’t know who is the President of the country or the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister. Many of them live on platforms, cook on platforms, eat on platforms and sleep on platforms. If it rains, they will take shelter in the veranda of closed shops. Their children play on the platform and learn the tricks of their trade early in life to support themselves. They don’t have cooking gas, fridge, TV, air conditioners and beds. They don’t beg and steal. They are the first ones to be on the road every day to earn some money and the last ones to leave.

If you want to know about real pain , suffering and sickness, ask them; if you want to know about poverty, hunger and thirst, talk to them; if you want know about heat and cold, discuss with them. They face life in its raw elements and manage to survive daily against great odds. They take their trials and tribulations in their stride with stoic fortitude and courage. They are very tough mentally. They don’t complain about their circumstances in life; moan and groan about their pitiable condition. What have they done to deserve such pathetic lives?

Looking at them we are able to appreciate how lucky and privileged we are, how much comfort and luxury we have and how abundantly God has blessed us. Do we have all these comforts in life through our own merit or HIS mercy? How many well to do people have lost their houses, property and lives overnight due to psunami, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and life threatening diseases?

Instead of looking down on them, is it not our duty to do whatever we can to alleviate their sufferings? Is it not time to examine our conscience?

Thursday, September 11, 2008