Wednesday, October 22, 2008


You can come here alone or with your girl friend or family to sit and relax , breathe in the fresh air, you can take a stroll enjoying the beauty of the rippling back waters, the tourist boats with blaring music chugging along, occasional speed boats dashing at dare devil speed, watch the sun set, see the cochin port and the mouth of the natural harbor, you can walk fast, sweat it out and get some exercise, you can do shopping in the malls, have some good things to eat in a decent restaurant or listen to music over the public speaker system.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Saint Alphonsa Muttathupadathu (Malayalam: അല്ഫോന്‍സാ മുട്ടത്തുപാടത്ത്; Alphonsa dell’Immacolata Concezione; 19 August 1910 – 28 July 1946) is a Catholic Saint, the first woman of Indian origin to be canonized as a saint by the Church and the first canonized saint of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church.

Alphonsamma, as she was locally known, had a poor, difficult childhood and experienced early loss and suffering. She joined the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, and through them completed schooling and made her permanent vows in 1936. She taught school for years but was plagued by illness.

Claims of her intervention began almost immediately upon her death, and often involved the children in the convent school where she had taught. The cause of Sister Alphonsa began on 2 December 1953 in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Palai and she was declared a Servant of God. She was declared Venerable on 9 July 1985 by Pope John Paul II. Her beatification was declared 8 February 1986 by Pope John Paul II at
Hundreds of miraculous cures are claimed for her intervention, many of them involving straightening of clubbed feet, possibly because of her having lived with deformed feet herself. Two of these cases were submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints as proof of her miraculous intervention. The continuing cures are chronicled in the magazine PassionFlower.
Last Sunday, 12 October 2008, Pope Benedict XVI announced her canonization at a ceremony at St Peter's Square.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


What do we do when we are hungry? Very silly question! We eat, of course! What is there to think so much about it?

Now let us see what happens to some people when they are hungry.

I had a job in Hotel Mermaid. The road leading from Vytilla to the hotel is very narrow. As I was driving through this narrow road, there was a traffic block. A huge lorry was blocking the traffic and vehicles could not pass. There was lot of shouting and hooting. More and more vehicles were coming on both sides and chocking up the road. There was no policeman in sight. It looked as though it will take some time for the traffic to start flowing.
So I got out of the car and went to a road side restaurant to have a cup of tea and pass the time. As I was idly sipping the tea, two laborers entered the hotel. They ordered breakfast. One asked for puttu, kadala and tea and the other ordered two appams with little sugar and tea. The one who ordered appam and tea, ate ravenously and finished the tea in a few gulps. Then he told the hotel owner that he will pay the money later.

The hotel owner became very furious. He started screaming,” You should have told me you had no money before eating. I already have a big list of people who come here and eat without paying money.. They owe me more than RS.4000. I don’t have time to run after these people. You better pay the money or you will regret it.”

The man looked totally ashamed of himself. He looked miserably at his friend and pleaded with him to pay the money. The friend grinned at him, ate fast, paid his own bill and walked out. The man was frightened and helpless. The hotel owner was glowering at him with a scowl on his face.

In the meanwhile the traffic jam was easing up. It was time for me to go. I got up, gave a twenty rupee note and told the owner to take my payment and also the payment of the man who had no money. The hotel owner tried to protest and justify his anger. I was not interested. The total bill came to just Rs.13 ( Rs.3 for my tea and Rs.10 for the man’s breakfast!)

I walked out of the hotel fast without looking at the hapless man.

Now tell me, my friend, what will you do if you have no money and you are hungry?

Monday, October 13, 2008


I was made to study this poetry by heart when I was in school. At that time I thought it was a bore and a chore. But even after so many decades some words are still etched indelibly in my mind.
Kindly sit back, relax, read slowly, savour the words, roll it on your tongue and enjoy.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
( also known as "The Daffodils" )

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced;
but theyOut-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

BRIEF OUTLINE :The memory of the daffodils is etched in the poet’s mind and soul to be cherished forever. When he's feeling lonely, dull or depressed, he thinks of the daffodils, and cheers up. The full impact of the daffodils' beauty (symbolizing the beauty of nature) did not strike him at the moment of seeing them, when he stared blankly at them but much later when he sat alone, sad and lonely and remembered them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I ate a buffet dinner prepared by a local caterer at a party. I had food poisoning and suffered terribly for a few days. I had to spend a lot of money for medicine, listen to a heavy dosage of advice from the neighborhood doctor apart from causing anxiety to my family.
I do not know if caterers are covered under the jurisdiction of Food Inspectors. In case they are covered, are the food inspectors doing their job?

It is jokingly said that we have plethora of laws and to enforce each law we have numerous inspectors. For example police inspector, income tax inspector, excise inspector, factory inspector, boiler inspector, sales tax inspector, explosives inspector, weights and measures inspector, and of course our friendly, smiling food inspector. These inspectors are the ones who mint money by helping people break the law.

In other words, laws are made not to prevent crime but to help inspectors make money. You might be able to throw some light!