Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A Photograph for You! A poem

I took a photograph of a smiling child,
Thinking that I would capture that smile forever!
Then I saw a blushing rose and
Captured it for you!

I thought I would brighten your day,
With a photograph of the mountains, covered
With snow, the warm glow of the sun
Glinting on the snow!

For, to bring a smile on your lips
Is my wish, that you may appreciate what God
Has made, for us. I saw some children at
Play and thought you’d like it.


I saw a dog at a railway platform,
Little  bothered was he, about my religion or
Yours. Therefore took I his snap, that
I might  ask,why do people fight so much?


So, did I take all those snaps,
That I might  make you happy! To share
My joy with you, is all I wish!
Therefore, have I captured, moments in time,
All for you!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Congratulations, You have won a Jackpot!

The above message might be common enough to many people on this Earth!one often wonders whether money really grows on trees and whether it is, after all, possible to win a lottery draw. The message on your E-mail might read, “ Congratulations, you have won a jackpot of one million dollars”, or, “your mobile number has been selected as a winning entry for the sweepstakes 2010, kindly send your details such as age, bank account number…etc. to the e-mail id," abc@yahoo.com.”

Gullible receivers of this message will no doubt be in for a rude shock when they realise they have been taken for a ride after having submitted a check for the purposes of verifying their signatures. Unfortunately there seems to be little that the authorities can do about reining in such swindlers! In India, a popular magazine keeps sending prospective subscribers documents pertaining to the entry of their names in the sweepstakes. The envelope is subscribed, Urgent, Sweepstake documents. The envelop contains a Business reply envelop and you have to return the documents, along with various stickers assuring you that you stand a chance to win a premium luxury vehicle along with the chance of winning a sweepstakes amount of Rs.100000/-!

Recently, I received a phone call informing me that I had won a Jack Pot of Rs.200000/- and the person at the other end told me to call a particular person on a particular number to claim my prize money. I never called back! I didn’t want to be taken for a ride! Unfortunately there are many who fall prey to such fraudulent attacks, and they reveal their credit card numbers, CVV numbers, and other sensitive personal information which makes them vulnerable.

The only solution to this problem is never to respond to suspicious messages, or unsolicited messages requesting for personal information. Many years back there was an African syndicate that used to send messages to the effect that the sender was an African whose father had stashed away a large amount of money before being killed during a change of regime. The message went on to state that the sender wanted to retrieve the loot and he wanted a bank account to park the money. Today, one is subject to numerous instances of cyber attacks, in the form of hacking. Phishing is in the form of unsolicited messages, which if opened, will lay open your computer to vicious hacking. Secret information in your computer is passed on to the sender of the suspicious message. Often your passwords, and t-pin numbers are laid open to the Hacker! The only defence is to have a good anti virus, and a good firewall. One should never click on a suspicious link, and one should always use a genuine Operating System. Always update your O.S. and your antivirus! Never do online transactions from a Cyber Cafe, and if you have to use a computer at a Cyber Cafe, then remember to clean up the Internet Explorer History. Remember to use a very strong password especially a mix of digits and letters. Use of nonsense words might be helpful! Remember, no one gives away money for free! The only money you win is the money you earn! Therefore, don’t be greedy, don’t go for easy money, no money is for free!

Friday, 15 October 2010

ISPCK Thanksgiving and Rededication Service-300 Years of Service

The ISPCK hosted a Thanksgiving and Rededication Service in the Cathedral Church of Redemption, Delhi on Friday, October 15th. 2010. On this occasion we were honoured by The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon.Dr.Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Thanksgiving and Rededication Service took place at 3:00 p.m. and was followed by the Cutting of the Tercentenary Cake by the Honourable Archbishop of Canterbury at 5:00 p.m. This was followed by the Inauguration of the exhibition of the ISPCK Ministries by the President of ISPCK Most Rev.Dr. Purely Lyngdoh at 5:10 p.m. The Civic Evening which started at 5:15 p.m. included a performance by ISPCK Free School students and ISPCK Disha Project women, and performances by schools supporting the ISPCK Programme. Dinner was served at 7:30 p.m.
The programme for the day started with the welcome by the President of the ISPCK, The Most Rev. Dr. Purely Lyngodoh, Moderator of the Church of North India.


The invocation was by the Rt. Rev. Sunil K. Singh, Bishop of Delhi.


The Adoration was spoken by The Most. Rv. Dr. Purely Lyngdoh and the reading from Epistle-Philipians 1:2-11 was performed by the Archbishop, Vincent Concessao (CBCI).


The Gospel according to John, 17:20-26 was then read by Dr.Ashish Amos, the general secretary, ISPCK.


The Intercession was read by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Taranath Sagar, President, National council of churches in India. This was followed by the Sermon by His Grace, the Most Rev. & Rt. Honourable Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. In his sermon, The Hon. Archbishop of Canterbury spoke about the importance of translation and the vision of the ISPCK which is 300 hundred years old! He spoke about the Gospel being not for the Western world, but rather that it was for different cultures. It is in the light of this fact that translation becomes of due importance and he spoke about the importance of finding accurate words in translation. The worthy Archbishop recounted a story about how his father, who preached in south India had worked hard in finding words to translate in Malayalam. He spoke about the importance of translating not only words but also lives and actions. He spoke about how ISPCK was giving importance to disseminating love and care to the Minorities in India. The worthy Archbishop talked about how translation in Incarnation and that to be a missionary means to grow in love and care. He said that according to St. Paul knowledge and depth come from love. He further spoke about how the ISPCK is helping in seeking incarnation in a new world order. The ISPCK, according to him is trying to promote Christian Love through translation. According to the Hon. archbishop of Canterbury,  ISPCK is promoting a faith that doesn’t sit still, but moves around the world, conversing, and seeking the glory promised by Jesus. Incarnate translation according to the Hon. Archbishop of Canterbury includes recognition and reconciliation.


The intercession was read by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Taranath. This was followed by the singing of the Hymn, amazing Grace by the Delhi Mizo choir.After this, the Confession of the Sin was read out by the Rt.Rev. Ezra Saragunam, President, The Evangelical church of India. The Absolution was then read by The Most Rev. Dr. Purely Lyngdoh. The Ave Maria , Schubert Solo was sung by Ms. Larissa Galyautdinova, and the pianist was Svetlana Radashkevich.


The Offertory prayer was read by The Rt. Rev. Dr. P.P. Marandih, Deputy Moderator, CNI, and was followed by the Eucharistic thanksgiving by The Most rev. Dr. Purely Lyngdoh. A song by CCM-Kyrie from Mass in g-Schubert was conducted by Nadya Balyan and Roo Ah and the Indian devotional was conducted by Fiona Hedger Gourlay



On the whole, it was a wonderful programme organised by the ISPCK. It was an honour to be served wine during Communion by the Hon. Archbishop of Canterbury. Given below are some more snaps of the programme:















Monday, 11 October 2010

Those were the days when L.P. vinyl records ruled the roost

A couple of days back, while browsing through the shelves in Reliance Times Out in Gurgaon, I came across two C.D. packs titled: “40 Evergreen Super Oldies”, and , “ The Greatest Super Oldies”. What caught my eyes were the tracks, Mona Lisa by Nat King Cole, Jamaica Farewell by Cliff Richards, Those Were The Days by Mary Hopkins, and More Than I can say by Bobby Vee. These besides many more used to be my favourite numbers when I was a child, and I remember how we used to hum these songs. When I brought these C.Ds. home and played them, everyone began to hum and sing along. My children were surprised that we knew the wordings to the oldies! My parents were transported to another world when they heard these classics, and my Dad waxed sentimental because he had the best collection of the numbers of the oldies, which were not so old in the seventies!

Yes, I remember that my Dad had what was called a spool tape recorder. It was a Sony and there were these huge spools that had to be threaded properly. While one spool contained the tape, the second spool was the empty spool on to which the tape would be wound. The sound quality of the spool tape recorder was superb. Then there was a Philips record changer. It was a record player which could play eight vinyl records in succession! I remember that we had a wonderful collection of records of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, James Last, Mary Hopkins…and many others! What I liked about the record player was that static hiss which is so distinct to the sound of vinyl records! The cassette recorder was not a great priority  with us, but nevertheless we had a Sanyo Cassette recorder and a large number of cassettes. Unfortunately, when my parents returned to India from Ethiopia after retirement, they had to leave behind their music collection as the equipment weighed a lot and there was a limit to the amount they could carry by plane.

Today, whenever I visit Planet M, or Landmark, or Reliance Times Out, I try looking for the oldies that formed part of my parents’ music collection. Often I come across some C.Ds. with a few number that set me humming, and I grab them. Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see a collection of Vinyl records on sale in Reliance Times Out. It seems as though Vinyl might after all be making a return, after all who can forget that distinct static hiss of a vinyl record? Unfortunately I don’t have a record player today. The record player’s place has been taken by the numerous C.D. / D.V.D. players that I have, whether  in my Lap top or Desktop, or Music system. To make matters more confusing is that I have my own I Pod, and my children too have theirs! This explosion of a variety of music systems has left one very confused!

Yes, those were definitely were the days when listening to music became a very exclusive moment. You didn’t have portable devices, so you had to enjoy music at home.  In those days, you had wall mounted speakers, or speakers that were placed on the floor, and the speakers had a good wooden cabinet which enhanced the acoustics! The Cassette tapes were Sony, Sanyo, Phillips and TDK. The Spool tapes were TDK or BASF or Philips, the vinyl records were HMV,and Polydor . His Master’s Voice and High Fidelity were common captions. Today, HDACD means High Definition Audio C.D. and Mp3 means that you can have about two hundred songs on a single C.D. but the compression means that you lose sound quality! So, what will it be for you, C.D. or a Vinyl Record, well unfortunately, you probably won’t get to hear a Vinyl Record, so the C.D. or the D.V.D. will do for now, or perhaps the Blue Ray….?

Saturday, 9 October 2010

CWG-2010 proves we can do well in Sports!


The medal tally of our Indian sportsmen in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi has shown the world that Indians can be good sportsmen!There have been some pleasant surprises in gymnastics, athletics, archery, and wrestling. It seems as if we are, after all, not hopelessly backwards in sports!  Unfortunately, our obsession with cricket might have caused us to ignore the other disciplines!


I was specially amazed to see the tenacity and determination of Kavita Raut who managed to keep up with the powerful Kenyan girls! It is the Kenyans and the Ethiopians who are the undisputed leaders in the marathon and for an Indian girl to keep up with them was particularly amazing! Kavita was able to clinch the bronze in the 10,000 meters Marathon, an amazing feat, no doubt! Our sportsmen did very well in wrestling, but the efforts of the women wrestlers were praiseworthy. I was able to watch a live telecast of Anita wrestling with Megan of Canada during the 67 Kg. final and it was an amazing match with the feisty Indian girl locking the strapping Canadian! Another athlete who amazed me most was Ashish Kumar, the rather young looking 19 year old boy who was able to garner the silver on the vault table event! It was amazing, whoever could have thought about an Indian winning a silver in Gymnastics ! The games were also about tears and emotions, and among these, the most touching were the tears of Babita who had to manage with the Silver in wrestling. Even on the podium she was inconsolable! Her sister had managed a Gold in wrestling. Dola Banerjee, Deepika Kumari and Bombayyala were able  to win the gold in Archery recurve team event! While the performances of out sportsmen in the  wrestling events were predictable, the performance of our sportsmen in the marathon, gymnastics and archery certainly were a pleasant surprise!


Looking at the performance of our sportsmen in the New Delhi Commonwealth games, I feel that there is still a good chance that our sportsmen can still do well in the forthcoming Olympics. All is not lost for our sportsmen. It is just that we need to do more for our sportsmen. They need proper training, proper facilities proper coaches, and of course, encouragement, respect and moral support from the society. It is high time we weaned ourselves from cricket, and instead gave more attention to the other games! Today a cricketer has more respect in the society than a boxer, or a swimmer or a tennis player! It is unfortunate that we didn’t do well in our National game-Hockey. It is high time we started working on improving the performance of the National Hockey team. We need to do better in swimming. To get talented sportsmen, we should identify talent at an early stage, preferably at the school level. Every school should have facilities for developing sports talent. There should be gymnasiums, stadia, Hockey fields…etc. Scholarships should be given to students who display talent in sports. It is only if we do all this that we will be able to field better sportsmen in International events! Our sportswomen have done very well in the Commonwealth Games, and they are an example for our sportsmen!