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Back to rains of childhood days

[Due to poor connectivity, I had to delete pictures, I will upload them when possible]

It had been a few years since I saw the rains of my childhood days.

I left my home town, well it’s a village, a few decades ago. Though I visited it almost every year or two, I didn’t get to experience the rains of my childhood.

Those non stop, incessant, merciless rains. I remember days when , we as school children, did not have to attend school for 10-20 days because it was raining heavily and continually. Though we enjoyed getting drenched, we made quite a bit of fuss to attend school. And now my nephew enjoyed the same fun. My sis-in-law told me he has had “rain holidays” for the last one week! Those were the type of rains of my childhood.

Well, I had missed those golden days.

Today, on 09 Aug 2019, I am in my lush green village. And it’s raining. My driver (well, it’s my brother!) couldn’t see the road ahead properly due to poor visibility. Rains were lashing out mercilessly from all sides. Those were the type of rainy days of my childhood.

When I reached home, my sister-in- law complained even though the windows were firmly closed, the room was filled, nay inundated, with water. That’s the type of rain of my childhood.

After lunch, I slept for a while. But by the time I could steal forty winks, massive peels of explosive thunder and lightning disturbed my tired mind. And it went on. That was the type of rainy days of my childhood I had revisited.

And of course, when you have a cell phone, you need electricity. That’s the world of my adulthood. My cell battery eased running out. I felt helpless. There was no electricity. My sister-in-law told me they have been living in darkness for the last few days since these incessant rains started. Occasionally they would get a blink of electricity, and back to power shutdown or breakdown. There’s not been electricity for long. That’s the type of rainy days of my childhood.

And I love it all.


Fr Hedwig da Costa SJ no more

Fr Hedwig da Costa SJ is no more.

He breathed his last on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola on 31 July 2019.

Fr da Costa, born on 21 September 1936, joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, in 1953, and was ordained a priest in 1967.

He spent all his life in education, as a teacher and principal. He was principal of St. Joseph’s Boy’s High School Bangalore, and then principal of St. Joseph’s College Bangalore.

After his retirement, he served as the Finance Officer of KJES and various other capacities.

In the last three years, he was at Jesuit Nivas on Museum Road, Bangalore. Recently, he was diagnosed with cancer.

Three days ago, he was admitted to ICU of St. Philomena Hospital. This morning, he had a cardiac arrest, was on ventilator, and was struggling for breath.

Be breathed his last today at around 7.45pm

May his soul rest in peace

Creighton University President at Joseph’s

Prof Daniel Hendrickson SJ, President, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, was with us yesterday.

Thanks to the good work done by Rene Padilla, my counterpart at CU, and his Program Coordinator Krista Cupich, our partnership has blossomed.

Personally, I have been doing this work of International Collaboration or Global Initiatives for my college, St Joseph’s in Bangalore, for the last four years.

Ever since, it’s been a very hard, unrecognized work. Plenty of emails, documentation, meetings, follow ups, hosting foreign delegations, writing and modifying MOUs, reminding leadership about them and getting legal sides of them, any number of botherations.

Our collaboration with Seattle University, Washington State, has worked wonderfully well. Then, Sunway University Kuala Lumpur. Washington State University has been more or less one sided. Working with Creighton University has been wonderful.

Now, after this MOU, I will be visiting them. From there , it will be an exploration of Seattle further. And new explorations of a few others like Chicago, Boston, New York, and finally Georgetown in Washington DC, if SJC can benefit.

With all this, I hope, our institutions and their students benefit much.

Nostalgia – Break it in Goa

I spent a couple of relaxing days in Goa.

There is something special about Goa. Not that I am exceptionally fond of beaches and water, having been born in a land full of rivers and sea-shores and beaches. In my childhood, if I had to go to the school/ church or return, I had to be fully inundated in the Phalguni river. As kids, we hanged to our dad’s/ brother’s/ uncles/ neighbour’s shoulders, while allowing ourselves to float at the expense of our benefactor who helped us cross the river! Books and our clothes with him, and we would (like baby monkeys!) hung on his shoulders, and let our legs freely float in the water, as he walked through the neck-deep waters! That was fun.

Of course, not always! I have lost a few cousins and relatives who were washed out in that river, too both while crossing, as well as when trying some (mis)adventures.

And of course, you couldn’t speak anything less about the torrential rains of Mangalore/ coastal Karnataka/ Western Ghats! They would just pour down, as if gods were angry with us, even as we -kids- loved getting drenched!

That’s all nostalgia now! We long for drinking water in the change climate.

Some rare torrential rains in Goa -this time- were a nice experience. And the full seas! I love watching the ever-coming waves. But never enjoy getting into the troubled-waters! Especially, if someone mad for seas is with me! That makes me over-cautious.

Besides the seas and the water, I loved the scenery. Its’ lush green Goa! That is really refreshing. I happened to be South Goa. And that is the most wonderful part of Goa (not Panaji or Calangute or Anuna, please!)

South is less polluted, less populated by tourists. So, you have much cleaner weather, cleaner air, clearer waters, and less people to bump into you.

Loved it.

I have a few pictures of the Goa’s scenery; that is for a later date, when I transfer them to my computer, to upload!

Thanks for all that lovely experiences!

In the Social Media Age, Comment is Free…but

It is the social media age. And anyone can post anything. Almost everyone feels empowered to express oneself, even when the post is not verified for veracity.

So you see people posting all sort of things – text, pictures, memes, audio, and video. Now, it makes you feel great to post whatever strikes you, without the fear of being “edited” or verified or the anxeity of worrying if your comment would be published or no, if yes, when etc which was typical of the analog, legacy media age. Consequently, even a little child who sits quietly in front of its teacher in the class or parents at home, posts some of the most profound, tall, huge posts – makes for a genius!

The one I read today was really profound: Happiness is a choice, not a result! Very good! To begin with.

But that does not give any authority to impose their choices on you – be it governments or leaders (in whatever fields – be it social/ cultural/ economic/ or religion which thrives on God & the other-worldly sanctions!) I fear them, even when happiness is my choice. I fear them because I have seen some nastiest fellows making hay in the name of nation and god!

So, when you live in a society, I can’t afford to be too idealistic and philosophical, much less pios about these. The more naive you are, the more ignorant leaders without qualms of conscience exploit you! Be careful!

Random thoughts on leadership

It’s been a while since I updated my blog. After I returned from Shimla, the College reopened, and it’s been crazy hectic. Full-time teaching (which I loooooove!), active involvement in the Department matters, involvement with Research Centre, and my own research! And then there are other non-credited works and responsibilities/ issues dumped on me, for all the sweat and labour it takes, hence dumped on me since those supposed to do them don’t know how to do.

Something like this: our politicians in Delhi occupy chairs power. But most of them know nothing of what it entails to be a minister. Dumb! It is the bureacrats who know, have to do all the hard work, sweat and labour for it, but get no credit for all the great work they do.  But their criminal, notorious leaders walk with all the credit, without even acknowledging the people who slog for it, often kicking them away!

How many of our leaders deserve to be leaders? I wonder even if 5%-10% merit it. Many have criminal cases slapped against them, many on counts of rape and murder,  terror, and even planting bombs! Some have tasted jails for their crimes (though those who have manipulated rules & escaped outnumber those who were found guilty!) But to every right thinking citizen’s dismay, such unfit, cheap fellows are made leaders! With such pathetic leadership and the citizenry which tolerates such inefficient, unprofessional, nasty, criminal leaders, you can’t expect any institution to survive. All such institutions will die a painful death – be it politics, democracy, religion or culture.

I am of the firm belief, if institutions die, it is because of the crime of their leaders, and not because of outside elements. Our leaders, those who keep preaching to others, have absolutely no sense of God, the divine, the constitution, morals and ethics.

And our leaders don’t work at all – they enjoy power and benefits at the cost of those poor workers; they only pretend to work. They keep lobbying for themselves and their further benefits, and call it ‘work’. Of course, they hoard plenty of power and money at the cost of the loyal workers/ citizens. That’s why they keep on creating rules & regulations for others (not for themselves!)

Be sure, these are random thoughts, not against specific individuals; but which spring from a deep concern for our country, democracy, and its institutions, including religion and religious leaders.


Thank God! Noisy, violent elections are over

Finally, one part of these General Elections to the Parliament of India are over. I mean the dirty shouting and screaming, forgetting that they are leaders. Screaming in the name of democracy and ‘nation’, but actually fighting shamelessly for power.

These two-three months, from the time the shameless politicians started anticipating elections, have been a trauma for any decent Indian, to see how their shameless netas, spreading lies, propaganda, and abusing rivals in the worst language that anyone can imagine. Is this a civilised country? Or are these the Palaeolithic times, when wild animals tore one another apart for mere survival? I am not too sure.

Anyway, now that the campaign is over, there is less pollution in the air. On Sunday (19 May) there is the last phase of elections – voters in the remaining 59 (of the 543) constituencies  will decide on their representatives who will fleece them for the next five years (or may be less, if no party gets majority, this time). But candidates are not supposed to canvas or have rallies.

And on 23rd May, the results will be out. I hope some well-meaning, decent party will get an absolute majority and form the government (I know this is wishful thinking, at a time when everyone is predicting a hung parliament).

Afterall, as a citizen, what do I want? Only some overall development for all irrespective of caste, class, education, gender, geography, and language. I want jobs for the teeming millions, who are wasting their time and energy in streets, hoping for a brighter future. I want peace and harmony, so that everyone can live without fear – irrespective of their identity and affiliation. I want freedom to express my legitimate opinions and expressions. I want a humane country – vasudaiva kutumbakam.

A Date with Monkeys (& Langurs)

You may be familiar with Shimla-chillies (Capsicum). But there is another side to it: Shimla is a monkey-city. Known for its monkeys and grey-langurs. That Shimla is a hilly-green town, the presence of monkeys and langurs is a given.

These monkeys and langurs could be dangerous. And if you are not careful, you could be at the receiving end of the monkeys!Monkey

Personally, I get very fascinated with monkeys and their expressions. Their little ones -more than anything else- fascinate me no ends.

So, when I came here to Shimla last year, I  had brought my camera, and was gloriously going around with it clicking.

With my fascination for monkeys and langurs, it is only to be expected that many of my pictures would be these primates.Langur

One evening, I was going for a walk (last year), with six-seven friends of mine. In a place, in the campus, a monkey was feeding her baby. And I was very close to this maternal scene – about 5-10 feet away. I took my zoom lens camera and aimed at them; and all hell broke lose! The monkey jumped at me – almost ON me! When a scared me, picked up a stone (and my friends were petrified!) – immediately, other monkeys gave a war cry, and there appeared scores of monkeys from nowhere (should I say, I actually believed in the Vanara-sena or the monkey-army of the Ramayana!?)  My friends insisted that I drop down the stone, and I did. And monkeys understood that. Shivering I walked away, with my terrified friends, and a disappointed camera.Monkey2

This time, when I touched my feet in Shimla, the first thing I remembered was that event – since there were those monkeys and langurs in different places to welcome me! How could I not remember it? To my surprise, the first question my friends  asked me was, ‘Do you remember how these monkeys terrified you, last year?’ Oh, God!

Today, I had somewhat a similar experience; this time not with camera. I was just walking towards the dining room for lunch, with my friends, busy chatting. And that experience re-visited us!

That is for the next post!

Till them, au revouir!

(Photo credits: Google pictures)

ICSE & ISC Results Declared

07 May:  Here is another for students, eagerly awaiting their results: Results for the Class 10 (ICSE) and Class 12 (ISC) examinations held in February-March 2019, have been announced.

The exams were conducted under the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), and the results are usually delayed compared to the Karnataka State Education Board, and even, CBSE Board results.

You may access your results on the official website of the ICSE board The results for ICSE and ISC are also available through SMS.