Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Dreamer guy....

This man Bosco…Don Bosco, and his followers who have impacted & influenced my life from the tender age of 3..

The rescue by Fr. Mathew Thallanany (till date fondly remembers me as “circus girl”) from a neighbours playful push out of the window of our first floor balcony that landed me on boulders down below to the pounding thuddddd of Fr. M. Mascarenhas palm.. the loss of a few friendships gone wrong,
the sudden abrupt life of Fr. Ronnie to the person I am today 40 plus years on…

Yes I am a living miracle!! And I had to just see for myself where this Dreamer
came from… I did, albeit, a whirlwind tour and am certainly gonna go back for more to

Colle Don Bosco,
Torino, Valdocco,..
Maybe that somewhat explains my love for Ital(y)ians ;-) and Salesians!
Life!!!how do I even begin to describe it and thank this dreamer Man St. John Bosco..

 Devotion to Mary Help Of Christians

Pics courtesy Frs. Mackley Gomes & John Christy.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

MEMORIES : Ohh Birthdays....

Happy Birthday Mummy…You’d be 85 today, if you were around. I wonder how different all these years would have been for you? Were there never happy moments? Why does my memory seem to be cluttered with hurt and pain? 6th August somehow came and went without much-a-do. Your birthdays till you were around for the nine years of my life I know were quiet. Did we ever celebrate?

Birthdays are meant to be happy days. Through the years of schooling, the birthday girl would be dressed in her Sunday or party best. That was the cue for the class teacher to notice it was a student’s birthday…then she’d call the birthday girl to the front of the class. This was her show time, her moment of glory, where she would stand on a foot high platform and then the whole class would sing Happy Birthday…her face would gleam bright as ever…and she’d wear this broad air-hostess-smile, that stretched from one ear to the other (the genuine ones). After the class belted out happy birthday at their best ever vocals, followed the claps, as per the age. Then came the reward…how anxiously every classmate would wait for her to open that magic box for from it came the Cadbury’s Eclairs or Parle’s Kiss Me or Ravalgon…the beaming Birthday girl would find many a best friend or a wanna be best friend who would hope to escort the birthday girl around to the teacher’s/staff room, principal’s and headmistress’ office. Often if it wasn’t for the dress the birthday girl wore, you would wonder who really the birthday girl was. A class would normally consist of 65-70 or more students…so that was quite a number to cater to in addition to all the teachers in the school, plus friends in other classes. That would be enough for half an hour away from class. One period of study time…but the teachers were smart too…they would let you distribute the sweets when the subjects were the easier kind like singing, drawing, needle-work!!!

I, do not recall prancing about in my Sunday best at school... Could it be because my birthday would fall o'er the weekend? I always went to school in uniform and the day was pretty normal for me. This was because Dad had a different theory. After mass, channa (boiled grams)sprinkled with coconut would be ready, and that would be distributed to the 25 families in our Catholic housing society until the time it was affordable to do so, then somewhere down the years it stopped. I do clearly remember the one occasion I distributed sweets in school after helping myself to the house kitty without letting anyone at home know…I’ll remember that birthday forever…My dad strictly followed the system of “spare the rod and spoil the child”.  My neighbours and Uncles Johnny and Tony would often question dad about the rope on the door handle…for when it came to correcting us the rope spoke…ouch it still hurts dad…but I have learnt well from it. And while I wonder if it could have been done differently, I still think you did what YOU thought was best for me or us three.

Now, not all was as glum n gloomy as I make it out to be…on my 21st birthday,

my Aunt Elizabeth and cousins were over to celebrate the only ‘party’ I remember ever having, at home…

the rest, prior to and over the years have been fairly quiet, a deliberate choice of not wanting to make a tom-tom. Once I started working an occasional dinner with friends at a restaurant to mark the day would suffice.
Then my 30th I had a few of my “padre friends”, Shra and family (then we shared a better relationship) celebrate with me at a restaurant in BOM. In all of the excitement I did not realize that there was no film in the camera…ha ha….yup that was before digital cameras were as easily and economically available, thanks to a friend who also carried her camera, I have a few pictures.  

My 33rd birthday in Hong Kong was a blast, the party went on till sunrise. This was another first...the first time I really "partied" and entertained a houseful of friends.

I find it fake now and as if putting on a show to invite friends over to a place that is supposedly home… Actually this so called ‘home’ or what used to be home until our parents were around is a little 310 sq. ft pad that till today is the bone of contention between the three of us and clouds further my memory.  And so for a good few years I had an undisclosed home away from home and a family I thought I could count on ALWAYS… where I would go to celebrate my birthday.,but even that has been short lived... Influenced by the experiences of my childhood I generally keep it low key.

I began writing this when the phases of the moon and lunar eclipse swung my mood and thinking. Less than 24hours later an invitation was extended to me to an evening of canap├ęs and snacks and a briefing on the works of International China Concern. Like a bolt from beyond it struck me how very fortunate and blessed I am to be able to LIVE and to be able to celebrate 43 years of life!! IT IS A DAY I AM EVER THANKFUL FOR, the gift of life and the number of years I have been blessed with even if it is not a PARTYYY!!! of the kind we all know.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Revelling on a spiritual high....riding the wave...

I lost my first spontaneous draft to a few wrong clicks and almost gave up sharing this momentous and intense experience of my memorable holiday, a pilgrimage of sorts…with you all. But if this is any indication of the work of the Holy Trinity, Bl. Pope John Paul II and My Blessed Mother Mary here am I trying to put it together again so that my joy may be yours too.

It was around the third week of January 2011, during the jubilee felicitations of my dear friend Fr. Savio, while in casual conversation with Fr. Felix that he mentioned to me that the beatification of Pope John Paul II (JP II) had been announced. I shrieked with joy, which obviously surprised him as he knows me to be quite a fan of our present Pope Benedict XVI. Almost immediately the date for the beatification was confirmed by the Vatican viz., 1st May 2011

I knew I had my annual leave over Easter and considering that I was giving JP II quite a busy time during the past years, for petitions through his intercession and also praying for his speedy beatification I knew instantly that I wanted to be present in Rome for this historic and significant moment in the history of the Catholic Church. Every step of the way of this trip I have to say was a miracle...from trying to find affordable accommodation as close to Vatican City/St. Peters as possible, to my decision to travel onward to JP II's Birthplace, Wadowice, Poland and then my trip to Lourdes.

With 'subject to load' travel, my confused mind messing up dates for authorized Jump Seats and endless anxiety, I still got on the flight to Rome and flew despite an acute sinus attack and weird allergy reactions.. As I set out from Hongkong, I was blessed to be in very holy company having a Bishop from the Philippines seated next to me and he made interesting conversation thru the flight. So here was I in the one and only seat available for 'subject to load' passengers, on the flight to Rome. The flight you could tell had pilgrims from way Down-under, and even the Cardinals of Hong Kong and the Philippines were on board the same flight!!! How ecstatic was I?!!

Being a part of probably 1.5 million and more faithful in Rome on May 1st, which was also the feast of the Divine Mercy, was spiritually electrifying. I can say with certainty 1.5 million faithful, because within DAYS of the announcement of the beatifcation..ALL and I mean ALL, EVERY SINGLE hotel, hostel, "pension", guest house, religious run institutions, convents etc etc were sold out and fully booked!! I was all set to camp out at Via della Conciliazione or in St. Peter's square, (as many people did) if I wasn't going to find accommodation, but I still have to inaugurate that sleeping bag. Providence Divine! My very dear friend Angela, came to my rescue when her schedule miraculously worked out to fit in my travel and the beatification dates.

After a few winks, followed by a sumptuous lunch and another few winks, Angela & I headed for Circo Massimo to be part of the night vigil leading into the Beatification Ceremony. Circo Massimo was packed, how we squeezed our way into this huge open space featured in the famous chariot race in the movie Ben-Hur, heaven alone knows… It was a night of praise and worship; the luminous mysteries of the holy rosary were recited. While Circo Massimo was packed so was St. Peter's square and 5 or 6 other major basilicas and churches in Rome, where the rosary was prayed simultaneously… Just being part of this vast congregation was a very emotional moment.

John Paul II, died on 2nd April 2005 on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, a devotion he strongly advocated, and hence it was so befitting that his beatification should take place on the feast of the Divine Mercy, Sunday May 1, 2011. Whilst making our way to St. Peter's, Angela and I saw many people turn back and return home as they were told it was impossible to make their way in. I was not yet prepared to give up, especially after my experience from during the Installation of Pope Benedict XVI. The crowds I experienced here were a million times more. The flash back of standing in the queues when Pope John Paul II died to pay homage before his funeral was nothing in comparison to this gathering. And I thought to myself, all this is a MIRACLE. We don't need another proof of miracle for his canonization. The presence of the Trinity unifying the church through the celebration of this Pope's life and death is indeed a testimony itself. I was choked with emotion and I couldn't help but cry and that had its ripple effect even though those around me were strangers, bonding together in faith, through the universality of the Catholic Church.

Bad weather was not going to dither the faithful, and the weatherman's forecast for the following day was in no way going to dampen the hearts and the spirit of the people who had travelled from different corners of the world to be in Rome for this solemn and holy occasion. And if I have to say again that miracles never cease, contrary to the predictions of the weather department, the first of May was a superbly bright sunny day. I am sure you would have watched the telecast live on television. After inching our way forward the closest we could get was a few feet away from the press enclosure...any further into the square would have disconnected me from the rest of the 1.5 million which I did not want. I wanted to again be a part of that same crowd when some few years back had cheered "Santo Subito". Today that cheer had become a reality. St. Peter's square itself was full viz. with Bishops, priests religious and even heads of state...Fr. Warner this is when I thought of you and prayed for you...The Pope IS Head of State, it is only fair then that the church be as actively involved in state affairs as possible. And so I do hope and pray that those who come up with frivolous criticism for the stance you take, think again.

The Eucharistic Celebration at which JP II was beatified was another moving experience. We are used to attending Sunday Mass with 300 to 400 others. But here was I with another Million people attending mass with Pope Benedict XVI as the main celebrant. The air was electric and one could actually TOUCH the faith of those present. Amidst, tears and cheers, chants and applause, the portrait of Pope John Paul II was unveiled announcing him Blessed...now just a step away from Sainthood. Italians and Poles rubbed shoulders with peoples from all over the world. The prayers of the faithful that morning definitely made me feel like I was close to heaven. During the three hour mass I was amazed at how every catholic present was able to receive with reverence Holy Communion and in the most orderly manner. When Holy Mass concluded with the final papal blessings and the choir sounding literally like a chorus of angels, the crowds dispersed so peacefully while some others made their way to St. Peter's Basilica to pray before the relic of Bl. JP II. In the orderly chaos and crowd I was able to establish contact and locate Fr. Wyman.

This high and overwhelmingly overwhelming feeling that I was experiencing was something I did not want to end anytime soon and thought it would be only befitting that I prolong it by also visiting his birthplace. And so the next day I packed my bags and moved on to Wadowice, Poland. I wonder whether if Rome was not in existence, would Poland have been the seat of Catholicism? It has the most beautiful churches and basilicas that do not wear a deserted look as I have witnessed in other parts of Europe, America and Australia. And wow!!!Do the Poles love their Pope?!?!?!Practically every single window in Krakow and Wadowice had a picture of JP II and the papal flag displayed. My stay in Poland was to be just two nights, but when I was stopped from taking a picture at the Divine Mercy sanctuary, I knew I had to come back to recite the Chaplet Of Mercy @1500hrs and which is telecast live online.  (http://www.faustyna.pl/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=520) I extended it to four nights and in doing so, I was blessed further with the opportunity to visit Auschwitz the largest concentration camp and where also St. Fr. Maximillan Kolbe a strong faithful devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who sacrificed his life in return for the freedom of a prison mate had been imprisoned and killed in what was known as the "starvation cell"

After my experience in Poland and Rome, I felt very close to JPII and I wanted to go to Lourdes a place that was close to his heart as was Fatima. When my May roster was published I was overjoyed at seeing a Paris flight on my schedule I knew I wanted to make that trip to Lourdes…which I had put off last year, when instead of Lourdes I visited Le Mont St. Michel.

The yearning for a pilgrimage to Lourdes had intensified especially since JP II had a special closeness and connection to the sick and even those who care for the sick. Lourdes, in France, is that place...where people of all beliefs and backgrounds go to for healing be it physical, emotional and even spiritual. I had already been to Lourdes some 11 years ago in the peak of winter and even then it had been a beautiful experience. I have to say I was shaken to my core this time around. Seeing the faith and hope in these people's eyes is in itself a miracle. Lourdes is this little quaint and quiet pilgrim town, is bustling with life and activity in the summers when most pilgrims begin to pour in especially after Easter.

On my arrival at Lourdes, with my non-Christian colleague and friend, Muhela, with no confirmed hotel reservation or for that matter clueless of where exactly we were to stay, and what we were to do, we ended up in a comfortably priced and ideally located Hotel Basilique. Two minutes from the Grotto. After using facebook to ask for suggestions about where and how to go about this pilgrimage of sorts, with a little over 24 hours, available, up until the time I reached the grotto I had no idea how I was going to go about this. (Thanks Lara for your suggestion even if I read it only after the procession) I have to admit, considering that I have so many priest friends, theirs was the company I missed out on here especially so when I would see groups of pilgrims accompanied by their parish priests.

But believing that the Trinity and Mother Mary will lead us, and following the advice of Fr. Savio we first went to the information counter. (This counter like all other places within the Shrine complex) is manned by volunteers…in fact if Lourdes "functions" in the manner it does, smooth, flawless and incident free, it is largely due to the band of devoted and dedicated volunteers who take it on themselves to make your pilgrimage a fruitful experience of the quiet presence of God. We were first ushered into an audio visual room, and the volunteer told us "Watch this then we will talk".

The video was on the story of Bernadette, St. Bernadette, to whom the Bl. Virgin Mary appeared 18 times at this Grotto in Lourdes, urging her to spread the message of "repentance, penance & conversion". She was the daughter of an ordinary miller, and in those difficult times that France was going through she was obviously and seriously doubted, even considered insane by the rest of the village folks. Even her own parish priest doubted her especially when she was asked by the Virgin Mary to wash herself in a muddy stream AND DRINK of the water…and also build a chapel at the very same spot. It is that very same stream that is now channelled through faucets and baths where believers and even non-believers come to, wash, bathe and even today are miraculously healed. After the Video presentation the volunteer suggested we attend the procession of the Blessed Sacrament which is preceded by the recitation of the Holy Rosary at the Grotto at 1530hrs.

And so at 1530hrs, we went to the grotto to pray the Rosary. For me as a 'Rozario' there seemed nothing better than praying the rosary at the very spot where our Blessed Mother appeared some 150 years ago. As a child, I had to be home from play by 7pm. This would upset me no end because 7pm in Bombay, is still broad day light. If we did not reach home in time… well that is another story altogether. But the reason my dad insisted we were home AT 7, was to pray the Angelus and the Rosary…I would grumble and sit through it. Now as an adult I think how blessed to bear the name Rozario and yet how unworthy. When I look back at the years rolled by, I realize that even though the rosaries I've recited are far fewer than the years I've lived, Mother Mary has never ever stopped Mothering me. Even more so since mum's passing away today 33 years ago.

The rosary is a repetitive prayer honouring the Virgin Mary through the reflection and contemplation of the Life of Her Son Jesus and Her involvement all through his life from his Conception, Birth through to his adult life and ministry and His Crucifixion and Death. In the heat of the afternoon sun, it is the volunteers who assist in bringing in the sick and invalid on wheelchairs to the open unshaded space directly in front of the Basilica. They stay with them through the rosary and procession which ends with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the huge, yet peaceful underground St. Pius sanctuary.

The day concludes with the candle light procession. And I cannot find words appropriate enough to describe this simple but intensely spiritual procession of thousandsssssssss, tens of thousands of incapacitated, handicapped, physically and mentally challenged, terminally ill, blind and sick, people being brought in by volunteers that bond with them. Where and how they all come streaming in and how the sanctuary has room and more for them and others is all a miracle!!!! I have new found increased respect for my wheelchair passengers. A change in perception and outlook, an acceptance of one's problems is a miracle too; it doesn't have to be tangible and physically visible. The rosary is prayed in different languages, and is no recorded version but live of peoples, of pilgrims of different nationalities present that is evidently unified in prayer through the sweet melodious chorus of AVE MARIA at the end of each decade, that I tried so hard to sing with tears running down my cheek and a voice choked with emotion. Truly, my description of this Candle Light procession is just so inadequate. But if you do have the opportunity to travel, then make the trip to Lourdes and don't miss the candle light procession praying the Rosary. It is so worthwhile. You must experience it yourself.

My friend and I sat in a daze till almost 0130hrs as the crowds slowly, very slowly faded away. You could tell that no one really wants to leave the sanctuary/grotto and hesitatingly almost unwillingly we too strolled back to our hotel for the night.

24th of May, feast of Mary Help of Christians...how so very fortunate I was to be at this Holy place AND be able to participate in Holy Mass in English...The sick and the ones in wheelchairs are truly the VIP's at Lourdes. And it is so heartening to see how they are given top priority and place any time in Lourdes. After mass the MUST do is the baths. Temperatures dropped drastically in comparison to the previous day but it is the faith, fervour and hope of people who wait in queues for their turn, to be dipped into these stone baths tubs of water invoking Mother Mary through the praying of the rosary for a cure, a miracle, a healing, a conversion of heart or even for a better understanding and acceptance of their situations and illnesses.

The highlight of it all for me was the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which only makes the act of the bath and physical cleansing by water so complete. If I were to give Jesus a face, it would be this priest I made my confession with…Serene, calm, welcoming, non-judgemental, EVER FORGIVING…and I wonder WHY do I shy from this one big moment of GRACE…of FORGIVENESS…If and only if I availed of this sacrament of reconciliation more often, I would be able to experience the forgiving love that JESUS, so freely and willingly gives. In gratitude for His forgiveness and in the spirit of true repentance I felt drawn to make the Way of the Cross...hurriedly then returning to the Grotto for by then it was time to say my final goodbye...and carry along this momentous, spiritually intense experience back to Paris, my colleagues and passengers and YOU.

An intense, solemn, fulfilling, moving and gratifying Marian month of May...I definitely feel mama Mary's constant presence and protection in my life and even closer to Jesus through her. I share these moments with you and I pray that you too may have such an experience at some time or the other in your life too.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


It's that time of the year when the days are shorter and the nights longer. Naturally you get into bed earlier, gazing at the cracks in the ceiling struggling to fall asleep, at other times you are knocked out at touch-down…As I go through these autumn nights awaiting the preparatory period of advent and the culmination of festivities that surround the birthday of this little baby…Jesus, at Christmas, I have these zillion thoughts zipping thru my grey cells.

Hanging right opposite my bed, is the Don Bosco calendar, I pinch myself hard…no am not dreaming…it is the end of the 11th month of the year. One more to go and the year 2010, yet another year draws to an end..At the start of the month of November I had my annual leave to coincide with Dad's departure from this world WE call home, for his heavenly home. It adds to the melancholy of the time of the year. I then think of the list I drew up at the start of the year...my resolution list. Ashamed I have to admit that I have not achieved any of them in totality, but am consoled at the many attempts I made…I tried.

"Failures are the pillars of success" my dad would often say…and it rings loud and clear in my head..FAILURE!!!

When mum passed away dad had already retired, and so we three sisters grew up having to fend for ourselves. This is where I now see the initial cracks began to form. In trying to fend and provide for oneself is also probably what distanced us from each other. We three siblings never grew up closely bonded to each other. Each one of us led separate lives living under the same roof.

Jyotsna, the eldest of us three was in college and so the automatic responsibility of being the "bread winner" fell on her at least till such time that Shranima would be able to assist. As for me, four and half years later after mum's passing away, I went to the mission state of Manipur, where I earned and learned simultaneously for a while and then returned to Bombay where I stuck my finger in every pie possible, up until I landed myself..no..BLESSED with my dream job.

During the years that I was away, Jyotsna and I would communicate often. When direct dialing facilities were made available, she sometimes managed to smuggle a call thru to me, to this remote far north-eastern state which often bridged the distance of what would normally take a 5day journey to travel to this part of the country. I have not the faintest idea of what our conversations were about…

Shranima, I do not recall receiving mail from or even speaking…I could be wrong, but I would assume that her intense Secretarial course would have kept her pre-occupied, besides the fact that she and Jyotsna could not see eye to eye and so she would spend very little time at home. That she spent very little time at home was something my father could not tolerate.

Time passed by and each of us grew up to be self-made women, the distance between us only widened. At no point in time did either of us really pause and see this as an issue because each of us were so busy building our own lives, dealing with our own issues. Maybe dad did see it, but his authority sort of diminished as our earning power increased. If there were problems and issues, we hardly ever attempted resolving them and this continues till date. We try to bury the hatchet without ever trying to sorting things out.

It is now years since I have had a conversation with Jyotsna and Shranima. There used to be a time when I would be the bridge between the two of them, as the situation only got worse with Jyotsna's secretive way of going about things…but not anymore, not since…ahhh well..I've lost count of the years…And so we three siblings continue to live our separate lives.

The one thing in life that I am most passionate about is the ONLY thing I do not have…Family! Is that failure? For if it is then the institution of The Family that I so strongly propagate is the only thing that evades me. And yet…"Friends are the only family members that one can choose." I am grateful for the many friends I have all over the world. I thank God for each and every one of you, my friends, so many of you who treat me and consider me as part of your very own Family.

Friday, 18 June 2010

MEMORIES : The loving strains of the sound of music

Music they say is a universal language...You don't have to be a musician to like, appreciate or simply enjoy music. Ironical as it may seem, death I thought in some similar way has the unique ability to communicate and create, on us the effect that music does.

I often see the similarity between a music concert and funeral. Emotions displayed and controlled. Tears shed and dried. People digging deep into their treasure troves of memoirs to pay solidarity and tributes. People sometimes known and sometimes not. Strangers and relatives all bound together by one score and one conductor or bonding because of one person.

Often than not, the former would be a more desirable situation to be in. But my dad had this talent of making the most serious of situation at a funeral seem light and almost humorous without disrespect to the soul laid to rest. He did it by simply 'singing'….Music lifted the heavy atmosphere at many a funeral. Maybe a few of my senior cousins may recall it better. Dad had his way of paying homage to the dear departed.

Many a celebrity funeral today, reminds me of dad because of the role of music at the ceremony...My mind goes back to the rendition of Goodbye England's Rose for Princess Diana..perfect interpretation by Elton John. Who can forget the more recent music tribute to MJ. Music soothes the heart. But I was more touched by the tribute to Pope John Paul II as I WAS THERE. It started as a stroll to the Vatican City, after dinner in celebration of the success of my dear friend, Savio D'souza sdb, doctoral defense. Little did we know what we were in for that night. But it is a once in a life time experience. Standing the night through till 9am when we finally were able to enter the Basilica where the body of our dear departed Pope JP II lay so serenely. We were standing beside groups of people… from babies, tiny tots, young scouts in uniform, to people old, very old and the very, very old. All standing in reverent silence, or praying the rosary, or SINGING. How I remembered dad at that moment. After having had an action packed day and a few margaritas downed at the celebration, from where we got the energy I do not know, but we lasted the whole night and in the morning when we actually saw good JP II laying in St. Peter's, it was worth every minute of the 13 hours we stood in Q, worth the wait and tiredness of limb and body. Often falling asleep standing, for the furthest distance we may have moved would have been a step or two only...The light music in the Church was so soothing to the soul. The memory is still fresh in my mind even today.

Whether music runs in the family I really do not know...I think my cousins the Herbert's, maybe the Noronha's too did have a piano. Dad had tried to send me to Mr. D'lima who lived at Rosedale, next to Margaret House to learn music/voice training. I attended two sessions with him and stopped for I was more keen to learn to play the violin, as I'd see kids and my peers heading to the D'costa family's flat in the neighborhood with their violin's to learn from them and thought my time at D'limas was a waste. Today the "kids" sight read music and even conduct the church choir…but mine still remains a desire unfulfilled and I hope someday it will turn to reality.

Only more recently after dad's younger brother Johnny passed away at a ripe young age of 91, did I learn of his ability to play the mouth organ. My dad in his bachelor days...Uncle Tony, the youngest of the four siblings recounts to me "owned a Gibson guitar...paid through his nose for it", then led on to another story. But then, dad always had a nose, a flair for these expensive stuff and then leave them to collect dust, rust or generously give to charity...Ah yes...those genes he certainly passed on to me....And who can ever forget dad's moves on the dance floor, that won him many an accolade. Whatever happened to his dancing feet how did I end up with two left feet? You could have left me with some of your dancing ability daddy dear…

Monday, 7 June 2010

MEMORIES : Memories

Joe & Esperance Rozario 14th Nov, 1962

Today 32 years ago..mum left on her journey to her creator, after battling with cancer...leukaemia that is what it is termed today...But way back in 1978 'Cancer' itself was unheard off.

Mum was a quite, soft spoken lady. Mathematics, I think was her strong point. She was the only daughter, born on the 6th of August, 1926, christined Esperance Borges, I could tell her brothers, especially Uncle Agustine, really cared much for her.

I do not have too many memories of my mum, they seem to have blocked out...but oh yeah all the goodies she prepared for tea time especially. I do remember that I was in the IV std (1977) when I got chicken pox and received my 1st holy communion the same year. I recovered and the rest of the family took their turns, but mum...mum's pox never got cured...We even thought it was small pox..Until sometime during the summer holidays of the following year, we took her to Dr. Vaidya, just down the road and who's clinic still stands, who said she had to be admitted into hospital.

I cannot recall the date of her being admitted, but I vaguely remember it to be the month of May, during the novena's to Mary Help of Christians. I also remember Grace Reuben being born the 31st of May that year. I faintly remember my visits to the hospital to see her.

The machines are what kept mummy's heart pumping and alive after she had slipped into a coma. The doctors had said she was in the final stages of cancer...blood cancer...It never made sense to me...

I remember returning home from the hospital after the evening visit, that year my school results saw me detained in class V. I was at my neighbors place right opposite from our door, when the news of mum passing away reached me. Not that it made sense to me. Ten year old in our day and time hardly would have known what Death really meant.

Dad, Joe Rozario, born on 20th January, 1915, the second born of four, I could not tell, and will not know how shaken he was with the news...I guess he must have known the inevitable...Death was sure to come...none knew when...

Dad lived on 14years after mum passed away, when he returned to his maker on Nov 5th, 1992...He never showed us his real true feelings (men generally don't) at the loss, irrespective of what may have been the closeness of the relationship. Am sure there would have been good times and like all families, the bad ones too...sometimes the bad remain etched in our memory...But it's the bad that become learning examples and experiences for the rest that follow, from none other than the best institution HOME. No counselling, no shrink, no book, no school will teach you what YOU learn from the experiences at HOME.

On the lighter side I remember my dad's favourite song...
No he did not drink to get drunk or like alcoholics do...he contained his drink very well. We just had to curb it once diabeties got the better of him... This then we would hear more often.

Though just a verse...it went like this...
Am not very fond of whiskey
But just a tiny drop
And when I start to drink it
I don't know when to stop
When the bottle is empty
My poor old throat runs dry
Looking at the empty bottle
Tears roll down my eyes

Goodbye whiskey, farewell to you...
In this world there is none like you...
Goodbye whiskey...farewell...farewell