Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ring out 2007, Ring in 2008


Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkenss of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

- Lord Tennyson

Happy New Year, everyone! Make as many resolutions as you can ....after all, resolutions are made to be b-r-o-k-e-n!

Friday, December 07, 2007

May You be Blessed this Christmas Season!

During this Christmas season,
May you be blessed
With the spirit of the season,
which is peace,
The gladness of the season,
which is hope,
And the heart of the season,
which is love

Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing
Returns to you glad.

-John Greenleaf Whittier

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Musings of a New Mother

This is a poem I wrote 17 years ago when my baby daughter was born....

A new star
On the horizon;
A new dawn
In my life;
New aspirations
Within my heart;
A new individual –
My daughter!

A new dream
I now weave;
A new hope
In my soul;
New dimensions
To my thoughts;
A new role to play –
Her mother!

A new life
In this world;
A new change
In my routine;
New worries, anxieties
As time rolls;
A new world to build
My daughter grows!

-Geeta Abraham Jose

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Istanbul: Memories of a City

Book Excerpt:
At least once in a lifetime, self-reflection leads us to examine the circumstances of our birth. Why were we born in this particular corner of the world, on this particular date? These families into which we were born, these countries and cities to which the lottery of life has assigned us - they expect love from us, and in the end, we do love them, from the bottom of our hearts - but did we perhaps deserve better? I sometimes think myself unlucky to have been born in an ageing and impoverished city buried under the ashes of a ruined empire. But a voice inside me always insists this was really a piece of luck. If it were a matter of wealth, then I could certainly count myself fortunate to have been born into an affluent family at a time when the city was at its lowest ebb (though some have ably argued the contrary). Mostly I am disinclined to complain: I've accepted the city into which I was born in the same way I've accepted my body (much as I would have preferred to be more handsome and better built) and my gender (even though I still ask myself, naively, whether I might have been better off had I been born a woman). This is my fate, and there's sense arguing with it.

-Orhan Pamuk (Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature, 2006) Book: Istanbul:Memories of a City

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tagged by three!!!

I was tagged by Dot, Hillgran and Jac. So there's no way out; here goes mine:
There are 3 rules.
Rule 1. Same as for the last tag
Rule 2 You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
Rule 3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
My middle name is Abraham. But I'd like to shorten it to ABE so that I can do the tag quickly and not postpone it to to-morrow as I have been doing the last few days. And to-morrow never comes, they say...So let me do it TO-DAY.

A: ATTITUDE : Having the right attitude is crucial for getting ahead in life. A positive attitude works wonders in one's life. A great thinker (I don't remember who) once said that the greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. As you think, so shall you be.

B: BEAUTY: Beauty, they say, is skin deep. But when I think of beauty, it is the inner beauty that manifests itself through good words, kind deeds and supreme sacrifices. If you were ask me to name the most beautiful woman on earth in recent times, my answer would be: Mother Teresa.

E: EMPATHY: One of the greatest qualities that sets man apart from beasts is his capacity to empathize with fellow beings. It originates deep within your soul and spreads out to your fellow being who is suffering physically, mentally or spiritually. My favourite quote on Empathy is: I do not ask the wounded person how he feels. I simply become the wounded person…...

So mine is done, Jac,Hillgran, Dot. Now who shall I tag? it
1.Dr.Hope and Love

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Day the World Changed Forever

Invisible City

Sweet and bitter smoke stains the air
The verb stains has a thread torn out

I step out to the linden grove
Bruised trees are the color of sand.

Something uncoils and blows at my feet.
Sliver of mist? Bolt of beatitude?

A scrap of what was once called sky?
I murmur words that come to me

Tall towers, twin towers I used to see.
A bloody seam of sense drops free.

By Liberty Street, on a knot of rubble
In altered light, I see a bird cry.

by Meena Alexander(author of Fault Lines, Nampally Road etc)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dot's Tag of Fav Smells

I'm doing Dot's Tag....Here is my list of favourite smells:

1. The smell of the earth just after the first monsoon rain...did you know that it's called "petrichor"?
2. The mild fragrance of Johnson's Baby takes me back to the time my daughter was a sweet little baby
3. The aroma of my mom's chicken stew brewing in the pot...yummmm
4. The smell of new books...something I loved as a child and still do.
5. The ethereal smell of coffee blossoms back home in Kerala....

Now, its my turn to tag:
Vidya, Jac and Hillgrandmom

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hello there!

Hey Guyz…..I'm back with a bang. Fully charged and ready to take on the next year's challenges after the most relaxing and refreshing holiday in the best place on planet Earth: monsoon drenched Kerala. Missed you guys…I'm catching up with everyone.
In the meantime, here's an excerpt from a wonderful book on Bombay, that I read during my vacation. It takes you right from the crown to the underbelly of the city and never ceases to amaze you with facts about this great city, that the author gathered by befriending people from every section of the society- from slum dwellers, killers, smugglers and prostitutes to movie stars , cops and politicians. This non fiction book reads like a novel that you simply cannot put down.

Excerpt - Maximum City : Bombay Lost and Found

You have to break the laws to survive. I break the law often and casually. I dislike giving bribes, I dislike buying movie tickets in black. But since the legal option is so ridiculously arduous – in getting a driving licence, in buying a movie ticket—I take the easy way out. If the whole country collectively takes the easy way out, an alternative system is established whose rules are more or less known to all, whose rates are fixed. The 'parallel economy', a traveling partner of the official economy, is always there; turn your head a little to the left or right and you'll see it. To survive in Bombay, you need to know its habits. If you have a child, you have to know how much 'donation' to give to the school to get admission. If you have a traffic accident, you have to know how much to give to the cops to dispose of the matter and how much to give to the father of the child you've run over to stop the mob from lynching you. If you're a tenant, you have to know how much to demand in key money from the landlord to move out. The parallel economy is fed on a diet of judicial rot. The system of justice, supreme legacy of the British, is in tatters, starved by a succession of governments afraid of its power over them.........

- Suketu Mehta ( Maximum City)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Excerpt 4 - Off to GOC

....Outside the window, the brown countryside was gradually giving way to a green one. Swaying coconut palms- myriads of them- welcomed us to the land of coconuts.
Lush green paddy fields flowed past. The purple lines of hilltops rose behind them on the horizon, scalloping the sky. Slowly, the sun rose above them, heralding the birth of a new day.

I was in God's own country where the sun smiled, the rain danced and thunder applauded as nature sashayed down the catwalk in all her finery. Here, nature was endowed with an abundance of beauty, grace and charm in such measure that tourists often exclaimed, "Surely, this must be God's own country!", and the tourism people decided to use this expression to their advantage in luring more tourists to Kerala.

God’s own country with its fields and rivers, lapping lagoons and bewitching backwaters was a treat to the eyes. I looked out of the window at the scenes racing backwards as the train raced forward. But I was hardly appreciating the beauty of the land. My mind was racing. Racing backwards. Through months, through years, through decades……………

-Geeta Abraham Jose (By the River Pampa I stood)

Dear blogger friends,

Yay! I'm off on a vacation to Kerala. Will miss you all. See you in August. Have fun, keep writing and KEEP SMILING!!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Book Excerpt: Broken Wings

Every time I went to the fields I returned disappointed, without understanding the cause of my disappointment. Every time I looked at the grey sky I felt my heart contract. Every time I heard the singing of the birds and babbling of the spring I suffered without understanding the reason for my suffering. It is said that unsophistication makes a man empty and that emptiness makes him carefree. It may be true among those who were born dead and who exist like frozen corpses; but the sensitive boy who feels much and knows little is the most unfortunate creature under the sun, because he is torn by two forces. the first force elevates him and shows him the beauty of existence through a cloud of dreams; the second ties him down to the earth and fills his eyes with dust and overpowers him with fears and darkness.

Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow. Solitude is the ally of sorrow as well as a companion of spiritual exaltation.

The boy's soul undergoing the buffeting of sorrow is like a white lily just unfolding. It trembles before the breeze and opens its heart to day break and folds its leaves back when the shadow of night comes. If that boy does not have diversion or friends or companions in his games his life will be like a narrow prison in which he sees nothing but spider webs and hears nothing but the crawling of insects.

That sorrow which obsessed me during my youth was not caused by lack of amusement, because I could have had it; neither from lack of friends, because I could have found them. That sorrow was caused by an inward ailment which made me love solitude. It killed in me the inclination for games and amusement. It removed from my shoulders the wings of youth and made me like a pong of water between mountains which reflects in its calm surface the shadows of ghosts and the colours of clouds and trees, but cannot find an outlet by which to pass singing to the sea.

Thus was my life before I attained the age of eighteen. That year is like a mountain peak in my life, for it awakened knowledge in me and made me understand the vicissitudes of mankind. In that year I was reborn and unless a person is born again his life will remain like a blank sheet in the book of existence. In that year, I saw the angels of heaven looking at me through the eyes of a beautiful woman. I also saw the devils of hell raging in the heart of an evil man. He who does not see the angels and devils in the beauty and malice of life will be far removed from knowledge, and his spirit will be empty of affection.

-Kahlil Gibran (Broken Wings)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More on Optimists and Pessimists

The optimist is a person who wakes up in the morning and shouts: "Good Morning, God!" The pessimist is a person who wakes up in the morning and groans: "Good God! It's morning!"
(this is my favourite quote on optimists and pessimists- I don't know who said it)

Here are some more:

The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.
-Mark Twain

The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.
-Kahlil Gibran

An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?
-Rene Descartes

An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight. The truly wise person is colorblind.
-Albert Schweitzer

Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn't expect to be paid back.

An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
-William Arthur Ward

Don't ever become a pessimist; a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun--and neither can stop the march of events.
-Robert Heinlein

Any more quotes on Pessimists and Optimists????

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Optimist or Pessimist?????

I found this at Hillgrandmom's and set to find out where I stand. And here's the result:

You Are a Realist

You don't see the glass as half empty or half full. You see what's exactly in the glass.
You never try to make a bad situation seem better than it is...
But you also never sabotage any good things you have going on.
You are brutally honest in your assessments of situations - and this always seems to help you cope.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Book Excerpt: The Origin of Species

Thus ends this highly controversial book:

Authors of the highest eminence seem to be fully satisfied with the view that each species has been independently created. To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. Judging from the past, we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to a distant futurity. And of the species now living very few will transmit progeny of any kind to a far distant futurity; for the manner in which all organic beings are grouped, shows that the greater number of species of each genus, and all the species of many genera, have left no descendants, but have become utterly extinct. We can so far take a prophetic glance into futurity as to foretell that it will be the common and widely-spread species, belonging to the larger and dominant groups, which will ultimately prevail and procreate new and dominant species. As all the living forms of life are the lineal descendants of those which lived long before the Silurian epoch, we may feel certain that the ordinary succession by generation has never once been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world. Hence we may look with some confidence to a secure future of equally inappreciable length. And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

- Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Book Excerpt: The Audacity of Hope

......Almost by definition, faith and reason operate in different domains and involve different paths to discerning truth.

The story of Abraham and Isaac offers a simple but powerful example. According to the Bible, Abraham is ordered by God to offer up his "only son, Isaac, whom you love," as a burnt offering. Without argument, Abraham takes Isaac to the mountaintop, binds him to an altar, and raises his knife, prepared to act as God has commanded. Of course, we know the happy ending—God sends down an angel to intercede at the very last minute. Abraham has passed God's test of devotion. He becomes a model of fidelity to God, and his great faith is rewarded through future generations. And yet it is fair to say that if any of us saw a 21st century Abraham raising the knife on the roof of his apartment building, we would call the police; we would wrestle him down; even if we saw him lower the knife at the last minute, we would expect the Department of Children and Family Services to take Isaac away and charge Abraham with child abuse. We would do so because God doesn't reveal Himself or His angels to all of us in a single moment. We do not hear what Abraham hears, do not see what Abraham sees, true as those experiences may be. So the best we can do is act in accordance with those things that are possible for all of us to know, understanding that a part of what we know to be true—as individuals or communities of faith—will be true for us alone.

This is not to say that I'm unanchored in my faith. There are some things that I'm absolutely sure about—the Golden Rule, the need to battle cruelty in all its forms, the value of love and charity, humility and grace.

- Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Another Book Tag

Book Tag – Indian Authors
Have you read these books by authors of Indian origin? The ones in bold font are the ones I have read and the ones in italics are the ones I am longing to read....

1. The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri (great read!not seen the movie though!)
2. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (amazing book!Estha and Rahel continue to haunt me....)
3. An Equal Music – Vikram Seth (I liked it)
4. The Vine of Desire – Chitra Divakaruni (I enjoyed reading it)
5. Mulligatawny Soup – Manorama Mathai (humourous one!)
6. The Burden of Foreknowledge – Jawahara Saidulla (I'm just waiting to buy it!)
7. By the River Pampa I stood – Geeta Abraham Jose ( guess who wrote it!)
8. My Story – Kamala Das (Good one)
9. The Raj – Gita Mehta
10. Circumferences – Suma Josson (it transported me to my childhood, good book)
11. Mediocre but Arrogant – Abhijit Bhaduri
12. The Enigma of Arrival – V.S.Naipaul (for serious readers only!)
13. The Better Man – Anita Nair
14. Fault lines – Meena Alexander
15. The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai (wonderful book!)
16. Fasting, Feasting – Anita Desai
17. Bookless in Baghdad – Shashi Tharoor
18. Train to Pakistan – Khushwant Singh
19. Difficult Daughters- Manju Kapur
20. Desirable Daughters- Bharati Mukherjee
21. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
22. The Feast of Roses – Indu Sundaresan
23. Malgudi Days – R.K.Narayan (read it a long time ago!)
24. Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat ( a cool one for teenagers)
25. Anything for You, Ma'am – Tushar Raheja (super cool one for teenagers)
26. The Moor's Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie

Hillgrandmom, Twinkletoes, Nav , John and Jawahara - You are TAGGED!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

I have this beautiful poem taped to my dressing table and I read it almost everyday as I get ready for office. I'm sure no working mom would be able to read through the entire poem without a pang of guilt in her heart or a tear in her eye....

When Time Flies By!!!!

My hands were busy through the day;
I didn’t have much time to play.
The little games you asked to do,
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes;I’d sew and cook
But when you bring your picture book
And ask me to share in your laughter
I'd say, "a little later, daughter"
I’d tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers; turn out the light.
Then tiptoe softly by your door,
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life is short, the years rush past,
A little girl grows up so fast.
No longer is she at your side,
Her precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away'
There are no longer games to play.
No Teddy Bears or misplaced toys,
No sleepovers with lots of noise.
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still,
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.


Happy Mother's Day, everyone!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Deccan Herald - Interview 8 Apr '07

Familiar ground

Utpal Borpujari in an interview with Geeta Abraham Jose, whose first novel is about her own community, the Syrian Christians

Remember The God of Small Things and the world created in it by Arundhati Roy? It is the same world of the Syrian Christian community of Kerala that Geeta Abraham Jose takes a reader into through her debut novel By The River Pampa I Stood.

An IIT-Chennai alumni, Jose lives in Dubai.A portion of the proceeds from the book is being donated to the Nav Srishti Foundation (an NGO that works for under-privileged women in India) by Srishti Publishers & Distributors.

This is not the first novel with the Syrian Christian community as the backdrop and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things is the most famous example of that. How would you describe your novel's theme?

Way back in 1995, I said to myself, ‘Hey, why not write a book using my own community as the backdrop? This is an uncharted territory. So let me write about it.’ That's when my novel was born.

I had almost completed writing it when Arundhati’s novel took the world by storm. I loved her book but I was amazed at the similarities in the theme and the family set up. We come from the same Syrian Christian background and anyone from this background would know the kind of incidents which could raise eyebrows in a highly conservative society like ours. This could be the reason for the similarity in the theme. As for the kind of life that existed in the pre-Independence era, I picked a lot from conversations with people from the older generations of the community.

As for the river Pampa, it has always remained close to my heart. I grew up hearing legends about the Pampa and during the hot summer days we cruised on its serene waters through the Kuttanadan plains. What is particularly appealing about Kuttanad is its old-world charm, its slow pace of life and its innocence which remain unchanged.

There seems to be a deliberate attempt to ride on the success of Chetan Bhagat, as the cover page of your book says, “A novel by yet another IITian”. Comment.

My book is not a book about IIT. I guess my publishers are still riding on the crest of the success wave of IITian Tushar Raheja’s novel (Anything for you, ma'am), which they published last year and still remains a hot favourite with teenagers in India. The publishers were attracted to my manuscript because it was penned by another IITian. That could be the reason for the rejoinder on the cover page.

How important was the Syrian Christian backdrop for your first novel?

I chose this background only because I am familiar with the community I was born into and brought up in. I was very particular that the descriptions of lifestyle and traditions be original; only then does the book have literary value. Instead of treading on unknown territory, I chose to walk confidently on familiar ground. I did not need much research for portraying the community's characteristics.

How long did it take for you to conceptualise the storyline and actually write it down?

It took me around two years to complete the novel. In one of my creative moments I must have conjured up the plot. The conceptualisation of the storyline must have taken only a couple of months. When I relocated to Dubai, the manuscript travelled with me and lay dormant in the bottom drawers of my closet. About a couple of years ago I transferred it to a word document on my laptop and gave it a few finishing touches before dashing it off to publishers.

Having been settled in the Gulf, has it allowed to take a more objective view of your society when you wrote the novel?

Sure, it did. But the main portions of the novel were written before I moved to Dubai to join my husband.

Are there autobiographical elements in the novel, since it ends with such an indication?

If it seems so to the reader, then I have succeeded in what I intended it to seem like. I wished that the reader would read it as though it was a true story. Frankly speaking, it is not autobiographical. A few incidents were picked from my associations with senior citizens. The main plot is totally fabricated. I have written in first person using a ‘journal style’ in order to lend credibility to the story.

As a first time author, what kind of experience did you have while looking for a publisher?

Oh, that was really the difficult part. Some publishers sent instant regret letters. Some kept the sample chapters for a long time and nothing ever happened. As I said, initially it was the ‘IITian’ tag that caught the attention of Srishti Publishers— who are well known to provide a platform for amateur writers— and then the manuscript was read and appreciated by the editor. Many a manuscript is born to blush and die unseen… You need to send it to the right publisher at the right time.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thoughts of Pontius Pilate

My wife spoke of Him many times ere He was brought before me, but I was not concerned.

My wife is a dreamer, and she is given, like so many Roman women of her rank, to Eastern cults and rituals. And these cults are dangerous to the Empire; and when they find a path to the hearts of our women they become destructive.

Egypt came to an end when the Hyskos of Arabia brought to her the one God of their desert. And Greece was overcome and fell to dust when Ashtarte and her seven maidens came from the Syrian shores.

As for Jesus, I never saw the man before He was delivered up to me as a malefactor, as an enemy of His own nation and also of Rome.

He was brought into the Hall of Judgment with His arms bound to His body with ropes.

I was sitting upon the dais, and He walked towards me with long, firm steps; then He stood erect and His head was held high.

And I cannot fathom what came over me at that moment; but it was suddenly my desire, though not my will, to rise and go down from the dais and fall before Him.

I felt as if Caesar had entered the Hall, a man greater than even Rome herself.

But this lasted only a moment. And then I saw simply a man who was accused of treason by His own people. And I was His governor and His judge.

I questioned Him but he would not answer. He only looked at me. And in His look was pity, as if it were He who was my governor and my judge.

Then there rose from without the cries of the people. But He remained silent, and still He was looking at me with pity in His eyes.

And I went out upon the steps of the palace, and when the people saw me they ceased to cry out. And I said, "What would you with this man?"

And they shouted as if with one throat, "We would crucify Him. He is our enemy and the enemy of Rome."

And some called out, "Did He not say He would destroy the temple? And was it not He who claimed the kingdom? We will have no king but Caesar."

Then I left them and went back into the Judgment Hall again, and I saw Him still standing there alone, and His head was still high.

And I remembered what I had read that a Greek philosopher said, "The lonely man is the strongest man." At that moment the Nazarene was greater than His race.

And I did not feel clement towards Him. He was beyond my clemency.

I asked Him then, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

And He said not a word.

And I asked Him again, "Have you not said that you are the King of the Jews?"

And He looked upon me.

Then He answered with a quiet voice, "You yourself proclaimed me king. Perhaps to this end I was born, and for this cause came to bear witness unto truth."

Behold a man speaking of truth at such a moment.

In my impatience I said aloud, to myself as much as to Him, "What is truth? And what is truth to the guiltless when the hand of the executioner is already upon him?"

Then Jesus said with power, "None shall rule the world save with the Spirit and truth."

And I asked Him saying, "Are you of the Spirit?"

He answered, "So are you also, though you know it not."

And what was the Spirit and what was truth, when I, for the sake of the State, and they from jealousy for their ancient rites, delivered an innocent man unto His death?

No man, no race, no empire would halt before a truth on its way towards self-fulfilment.

And I said again, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

And He answered, "You yourself say this. I have conquered the world ere this hour."

And this alone of all that He said was unseemly, inasmuch as only Rome has conquered the world.

But now the voices of the people rose again, and the noise was greater than before.

And I descended from my seat and said to Him, "Follow me."

And again I appeared upon the steps of the palace, and He stood there beside me.

When the people saw Him they roared like the roaring thunder. And in their clamour I heard naught save "Crucify Him, crucify Him."

Then I yielded Him to the priests who had yielded Him to me and I said to them, "Do what you will with this just man. And if it is your desire, take with you soldiers of Rome to guard Him."

Then they took Him, and I decreed that there be written upon the cross above His head, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." I should have said instead, "Jesus of Nazareth, a King."

And the man was stripped and flogged and crucified.

It would have been within my power to save Him, but saving Him would have caused a revolution; and it is always wise for the governor of a Roman province not to be intolerant of the religious scruples of a conquered race.

I believe unto this hour that the man was more than an agitator. What I decreed was not my will, but rather for the sake of Rome.

Not long after, we left Syria, and from that day my wife has been a woman of sorrow. Sometimes even here in this garden I see a tragedy in her face.

I am told she talks much of Jesus to other women of Rome.

Behold, the man whose death I decreed returns from the world of shadows and enters into my own house.

And within myself I ask again and again, What is truth and what is not truth?

Can it be that the Syrian is conquering us in the quiet hours of the night?

It should not indeed be so.

For Rome must needs prevail against the nightmares of our wives.

-Kahlil Gibran (Book: Jesus, the Son of Man)

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Burning Candle

from "By the River Pampa I Stood"

A burning candle.
That’s what she often reminded me of. Attired in her crisp, white mundu-chatta-kavani - the traditional dress of the Syrian Christian woman of Kerala – she stood tall and stately, her golden hair creating a halo around her fair, radiant face.
Like a candle with a golden flame.
Even in her eighties she was exuberant and perky as ever; bubbling with energy and vitality as she went about, helping people, filling lives around with love and laughter.

If you think it’s about another Mother Teresa, dear PeaJay, you are sadly mistaken.
For she was no saint.
At least in the eyes of mortals, that is.

She was one who broke rules. And for that matter, broke hearts too!
She was one who reversed the Dos and Don’ts that convention demanded of her. Dos that were not meant to become Don’ts. Don’ts that were never meant to become Dos. And that too, in a society that was highly sensitive to the slightest infringement of its conventions.
She broke rules….
…….Rules that were never to be amended.
And broke hearts in the process….
…….Hearts that were never to be mended.
Which, obviously, made her a sinner. In the eyes of society. In the eyes of the world.
But not in mine. For she was my favourite grandmother!
"Rules", she once told me, "are like a heap of dry twigs. You tread on one intentionally and you end up breaking not one, but a good number of them, all unintentionally".

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Book Tag

I saw this tag on Hillgrandmom's blog and wanted to do it right away. There are a hundred books in the list. You need to highlight the ones you've read in Bold, the ones you long to read in Italics and the ones you haven't read in normal font.

So here goes mine:

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) - was curious about the hype
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) - loved it
3. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) - an all time fave book
4. Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell) was obsessed by it for a long time
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)- love all her books, especially The Story Girl and The Golden Road which instantly transport me to my childhood. I recommend these 2 books to all who love LMM
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)- borrowed from my daughter
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)- lovely book.
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) - a classic I love
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) - great read
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) -one of my favourites
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) - I liked it a lot but the sea journey seemed too long
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte - An all time favourite classic
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) -
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert) - I have it in my collection
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell) - Classic science fiction.
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) - a wonderful book
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible - my favourite book -I've read it from cover to cover around 5 times
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) - good one. I'd love to read 'Tis and Teacher Man by the same author
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) - from my daughter's collection
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) -wow! great book
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) - have read its sequel The Edge of Reason too
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) - one of my favourites
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) -
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) - I love all her books
84. Wizard’s First Rule
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)- loved all her books
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

*do tag it if you like.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Mohanlal introduces the book to Dubai folks

India's renowned movie actor Padmashri Mohanlal introducing BTRPIS to the Dubai folks.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Here is the link to where you can read reviews by readers

The Hindu - First Impressions

THE HINDU FEB 04, 2007

By The River Pampa I Stood; Geeta Abraham Jose; Srishti; Rs 100.
IN the backwaters of Kerala stands the Gold House. Its occupants have many stories to tell and some secrets lie locked away till the eldest daughter of the house lies ailing. Always the rebel, she has set her standards way above those around her. She has lived life by her rules. But now, it is time to come clean and as she waits for her favourite niece to be by her side, Annama, as she is now known, wonders about the past. At the same time, her niece discovers different facets of her aunt's life, many of which throw up quite a few surprises. However, she keeps these to herself, promising to fulfil her aunt's last wishes. Spanning over a century, this story also covers the lives of Kerala's Syrian Christian community, a people who abide by age-old conventions abhorring change of any kind.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Hindu (Kochi Edition) - By the River Pampa I Stood

Metro Plus Kochi
Published on Mondays & Thursdays
Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Friday Review | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus Bangalore Chennai Coimbatore Delhi Hyderabad Kochi

21 Dec 2006

From alongside the Pampa

Geeta Abraham Jose reveals the background of her book By The River Pampa I Stood, which is based on the Syrian Christian community

"The Syrian Christian community was un-charted territory till Arundhati Roy put it on the literary map. But I decided to write about something I know. I know what's happening in this community." Taking advantage of the topicality of Kerala, Geeta Abraham Jose ventured to write By The River Pampa I Stood.

Based in Dubai, she was recently in Delhi for the official launch. An IIT Madras post-graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering, she started writing the book in 1995, when her husband had just moved to Dubai.

An engineer and professor she asserts that literature is her first love. She moved to engineering only because she got good marks! Writing was her way of unwinding at the end of the day. Her daughter would sit beside, watching her. Today, her daughter in senior school hopes to write her own book soon.

She is bashful of the rejoinder on the cover of the book, "A novel by yet another IITian!!!". "It is not an IIT story," she insists. But she admits she sent the book for publication, inspired by fellow IITian Chetan Bhagat's success.

While she desists from calling the book autobiographical, she says has taken stories from older people in the family. "For me an old person is a store house," she admits with a genuine laugh, "When a grandmother dies, I feel sad at all the stories that have died with her."

By The River Pampa I Stood is the story of a grandmother and granddaughter and the tangents of their lives. But Jose's aim is to show, "though times are different, mindsets have not changed, especially when it comes to marriage."

The status quo of the community does affect her. "The Syrian Christians pride themselves on dating back to the Apostles. As a community they are resistant to change." But her beliefs and book betray an optimistic view. "You cannot step twice into the same river for the waters are continually moving on," she quotes. Taking the example of her book she says, "In the end, change does happen. At first the patriarchy went to great extent to preserve the family, but towards the end, a new system emerges. Change becomes inevitable."

While preferring to stick to the "Queen's English", the book does use different Malayalam verses to re-create the ambience. Songs of the workers and rhymes of children are occasionally woven into the text.

The river Pampa has been a constant for Jose's childhood. Memories and legends are associated with it. The book, she hopes, will also promote tourism in Kerala as she describes in detail the beauty of the backwaters.


Indian Express -By the River Pampa I stood

Indian Express Sunday 15 Jan 2007
Books & Literature
Fresh print
Thursday January 11 2007 19:07 IST

Priya M Menon

By The River
Pampa I Stood
By Geeta Abraham Jose
Srishti Publishers & Distributors, Rs 100

The world got a peek into the life, caste politics and practices of the Syrian Christian community in Kerala with Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things. Geeta Abraham Jose’s work (a novel by yet another IITian, screams the cover) once again revolves around this very community.

Replace Ayemenem with Kuttanad and the prominent Ponnumpurackal family. Where caste politics still lurk within the folds of Christianity. Where the do’s and don’ts are still dictated by convention.

To the author, then a lonely young girl who has just lost her father, great aunt Annammachi offers solace, comfort and inspiration. But Annammachi is the woman who had dared defy all norms. Who had reversed the do’s and the don’ts with her love for childhood friend and pulaya, Thoma.

The novel, filled with local colour, paints an evocative picture of the typical Syrian Christian/ Nasrani family, its beliefs and time-honoured traditions. The fictional plot sketches characters that are refreshingly real, the author choosing to dwell on the grey areas of life where there are no heroes or heroic acts but just the ordinary human condition.

Femina - By the River Pampa I Stood

Femina 17 Jan 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

To the Po

River, that rollest by the ancient walls,
Where dwells the lady of love, when she
Walks by thy brink, and there perchance recalls
A faint and fleeting memory of me;
What if thy deep and ample stream should be

A mirror of my heart, where she may read
The thousand thoughts I now betray to thee,
Wild as thy wave, and headlong as thy speed!
What do I say -- a mirror of my heart?
Are not thy waters sweeping, dark, and strong?

Such as my feelings were and are, thou art;
And such as thou art were my passions long.
Time may have somewhat tamed them, -- not for ever;
Thou overflow'st thy banks, and not for aye
Thy bosom overboils, congenial river!

Thy floods subside, and mine have sunk away -
But left long wrecks behind: and now again,
Borne our old unchanged career we move,
Thou tendest wildly onwards to the main,
And I -- to loving one I should not love.

Lord Byron (1819)

Friday, February 16, 2007

The aftermath...

124 WAS SPITEFUL. Full of a baby's venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. For years each put up with the spite in his own way, but by 1873 Sethe and her daughter Denver were its only victims. The grandmother, Baby Suggs, was dead, and the sons, Howard and Buglar, had run away by the time they were thirteen years old--as soon as merely looking in a mirror shattered it (that was the signal for Buglar); as soon as two tiny band prints appeared in the cake (that was it for Howard). Neither boy waited to see more; another kettleful of chickpeas smoking in a heap on the floor; soda crackers crumbled and strewn in a line next to the doorsill. Nor did they wait for one of the relief periods: the weeks, months even, when nothing was disturbed. No. Each one fled at once--the moment the house committed what was for him the one insult not to be borne or witnessed a second time. Within two months, in the dead of winter, leaving their grandmother, Baby Suggs; Sethe, their mother; and their little sister, Denver, all by themselves in the gray and white house on Bluestone Road. It didn't have a number then, because Cincinnati didn't stretch that far. In fact, Ohio had been calling itself a state only seventy years when first one brother and then the next stuffed quilt packing into his hat, snatched up his shoes, and crept away from the lively spite the house felt for them.
Baby Suggs didn't even raise her head. From her sickbed she heard them go but that wasn't the reason she lay still. It was a wonder to her that her grandsons had taken so long to realize that every house wasn't like the one on Bluestone Road. Suspended between the nastiness of life and the meanness of the dead, she couldn't get interested in leaving life or living it, let alone the fright of two creeping-off boys. Her past had been like her present--intolerable--and since she knew death was anything but forgetfulness, she used the little energy left her for pondering color.
"Bring a little lavender in, if you got any. Pink, if you don't."
And Sethe would oblige her with anything from fabric to her own tongue. Winter in Ohio was especially rough if you had an appetite for color. Sky provided the only drama, and counting on a Cincinnati horizon for life's principal joy was reckless indeed. So Sethe and the girl Denver did what they could, and what the house permitted, for her. Together they waged a perfunctory battle against the outrageous behavior of that place; against turned-over slop jars, smacks on the behind, and gusts of sour air. For they understood the source of the outrage as well as they knew the source of light.
Baby Suggs died shortly after the brothers left, with no interest whatsoever in their leave-taking or hers, and right afterward Sethe and Denver decided to end the persecution by calling forth the ghost that tried them so. Perhaps a conversation, they thought, an exchange of views or something would help. So they held hands and said, "Come on. Come on. You may as well just come on."
-Toni Morrison (Nobel Prize winner) (Book:Beloved- Pulitzer Prize winner)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Thoughts of "Doubting Thomas"

Thomas: On The Forefathers Of His Doubts

My grandfather who was a lawyer once said, "Let us observe truth, but only when truth is made manifest unto us."

When Jesus called me I heeded Him, for His command was more potent than my will; yet I kept my counsel.

When He spoke and the others were swayed like branches in the wind, I listened immovable. Yet I loved Him.

Three years ago He left us, a scattered company to sing His name, and to be His witnesses unto the nations.

At that time I was called Thomas the Doubter. The shadow of my grandfather was still upon me, and always I would have truth made manifest.

I would even put my hand in my own wound to feel the blood ere I would believe in my pain.

Now a man who loves with his heart yet holds a doubt in his mind, is but a slave in a galley who sleeps at his oar and dreams of his freedom, till the lash of the master wakes him.

I myself was that slave, and I dreamed of freedom, but the sleep of my grandfather was upon me. My flesh needed the whip of my own day.

Even in the presence of the Nazarene I had closed my eyes to see my hands chained to the oar.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.

Doubt is a foundling unhappy and astray, and though his own mother who gave him birth should find him and enfold him, he would withdraw in caution and in fear.

For Doubt will not know truth till his wounds are healed and restored.

I doubted Jesus until He made Himself manifest to me, and thrust my own hand into His very wounds.

Then indeed I believed, and after that I was rid of my yesterday and the yesterdays of my forefathers.

The dead in me buried their dead; and the living shall live for the Anointed King, even for Him who was the Son of Man.

Yesterday they told me that I must go and utter His name among the Persians and the Hindus.

I shall go. And from this day to my last day, at dawn and at eventide, I shall see my Lord rising in majesty and I shall hear Him speak.

-Kahlil Gibran (Jesus, the Son of Man)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Tagged by Hillgrandmom

This tag on My Style came from Hillgrandmom.

Here's mine:

Style- Appearance

I like to appear simple, smart and trendy but I would not like to be attired in something that doesn't suit me even if it is the current rage. When I am out shopping, you would spot me in jeans or salwaars, which are comfortable and hassle-free. In the office, it would be formal suits and at parties, it would be sarees any day. I have a collection of accessories to go with my dresses. Again it would be different for office and party wear. For office wear I use simple jewellery. For parties, it would be precious stone sets that are set in gold or silver to go with my sarees.

Style – Home Interiors

A house is built of bricks and stones; it becomes a home when you do the interiors in such a way that it gives you a sense of comfort, peace and tranquility and imparts a welcoming feeling to the guests you entertain. I prefer traditional style interiors with a homey, subtle, non-jarring, non-intimidating ambience. A nice and cozy place where you can snuggle into your comfy chair after a hectic day in the office; a quiet and comfortable retreat where the family members get recharged to go out and meet their day to day challenges – that's the magic of traditional interiors. Being a Libran, I love to be surrounded by beautiful objects. I like collecting antiques. I feel that each ancient object has a unique story to tell about the people who have used it back then.

Style – Food

I love home-made food, preferably Indian. But to break the monotony, we do dine out whenever possible. At such times we try out various cuisines – Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Mexican, whatever!

Style – Relationships

My family consists of my husband, my daughter and myself but back home in India we have large extended families on both sides. I look upon the family as my vital support system. I believe in togetherness but at the same time each member needs his or her own breathing space. Mutual love and respect are the buzzwords which bind our family together. We love to go out with friends and their families whenever we get some time off from our busy schedules.

Friday, January 26, 2007

In Kalimpong ...

All day, the colors had been those of dusk, mist moving like a water crea­ture across the great flanks of mountains possessed of ocean shadows and depths. Briefly visible above the vapor, Kanchenjunga was a far peak whittled out of ice, gathering the last of the light, a plume of snow blown high by the storms at its summit.

Sai, sitting on the veranda, was reading an article about giant squid in an old National Geographic. Every now and then she looked up at Kanchenjunga, observed its wizard phosphorescence with a shiver. The judge sat at the far corner with his chessboard, playing against himself. Stuffed under his chair where she felt safe was Mutt the dog, snoring gently in her sleep. A single bald lightbulb dangled on a wire above. It was cold, but inside the house, it was still colder, the dark, the freeze, con­tained by stone walls several feet deep.

Here, at the back, inside the cavernous kitchen, was the cook, trying to light the damp wood. He fingered the kindling gingerly for fear of the community of scorpions living, loving, reproducing in the pile. Once he’d found a mother, plump with poison, fourteen babies on her back.

Eventually, the fire caught and he placed his kettle on top, as bat­tered, as encrusted as something dug up by an archeological team, and waited for it to boil. The walls were singed and sodden, garlic hung by muddy stems from the charred beams, thickets of soot clumped batlike upon the ceiling. The flame cast a mosaic of shiny orange across the cook’s face, and his top half grew hot, but a mean gust tortured his arthritic knees.

Up through the chimney and out, the smoke mingled with the mist that was gathering speed, sweeping in thicker and thicker, obscuring things in parts—half a hill, then the other half. The trees turned into silhouettes, loomed forth, were submerged again. Gradually the vapor replaced everything with itself, solid objects with shadow, and nothing remained that did not seem molded from or inspired by it. Sai’s breath flew from her nostrils in drifts, and the diagram of a giant squid constructed from scraps of information, scientists’ dreams, sank entirely into the murk.

Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss, Booker Prize Winner 2006)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Silent Sorrow

Every time I close my eyes I see those valleys full of magic and dignity and those mountains covered with glory and greatness trying to reach the sky. Every time I shut my ears to the clamour of the city I hear the murmur of the rivulets and the rustling of the branches. All those beauties which I speak of now and which I long to see, as a child longs for his mother's breast, wounded my spirit, imprisoned in the darkness of youth, as a falcon suffers in its cage when it sees a flock of birds flying freely in the spacious sky. Those valleys and hills fired my imagination, but bitter thoughts wove round my heart a net of hopelessness.

Every time I went to the fields I returned disappointed, without understanding the cause of my disappointment. Every time I looked at the grey sky I felt my heart contract. Every time I heard the singing of the birds and babbling of the spring I suffered without understanding the reason for my suffering. It is said that unsophistication makes a man empty and that emptiness makes him carefree. It may be true among those who were born dead and who exist like frozen corpses; but the sensitive boy who feels much and knows little is the most unfortunate creature under the sun, because he is torn by two forces. the first force elevates him and shows him the beauty of existence through a cloud of dreams; the second ties him down to the earth and fills his eyes with dust and overpowers him with fears and darkness.

Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow. Solitude is the ally of sorrow as well as a companion of spiritual exaltation.

- Kahlil Gibran (Broken Wings)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy 2007

During the new year may you have...
Enough happiness to keep you sweet.
Enough trials to keep you strong.
Enough sorrow to keep you human.
Enough hope to keep you happy.
Enough failure to keep you humble.
Enough success to keep you eager.
Enough friends to give you comfort.
Enough wealth to meet your needs.
Enough enthusiasm to make you look forward to tomorrow.
Enough determination to make each day better than the day before.