The most captivating Lovesong

Today is the ‘Women’s Day’ in Diosces of Madras. I was a the evening eucharist service at the Cathedral and a special solo was sung after the lessons. It was a beautiful love song and I was initially thinking it was about God as the Groom and we as His bride but somehow that did not fit the context of the song, then I remembered that it was the special song for the ‘Women’s Day’ and I read it over and over again because it was such a captivating love song.

In Native Worth and Honour Clad – Haydn’s “Creation”

In native worth and honour clad,
With beauty, courage, strength, adorn’d
Erect, with front serene, he stands,
A man, the lord and king of nature all.

His large and arched brow sublime
Of wisdom deep declares the seat!
And in his eyes with brightness shines
The soul, the breath and image of God.

With fondness leans upon his breast,
The partner for him form’d,
A woman, fair and graceful spouse
Her softly smiling virgin looks,
Of flow’ry spring the mirror,
Be speak, him love, love and joy and bliss.


It describes Adam and Eve. And may be it is a wee bit partriachal. And the soloist that sang this was male. No matter how manytimes I read this, the words just leap out to touch my heart.

Walking in the Rain

It has been quite sometime since I had played in the rain, last time was back in June at the Sishya camp (/emmanuelreagan/2008/06/wandering-in-rain.html). Then again I got a chance to walk in the rain when I was at my home for Independence holidays and suddenly it began to rain. It wasn’t anywhere close to the Sishya rain, but it the droplets were fast and chilling and they pricked my skin.

I went to the terrace of my house and looked into around… and wondered how a rain could change the face of the land. No matter how beautifully man may make his Babel, with one rain its entire appearance is superceded with the beauty of the rain.

I wonder when my wonder for the rain would cease to be. I wonder if a day would come when I would see the rain and wouldn’t go out to be drenched in its beauty. I think if I were to see a day that is so I would rather not ‘be’ at all. It is better not to be at all than to be and see no beauty in life. In heaven life shall forever be beautiful and we shall forever be.

The Paintings of Great Martyrs – St. Thomas Mount Church

I took snaps of the wonderfuly conceptualized paintings of the Disciples of Christ in the St. Thomas Mount Chruch. There are two things I like about the paintings.

1. In the corner of each painting it is depicted how the disciple died.

2. In some paintings the disciples hold in one hand what they are traditionally known to be special for. For example St. Peter hold the key, traditionally he is believed to have the key to eternal life. What I specially like ‘liberty’ the artist used to ‘conceptuatlize’ some of them to be holding in that other hand – the instrument of their own martrydom. This is why I think this art is classic.

This is a beautiful idea. I am not sure why some disciples do not hold their instruments of death, I wonder if there is a tradition behind why only some disciples are depicted so. The artist seems to depict each disciple’s acceptance and may be even pride in his means of martyrdom. This I think is real artist at work. Such artists create simple beauty and conceptualize astounding profoundity, what they creates is timeless.

St. Simon – sawed apart

St. Mathias – holding the axe

St. Paul – with the soward

St. Bartholomew – holding a soward that would kill him

St. Thomas – speared to death (no wonder by a guy wearing a turband and dothi)

St. Mathew – holding a sickle.

St. James – holding a club he’ll be clubed with

St. Thaddaeus – holding a stump

St. Peter – holding the key to eternal life. Inverted crucifixion.

St. Andrew – The diagnol shape of his Cross made it to the Scotish Flag, St. Andrew being the patron Saint of Scotland.

St. James – beaten to death

St. John – boiled to death

St. Philip – holding a Cross in one hand and a Book in the other.

Our Lord carrying the cross to calvary and being nailed to the cross. The world is in His hands, won over by the cross. Setting the first example by taking pride and being victorious through martyrdom for us to follow through. Would we?!?!?!

The eyes of the Beautiful Lady

I was watching Bill and Gloria Gaiter’s Home coming series which is my most favorite Christian song collection. In one of those the famous song written by Annie Johnston Flint ‘He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater’ was sung by the whole group.

A couple was invited to sing the second stanza. What struck me so much by the way the couple sang was the eye of the lady. The guy seemed so professional in his style, his body gently swaying, his face was pleasant, his expression polished, he was looking at the audience and even smiling a bit. In contrast the lady seemed frigid, her face was even a wee bit contorted.

But there was something so endearing and heavenly about her demeanor in spite of the unsmiling contorted expression she wore. It was her eye, it was focused not on the audience, it had a transcended look it was looking very far into something that other’s hadn’t the sight to percieve.

She was looking at God, she was performing for Him not the audience so she did not even know that she looked a little frigid and unpolished next to her suave husband. Her frigidity was not because her body was tensed but because in the awesome reverence it exuded, it dared not to make the wrong move. All she care about was being focused on the Hero of the love song they were singing and consequently a bit of His transcendence passed into her and gave her demeanor a heavenly aura which most other singers of the day lacked.

She was singing to her King and that is all that mattered to her, it was so apparent in that eyes of the Beautiful Lady that were lost in Him.

St. Thomas Tour – the unexpected ways of God

Our youth group had planned for a St. Thomas tour on 15th August – a kind of a picnic to St. Thomas Mount and St. Thomas memorial at Little Mount. I said I wouldn’t go because I would be at Tirunelveli for Independence day holiday. I missed booking the train ticket so I booked ticket in bus for 14th evening 6:00 PM.

I was in the bus stand by 5:20 PM and started searching for the bus which I was to board. Out station busses would be in platform 1 or platform 2. For 40 minutes I was searching for the bus which I was meant to board and couldn’t find it. I missed the bus. I cannot believe that a bloke as I wouldn’t be able to find a bus to board in 40 minutes. It is just too incredible. I think I was completely blinded. I believe God did not want me to go home, he wanted me to stay at Chennai on August 15th and go for the picnic with the youth folks. I booked my ticket for the next evening, August 15th and called up Reeba and told her I would come for the picnic.

Slept at about 3:00 am early 15th morning as I was writing some stuff and woke up very late and couldn’t go to Church from where folks started by van. I called Reeba and told her I would go straight to St. Thomas Mount and wait there. I also took with me my journal as I knew that awesome sight from up there would be inspiring and I could write a poem there. I wrote an essay of a poem over a couple of pages sitting at the edge of the hill-top platform and looking into the vast expanse before me.

Just after I completed the long poem, folks joined me there and we had a good time. Below are a few snaps.

First thing you see as you enter is the sight of Christ Blessing with extended arms.

I guess the figure in steel rails is St. Thomas seen above him is Christ blessing folks that come in.

It is I guess a kind of imitation of one of the 7 new wonders of the World – Christ Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

Here is St. Thomas welcoming you…

A view of the sprawling civilization down below – more of concrete less of green (inspiration for my poem)

More of green and less of concrete (inspiration for my poem)

A flight going across with the landing gear down for landing at the airport

The Fourth-person view

This tree must have witnessed quite a lot here…

There is something special about this tree, it has been cut so many times but still it has ‘stood’ the test of time though slightly skewed…

Bennett in his new get up…

Me at the tip…

Its Vijay there….

Other folks from youth…

Going down the hill, the steepest descent… in fact Vijay and I went down the hill and then came up and then went down again just for the sake of ‘adrenalin rush’, it was a roller-coaster ride. In one of the bends, I was too fast and had to bank my bike to an acute angle to keep the balance that the foot rest of my bullet gazed the road, it used to happen when I was in college so this was a de javu experience – the footrest of my motor cycle touching the road in the bends.

Lunch chat…. So what’s for lunch???

In life does one walk down the steps or walk up the steps… Plato used the cave analogy to depict enlightenment may be a well analogy would do just as good, except that perhaps the gaint shadows there would reflections here and reflections are more realistic than shadows.

This was a tree in Little Mount that had too much symbolic beauty. It is actually two trees that have merged into one. Symbolic of the metaphysical fact of Christ and the individual living in each other, symbolic of the metaphysical oneness between husband and wife in marriage. I just had to shoot pictures of this metaphysically beautiful tree.

My four good pals in youth. Rufus, Vijay, I and Ashwin (from bottom to top)

The cave where St. Thomas supposedly lived.

Me emerging out of the cave, actually the idea for this shot was Vijay’s.

The great St. Thomas with his timeless classic quote that even 2000 years after he uttered it is so full of life that it fill us with awe and elevates our spirits to worship God with trembling transcended reverence in our hearts.

I cannot fanthom why God wanted me to miss this bus and not miss the St. Thomas Tour but indeed I had a great time writing poems, cracking jokes, taking snaps and thinking deeply… ‘My Lord, My God’… how great Thou art. Amen