Category Archives: ASIA

My Peninsula today : 

 

I try not to look at the papers, the first one and half pages of the Times are Real Estate rearing skyscrapers- neighbor to ‘300 corporate offices’ & HDFC bankers swearing by Galaxy S9+, after which you finally get to the Times’ official Pg1Image result for photos of shiradi ghats

Nice weather, Bangalore 25 deg. C, cool shade, no thunder wails here- pic below is my home town (half a day’s journey from here) Mangalore Coastal ghats;

travel by rail Shiradi Ghats hosts some insane bridges. I am seriously stressed out by heights but the terrain is  beyond beautiful- old world mist and mountain before you roll into Coast. Was thinking on that and trying not to look at our Burari mass suicides, Delhi. Whyyy?

But look at this, TO KEEP KIDS IN SCHOOL TEACHER TURNS INTO DRIVER..ferrying 20 students, 4kms to school and back in his car across a forested stretch by a river, dangerous during the rains..” my hero for the day;

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beats chatter of Medical/Engg college fees that dwarf real estate prices, how do they do it? There’s that/ and there’s the nice Pediatric Neurologist at our son’s regular checkup-

he would not charge us his consultation fee, never mind colleague Eye Doc shearing me up with her nice brown eyes,

“… are you qualified to teach your son?”

We’d never met before, I was groaning inside at the amount of work this was going to take. Our kid is blind, not deaf, don’t talk loudly at him… that kind of thing.

I said I’d been a teacher (didn’t tell her that meant assisting my mum through college hours, that I’d been street school play teacher- my forte : non-academic fun, staunch believer in the University of Play therapy, ‘course  I did not tell her, I’m not suicidal);

Eye Doc, (re- re – confirming our son Joh was / is technically blind, and since there isn’t adequate education for him), puts us on to a person ‘who could train Joh for a certain fee.’ I looked at her through slits in my soul and told her our son could stand not structure, hadn’t we tried Integrated Education, and near every school in the city;

my husband, a gentleman – led us out that valley of the shadow of Edu- care at its darkest;

Neuro Doc honorary Medical Superintendent, took my wildly trembling arms in his hands and whispered that he had good reports about us from Open Schooling Chief herself,

outside the Center there’s kids in wheelchair, kids with popcorn,  a mother feeding her very young child rice and pickle, they were smiling and tired; our 3 pm sun hidden by clouds, like now. Yeah its a Peninsula pickling with the times

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Innerdialects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Age of Rude ?

She stared through my face as if she never saw me –  stunned, I waited. Maybe there was a mistake. Maybe I was expecting too much, but the woman wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t acknowledge my presence. It was as if I did not exist.

The next day we met again, this time in an auditorium. She talked to everyone else, but not even a nodding good-morning hint at me, as if I weren’t there.  These were new family friends, not even distant relatives, no histories exchanged. No I hadn’t stolen her best dress at school, no I wasn’t an artist rival, nothing. She was a mom like me, a citizen of this same earth, but she wouldn’t look at me.

Its possible she was just tired, or thought I had nothing of use to say to her, or be. Is possible she was having a bad day, is possible she was ill, is possible she didn’t like my face, or hairstyle, or work.

But the question followed me all day and night, it stood there between my mirror and me the next morning, it sat in my toothpaste and hair brush, my shoes and sandwich.

 

This morning, I looked at images from around the world images of waiting….
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What made something as beautiful as a human heart, such a refugee

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‘Yes, but don’t go.’

Last night, all plates and dishes put away, the lights low in the bedroom where our youngest son went into his blanket ; the girls were yet to fall asleep, I peeped in at Joh, and he lifted that dark head calling me for a second kiss, then a whisper –

“Ma,I feel lonely.”

My heart missed a few beats ; it had been a long two months, there had been illness, a trip, school year starting over, uniforms that did not fit, unfinished assignments, a lingering cough and so many unfinished things…

“Why son ? We’re all here aren’t we ?”

“When you ‘re all busy with other things, I feel lonely,sometimes. “

Speechless, I hugged him close, closer, a third a fourth kiss.“You feel good now ?” 

“Yes, but don’t go.” He said nothing after that just smiled and the room filled with feelings I have no words for.

Human touch. How abused, misunderstood those two words are : and so very easy to ignore in all our busy-ness. We sat there an hour, not just Joh and me, but all five of us, an hour in that quiet gentle dark as the little ones fell asleep.

Dearest Lord God, the worst disease on earth : ‘loneliness’ and such a simple cure right from the mouth of Babes.

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Wishing you the Best/ 2014

 

Wishing you a blessed beautiful Christmas and a peaceful fabulous New Year.

The attached Link is something  I did for a Christmas Play 2010, with Sunday Sch kids and me :  cover from The Bible Movie), followed by our daughter Vihan’s cover What child is This. What a season its been and is ; we wish to personally thank you for being here. May you be blessed…

RN

 

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“Christmas like no other !”

408503_466640510051894_1511555378_nThis December I found myself saying, ” Dearest God  please  give us a Christmas like none other ( not imagining our dear friend Johnston Richard was onto an Album with the same  title , and asked if our visually challenged son Johann Noel would sing and do a small narration for him).

For those who know my family personally, much as we adore our kids and would promote them to the stars, there are often limitations..esp with 2013-03-24 10.20.36

Johann who has never really sung with studio headphones on, leave alone narrate  ‘cold cold snow’ not anything we have experienced. I now understand ‘snow’ is for the cold of the human heart…

Johnston Richard you raised the bar on this mother’s faith, on a  challenged kids’ sometimes lonely existence. Christmas is not exactly a festive season for everyone – for those who are disabled physically, emotionally, financially, socially,oh so many ways…

not everyone gets Christmas trees laden with gifts, banquets and new wardrobe, or Love…

1466022_1387241388187524_205367003_nnot every one is given a chance to be who they are. God reminded me/ us at the Noel home, He did create some really good people on earth, making for Peace, Joy, acceptance, of each other, and the Room for another to also shine.. ( rare ! )..

Listen to ” Cold Bethlehem” and our home visual -mix on U tube 🙂 of the song, also below, a brief from Johnston Richards

Talking about his new album and the Title :

JR  : People around the world give gifts to their loved ones and share the joy of family reunions. For many people, it is a season of give and take. However, the true essence of Christmas is the joy that comes from knowing the truth that you are loved unconditionally by God. No matter how others treat you or how you look at y0xourself. This love shatters all logic and liberates you from self-condemnation and leads you to self acceptance. Through the unseen power of the unconditional love that moves the universe, you are propelled to love ‘yourself’ and then other people unconditionally and give of yourself without expecting anything in return. Christmas like no other is the moment of history when time stands still and you experience selflessness and accept the intense and unconditional love of the creator of the universe who loved the world and gave his perfect gift of love to an imperfect world.

If you could make a wish for the world today – 

 JR    While Christmas is a time of joy and is celebrated around the world, to several people around the world it is a time of loneliness, financial hopelessness and emotional brokenness. But celebration and life doesn’t consist in the abundance of things or plethora of friends. Christmas is a message of hope. A message to the lonely : the Unseen power and love that moves the universe came down to earth in human form on Christmas day to save those who were ‘lost’. Without hope, without a future. Christmas is a time to go back to the basics and accept that love and feel the completeness. Love knocks on your door this Christmas and my wish for the world is that the people open the door and let the creator, who is love personified, fill their hearts with the completeness and euphoria of that blissful unspeakable joy.

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Johann with Daddy Noel at the Studio

 What’s the toughest challenge being  ‘Johnston Richard’?

JR            Writing and composing songs is a gift that God breathed into me. I am strongly compelled that the songs that I receive from the throne should not be kept under a bushel. As any trustworthy steward, as the guardian and scribe of the songs, I am strongly inclined to get my music out in the open and put it on a lamp stand. My mission is to play in what I call H.O.P.E, which stands for Hospitals, Orphanages, Prisons and Educational Institutions. The toughest challenge I am faced with is acceptance. The industry has changed and it is tough to survive, let alone thrive, as a Gospel solo artist. Somehow, I believe that bands gain favourable responses as compared to solo artists. When you are soft-spoken and humble, the world takes meekness for weakness and tried to ride on your back. People tend to judge a book by its cover. You can be judged by the colour of your skin, your nationality, and stature. And there’s another thing. It’s a catch 22 situation -You cannot become recognized if you don’t have enough people buying or supporting your music; and on the other hand, people don’t want to buy your music if you are not well known. So far, I have been funding my music from my own pocket. It’s a challenge to do  huge promotional shows on a shoe string budget especially when you have a family who depends on you. I personally know what sacrifice means. Through it all it has taught me respect for others in similar endeavours and has built in me strong values, character and  gratitude. I praise God for His faithfulness, and thank my wife and daughter, and my dear friends for their incredible support. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my story in here  God Bless what you do…

 
Richie Johnny This is the Best Christmas Gift I have ever received. Thank you so much. I am so moved that God could use someone like me to make something that turned out so beautiful this Christmas and for all other Christmases to come. I was 16 when I wrote and first recorded this song on a tape recorder;) God had his child Johann in mind and I am so overwhelmed with emotions for the love and support extended to me and my family. A special hug to Johann. Merry Christmas and a blessed Newyear. The best is yet to come.

Johnston Richard lives in Bangalore ; besides his 9-5 job as a Professional Writer, he is a singer-songwriter, worship leader, author, producer and a guitar teacher. He has written and composed over hundreds of songs and has released two studio albums.Johnston partners with Besso Orphanage for destitute children. WWW.JOHNSTONRICHARD.COM. His second album, which is a Christmas Album, was released on December 7, 2013

 

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Re cycled

 

My father too does not throw every thing away, he has a den and it even hosts my lunch box from school – my Christening bowl gift, the green bangle box which never held bangles- was just a hunch backed box; the first guitar he ever made ;  Ma’s first Mixie and a turtle heeled coconut scraper… oh such a Gallery of tangible memories, it’s all there, as if waiting to be used again.  Viewed. Touched. Told about. Decades of finger prints, just sitting there quiet like that. Our kids look on amused… I have nothing to say, except wonder that Dad never threw some things away. It qualifies the present. Re cycles the way I think. Reminders of lives – so many lives…

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Earth Song

Colour me green, please, let the Light feed us, graze

our need, our greed ; with storms

of Peace, 

 

please ?

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Amazed by Grace

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It became common to have Lali say she was healed of her stomach ache, and that fresh air blew into her home, though the electricity had failed. We laughed a bit, like she was insane, even when she cooed over her plants and trees and spoke to unlikely people, gave them her smiles and food. And prayers. Lali aunty could irritate the pants off you, if you were not in the mood for her ‘ miracles’ and she had many stories to tell. ‘ Never take oxygen for granted’ she would say, ‘ ..also good clean water. These are our miracles. Or when someone is good to you… these are precious moments..”

Today, I realise these things are not common place, these are rare, and sacred. There are some things we must work for, and there are fantastic things that happen when we least expected it.

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Just a wee planet

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So we talked another hour after the movie ‘Cliffhanger’ a needless re-run, but it provoked Maji to ask, “What keeps humans warm when everything out there is cold frost” ( see movie, a perfect ‘signs of the times’ movie ha:) 

To which Noe answered, “The heart.”

Maji, “What keeps the heart going?”

Noe, “Life.”  (Maji rolls eyes and starts to ask ‘ what is life..’ but gives up).

Which got me thinking out loud about how the earth is just a wee planet going on and on in space with nothing to support her and how gravity is limited to us, and how day and night does not matter in calendars outside the sun, but here we are going on and on about human issues, fashions, passions, all temporary pursuits, but out there, I mean get on a space bus, and there’s a whole University out there that has other agenda, and one lil rock from some place has to hit Earth‘s forehead to get us into non – gravity agenda – that is the essence of Life… .. ?

Maji kind of liked that. This morning the sky grinned down at me and asked a few questions, which was my heart thumping new pulse into fingers that I never knew I had. It feels good somehow to know how temporary, how permanent, how transient, how eternal we are ; it feels good to know the heart listens to an order  it bows to,

why do I like that …

 

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Maddens me

.. . that your beauty is regarded as a vice Mother, your holiness desecrated, a million times, with out reason, without rhyme. And just a few of us  cry a little in corners , and that is the only crime, certified. A father or mother who cried. ” …where is the mind without fear ?  That  clear stream of reason has just its way, into the dreary desert sands of dead habit…’
India, can you still read this ? 
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Indian Village early morning RN water colour

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