Saturday, February 25, 2006

Marzipan Babies

Thought you'd be as fascinated with these as I was. These are made with marzipan.... really unbelievable! While some of the faces may look "crafted" rather than "real", every detail is amazing, and the rest looks VERY real. Be blessed and enjoy the talent given one person by God.

Definition of Marzipan
almond paste: a sweet paste made of ground almonds and sugar, often with egg whites or yolks, used as a layer in cakes or molded into ornamental shapes

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lets do what India needs from us - Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

The speech delivered by the Honourable President of India at the inaugural memorial lecture on the first death anniversary of Shri Ambani in Hyderabad.

"Why is the media here so negative?
Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?

We are the first in milk production.
We are number one in Remote sensing satellites.
We are the second largest producer of wheat.
We are the second largest producer of rice.

Look at Dr. Sudarshan; he has transferred the tribal village into a self-sustaining, self-driving unit. There are millions of such achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures and disasters. I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert into an orchid and a granary. It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news.

In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime. Why are we so NEGATIVE? Another question: Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign T. Vs, we want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology.

Why this obsession with everything imported. Do we not realize that? Self-respect comes with self-reliance? I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is. She replied: I want to live in a developed India.

For her, you and I will have to build this developed India. You must proclaim. India is not an under-developed nation; it is a highly developed nation. Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a vengeance.

Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice is yours.
YOU say that our government is inefficient.
YOU say that our laws are too old.
YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage.
YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke, the airline is the worst in the world, and mails never reach their destination.
YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pits.
YOU say, say and say. What do YOU do about it?
Take a person on his way to Singapore. Give him a name - YOURS. Give him a face - YOURS.

YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your International best. In Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the stores.
YOU are as proud of their Underground links as they are. You pay $5 (approx. Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU come back to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over stayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status identity... In Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU?
YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai. YOU would not dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah.
YOU would not dare to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds (Rs.650) a month to, 'see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone else.
'YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop, 'Jaanta hai main kaun hoon (Do you know who I am?). I am so and so's son. Take your two bucks and get lost.'
YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand.
Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo? Why don't YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston???
We are still talking of the same YOU.
YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own. You who will throw papers and cigarettes on the road the moment you touch Indian ground. If you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country, why cannot you be the same here in India?

Once in an interview, the famous Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay, Mr. Tinaikar, had a point to make. 'Rich people's dogs are walked on the streets to leave their affluent droppings all over the place,' he said. 'And then the same people turn around to criticize and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they expect the officers to do? Go down with a broom every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels? In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. Same in Japan. Will the Indian citizen do that here?'

He's right. We go to the polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility. We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick an up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms.

We want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least opportunity. This applies even to the staff that is known not to pass on the service to the public. When it comes to burning social issues like those related to women, dowry, and girl child! And others, we make loud drawing room protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuse? 'It's the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my sons' rights to a dowry.' So who's going to change the system?

What does a system consist of? Very conveniently for us it consists of our neighbors, other households, other cities, other communities and the government. But definitely not me and YOU. When it comes to us actually making a positive contribution to the system we lock ourselves along with our families into a safe cocoon and look into the distance at countries far away and wait for an Mr. Clean to come along & work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand or we leave the country and run away.

Like lazy cowards hounded by our fears we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system. When New York becomes insecure we run to England. When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight out to the Gulf. When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is mortgaged to money.

Dear Indians, The article is highly thought inductive, calls for a great deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too.... I am echoing J. F. Kennedy's words to his fellow Americans to relate to Indians.....


Lets do what India needs from us."

Thank you,

Dr. Abdul Kalaam

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Parish Family Day

Last Friday(17th feb) was our Parish Family Day.. A day for fun and frolic, lot of activities like games , food stalls, thrift shops, etc .... its the day all our parish groups and communities gather together and enjoy .. There was active participation from all of the communities...our parish is a multicultural one.. we have parishioners who are from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Srilanka, Lebanon, Egypt, France, ..etc.. and as everyone knows, from India itself there are different communities.. Malayalam, Konkani, Tamil, Bengali, ...etc. so when all of these communities put up their stalls gives a multi cultural experience for everyone. a small UN i would say.. i think there was around 60 - 70 stalls.. the diversity was clearly reflected in the food stalls ...i don’t think there wont be a place where u will get superb traditional food varieties in a single location.. there was Kerala food, Goan food, Tamil specials, Bengali food, Philippine dishes, Arabic ..etc etc.. actually i couldn’t spell some of the names(food) which was shown in the food item list in the stalls...

Malayalam community put up two stalls was food and another "lucky dip" our food stall we had our "kappa+meen" , "porkcurry", "chickencurry", "beef ularthiyathu", "iddli smabhar", "palappam with chicken" etc ...i tried beefcurry. .and coudnt taste the otherones as i was very busy helping in the luck dip stall. it was the Malayalam youth who was in charge of the malayalam lucky dip stall... and from what i know (not confirmed), its the Malayalam community lucky dip stall which had the highest collection...our collection for the day was 750 BD..(around 1 lakh Indian rupees). ..actually we had to work hard to attract people to our stall ....our prizes were the best.. 1st prize was DVD hometheatre system, 2nd prize a 29 inch color TV, 3rd prize microwave oven, 4th and 5th prize DVD players....and there was around 1000 small gifts including glass and ceramic plates, toys, small radios etc etc... but as there was a big competition from other lucky dip stalls we had to really work hard to attract people to out lucky dip stall...but we all really enjoyed it..

it was a nice day... a day for all parishioners to come together and have fun, ..enjoy sure anyone who was there will have left the premises with a sense of unity in diversity.

Am attaching some photos i took that day...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tagged By Alexis here is my list

I have been tagged by Alexis. so i have to list the things that I hate.

is that easy to list the things i hate ?? no idea ..but let me try

Below are some

1, People who act smart.

2, Fire crakcers ;) ...i dont know why am not just afraid of firecrackers ...i hate them too ;)

3, People who dont like kids

4, Acting humble as if u r humble than everyone else in the world

5, Bigots (any kinda)

6, Extreme Feminists ;) (let me see if anyone respond to this one)

7, Bullies (School, college, hostel, office etc etc... :D )

8, People who act as if they hadnt done anything wrong in their entire life.

9, People who give adivce(stupid, bad) to each and every one regarding any topic in this world.

10, Roomates who keep their smelly socks and dress in shoerack / Dress hanger.

am sure there will be more in my list if i sit and think for somemore time ...seems this list should be updated regularly :) ...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

One of the ten paradise of the World


One of the ten paradise of the World' : National Geographic Traveller

'Where the smart traveller goes': Financial Times - London

'One of the 100 great trips for the 21st century' : Travel & Leisure

'One of the ten hot spots of the millennium': - Emirates In-flight Magazine

'One of the best breakfasts of the world': Travel & Leisure

'One of the six destinations of the lifetime': Khaleej Times

'One of the ten love nests in India' : Cosmopolitan

'State of enlightenment' : National Geographic Traveller

'Afoot and afloat, Kerala is worth the journey' : Time

'Where India flows at a relaxed pace' : The New York Times

'It is truly God's Own Country' : Sir Paul McCartney.

Some pictures of kerala

Vist the offical kerala tourism website for more info