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Hmmm.. who am I? A profound question! More than 'who i am' what matters is 'who I belong to'. Read through my blog and website and find out who I belong to!

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We've got a narrow balcony behind our home on the fifth floor. This was my second attempt to grow some plants there - the effort included dropping into a nursery and picking up whatever JJ thought looked good. Pots, some soil, some vermicompost, some accidents and they mostly survived (My previous success rate was 17%). I know one was a rose plant, there were a couple of cacti and the rest were mostly green with one which was a fancy shade of purple.
So when a friend dropped in and excitedly said, "Wow you have a desert rose!" She stared at it like it was a pot of gold and said, "This will survive. Water it once a week. Blah blah... etc... ooh...and so on". I didnt have the heart to tell her that I picked it up without the faintest idea it was a desert plant. It sure didn't look like a rose to me. I was faithfully watering it daily.
I also didnt have the heart to tell her I musically wasnt a fan of Seal, but then.....


I had to wake up super early this morning to work on a deadline and was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise. Vellore comes across as a dry, crowded, dusty place and moments like these are a precious reminder that beauty is there - you just have to look for it!




My tweet for the day!




In protest against the terrible verdicts recently in the Indian courts relating to drunk driving and rape, I hereby return all the awards I have won in the last few years...... and then I come to the terrible realisation that I don't really have any awards to return. Guess I'll just relax and have myself a merry little Christmas and a blessed New Year with friends and family.
This is what I penned as my status update on Facebook. Although written in a lighter vein, I hope you understand the deeper layers in my thoughts.
While I am deeply confused by recent verdicts in cases in the Indian judiciary with regards to a Hit and Run and a Rape, I really don't seem to be able to do anything about it other than venting. I can probably make people more aware of these incidents and verdicts and spread the message.  I don't have any awards that I can return or symbolically make a stronger, more impactful protest. However, in spite of these incidents, my normal life goes on - my impact on family, friends, colleagues, patients, students are all real and non-imaginary. Each of us will impact the world in our own little ways. We may not be able to single handedly  remove corruption and injustice; we may feel helpless; but remember that a positive impact around you is a great way to start!

The rains have started again in Tamilnadu and Chennai is bracing itself for another round of floods and boats. Some random thoughts that came to my mind:
1. The floods show the risk of trying to build an economically attractive city on an infrastructurally weak foundation.
2. If only the people stopped throwing garbage down the drains (literally) and the government stopped throwing the tax money down the drain (figuratively) the flood situation would not have been so pathetic.
3. As the officials proudly announced school and college leave in view of rains and flood, another basic right of children - education - was taken away. Food supply was threatened and Shelter was compromised already.
4. Chennaiites have an amazing sense of humour and resilience.  Is it Singara Chennai or Sinkagura Chennai (You will need to understand Tamil to catch that!
5. Never trust Tamil News Channels! Depending on their political affiliation these channels either showed opposition leaders saving people with their bare hands or relayed cooking shows as if nothing happened! In most places natural disasters unite people and political parties as they rally to shelter lives..... not in India!
I am not posting pictures here - there are some genuine ones and a lot of fake pictures doing the rounds on Facebook, whatsapp and twitter.

It was touch and go - exams at VIT and incessant rains meant worship at church today could end up being minimalist. After a few text messages, the team was assembled. Dan hopped onto a bus at Bagayam and made it to Hospital before it rained too much. I picked her up and drove through slushy roads to pick up Sam. Andrew couldn't join us as the bass guitar was not working. Arpudh whizzed in from Karagiri.
We entered a dark church with no electricity. Power had been out 4 times since the morning and the generator was not working. We also didn't have a laptop! Would we end up with acoustic worship as we struggled to remember full lyrics?!
I'd chosen the theme "Boldly I approach" for worship based on Hebrews 14:6 and Rend Collectives song. Everything fell in place. The power came back half an hour before the service started. Gladwin filled in to help with the sound and Christina's laptop made it on time for us to transfer the powerpoint (thanks to Gladwins thumb drive as both mine failed!). Kristin and Christina joined in for vocals and we started off with resounding praise as the church joined in. The worship took us on a journey of opening our eyes to see Jesus, being surrounded by his beauty as we boldly approached Him. Even though  "Boldly I approach" was a new song for our church, a lot of people joined in. This is the songlist:
1. Beautiful One (Tim Hughes)
2. Open The Yes of my Heart (Paul Baloche)
3. Open my eyes Lord
4. Turn your eyes upon Jesus
5. Boldly I approach (Rend Collective)
6. When I look into your Holiness
7. Blessed Assurance (Fanny Crosby)
This is the first time I have tried a Rend Collective song. Even with my limited guitar and vocal skills it was playable! You should read my post Discovering Rend Collective to understand why this is special to me!






If you ever thought your little child didn't know anything about your profession, you are wrong! JJ had an itchy spot on his calf this evening. He finally dozed off in his bed and was fast asleep. Close to midnight I feel a tiny hand shake me awake and say, "The skin is very itchy and it is irritating me. I think I need to sleep next to a doctor and a dentist". He climbed into bed and plonked himself right next to us. I guess these are the hazards of our profession!
To all the engineers, IT guys, racers, architects, celebs and non-medicos out there - sorry if your life does not have such blessed moments!

I love the fact that the #digitalindia revolution will completely modernise India and help every human being on this great land in some way that is mysterious. We will soon be able to live in equality and brotherhood and everyone will have enough food to eat, be vaccinated, access healthcare, be educated through tweeting and googling.
Meanwhile elements like an overnight rain will try to wreak havoc on Chennai Roads. #digitalindia will set it right in the blink of an eye!
Here's how - all it takes is Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint or iOS Preview:

So all you Chennaiites - leave your cares behind and drive into the new #digitalindia roads!

Note: This is a novice effort to fix the problem. The professionals will be able to do a much better job!

Road trips - you end up where you started!
But this 1557 km journey from Vellore to Karur, Munnar, Kumarakom, Kumily, Thekkad, Vandanmedu and back gave us enough memories to last a lifetime. Thank God for an amazing time and safety! This is our first major road trip ever since we returned from OZ and even though the drive was very different, the scenery was just as spectacular as Australia or New Zealand!

Ooh the joy of having a dentist as a mom! J now prays this every night.
"Dear Jesus, Make all the black hearts white hearts by your precious blood. Make all the bad people good people and make all the dirty teeth as clean teeth."
I hope God is listening! I am sure he is!!

I'm not even sure if it is spelt Mathew or Matthew, but he is the guy who made Grahams trip to India possible. He's just a regular guy in a shirt and jeans. I met him for twenty minutes during dinner with Graham on Saturday and I must accept that today I feel that he has impacted my life as much as Graham did over the weekend. After spending 9 years in the UK he made a choice to come back to India to serve and follow Gods calling. He came back about 4 months ago and had his first child 2 months ago. I know how huge such a change is - We barely managed to tolerate the move back to India from Australia.
When you look at him you feel he has life on a platter - heads an NGO, has a lovely young family, leads a band, is a worship leader, sings well and has amazing ideas (evident during the Creative Worship session). But I know that underneath that is a passion to be at the centre of Gods will and an everyday juggle balancing work, music and family.
If you are reading this blog please say a word of prayer for him. I strongly feel he is impacting several people and will be a massive tool in the hands of God in the years to come.
Mathew - God Bless You. I don't have a photo with you, but I will pray for you!

Its always nice to meet someone who has influenced your choice of music. And when I knew Graham Kendrick was coming to Vellore, I knew it would be an awesome weekend.
"Shine, Jesus, Shine" was one of the first songs I had learnt at TAMI with India YFC. "Servant King" was one of the first new song I learnt at CMC as it had CMCs motto in the first verse
So after grabbing my tickets and registrations from Roshan I was fully prepared for friday night after 2 sleepless nights in the nursery.
I left work an hour early, grabbed a power nap and we scooted off to Scudder Auditorium. We were very lucky to get seats! "An Evening With Graham" was an acoustic set that left me spellbound. He shared a bit of his journey into songwriting and worship leading.
We then had invitations to have dinner with him. We missed getting his CDs autographed, but left home impressed and happy.
I'd taken saturday off from work in preparation for the Worship Workshop which was supposed to start at 10 AM. I was looking forward to sleeping in a little late but.... surprise, surprise! I was up at the usual time. I got to spend some extra time with JJ and drove off to Bagayam.
Graham first spoke about the Art and Heart of music. I then watched in disbelief as he ate Biriyani for lunch without batting an eyelid!
Grahams Session on Songwriting just whet our appetites. I wish we had more than the one-and-a-half hours allotted. We were just getting warmed up as we watched him convert psalms to songs impromptu. What impressed me most was how seriously he took his songwriting. "A songwriter may not have a theological degree. But his songs impact what people believe. They sometimes linger longer than a sermon. I cannot afford to be lax or casual when I write a song". No wonder his songs are a blessing over so many decades.
We had a session with Matthew and Jenny on Creative worship which gave us time to introspect, think of worship ideas (ever heard of popcorn prayers and iPod worship?!) and we are done. I drove like a maniac (but safely) back home to pick up B and JJ and we were back at Scudder Audi in time for the final concert.
Matthew's band (I don't think they have a name as yet!) set the tone with worship songs and Graham took over for two sessions that absolutely blew the crowd away! Graham does not perform his songs. He does not just sing and play the guitar. He leads people in worship even in songs we have not heard before. He engages the crowd and every song was sung by the whole crowd! JJ was dancing in the aisle to some songs! He moved from fun times with the ukelele on Jesus Put This Song to deep thoughts on Holy
Overshadowing. Every song made deeper meaning as he shared and sung with passion. I loved the way he passionately prayed for CMC, then Vellore and finally India as he sung "The Peace". I could never imagine how a song of benediction could make Graham so passionately pray for my country! He ended with a bollywoodised version of the shiny song - "Shine Jesus Shine".
I felt rejuvenated after more than a year of being a workaholic! I'm thankful to Roshan and his team (especially Mathew) for the amazing effort they put into making this weekend happen!

Today is one day when I am glad I was born in the modern era. I needed a couple of complicated dental extractions and my mind was numb with fear as images of people screaming, getting drowned in blood and needing to be tied down flooded my mind. But that was thousands of years ago.
The only thing that was numb was my mouth and gums. All I needed to do was lie down with my mouth open and brilliant Dr. Saurabh took care of the rest. A few deft jabs to get the local anaesthesia in and even though the extractions were pretty difficult with brittle teeth remnants and complicated roots I could close my eyes and be a little brave. A few winces, my skull vibrating to the frequency of what they called a burr, a little pressure as I felt some pulls and everything was done in under an hour.
A hundred years ago would have been a different story. I'm glad I am here in the now! 

End of the month and these are the songs that left their mark in my ear and my heart.

Top five songs:
1. Praise like Fireworks: Rend Collective
2. Desert Soul: Rend Collective
3. Boldly I Approach: Rend Collective
4. Alive: Hillsong
5. Dhanya Tera Naam: Sheldon Bangera

Artist of the month: Rend Collective (You would have guessed that by now!)

Lets see what the next month throws at me!

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