August 30, 2008

Highway to Chennai

Stuff the bags in, turn on the ignition, fill the tank up and .... er.... don't step on it. The Chevy guys had warned me not to go beyond 80 kmph for the first 2000 KM!
Even with this restriction the drive was a dream! The roads were really good (in the daytime). Ajay had arranged for a driver to drive home the Maruti and he took the lead.
The U-VA handled itself perfectly on the highway and the drive was very comfortable. Even though there were several heavy vehicles and short detours at unexpected places we had absolutely no problems. The ribbon announcing that our car was new and the "L" sticker (I still have a learners license) ensures that other drivers kept their distance from me!!
We stopped for breakfast and lunch and after a brief stint at getting lost in Chennai reached home safe! The whole 8 hours were superb - the Ac kept us cool, the ride quality was excellent and music entertained us throughout!
So my first highway trip was a dream come true! The whole 8 hours were superb - the Ac kept us cool, the ride quality was excellent and music entertained us throughout! All this in our very own car - something that God gave us out of seemingly nothing!!

August 29, 2008

Incredibly ambitious, Incredibly spacious and Incredibly 'God'ious

(Warning: Incredibly long blog entry coming up!)
It all started off as an inkling of a thought all the way at the back of our heads when my dad lent his Maruti800 to us for 3 months. I discovered that I could actually drive it. Soon the luxury of 4 wheels sank in and 2 wheels (aka my Kinetic Honda) started gathering dust and risked becoming obsolete. Could we actually buy a new car? The research and calculations started. Unfortunately car companies seem to be producing more new cars everyday! We started off with a Santro in mind and naturally the i10 appealed more - almost clinched it for us once the i10 kappa range rolled out. Er... how about the Getz (C and A had one and it was great!). Wait a minute - the Swift costs the same as a Getz! Hmm... a Ford Fusion is just a little more... maybe a SX4. Maybe we can accommodate a Honda CRV. Hey - isn't Audi launching the Jetta soon?!
Yup - we were ambitious. But for practical purposes everything beyond the Getz and Swift was only worth dreaming about (but I don't wanna delete those dreams from my blog as yet!)
The Hyundai i10 seemed a winner - we simply had to decide between the red and the blue i10. We actually paused right in the middle of the road once to ogle at a red i10 parked at the side. The decision seemed to have been made.
Since the Chevrolet Spark was an option (although it was a 'small' hatchback), I called up my friend Ajay who owns a Chevrolet showroom. He introduced us to three letters - UVA. The Chevrolet Aveo UVA was more expensive than the i10 and also more spacious - slightly cheaper than the Getz and the Swift.
So now the recalculations and the rethinking began. Looking at our Bank balance I gave up all my dreaming and started cleaning up my Kinetic Honda again.
with less than a month to go before we returned the Maruti800 to my dad I pulled out my bank account balances and my calculator again. Somehow it seemed possible!
The 3 letters (alphanumeric) "i10" in my mind were replaced by three others - "UVA" as I felt it was more unique, more spacious and also that Ajay could give us a better deal. Convincing Becky about anything other than a i10 was the next thing.
Finally we drove 15 kilometers to the Chevy showroom. When Becky saw the UVA her jaw dropped! The 'wow' expression on her face meant the world to me and even before I got behind the wheel of the test vehicle both of us felt a peace and joy that only increased after the 4 kilometer drive I took!
I also drove the Spark just for the kick of it.
The next week saw me cruise around town in a Swift and a brand new Hyundai i10 - but they were just formalities. The "UVA" had smitten us big time!

Now the money part. Haggling with the banks about loan rates was new to me but I successfully inked a good loan deal with HDFC bank.
The next part was putting all the money I had in my HDFC bank account - SBI gave us some heart arrhythmias but to cut a long, tense story short it was done!
Finally the big question - could we actually get the loan approved and the car delivered (after registration) in 5 days flat so we could take it to Chennai?
I was pretty sure that the same God who produced the possibility of actually owning a car from thin air could do this for us.
Deadline: Friday!
Monday - The loan papers were submitted. Ajay reserved The UVA 1.2LS in Beckys favorite color, Icy Blue, even though another buyer wanted to buy it straight away!
Tuesday - The loan was approved. The check would be ready tomorrow.
Wednesday - The Check was ready and would be sent to the Car Dealers. Ajay and the Chevy guys prepped the car for us - fixing the music system, fog lights and basic accessories.
Thursday - Hiccup! The cash for registration of the car was to be paid directly. Ajay sent Napolean zooming across to our house and we gave him the cash, but it was too late - the RTO was closed. Thank God we had friday as a buffer!
Friday - Everything was ready! Ajay agreed to take cheques and that saved us the trouble of carrying cash around.
It was a happy day! Everything went smoothly and the payments were done. The car (Our Car!) looked even better than when we first saw it. I did a check of everything in the car and after a word of prayer I started the engine and we drove out - in our very own Chevrolet Aveo U-VA 1.2LS. It was a dream! We even managed to get the license plates fixed and make a trip to Pastor's house to have a word of prayer.
And did I tell you about the dinner miracle? Busy between a few patients I had to see, the license plates and packing for our Chennai trip, dinner seemed like a far cry! At 9.30 we went to pastor Paul Moses house to have a "short time of prayer" for the car. And guess what? As soon as we entered his father guided us to the dining table - a church member had given them loads of Biriyani as it was his birthday and there was plenty for us! I almost cried at how much God loves Becky and me!!
Tired we returned home and showed off the car to the other who were bowled over especially by the space and the awesome color (Beckys choice!)
It was incredible! The feeling of owning your own car when the only things you have ever driven till a few months ago was a BSA Street Cat and a Kinetic Honda! Tomorrow I take my maiden highway trip - to Chennai. I wonder what I will dream of when I close my eyes tonight!
Incredible ambitious: Last year when Ajay told us about the Spark being sold for a discount, I laughed at him. Today I bought a bigger car from the same guy!!
Incredibly Spacious: The Chevrolet Aveo U-VA 1.2LS. Our very own set of wheels!
Incredibly "God"ious: The best part! God simply guided us through it all - the incredibly tough decision of choosing a car was delightfully simple and the incredibly difficult task of arranging the finances and loan was a breeze! The incredibly complicated exercise of getting a new car delivered was made easy - thanks to a godsent person called Ajay!

August 24, 2008

Everlasting God

After weeks of postponing and very little practice Becky and I gave a special song at church today - "Everlasting God" (originally by Brenton Brown).
The song was special to the two of us as it was the first song we had ever sung together. You can see me blog about that by clicking here
The song was a blessing to the congregation and it also encouraged Becky and Me to take more active part in church and ministry - something we have not been doing very well!
Click here if you would like to see Brenton Brown talk about what inspired him to write the song "Everlasting God" and teach you how to play the song on the guitar.

Hope you are encouraged by this song. Here are the lyrics:
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord (2)
Our God You reign forever
Our Hope our strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

August 16, 2008

Exchange transfusion x 2

We've done it once in the past 2 years and this weekend we did it twice! Exchange transfusions have been rare at our hospital, but yesterday I ended up with a neonate with Rh iso-immunisation and hemolytic jaundice and did an exchange transfusion. Betsy helped out and the procedure went on well even though Praburam was not around.
Unfortunately today the jaundice started increasing again and Betsy also was not around. I ended up doing the second exchange transfusion alone with the help of nurses. Both times we did it late in the night, but thankfully things went on well and the baby had no problems!
Praburam and I have always been saying that there are no exchange transfusions around - but this weekend I went solo, did a double exchange transfusion and everyone was still intact!
My mind shudders when I think of all that could have gone wrong and am thankful for Gods watchful eyes during the procedure and after!

August 7, 2008

Shifting webhosts

As a cost saving venture I decided to try out a new host called midpulse. I've never heard of them before but they seemed to have a decent uptime and some really low cost hosting. I shifted without much of a problem but am running into problems transferring The initial problems was with the mysql database server settings which I succesfully changed. The links section is working perfectly fine, but the traffic exchange is down. the script seems installed but I cant adjust the admin settings at all.
My only option is now to trust out a new script and I hope the cost balances out. My old host graciously adjusted the last payment I made for the only site still left with him -
My lack of tech brains is pretty obvious but even through this great limitation everything seems within control! I'm still waiting for a new traffic exchange script - have messaged a few people to get one!
If you're reading this please say a silent prayer for the sites!

August 6, 2008


I received this cute cartoon by email and felt it was blogworthy. Click the image to open it the full size:

...and you question God -'why me?'...
always look at the bigger picture....

August 2, 2008

1000 kilometers, 1 week, 2 cancelled tickets

That how much distance Becky covered. And 640 of those kilometers were done in 24 hours - to Chennai and back! The 6 days without her saw me missing her like crazy, but neatly packed cooked food in the refrigerator and constant phonecalls ensures my body, mind and soul never went hungry. Once again we were grateful to God for protectionon the roads and the rails (especially after the series of bomb-blasts in ahmedabad etc). Luckily I am not on duty this weekend and we can catch up on the rest we both need.