Sunday, April 22, 2012

Comes a Time

It's been creeping up on me for a while and I finally have to admit defeat - I've lost the art of reading. Maybe it's the process of getting older and not having as much time as I once did. But it's more probably the other entertainment available factor - computers, Internet, TV, mobile phones, digital cameras, et al.  I've lost count of all the books I bought with the best of intentions but only read a few pages of and ditched all forlorn on their dusty shelves. 

And it's not just books but magazines as well, some just silly magazines with more pictures than texts. What's finally brought up the white flag is that just last Wednesday I'd borrowed three Archie comics from my niece that I'd have finished off in a day a few years ago. I only managed to get done with one today. 

I hang my head in shame.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Of Hosannas and Choirs and a Sneaky Little Secret

When you wake up in the morning to the sounds of drumbeats and children singing Hosannas, you know it's Palm Sunday and that the children are out on the streets with their Sunday School teachers, waving palm fronds and commemorating Mark 11. Always a feel-good experience.

It's also a reminder that the Easter weekend is coming up. A couple of weeks before Christmas last year, the local Baptist congregation hurriedly moved just a stone's throw away from our house into the Church they'd been working on  all year. All still a little makeshift but the walls were in place and they wanted a place of their own before Christmas. Now what I love most about having a Church just close by are the choir rehearsals. Mizos are good choral singers and the Baptist congregation, I've always thought, are better singers than my much larger Presbyterian congregation, their singing usually rousing and animated. Today they were practising Good Friday and Easter songs. 

Hnawl leh phatsan ni mah se, 
Tihduhdah, khengbeh tuarin, 
Thlan ata a tho leh ta 
A hmelma a hneh ta...

I sometimes wonder if choir members at practice are aware of the effect they have on people overhearing them. I say this because I remember several years ago when my sister was in hospital with her broken spinal cord, I had happened to overhear our Church choir rehearsing. It was a terrible time and heavily taxing, both emotionally and physically, and I don't even want to go into any details about it now. But there I was one evening, at dusk, walking home to enjoy a night's break away from hospital duty, and in the bustle of evening traffic and people hurrying to get home, I could hear the choir singing beautifully and freely in the way that is only possible in an empty place where there is less stress on them to perform well. I don't recall the song or any of the lyrics but I remember feeling this rush of immense peace and comfort as I walked by, and I remember saying a quick prayer of thanks for the choir and the blessing they had unknowingly brought on a passing heavy heart.

~ ~ ~

A quick change of subject, much as I dislike long blog posts, this is something that I just had to share. It's actually a kind of confidential thing from an exam and I'm crossing fingers and toes that I don't get into trouble over it.  Part of an OMR sheet where the candidate was supposed to darken the letters of his/her name in sequence. Just priceless but shhhhhhh :D