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


  1. I share the same sentiment about my experiences of visiting a gurudwara and hearing the rhymes sung there as well as the prayers. It's always soothing.

    1. Yeah, I guess that's one way where faith and religion works - to comfort and soothe when all the world seems to be moving out of control.