Sunday, December 26, 2010

As much as we...

I remember reading a tweet by Joel Houston sometime back. "i hope people enjoy listening to this album as much as we're enjoying the process of making it..." (!/joelhouston/status/25397624913). 
Reading it and for days after, I was wondering if I could ever, ever in my life say something like that. Can I, in those droning client calls, tell the folks on the other end, "Hope you enjoy using the software as much as we enjoyed making this"? Sigh.

Okay, my work is interesting and all that. But it isn't something I enjoy. I don't wake up thinking how great the day's coding is going to be. I like my work, for say, five - six hours a day. [like as in 'I like eating idlis coz mom's away, I am verrry hungry and that's all grandma made for breakfast']. That's about it. Not a minute more. But then, aren't we supposed to be passionate about what we do? Isn't work supposed to bring out the best in us?

I really want to say something along the lines of Houston. But I know I probably wouldn't as long as i am writing lines of codes for some Jap, or any national for that matter. My heart does not belong with computers and codes and algorithms. It belongs with people, with music... not digits. I want to work with my heart in it.. not just the head. I wanna be there, teaching kids to read, write and draw... I wanna be there, backstage, putting the microphones in their boxes, untangling coiled cables, dancing when the band's performing...

Well, maybe someday, Whatever my hand finds to do, I will do with all my might... coz 'whatever' my hand finds to do will be what I really love to do. Maybe someday, I can use the phrase 'As much as we...' not just as a blog entry title.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Conscience and an Itchy Foot

One of the worst things you can do on a rainy day is stand in a crowded bus. And it was one such worst thing I was doing a few weeks back coming home from work.

 I was irate, cursing my boss, the rain, the bus and my 'fellow travellers', when someone stepped on my foot, lavishly smothering it with the dirty, squishy mud he had managed to collect in his bare sole. *Wow, did i just write three lines without a period? 'Kewl' me.* Anyway, I wanted to yell at him. It felt so uncomfortable to have a lump of yucky mud on my foot and worse still, it began to itch very bad.I couldn't even move - let alone bend down and scratch!  The bus was too full of people. It got too itchy and all I could do was grind my teeth and mutter under my breath.

 The bus kept moving on and it was quite sometime before I realized it wasn't itchy anymore. I didn't even feel the dirt and suddenly revelation came dawning on me. *Wonder why most of my revelations come during bus travels! =/*

The whole smothering -> itching -> no itching sequence of the foot very much resembled sequences in my conscience. When my conscience is clean and sharp, anything alien itched... pricked. It pricked when I lied. Pricked when I gossiped. Pricked when I hurt God and chose a TV show over Bible reading. But when I don't react to the pricks and leave these muddy lumps be, they stay, and soon make themselves at home. And then my conscience doesn't itch anymore. What once was bad and itchy becomes normal and 'perfectly okay'.

Honestly,  I don't want dirt all over my conscience and not even knowing it. I really pray God would take my soiled conscience, once again, and wipe it clean. Wash it sparkling clean... till He sees Himself in it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wells I did not dig...

Sometime back, on my way to work, I was flipping through the pages of Deuteronomy and this verse stared full at my face. 

God in His 'Promise-keeper' role has been very very familiar to me. All these years, day-in, day-out, I have seen His promises come to pass. I sure would have read these verses before, but now suddenly they made so much sense.  

When the LORD your God brings you into the land... to give you - a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant... 
(Deut 6: 10, 11)

The Hiedelberg catechism says this about the Providence of God: Providence is the almighty and ever present power of God by which he upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty— all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but from his fatherly hand. 

Been there. Felt that.

It is amazing how God handcrafts circumstances in my life to bring forth His providence and ever-increase my faith and awe. I can only sing thanks and praises with a thousand tongues for He has given me large and beautiful cities that I did not build... fills me from vineyards and olive trees that  I did not plant... and satisfies me from wells which I did not dig.

Genesis 22:8 - Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Never Alone

Disclaimer: Well, this may be a boring entry, but then this is a 'baseless rant'. What more can one expect!

I haven't replied 'alone'  to a 'How are you?' question in all these years ... Though I have been. Right in the midst of a swelling crowd... of friendly laughter and fun. You play the cheerful part... and desperately try to mingle, forcing an empty smile. You don't want your friends to know. You don't even want to feel it for yourself. But deep down, you can't keep from thinking that the one person you know to stand by you no matter what, seems to be far. Nowhere near.

He's just not around. You can't even cry out to anyone; He's the one you've been crying to all this long. No one else knows you better than Him. And you wonder if He just did leave you... Alone...

Maybe I'm wrong... Maybe I just failed to see. Failed to do what He asked me to - Believe.

I've loved this song from BarlowGirl - Never Alone. Just a reminder that no matter how far He might 'seem' from me, I am never alone.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ohhh, He knew it!

It's been sometime since this happened. I was thinking about it today and just thought I'd write. One of my most favorite songs like 5-6 years back was 'Always' by Mia Fieldes, from More than Life. It was a Friday night in January. I was in Brazil and this song was playing incessantly inside my head. I just couldn't take it off of my mind. I knew it was not on my iPod, and scurried efforts to locate it on my computer failed. I didn't have it. Aargh! I will bang my neighbor's door early tomorrow and get the songs downloaded. I so badly had to listen to it. And now there was this song Consuming Fire by Tim Hughes from the same album that worked its way up there and started playing alongside Always. You know the kind of feeling when every cell in your body wants to do ( in my case - hear) something but you just can't - Ask me about it.

I couldn't access the internet at my neighbors. I woke up all this early for that! Mr. Pres had had forgotten to pay his telephone bill. Why now?? Sweet!! There was a cafe nearby and I wanted to check if it was open. I had to cross Ju's to get there... and she called me over. *Aw man, not now... I wanted to go check something! :( * I was talking to Ju, and her husband pulled over. He was just back from church and promptly stuffed a DVD into my hand. He said a friend from church had given it to him. And as it was English, he wanted me to check it out. I couldn't reply for speechlessness got the better of me - it was the bonus DVD that came with the More than Life Audio CD.

Hurried talks with Ju and Ad and I ran home to watch the DVD.  =/, Only parts of the first few songs played in the background, and all the intro's, skateboarding sequences, Behind the scenes were up. The songs' volume was kinda low coz there was narration, people being interviewed and all that. I was like "God, it was just this close!". Anyway, so I had to go somewhere and download it... I might as well finish watching this whole thing. It went on, and then Always started playing and they were showing the performance - That meant the full song played!! I felt like jumping with joy!
I skipped forward hoping Consuming fire also featured fully. Nope. The song wasn't even there. :( ... Anyway, I was happy (well, partly). Was sort of secretly disappointed the other song I had wanted to listen to wasn't there. I was going to close it and accidentally clicked on one of those 'chapters' listed. Guess what, It was a black-and-white video of Tim's song. Now, what does one have to say to that!

When I told BM about this, she said - Maybe God knew you would want to hear those someday and put them there even when they released it. I hadn't thought of it that way. Maybe God did know it already after all.                      
                      Ohhh, He knew it!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

ProMo - The Proposal Moment.

Someday my prince will come. But not the way his kinfolk have done before for those scores of half-dead-choking-over-a-poisoned-apple or hibernating-from-a-needle-prick princesses. Nah, I don't want it that way coz, it is boring... and coz I'm no princess. :( :( :( Maybe the love-wedding-marriage proposal at first sight by a total stranger on a horse is utopian for trapped-in-a-tall-tower Rapunzel. But for a short haired girl like me, which, by the way, is the only dissimilarity between me and princesses from long long ago, it isn't all that exciting.

Okay, honestly, I want my "Proposal Moment" (ProMo, from now on) to be romantic and "LOVE"ly. What does it even matter without love, come on! So, let's assume one Mr.Perfect and I start out as friends and gradually figure out we could actually get to be a perfect couple. Yay!
[IMPORTANT : Hi Reader, If you are male, and okay-looking with a good sense of humor, a little bit of intelligence and prefer the beauty of the heart to that of the face, I am single. The above was just an assumption.]

So, there sure is going to be a moment when my Mr.Perfect reveals that pretty ring, takes both my hand and me by surprise, looks into my eyes and says - I love you. Will you marry me? and I would probably blush and definitely nod, nod, nod, nod.

Oh man, how beautiful. But, er, I don't really want the same old ring-in-the-champagne-glass setting. Here are three backdrop suggestions for a perfect ProMo. For MY perfect ProMo.

Presumption 1: BM's getting married to a Canadian. We (Mr. Perfect and I) are in North Canada for the wedding. Mr. Perfect, as he is a great friend, had offered to come along. Two is company.
ProMo 1: A quiet evening, a long walk. Maaaan!! The Northern Lights!!! And as it gets Aurora-Borealic, Mr. Perfect instantiates the ProMo! * God, I would die from an outburst of joy.*

Presumption 2: My parents set my curfew at 10 at night for just that day. and I am also allowed to go to the nearby beach with a male friend - Mr. Perfect.
ProMo 2: Dim moonlight. Deserted beach. Racing along the waters and stopping to catch our breaths - an unsuspecting moment and ProMo!

Presumption 3: It's my birthday. Dinner with Mr. Perfect and a free ride back home. Nice weather, slightly cold.
ProMo 3: Me: Thanks for dropping, ---------. (to be filled with Mr. Perfect's                       real name) .
                 Mr. P: Happy Birthday. :)
                 Me: Thanks. Good night. :)
                 Mr. P: Good night. And hey, there's something...

                                  ProMo!!!..... at my doorstep!!!

Well, that makes my top-three sweep-me-off-my-feet proposal suggestions. And I am keeping my fingers crossed.

OKAY, I KNOW, I KNOW. Get real!!

My "knight in shining armor" will come home riding with his obese mother, balding father, dumb-show-off brother and stuck-up sister in an auto. Obese mother will keep whispering to the moustache-has-more-hair-than-the-head father throughout the whole event. Stupid bro and snobbish sister will throw disgusting looks at me - hell, yeah, I will be wearing one of my mom's saris and probably cursing the concept of arranged marriages. Possible Mr. Perfect (who is so not my Mr. Perfect from the dreams :( ;( ) will be aimlessly looking either at the cobwebs in the ceiling or the lizard litter near the fridge.

Obese mother, to my mom: We like your daughter. yada.. yada..yada... Can we announce it in the church, then?

My mom, to obese mother: Oh, we are sooo glad!!!

*Sound of explosion. Ah, yeah, my heart*

So, the ultimate ProMo of my life:

   Soon-to-be-Mr.Perfect's obese mother just did... to my mom.

                        HOW SO ROMANTIC!!! SNIFF. SNIFF. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thaaru Maaru Daaru Daaru

That's Phineas's catchphrase. Catchphrase? Phineas? That?? Exactly. My latest addiction - Phineas and Ferb in Tamil, and honestly, I love it. The original P&F is awesome, needless to say, and I adore it. But the Tamil version's got me ROFL everyday!! really.

The Tamil dubbing is simply superb. Phineas' language is like our very own school kids' - the slang, the accent, the delicate jargon. You got to watch it! Thaaru maaru, daaru daaru... Hei Ferb, naama inniku enna panna poromnu mudivu pannittaen..Hey, Perry engae?? Those are just a few picks. Ferb's pearls of wisdom have the panache that only superstars like Rajnikaanth and Vijaykaanth share - Nalla vaayam mudipaan, naara vaayan keduppan.. Kadham kadham.

Probably Ashley Tisdale from Aminjikarai gives Candace her voice. and it is absolutely hilarious. Candace uses posh terms like Gujilipa, bujji-kutti... Man, Jeremy, are you in a stroke of luck or what!

The highlight of the entire show is Heinz Doof. He has this heavy, interior-south accent and you cannot stop laughing once he starts talking. The dubbing is so cool he even says 'Feeter thee panda' for 'Peter, the panda'. yes, Feeter, with an 'f'. and yes, thee with two e's. The way he calls Perry - Perrrrrry, the plaaaatiipus. God, this is side-splitting material.

I can never tire of P&F - the Tamil version. It is fabulous. You gotta watch it. YOU GOT TO! Disney XD, 1930 hours, everyday.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Tata Docomo Commercial

Most of you would have seen that Docomo commercial, the interview one for MySong. I like it. And today, I lived it! I had an interview with a really good company (Not mentioning name for fear of losing my job ;) ). I had already taken those ap-tests and stuff, with no prior preparation obviously. and I got selected. What!! The way the recruiter spoke to me over phone yesterday, I thought there was only going to be a direct interview involving non-technical details. I go to the office today and take my seat with 5-6 people waiting for the interview. Good heavens! Except for me and a totally-drenched-in-sweat guy, everyone is poring over books. I feel like crap, honestly. I didn't even know there was a technical round. Awesome!

I am in the lounge... partly thinking of walking out. I haven't seen my text books in like ages. And with a memory span like mine - God, I am done. I just say - Lord. Listen. I don't know anything. Do whatever you want. Serious. I didn't even 'Amen' the prayer, now I remember. The tech-round-person calls me in. * When was the last time I attended an interview? Two years back. What!! And this person has smartness smothered all over his face. Great! *. It began like sort-of okay. He asked me about my college projects and my work stuff in Brazil. So far, so good. *Can I leave now????*

Uh unn... There starts the commercial. He starts with all these nice little basic things. For most questions I answered what would have been the most logical thing to do. Like what would you do when your browser window hangs? 
Me: I will end the process in the task manager.
He: What if it all freezes? 
Me: I will force power off and restart.

Then, we went on to Level 2. What is the difference between a worm, a trojan and a virus. I define them the way I want and give a totally crap answer that includes ancient Greece, Troy and Achilles. "Mmmm...." He smiles. *Can I leave now????* .

 He: Okay, let's talk about Safe mode. Why do we use it? How do we use it?
 Me: ummm... I would press F8.. *Please let it be F8, Lord*... and.. ummm... I use it when my installed OS has some problems.. and ummm.. I want to rectify them.. and.. ummm... in a much less.. ummm... *what word is that. heck.*.. you know, functionality thing, you know... *Technical terms, to hell with you*... 

He: Okaaayyyy, ( still smiling in a way that made me look like an idiot )... Now I am almost sure the interview is over. I want to get out of this place before he takes me for a total idiot. But then, most wishes don't come true when you want them to. aaaarrgh!! The questions that followed, I have no idea wat they were. Some words rang a faint bell somewhere inside the cranium. probably from the occipital lobe - it was pretty distant. *oh man, oh man.. that word.. from the 4th sem.. *... And for ALL the questions after that, I had one standard answer. No, three, actually. 

1. errr... I am not sure, sir.
2. I.. I.. I don't exactly remember now, sir
3. ummm... that.. I don't know, sir

*Can I leave now? puh leez... :( *

He: (looks at my resume) How may I call you?
Me: *Romba mukiyam!!* Sharon, sir.. *started to fake it, but ended up smiling honestly*. I like it that way. :)
He: can you wait for some time Sharon? You can take the next round.
Me: Thank you, sir (Like I knew I would clear this round)

Out of the Discussion room... and me, to self - Oh My God.. Oh My God.. Oh My God.. What are you, Lord! Even I wouldn't have hired myself! Are you doing this Docomo thing on me coz you know I like the ad??

I got the job... and I am still clueless how.. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

THE Cinderella Story

'Cinderella' is my second most favorite fairy tale. I was arranging my sister's fairy-tale dolls and thought clouds with Cinderella tags popped over my head. Unassuming, ordinary, poor Ella by the cinders... Magical fairy Godmother (whose role was taken by daVinci in Drew Barrymore's medieval rendition and online chat in Hilary Duff's high school version)... Prince Charming... Love... Happily ever after. Develop the hints!

I was playing the story in my mind and then it struck me - mine is a perfect Cinderella story. Hold your breath. Yeah, I get to be Cinderella in my story. And okay, I am Cinderella sans the beauty, the soft-spokenness, the charm and the long, flowing hair. Big-time-loser -> that was me. My childhood wasn't exactly royalty. Nor was any other phase. ;). Growing up, my best friends were milkmaids and annas who were giving their sixth grade final exams the 6th or 7th go. I was scared of people. Scared of embarrassment. I would rather not play than strike out in a game. I thought I would never be able to do anything good. at all.

Man, who knew it was the cue for the Prince!

My Cinderella story has this slight twist - there's no fairy godmother.In mine, the Prince came looking for me. He knew how pathetic my life was and still chose me. He made my life most beautiful. Gave me everything, even my wishes that were yet unasked. 'Christ in Brazil' was my dream from class eight. Who'd have guessed that this small town girl would one day get to see the Redeemer in all splendor! I hadn't met any girl from a university choir who had been attending a choir-less church back home till I saw myself in the mirror after a college Christmas recital. This Prince Charming has given me amazing love at home, loads of friends, opportunities, health, money, joy, peace.. everything. To top it, He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love... (Song of Songs 2:4)

His turn to speak. and He says : My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. (Song of Songs 2:14)

Tell you what, I feel like I am living a dream. Feel like I am living a fairy tale - The Cinderella Story.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Post-Carnaval Trauma

The pre-carnaval-Carnaval-post-carnaval phase of my life feels like an over-twisted Tamil soap opera. The last two months, I've been finding myself in some super-drama plots. Emotional stuff kinda piled up - Betrayal, lonliness, embarrasment, doubts, anger. But the biggest heartbreak came a day after Carnaval.

Okay, Rewind. << .

The Carnaval break was great. Was away in Antonina with Ju's, a beach nearby. Learnt to swim, went fishing, caught a decently big fish, and got to know a cute Brazilian. Seems he was my neighbor but I had never seen him before! He didn't speak English. Well, actually, he didn't speak much. Just a few words when we played Monopoly and fooled around with Portuguese riddles one afternoon. But we wagered on who could stay longer inside the water. (Fine, I lost!! ) Isn't that enough to fall in love? Come on, it is.

So, here's this nice guy I overheard was 24. Was cursing myself for not having noticed him in the last 5 months and he lived just 3 houses to my left. darn me. By the way, his name is Luis. And other than the fact that he had 2 tattoos and a tongue piercing, I pretty much liked him. I thought this was the best Carnaval ever.

I returned to Curitiba, dreaming of Luis and poured out my overflowing heart to tia Sola - a distant relative of Luis' and my neighbor. Was hoping she would help me make my Brazilian future. She gave me the stats. She broke my heart.

Luis is 15. He goes to school.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Paul, I am sorry.

The first thing I want to tell Paul when I get to heaven – Paul, I am sorry. Yeah, that Paul – of Tarsus, famous from the Damascus incident and much more.

Honestly, I didn't like Paul very much until recently. I thought he was snobbish. When BeyondMadness and I were once talking about who we would want to be friends with in heaven, I said David. She picked Paul. I said I wouldn't really talk much to Paul there. He was a great person, alright, but to me he seemed to show-off too much. He had learnt a lot, knew a lot, had truckloads of influence but I thought he didn't act all that humble. A quality my superhero David had in immeasurable amounts. It always amazes me how a King could say, "Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that you have brought me this far?"! How could David, who killed his ten thousands, dance undignified on the streets for the Lord! How could the ruler of a nation give his choice time for God, write songs on Him and make music to Him! Wow. Define humility for me!

And so, to me, Paul was this highly educated scholar, a pompous genius with attitude tagging alongside. Do this. Don't do that. Some of you do this. Why do you do that? You are infants. Be careful. Questions. Exhortations. Commands. Huh! I thought Paul was saying all that he did, the way he did, because he thought he was much better than all those people and as if everyone else was an idiot. I didn't like the idea. I was kinda prejudiced against Paul, and hence his writings. I knew God would soon teach me the lesson I needed.

And He did. The beautiful part of my learning was not the lesson, per se, but the way He taught it.

I used to write to a friend of mine, Bruce. Bruce was very dear to me and I cared a lot about him. At times I used to write things like – Do this… don't do that… you could do this… Questions, exhortations, suggestions. I meant them to remind him of things one might tend to forget or overlook, to make sure he doesn't lose track. And many times, he would reply – "So, that's what you think of me? That I am bad? Fine, if that's what you think". I would have given anything to make him understand that it wasn't to pull his esteem down or show that I was better (Which I wasn't, BTW) that I wrote them. It was out of love, and all that I could do to keep up the "Build each other" command from Ephesians 4:29. Bruce was important to me and I took the right to tell him things. I was upset and told God that Bruce always got my intentions wrong, when God gently pointed to that corner in my mind that disliked Paul for his "Big-headedness". Felt like I was punched in the stomach. I was feeling bad that Bruce was behaving this way to me, when all the while I was doing the same to Paul. Man!

Paul was writing all that stuff in his letters coz he loved the people. He took his rights, not to boast and buff his ego but coz he cared. And I thought he was a snob. God forbid!! Man, what had I been doing? I wanted Bruce to understand my intent but I never had gotten Paul's. =/. I apologized to God and promised to change my attitude toward Paul. Well, God went ahead to open my eyes wider to Paul's life.

Guess what was the syllabus in adult Sunday school for the next two months? Paul! As we learnt about Paul and his life, I felt a deep sense of admiration growing inside of me for him. I couldn't imagine how hard it would have been for such a grand genius to give up his status, his "gethu" for the Lord and boldly choose to be persecuted for the sake of the gospel. The last class we had on Paul and we were learning from the second book of Timothy. And when we were at the place where Paul was saying what will later become a famous line – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith – I saw tears fall on the pages but didn't care to mop my eyes. I let them fall so that if Paul was looking down, he would know how really ashamed I was of myself.

Such a great apostle, Paul. Such a great human, with such humility. God taught me my lesson in way I could never forget. And Paul is now officially my favorite writer!

And the first thing I want to tell Paul when I get to heaven – Paul, I am sorry… and er… Could you sign my new testament?