During the hours leading up to the midnight of the last day of 2005, I get dressed and prepare for the new year. The day was spent in some evening shopping. I needed to use a gift voucher which was the prize for the company quiz at Perot, my company. After looking up some gifts at a gift shop on a long walk with mum, our efforts brought us no fruit as the scheme was withdrawn from gift shops and they could not sell items in exchange for the coupons.
Now was the time for me to pay a visit to Sapna book house, one I had never before visited, despite it being the largest book house in India. So it was an interesting visit, one for which I was keen and looking forward to. The city transport service bus took me to the busy hub in the old part of Bangalore city, with the overlooking combination of colonial and modern building. Here were the bazaars of all kinds of goods. The grey market selling all kinds of electronic goods, computer software and the like was right here. Janata bazaar, Hong Kong bazaar, the numerous sounds and sights, narrow walkways, people going here and there, some to spend an evening outside the house, some vendors and street sellers.
The city is invaded by commercial and advertisements, thanks to bigger pockets generated by higher paying jobs and foreign investment in local labor, especially the intellectual and verbal kind (meaning software and BPO's). So big pockets mean that people can spend more too and when people need to know what to spend on, the companies are always there to spread their fragrances and sights, inviting people. So in your day there is a multitude of invitations. Do this, go here, take this credit card, buy this, test ride that and the list is endless.
My walk took me to the Sapna book store and with some help, I found the place. I walked up the stairs to there and found as I entered various categories of shelves neatly stacked with books in an easy to find category wise classification. So it was easy to get what I would have wanted. However, I wanted to buy something and not something in particular. So I went around looking at what the store had to offer.
A dictionary was a worthwhile investment, so I decided and I chose a 6th edition Oxford dictionary. I had a look at a reverse dictionary. This was interesting. I found the concept very interesting and I began to appreciate it. The reverse dictionary contains words related to a certain context or domain. Words classified by an area of study are together under a category. So gardening words will be under the gardening entry. This is very useful for writing articles or giving talks and the like. I certainly am interested, but my sense of waiting for a better time prevails and I leave the section and buy a book on short stories from Anthony D'Mello, since I heard a friend mention the author's works as interesting reading material.
The way back home was another journey by bus and I reached the stop near home. The night was dark as the lights were out in our area. Returning with the items, we prayed together in familial togetherness and had a nice dinner too. In the time that remained, I tested out the ubuntu Linux Live CD I got from the book store. Booting our PC, I was delighted to see that the Linux came up without any problems, without having to install. The live CD idea is neat, to say the least and even without installing anything on my hard drive, I had an operating system running on our PC. Having had a good look at the look and feel of the system, I enjoyed the wonderful styling of the Ubuntu desktop and the way the menu was sorted into categories. I felt promise of running movies and music on the system and liked the fact that it is well supported and easy to use.
Once the system was down, we set off for our beloved Church and headed for the midnight mass. This was a lovely and meaningful way to start the new year. I was pleased to be able to thank God for all the wonderful things that He has done in my life during the past year. This year is one I really look forward to. It brings with it new challenges, an untrodden path for me, unfamiliar waters for my heart and mind. The one foundation is a commitment to Christ and the rest is based upon this surest of foundations.
The past year was the one that I came to know of the Institute which is one with my heart and soul. It is my soul mate in a deep sense because it echoes the voice of my innermost being as my innermost being echoes its voice. United in purpose and meaning, I extend my hands in joining the mission to bring the lost to the faith and the Church. The church in each person may be in a state of destruction and defeat. The defeatist tendencies of our age are negative because of negative roots and emotions and selfish ends. May the evergreen values of love, generosity and gentleness reign in our planet. May creation, nature be preserved and appreciated and enjoyed. May genuine beauty be enjoyed rather than selfish enjoyment which hurts another. Let us awake to a new freedom. This is my prayer and I join in the prayers of all those who hope good for this planet, who wish to do their bit to make it a better place.
Finally, let me thank all those people who made this past year so special. Let me thank my father for his presence and his guidance and his example. Let me thank my mother for her perseverance in doing her bit each day, the food, the house and the family. Let me thank my brother for the moments of joy and times of fun and sports we had. Let me thank my mates in office with whom I have spent more time than elsewhere. Let me also thank the special people I met and whom I admire for their optimism, virtue, talent, generosity, loving nature and cheerfulness even in pain. Thank you because you are God's gift to me. Thank you God, because my life is everything it is because of you. You will never be finished with blessing me because of your great love. I love you Father!!
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