Monthly Archives: January 2023

Look at life and laugh

Recently I attended a function to celebrate a lady’s 80th birthday. My wife and I were quite early, so we sat at a table of four .

Soon guests started trickling in . We were happy when a lady joined us . Later another couple joined us . We adjusted with our seating and were joined by a second couple rather late.

I’ve not been too familiar with these friends who are part of a community I have just joined . Initially only formalities were exchanged.

Very soon as the party progressed we exchanged hilarious incidents. The jokes started pouring in .

Other guests known to us , wondered what was the secret of all the laughter.

The answer was simple ….humour to laugh even at ourselves.

Two incidents were about mistaken identity .

I was a visitor staying with a community of Brothers . As is the norm each person prepares his own breakfast .

While doing so , I heard footsteps approaching. I turned briefly and greeted him “Good morning Don”. To my surprise the person responded gruffly “I’m not Don , I’m Steve.” He happened to be the senior among the Brothers . That evening I was the but of jokes as the Brothers (gathered for the evening of fellowship) all teased me about this .

The second amusing incident was related by the other guest . At a training seminar they dispersed for an interval . As he was walking in the corridor, the main speaker whom he did not know came towards him and gave him a hug “Oh , it’s wonderful to see you after so long.” Later many young people asked him “ How do you know this speaker?” , as it was a privilege to connect with renowned speakers. With a broad smile he answered “ I don’t really know him , but enjoyed the moment.”

A third incident was recounted . The lady had traveled to Edinburgh to collect her graduation certificate for a course she attended . She then planned to return by train to Glasgow where her husband waited to meet her .

At Edinburgh station she grabbed a quick coffee at the station and jumped into a train as she heard ‘Glasgow’ being announced. She telephoned her husband “I’m on the train”Normally such a journey would take 1 hour , but unfortunately this was a slow train which stopped at all stations . So after a prolonged journey she arrived at Glasgow where her husband waited anxiously. This accounted for their late arrival at the 80th birthday celebration. She learnt a good lesson ‘look before you leap’.

The amusing incidents recounted among others helped to put all into a good mood .

Surely humour goes a long way to look at life and laugh.

The thrills of Kite Flying

The thrills of kite flying were immense (this was in the 1960’s )

Evenings were a time to fly kites after returning from school. We bought our kites and thread with manja from a shopkeeper called kite man .

He had several sizes of kites

6paise a medium kite

2paise a tiny kite

12paise a bigger kite called a daboo.

The manja, is thread coated with a glass powder . This would be at the front part of a flying kite , which is used to deal with another kite flyer in a kite fight. This manja and thread would be wrapped on a device called a firki..

Strong thread would be at the rear part of the flying kite .

I liked the 6paise kite as it had wax lines on it . The daboos were also waxed .

We had names for the various wind directions .

Evening breeze was generally from west to east .

Morning breeze was from east to west

Afternoon breeze was from north to south

Night breeze was from south to north .

We flew our kites in the wind direction.

In those days , many youth flew kites and the sky would be full of kites .

Some kite flyers were skilled in kite fights . I would take great care to ensure any flyer would not ‘pull’ me from behind.I.e. cut my string and lose my kite as it sailed away.

In the same way I would be ready for a kite fight and enjoy it with those in front or on the side .

There would be another set of youth who would only be interested in catching the kites that lost their fight and went sailing to land and get caught by them .

As a young guy , I would get thrilled when my eldest brother joined us to fly kites .

There were interesting incidents

when one of my daring brothers climbed the roof of our house to catch a kite . I too ventured to climb the neighbour’s roof and was reprimanded ‘Who is there on the roof’ by an old lady.

Another incident was quite serious . My brother caught a kite that floated near our home . He began pulling it but a sudden pull from the other end , caused the ‘manja’ to cut through his arm to the bone . Blood flowed as he got back to our home and was detected by my aunt . My father (a doctor ) was immediately contacted . The first thing he did , was to give my brother a spanking and then took him to the hospital where he was stitched .

On the 14th January , a kite flying festival is held called Makar Sakranti. Young and old participate in flying kites on this day .

At the end of October on a certain feast day there was a legend that kite flyers would release their kites in the sky which signalled the end of the season .

We were sad when this happened . We missed our evenings of kite flying .

The season spanned between end September to end October .

Sadly we now don’t see kites being flown . Youth have other pursuits .

The fruit of suffering

Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

When suffering comes how do I deal with it ? Do I complain ? Do I wonder when the end will come ?

In my quiet time , the Lord has spoken into my heart, that suffering bears fruit .

And Paul speaks about character being developed leading to hope .

Currently, I have neuralgia which causes excruciating pain and the only medical remedy is to have recourse to pain killers .

Will my suffering end ? I do not know . This seems minor as I have been blessed immensely to make a good recovery from cancer .

But when anyone is in pain , comparisons do not work as one endures it .

As my suffering continues , the biggest blessing in my life is knowing that God is present with me . Through all the challenges of the past , he has carried me .

Not only that , I have been blessed to encounter his great love for me .

I believe every word that he speaks into my life, through scripture and in my quiet time . He is the divine healer.

Can I share my suffering with him ? He gave his life to save me.

This is the time I can do this and begin offering these sufferings for those in need all over the world , beginning with my family , and friends .

I pray for patience that Jesus sees me through the pain that is so excruciating.

As Paul quotes that : Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

I’ve also read that suffering produces saints . If that is the case for my good to become a saint then I pray

“Yes Lord , please send me more , but you be in me /with me to face it “


Reach Out

Have you reflected

On waking this morning

How the darkness disappears

And a new day begins

To take away troubles

And a chance to do good

Time with the Almighty

inspires one to action

Pray for others

Lend a helping hand

A smile for a stranger

And a whisper good day

Receiving from above

And giving to others

Will I not see the fruits

Of joy and peace


What is it to Persevere

Never give up and keep going

You never know

surprises keep coming

Improvisations galore

to handle the problem

Go through with courage

Or around it with aplomb

Strive thus to the end

With courage on the way

The prize to persevere

is to see new horizons

So on we go

No matter the hurdle

Go through with courage

or round it with aplomb