Francis Gonsalves


Befriend the cold

A guru was huddled around a bonfire with his disciples complaining about the cold. Echoing the guru’s teaching, the brightest of the lot said, “On a freezing day I know exactly what to do.” “What?” asked the others. “Keep warm!” he chirped, and continued, “And, if that’s not possible, I still know what to do.” “What?” Smiling, he said, “Freeze.”

Fostering the feminine

Isn’t the time when the savage rape and death of the 23-year-old girl in Delhi has triggered discussion on the plight of Indian women an occasion for reflection? Doesn’t it remind us that culture — influenced by religious belief — is dangerous when not constantly evaluated and constructively critiqued?

Boxing blessings

Christmas week is full of feasts: Boxing Day and the Feast of Stephen (December 26), as well as the Feasts of Evangelist John (December 27), Holy Innocents (December 28) and the Holy Family (December 30). Though the origins of these feasts are far separated in place and time, all of them strikingly stress a Christian theme: “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Not in shrine, nor in words

A parachutist bailed out of his jet targeted by the enemy, and landed atop a tree. Dreading that he’d entered enemy territory, he asked a passerby: “Where am I?”

A saint in a hurry

Xavier, most people think, is just a brand name for innumerable Christian institutions, worldwide.

Wedding wisdom

Marriages are made in heaven,” they say. Yet, many turn hellish. Marriages get murkier with politicians waxing eloquent on bride-prices and the centrality of toilets for marriage. Sans watering down the need of toilets for blissful life, there are weightier matters that religions offer as “wedding wisdom”.

Homeward bound

Life is a yatra with goings and comings. Birds return to nests and sheep to sheepfolds, while homecoming is happiness for most people who hurry towards home, sweet home!

Memories are forever

You forgot my birthday,” complained a friend recently, terribly hurt at my forgetfulness. Neither reasoning nor excuses could heal the hurt I’d caused. Remembering loved ones bring joy and forgetting them — especially on memorable days — hurts. Truly, memory is an indispensible ingredient in building relationships.

Let the light in

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.

Music for the Lord

Music is God’s greatest gift to humankind,” is the mantra of one of my revered gurus. I agree.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.