Sunday 30 November 2008

Now that there's time to read and introspect

Suketu Mehta in the NYT

Dilip D'souza in the Washinton Post

Naresh Fernandes in The New Republic (See also his piece on Jews in Bombay)

And these pieces, on their blogs, by Amit Varma, Sonia Faleiro and Rahul Bhatia.

And these by Prem Panicker: 1, 2 & 3 (the latter two link to some other excellent pieces as well).

And this, by Ingrid Srinath (read also Priyanka Joseph's comment on that post).

And while we're about it, let us also say that we count all these names among our friends. Except for Mr Mehta; but then we have drunk his booze in Jai Hind the night he won the Crossword Book Award, so perhaps we can claim him too. At any rate, Mr M, in the unlikely event that you're reading this, when you're next in the city, maybe I can buy you a drink? A cheaper one, though.

Saturday 29 November 2008

Abide with me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

I'm not religious. Haven't been since my teens. But this hymn can make me cry. It was the favourite of one of my grandmothers. Also a favourite of Gandhi's (which us why you'll hear it at events associated with him), and just about the only thing my nana had in common with the Mahatma, who she didn't like very much. And it was sung at my mother's funeral last year.