Tuesday, 13 January 2015


I must beg pardon for my inactivity on this blog for almost 8 months. I have been posting regularly on Facebook, and keeping in touch with friends and relatives.

It was my 70th birthday this year. Jacob threw me a surprise party, which was such a wonderful occasion attended by many friends.

I was also able to take part in the reception to meet the Indian President His Excellency Pranab Mukherje  and his daughter, Sharmistha. 

83er Sharmistha is a Stephanian, like 63er Jacob, about 20 years his junior. She passed out in 1983, having done History. They are Facebook friends. She is an very competent Indian dancer. She has shared a few of her performances which she has choreographed herself.

She has just informed the public that she is going stand for the Delhi Assembly from Greater Kailash and wants suggestions how SHE can make a difference the lives of Indian women. She is practical and not building castles in the air. She wants suggestions on what she can do, and not things like bringing legislations,etc.

I do hope she will get elected, as she seems to know her priorities and may not be a chamcha to the Nehru-Gandhi family! 

Delhi is given the honour being called the most polluted city in the world. I can vouch for that. I hope she can do something to save this city, which is choking itself!

If Jacob and my reading is right, Sharmistha has the character and personality to become the next head the Indian Congress party, a fitting tribute to the work of her father! 

With young dedicated and competent leaders, the Congress party could rebuild itself after getting rid of people like the 7 Stephanians (68er Kapil Sibal, 72er Ashwini Kumar, 73er Salman Kurshid, 74er R. P.N. Singh, 76er Shashi Tharoor, 90er Joyti Scindia and 97er Sachin Pilot) who sat in the previous Manmohan Singh Government as YES men to Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi. They are the ones who have brought St.Stephen's College to disrepute, filling shoes they did not have the competence to fit!

In comparison, I have only Dr. Verghese Kurian of Anand and Amul fame, who used to do something and then tell indira Gandhi, the autocrat, what he had done. He knew going for approvals was a waste of time and money. The White Revolution was the result of his dedicated work starting at the grassroots level in Gujarat

It was nice to see the the day we flew from Delhi to Hyderabad, it was named as National Milk Day as tribute to Dr. Kurian, known to us a Jollychayan, who was married to Mollykochamma!

Jacob and Annikki standing behind Sharmistha at the Helsinki reception for Indian President His Excellency Pranab Mukerjee. Also seen are Indian Ambassador to Finland, His Excellency Ashok Kumar Sharma and Finnish Foreign Minister, Erkki Tuomioja.

I have been quite active otherwise. We have had the grandchildren,Samu, Daniel and Maria over for summer and Joanna, our younger daughter, brought the three of them also for Christmas.

We had a disastrous trip to India in November and December. Jacob and I are documenting it on our new web site, http://www.findians.com. The new book is being serialised on Jacob's Blog as "The Titanic called India". I did see the Taj Mahal and witness the making of the decorated inlaid marble. And I lived on the edge of a jungle just on the outskirts of Mumbai!

Several have asked why we callled it that, when the Indian greatness is being shouted by the Indian Ministers.

Believe it or not, Indians were flying around the planets many thousands of years ago, but sadly, today, they do not know how to design a simple road and pavement in India. Take a person in a wheelchair anywhere on a street in India, and you will know what we mean.

Maybe the Indian knowledge went along with those who designed those amazing flying machines! :-)

I have designed a few cakes, the last one being based on my discovery of the Agra Petha, a delicious Indian sweet made from Pumpkin. Granddaughter Maria I used it to decorate Joanna's mango Petha birthday cake a few days ago.

I have been crocheting in my spacetime. Jacob complains that I am cutting up his lungis. These lungis are over 25 years old and fall apart the minute you touch them. Does well as colourful crocheting material when I tear them to shreds! This was a my latest piece, a butterfly, but I have been making lots of cylindrical baskets to keep the various papers that Jacob keeps lying around as well his many spectacles which he keeps misplacing! (Earlier I had used Haldiram's Soan Papdi as cake decoration, and it was also a great material!)

Jacob wants me to sell them so he can afford to buy 110 count lungis from his old friend from Madurai, Mohammed Abubacker, the Chank brand lungis. I wonder if the Chank brand exists today as Jacob is talking about 1975!

We received news a few days ago of the passing of another family member, journalist B. G. Verghese.  He and his wife, Jamila were Stephanians, like Jacob, but about10 years senior to him.

I used to enjoy the writings of Bublichayan, as he is known in the family, as they were sharp and incisive!

There are many people that need to be thanked for the help and generosity in looking after us in India. Surya and Devi (Hyderabad), Raghu and Gayathri (Bangalore), Rajen and Prema, Chacko and Ammu (Kottayam), Bina (Cochin), Malathi, Amal. Joseph and Sam (Mumbai). Other names will be thanked by Jacob who kept a meticulous record of the trip!

You will also soon find this blog on our new web portal, http://www.findians.in. Hope you enjoy the re-emergence!:-)

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