Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Church On The Hill

This is based on a visit of mine to the St. Thomas mount church at Porur in Chennai. The exact place is known by the name of the church itself. The church is built on a hillockin the Guindy neighbourhood. The sidelines are decorated with the sculptures of the Jesus’s walk to the hill until the crucifixion and resurrection later. The relic filled church was built in 1523 by the Portuguese and it stands 300 ft height. 

We were greeted by sculpture in blue of Saint Thomas; the shrine on the hill is dedicated to Mary the mother of Jesus, also known as the ‘lady of expectation’. The Anglo Indians who inhabits the area around the foot of the hill built the church on the summit where St. Thomas’ death might have occurred. The way to the top of the summit has around 160 steps. The sides of the path has sculptures which showed various poses of the cross or stations as mentioned in the Bible. There are 14 such stations. Stations of the Cross is a series of artistic representation usually sculptural depicting the Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion in the final hours.

When you move to the top taking the stairs you can feel gravity pulling you down and every step is tiring. The shrine on top has a wall mounted sculpture of The Last Supper. This is a really nice place to visit for anyone the view of the ground below from the top is awesome too. You can see flights taking off and landing at a close range, from the Chennai international airport. I am leaving some snaps I managed to take when I was there.
one of the stations

Sunday, 2 September 2012


Ramzan or Eid as it is known to the masses, a festival of the Muslims, in which they show their feelings of brotherhood and love. Though I am a Christian I am not secular about it. I welcome all religions and accept them and also share my faith with them. After all we have only one life to share and love. There is one special reason for writing this too. This year’s Eid has been really special for me. Usually I stay at home doing my homely chores, and share what my friends bring to class after the festivities and all but this year my friend invited me over to his place for the celebrations. We had so much fun in the short time we had, we joked, ridiculed each other and shared what we had for breakfast and lunch. It was during this month that the holy Koran was revealed. This is the reason for celebrating Eid.

I always wondered about the festival of Eid and the customs they observe. People think its all about the food (not all but some), but I think there is a lot more to it than that. A whole day of fasting, starvation and the penance they take up, watching every word that emits pasts their lips with caution, making sure it sounded right at least they meant it right, staying away from the wrong influences. It sure does mean something way more than the feast later after the long day of fasting. Fasting is observed for a month as per the lunar cycle. A day of fasting makes us understand what it feels like to have something to eat means; the value of food and the pain of hunger. By watching our words we are giving the leash of control to ourselves. I think this is what that makes Eid beautiful and what impresses me about it.