I was Born In 1941


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Myself .
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By T.V. Antony Raj

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I was born in 1941.
 
In the 1940s most of us were born at home.
 
Our mothers fed us at any time of the day, and when we cried.
 
We did not sleep in cribs; we slept with our mothers or siblings on hard beds or on mats spread over the floor.
 
When we fell ill, the doctor gave us aspirin tablets for fever. Our mothers powdered the tablets, added honey and forced us to swallow the bitter-sweet mixture.
 
There were no childproof lids on medicine containers.
 
We never got checked for any allergies but we got inoculated for smallpox.
 
There were no locks on doors in our houses except the front door, and there were no locks on cupboards.
 
In the 1940s we never saw a household plastic utensil but we had celluloid containers. The mass production of plastic utensils started only in the 1950s.
 
As little children, we rode in cars that had no booster seats, no seat belts, no airbags.
 
We rode on rickshaws pulled by humans.
 
When we grew up and rode bicycles, we had no helmets to protect our heads.
 
We had fun drinking water from the garden hose.
 
We shared a single soft drink bottle with several friends, without anyone dying.
 
We added brown sugar or jaggery when we drank tea or coffee.
 
We ate white bread with real butter and natural fruity jam.
 
We ate lots of chocolates; even so, no one said that we were overweight.
 
Though we played a lot outside in the sun, we never applied sunscreen lotions or creams.
 
During holidays, we played all day. We returned home only after the lights were on.
 
No one could reach us or bother us because there were no mobile phones. Even so, we were all right.
 
We had the following coins in circulation:
 

In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

coin Ceylon 1 cent 19431 cent 
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coin Ceylon 2 cents 19442 cents
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coin Ceylon 5 cents 1944

5 cents  
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coin Ceylon 10 cents 1944

10 cents  
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coin Ceylon 25 cents 194325 cents

.coin Ceylon 50 cents 194350 cents

There were no one rupee coins in Ceylon at that time. Now, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents are not in circulation in Sri Lanka and the minting of these denominations had been discontinued.

In India 

British India coinage under George VI 1938-19471 pice = 1/4 Anna = 1/64 Rupee (in Tamil we called this coin ஓட்டைக் காலணா / oattai kalana meaning 1/4 Anna with a hole.)
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British India coinage under George VI 1938-19471 pice = 1/4 Anna = 1/64 Rupee
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British India coins catalog with images and values, currency prices and  photo, Indian old coins

1/2 Anna = 1/32 Rupee
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1 anna british india coin at reasonable rate for Sale in Kollam, Kerala  Classified | IndiaListed.com1 Anna = 1/16 rupee
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Coin Value: India (British) 1/2 and 2 Annas 1939 to 19472 Annas = 1/8 rupee
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Coin, INDIA-BRITISH, George VI, 1/4 Rupee, 1940, , Silver, KM:545

 1/4 rupee
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1/2 Rupee
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File:Indian rupee (1940).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
One Rupee

Telephones were rare. They were mounted on the wall or placed on desks, they were not mobile. One stood static in one spot to talk since an electrical cord connected the phone to the receiver.

Faber Castell Slide Rule

 
 
Since there were no calculating instruments, the word ‘computer’ was not coined at that time. We never heard of computers in the 1940 and 1950s. My first calculating instrument was a Faber-Castell slide rule bought in 1963.
 
Now, young people ask my wife and me: “How do you still manage to stay together for 56 years?” 
 
Our reply: “We were born in at a time when if something broke we would fix it, not throw it away.”

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The Pandemic President of Havelocks!


Reproduced from https://community.lk



By Tasha Devotta


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Thusitha Peiris, President of the Havies Club, Colombo.

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At 106 years of age, Havelocks is one of Colombo’s older rugby clubs. Over the years it has earned itself quite a reputation for the field game.  But this last year has taken its toll on the club because this very popular contact sport has become a ‘no no’ in the name of health and safety.


Family club

The current president of Havelocks is making every effort to keep the club going despite the lack of play.  He has resorted to making the best use of their revamped clubhouse by bringing members, their families and guests together for social engagements, especially on the weekends.  Although ‘Havies’ was a family club, during some part of its history it became male-dominated, overtaken by wild ruggerites and their enthusiastic fans.  But in the past 10 years or so, that has changed, and the club is getting back to its original status as a family-oriented place. 


Open air spaces

With COVID-19 regulations dictating open-air spaces as safer for social engagement, the airy club space that flows on to a well-kept garden overlooking the grounds has become the ideal place for club members and their families to interact with friends and enjoy some great old fashioned club food accompanied by a band playing 70’s, 80’s music.  And they do this with relative peace of mind because the club leadership ensures that pandemic safety regulations are followed.


Afternoon at Havies

It is safe to say that the Havies are making the best of a bad situation while they wait for things to settle down so they can get back to the game. Thusitha Peiris, President of the Havies Club says, “We’re all waiting for clearance from the health authorities and the Ministry of sports but in the meantime, the committee and I are responsible for the club’s survival during this pandemic period.  So we came up with the idea to make every last Sunday of the month an ‘Afternoon at Havelock’s,’ with delicious safely cooked local food and a band playing a mix of popular oldies and new songs.  It is a very successful event not only keeping the club and its staff motivated but the members and families have a lot of fun relaxing with their families and guests and that’s good to see. We plan to continue doing this because rugby will take a little more time to come through.”


Family traditions

As the Club revisits their roots to continue the family tradition, they are also leaving a legacy for future years. Almost everyone that enters the clubhouse leaves with some laughter and a sense of belonging. No doubt many traditions and memories made within its walls passed down from one generation to the next still continue. The familiar ambience may be something that members and visitors alike look forward to every time.

IMG 6550



Yellow rice

Speaking of last Sunday’s get together, Social Secretary of the club, Dominic Alles says, “we had a typical Sri Lankan ‘Havies’ style yellow rice, spicy tempered potatoes, batu moju, some pickles and three types of meat, chicken, prawn and our signature Sri Lankan pork curry. 


Finest rugby players

While the entertainment factor is something to look forward to especially during these difficult times, Havies is not just about that alone.  Having produced many of the finest rugby players in the country, it is a club that holds opportunity for talented ruggerites with a passion for the game.  The president of the club, a former ruggerrite himself who captained Havelocks in 1992 says the club holds a chance for everyone immaterial of age or background.  “At Havies there is equal opportunity for everyone.  We are not affiliated to any school, we don’t count background, we are only looking for players with a passion for the game because they are the future of this club.”

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The Secret of His energy!


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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After the virile old man celebrated his 100th birthday, a reporter asked him the secret of his energy. 

Old man: “Well, after getting married, my wife and I agreed that whoever lost the argument after an altercation should walk 5 km as punishment. So, for the past 75 years, I have been walking 5 km almost every day.”

Reporter: “Then how come your wife too, is energetic as you are?”

Old man: “Oh, she used to follow me at a distance to ascertain whether I completed the 5 km walk and moreover to make sure I meet no other women!”

Its performance that Counts!


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj
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.A priest dies on All Souls Day and is waiting in the queue at Heaven’s Gate.

In front of him stands a guy, wearing a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans, and sporting sunglasses.

Saint Peter to the guy: “Who were you?”

Guy: “An Express Bus driver. I used to drive long distances at night.”

Saint Peter: “Enter the kingdom of heaven. You are admitted to the first-class accommodations.”

Saint Peter to the Priest: “Who were you?”

Priest: “A priest and I spent almost 40 years preaching the Word of God to people.”

Saint Peter: “Enter the kingdom of heaven. You are admitted to the third class accommodations.”

Priest: “OMG, I spent all my life preaching God’s Words. How come a flamboyant, rash driver gets first class and I get third?”

Saint Peter: “Results, my son, results.”

Priest: “What?”

Saint Peter: “Its performance, not the position that counts!”

Priest: “Ugh!”

Saint Peter: “While you preached, people slept, but when he drove, people prayed! It’s the performance that counts!” 

Donald J. Trump, the “Walking Eagle”


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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donald-trump
Donald J Trump

Donald J. Trump, the outgoing President of the United States had thought of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for Governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter any of those races. In 1988, considered as a potential running mate for George H. W. Bush, he lost to Vice President Dan Quayle.

Donald Trump has always voiced whatever caustic thoughts he has. To him, the Mexicans were “rapists” and “anchor babies“. He has used adjectives such as “bimbo” and “fat pig” to describe women.
 
For months he preoccupied himself with mocking Kamala Devi Harris, the vice president-elect of the United States.
 
Earlier Trump had mocked Senator Elizabeth Ann Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts. He called her “the Indian” and “Pocahontas“, and insisted that she was a racist for having listed her heritage while on the faculty of Harvard Law School.
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By the way, Donald Trump has his own share of bullshit thrown at him. The following is a snippet about Native Americans tagging a pandering self-conceited Donald Trump with the name “Walking Eagle.
 
Donald Trump received an invitation to address a significant gathering of leaders of the American Indian Tribes. At the meeting, he spoke for almost an hour about his plans for increasing every Native American’s standard of living. Though vague in detail, he spoke about his ideas for helping his “red sisters and brothers“.
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After he concluded his eloquent speech, the Chiefs of the American Indian Tribes presented him a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name, “Walking Eagle” which a proud pompous Trump accepted.

Walking Eagle
Walking Eagle

After Trump left the venue, a reporter asked the group of Chiefs how they came to select the specific name “Walking Eagle” for Trump. The Chiefs explained that it is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.
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Sons of Donald Trump Love to Hunt


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Donald John Trump Jr and Eric Frederick Trump

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Brothers Donald John Trump Jr (born December 31, 1977) and Eric Frederick Trump (born January 6, 1984) are the first and the third sons of former US President Donald J Trump and his first wife, Ivana Trump, a former Czech-American model.

The brothers are former reality television personalities and fourth-generation businessmen following their great-grandmother Elizabeth Christ Trump who founded what became the Trump Organization, grandfather Fred Trump, and father Donald John Trump. Currently, both are trustees and executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization.

In 2000, after graduating with a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Donald Trump Jr moved to Aspen, Colorado. There, he lived in a truck and worked as a bartender for a year. He skied, fished, and hunted before returning to New York to join the Trump Organization.

In 2002, Eric Trump graduated from the Hill School, a coeducational preparatory boarding school located on a 200-acre campus in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Later, he graduated with a degree in finance and management from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. According to Eri Trump, in his youth, he accompanied his father to job sites, mowed lawns, laid tile, and did other menial work on his father’s properties. Though Eric briefly considered other careers he decided to join the family business. 

Big-Game Hunting

There is nothing valorous to boast about these sons of Donald Trump, except that they are adventurous big-game trophy hunters.

Donald Trump Sr told TMZ, a tabloid news website: 

“My sons love hunting. They’re hunters and they’ve become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it.”

In 2012, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump went on a big-game hunting expedition in Zimbabwe.

Controversy erupted in 2012 when photos of the two Trump brothers posing with the carcasses of dead animals hunted by them in 2010 surfaced.  American actress and activist Mia Farrow re-posted them in 2015.

When the photos went viral online, Donald Trump Jr tweeted (and then deleted):

“Not a PR move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game.” (sic)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticized and condemned the Trump brothers for killing buffaloes, elephants, leopards, crocodiles and many exotic wild animals. A spokeswoman for PETA told the Daily News:

“If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father’s footsteps and taking down competing businesses—not wild animals… Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires’ grisly photo opportunity. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal.” (sic)

The Zimbabwean animal conservation groups who investigated the hunting expedition deemed it legal. V. Chandenga, the director-general of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, released an official statement defending the Trump brothers and calling any allegations of illegality “false” and “baseless”. 

In August 2012, in an interview with Deer & Hunting magazine, Donald Trump Jr explained his views on the big-game hunting expedition: 

“I think what made it sort of a bigger story and kind of national and even global news was that I didn’t do what a lot of other people do, which is immediately start apologizing for what I am and that I’m a hunter and all this,” (sic)

Again in April 2012, Donald Trump Jr gave an interview to Forbes magazine. He explained that at the age of 12 he learned to hunt from his Czechoslovakian maternal grandfather, Miloš Zelníček and that his father “really doesn’t understand why Eric and I hunt. However, he is open-minded and so always allowed us to go hunting.” (sic)

He also explained how hunting helps people to become conservationists.

“Anyone who thinks hunters are just ‘bloodthirsty morons’ hasn’t looked into hunting. If you wait through long, cold hours in the November woods with a bow in your hands hoping a buck will show or if you spend days walking in the African bush trailing Cape buffalo while listening to lions roar, you’re sure to learn hunting isn’t about killing. Nature actually humbles you. Hunting forces a person to endure, to master themselves, even to truly get to know the wild environment. Actually, along the way, hunting and fishing make you fall in love with the natural world. This is why hunters so often give back by contributing to conservation.” (sic)

The following photos say a lot about the  Trump brothers. 

 
A smiling Donald Trump Jr. poses beside the bufflo he killed during his African safari, hosted by Hunting Legends. (HUNTINGLEGENDS.COM)
A smiling Donald Trump Jr poses beside the buffalo he killed during his African safari, hosted by Hunting Legends. (HUNTINGLEGENDS.COM)
Donald Trump Jr proudly showing off a bloody, sawed-off tail of an elephant (Source: Zimbabwe Today – twitter.com)
Donald John Trump Jr and Eric Frederick Trump pose with a leopard while on a hunting trip to Zimbabwe. (Screengrab)

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Click on this line to see more photos of the big-game hunting Trump brothers. 

Despite the negative comments, the Trumps stood their ground. Donald Trump Jr responded to a flurry of angry messages that spurned him on Twitter. He Tweeted:

I’m a hunter, for that, I make no apologies … I can assure you it was not wasteful … The villagers were so happy for the meat which they don’t often get to eat.

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What Do You Call a Group of Crows?


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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A few days ago, I posted an article How do you call a group of fish?  My friend Amir Ganesan Amirthalingam posed the question “What do you call a group of crows?” And I answered him ”Murder”.

There are different collective nouns to describe large groups of different birds. Most of them are descriptive of the group of birds and their behaviour or personalities. Some collective nouns such as flock, colony, fleet, can apply to all bird species.

Other flock names used include cloud, mass, collection, throng, murmuration, parcel, or dissimulation. This list is not exhaustive.

Some flock names are rare, obsolete and seldom-used. A few that I have come across are plain silly but are familiar to ornithologists.

Murder of crows

A murder of crows (publicdomainpicture.net)

Crows are members of the Corvidae family which includes ravens, magpies, and blue jays. They are noisy, precocious, smart, and their intelligence never ceases to amaze us. Farmers consider the crows as pests and try to protect their crops and seedlings from them. Crows are most often associated with a long tradition of fear and paranoia. The black feathers of the crow frighten some people who associate them with death. 

New research proves crows are gregarious, caring and one among the smartest creatures on the planet.

Here is a list of collective nouns used rarely for a flock of crows: horde, hover, mob, muster, parcel, storytelling and murder.

For most of the year, the crows are affable, wary and intelligent. . They are territorial, especially during the nesting season. They roost as a community consisting of hundreds of birds usually on large trees. They gather in large numbers at food sources and attractive dumpsters. 

In 1486 AD, St Albans Press in England printed The Book of Saint Albans (or Boke of Seynt Albans). It is also known by the title “The Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Blasing of Arms“. In the 15th century, there was a fad for terms of venery (an archaic word for hunting) or names for groups of game animals. This book contains a long list of collective nouns for animals, and it has, of course, a murder of crows though without any explanation.  

Though there was an obsession for terms of venery in the 15th century, most of them fell out of use in the 16th century including the murder of crows. 

There are several explanations for the origin of this term, based on old folktales and superstitions.

    • According to one folktale, a flock of crows will gather to decide the fate of a crow that encroaches their turf. If the crow is guilty, the group will execute (that is, “murder”) the defendant. This is based on the fact that flock of crows will kill a dying crow which doesn’t belong to their territory. The crows are sometimes prone to cannibalism and feed on carcasses of already dead crows.   
    • Crows are scavengers and are generally associated with dead bodies and cemeteries. In the medieval period, crows hovered over execution sites, battlefields, hospitals, and cemeteries. They scavenged on human remains. To some, the appearance of crows is an omen of death. So, when a large number of crows circle above a site, they expect someone to die soon.  
    • Medieval peasants feared the sinister-looking crows. They believed the crows came from the Devil or were witches in disguise. To them, a flock of crows would have appeared murderous.
    • When rediscovered in the early 20th century, authors then posited that the term murder of crows was correct because of the tremendous noise the crows make. 
    • Some etymologists suggest that the association of crows and ravens with death might have led to the use of the word murder

To me, the term “murder of crows” reflects a time when many animal groups had vivid and poetic names. 

Kevin J. McGowan of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology wrote on his website that no scientist would call it a murder of crows. “Scientists would call it a flock,” he wrote.

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How Do You Call a Group of Fish?


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Every day we use several collective terms such as a herd, a flock, a swarm, a colony etc. And how do you call a group of fish?

An aggregation of fish is the general term used for any collection of fish gathered in a locality. Most fish swim in groups in search of food or to protect themselves from their natural predators.

The collective noun to denote such groups of fish depends on the species of fish. Besides aggregation, the terms school of fish and shoal of fish are most used to refer to fish that travel as a group.

The words ‘school‘ and ‘shoal’ come from Middle Dutch schōle, of West Germanic origin.

So what is the difference between a school of fish and a shoal of fish?

Schooling fish are usually of the same species and the same age. The individual members of the school move and perform complicated manoeuvres in unison.

These bluestripe snappers are schooling – Flickr image of Snapper in the Maldives by Jim and Becca Wicks

In the above image, the bluestripe snappers are schooling. They are all swimming in the same direction in a coordinated way.

If several species of fish stay together for social reasons, they are shoaling.

These surgeonfish are shoaling – Uxbona, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
In the above image, the surgeonfish are shoaling. Though their swimming pattern seems erratic they stay connected forming a social group. 

A group of dogfish is a troop, a group of eels is a swarm, a group of angelfish is a host, and a group of flying fish is a glide.

A group of jellyfish is a swarm, or a bloom if there is a sudden increase in their population. Some sources refer to a group of jellyfish as a smack.

Whales, dolphins, porpoises, and seals that live in the sea are aquatic mammals and not fish. The collective noun to use when these aquatic mammals cluster together is a pod. So, we have pods of whalespods of dolphinspods of porpoises, and pods of seals. These aquatic mammals live and travel in pods for protection.

A herd of Dugongs – Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation

The dugong (sea cow) is a medium-sized marine mammal. They travel in pairs or sometimes travel in groups of 3 to 6 and sometimes in groups of 7 to 10. A group of dugongs is a herd of dugongs or a nutcluster of dugongs.

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You Too Can Predict the Weather!


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

The north-eastern monsoon is now in Tamilnadu, and the weathermen are the first people to come to our minds.

Do you think the job of a weatherman is easy?

After listening to the recent weather forecasts on TV, some, like me, think that we, too, can predict the weather by simply tossing a coin.

Do you want to try?

Just toss a coin. If the head comes up, say,: “It’s going to rain in some parts of the country!” and if it is tail say, “It’s going to be cloudy … with intermittent rain.”

Easy isn’t it? 

Most of the time a weatherman’s coin stands on the edge without falling flat. That’s why predictions of a weatherman who appears on TV are ambiguous. He would utter statements like, “The woman might give birth to a boy or else to a girl,” and at times use an arrogant pose to imply that it’s raining because he said so.

Rainfall forecasts from satellite data represent an important source of information for monitoring and predicting the weather. However, Dr Robert J. Kuligowski, a Meteorologist at NOAA/NESDIS/STAR says:

Despite the detailed knowledge about precipitation including the complete hydrological cycle (evaporation, water vapour, convection, condensation, clouds, soil moisture, groundwater and the origin of rivers), predicting precipitation accurately is still one of the most difficult tasks in meteorology.

Owing to modern mathematical models and increasingly efficient computers, scientists seem to have a little more luck than they did a decade ago in forecasting weather patterns a month or more in advance. Yet meteorologists accept that their 30-day prediction is only just marginally more reliable than flipping a coin.

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Journal references:

Kuligowski, R., & Barros, A. (1998). Localized Precipitation Forecasts from a Numerical Weather Prediction Model Using Artificial Neural Networks Weather and Forecasting, 13 (4), 1194-1204 DOI: 10.1175/1520-0434(1998)0132.0.CO;2

Oh, It’s A Matter of Hearing


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

One Sunday morning, during the sermon, the Pastor said, “If anyone with ‘special needs’ wants me to pray for them, please approach the altar.”

Albert Perera, a businessman and prominent member of the community, stood up and walked to the altar.

The Pastor asked, ” Mr Perera, what do you want me to pray for?”

Perera replied, “Reverend, I need you to pray for my hearing.”

The Pastor placed his right hand on top of Perera’s head and then inserted the middle finger of his left hand into his right ear. He began to pray fervently, and the congregation joined him with enthusiasm.

After a few minutes, the Pastor removed his hands, stood back, looked into Perera’s eyes and asked, “Mr Perera, how is your hearing now?”

Perera replied, “I don’t know yet, reverend. The Criminal Court has scheduled my hearing for next Thursday!”

of what comes to my mind.

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