Johnny, Johnny …


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj
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My former student Chandru Ganapathy has shared Amey Rane‘s post on Facebook. It is a transmutation of the nursery rhyme “Johnny, Johnny …” I hope novices and veterans in the IT field will chant it as their daily mantra. Here it is:

Johnny, Johnny … Yes Papa!

Job in IT … Yes Papa!

Too much work … Yes Papa!

Lot of tension … Yes Papa!

Family Life … No Papa!

Personal life … Lost Papa!

BP, Sugar … High Papa!

Yearly Bonus … Joke Papa!

Annual pay … Low Papa!

Promotion, Incentive … HA! HA! HA!

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Consecration of Bishop Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Fernando


I thank my nephew Tyron Devotta for sending me a copy of this article penned by Mr. Francis D’ Almeida and published in Sri Lanka’s premier Newspaper “The Island” on February 3, 2012.

History in the Making

by Francis D’ Almeida

February 3, 2012, 7:25 pm
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Viewed from any angle the feat is remarkable. Engineer Xavier Bastian Fernando and his beloved wife, with a flamboyant name, Gnanasorubi did beget eight children of whom four they gave to be consecrated to God’s service.

Thus, Joe of the Diocese of Jaffna and Emmanuel of the Colombo Archdiocese became priests whilst the girls in between joined the Apostolic Carmalite Congregation. More was in store for the Fernando Family who made Kotahena their cherished abode. Years later on 11th of February 2012 Emmanuel will be called to reach the fullness of priesthood – Sacerdotal Plenitude. Henceforth, he will be known as His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Fernando and will don the Royal Purple. One wonders how this humble servant of God will bear the weight of grave title undoubtedly, the new Bishop will dedicate himself to serve God’s people with renewed vigour and a burning passion.

Bharatha Community

The Fernandos hailing from the parish of Vembar tucked in a corner of South East India, belonged to the Diocese of Tuticorin. Their community known as Bharathas were the converts of the Jesuits in the 16th century whose faith was enkindled by St. Francis Xavier. Through thick and thin, they cherished their faith even as they spread their wings to distant shores, to reach Mannar, Negombo, Colombo and beyond. They were astute business people who dominated petrol outlets, liquor business and textile trade in Ceylon, as our Country was then known.

Jesuit Trained

The Jesuits in South India with their incomparable educational institutions drew many Bharatha lads to pursue academic careers as well as excel in sports. Hockey and Soccer became the trade mark of the Bharatha Youth.

La Sallian Guidance

In our Country they chose St. Benedict’s College as their prime educational institution as many Bharatha educationists had already become La Sallion Brothers. (then known as Christian Brothers) The Bharatha community helped the Catholic Church in various Dioceses in Sri Lanka with immeasurable generosity and at time facing nasty back lashes from anti-Catholic elements of the ruling regime who after the school take-over crisis-took over the lucratic dry fish trade then dominated by them. Amidst this background there were also members of the community who became professionals in diverse fields. The Senior Fernando was one of them though coming from a different educational background in Jaffna – St Patrick’s College and Guindy Engineering College, Madras, India.

Boys of St. Benedicts’ College

The Fernando *boys Joe, John and Emmanuel studied at St. Benedicts College and the girls Assumpta and Michelins at Good Shepherd Convent, Kotahena. The ‘Cathedral parish was their spiritual nursery that helped them mature to consecrated life.

Young Emmanuel (born in Jaffna) was a Colombo boy through and through and a Benedictine to the core. Guided by the noble La Sallians of the caliber of Brother Francis and Paul he matured spiritually well enough to join St. John Berchman’s Society of Altar Servers of the Cathedral Church. The Burmese friar simply known as “Brother James” a legend in his time was the moderator. He groomed the Altar Servers not only in Latin and the rubrics of the complex liturgical services but also drilled them in rigorous discipline. In many ways, Brother James’ training surpassed even what was provided in a minor seminary, so much so, there was hardly any substantial difference between ‘this and that.’ As the teenage Emmanuel entered St. Aloysius Seminary post Ordinary Level, another, product of the La Sallian Brothers – Mallcolm Ranjith who recently became Sri Lanka’s Second Cardinal, to joined the institution.6After a short stint in the Borella Seminary under the guidance of the great visionary Fr. Frank Marcus, who subsequently became the Bishop of Chilaw, Emmanuel joined the Ampitiya Major Seminary. In those tumultous days of 1966, the Seminary was in the hands of some brilliant OMI (Oblates) priests led by very Rev. Fr. Dalston Forbes who was a multi-talented formator.

Propaganda Fide – Rome

The late Cardinal Thomas Cooray had the keen sense of spotting seminarians just right to be sent to Propaganda Fide Seminary in Rome. Incidentally, Cardinal Cooray also had the knack of spotting water deep underground by a magnetic sensation he felt by the dangling metal clock on a chain.

Ordained by Pope Paul VI

Years swiftly passed by from the time Bro. Emmanuel became a priest ordained in Rome by Pope Paul VI. He soon gained experience in the parish apostolate and later taught at the National Seminary, Ampitiya. He continued his studies at the prestigious Catholic University of America for the Doctorate in Moral Theology. Few years after resuming his teaching post in the Ampitiya Seminary, he took charge the Institution as its Rector.

Rectors of Seminaries, it now seems are ear-marked to become Bishops. The list includes the late Bishop Frank Marcus, emeritus Archbishop Nicholas Marcus, Bishops Marius Peiris, Valence Mendis and now Mgr. Emmanuel Fernando.

What was special over and above all other high attributes, this hardworking priest Fr. Emmanuel who is currently holding the ecclesiastical office of Episcopal Vicar, was assigned to minister to the Spiritual needs of Tamil Catholic community in the Archdiocese.

Much Expectations

Although there was much expectations about the appointment of Auxiliary Bishops to, assist the heavily burdened Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Fr. Emmanuel seemed to lead the list. The confirmation did come on the 28th November 2011 when the appointment came with the titular title “Bishop of Orta”.

Seventh from the Community

Thus His Lordship Bishop Emmanuel Fernando became the seventh Bishop from the Bharatha Community who they consider themselves to be the children of St. Francis Xavier. Incidentally the first Latin rite Bishop of India was the Bharatha Bishop Tiburtious Roche who too was a Benedictine. Bishop Thomas Fernando succeeding him as the head of the Tuticorine Diocese was the second. His family also produced two priests and a Bishop. The other Bishops are His Grace Peter Fernando, Bishop Leon Dharmaraj, Bishop Thomas Aquinas, Bishop Anthony Devotta and Bishop Emmanuel is the first Bishop of the Bharatha Community in Sri Lanka.

La Sallian Brothers

The list of La Sallian Bishops in Sri Lanka includes the late Bishops Roche (Tuticorin) Beckmaeyer, Emelianus Pillai, Archbishop Emiratus Oswald Gomis, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Bishops Marius Peiris, Winston Fernando and Valence Mendis. Indeed the vision of St. John Baptist De La Salle continues to become brighter at a time and place far from his own era and society.

Te Deum Laudamus

So on the morning of 11th February 2012 as the chimes of the bells of St Lucia’s Cathedral resound to announce that one of its sons has been elevated to the office of Sacerdos Magnus we shall pray together with the vastly expanded Fernando family with glowing hearts “Te Deum Laudamus”- “We Thank you O Lord”. Indeed the Lord of history has his own strange ways to choose his leaders to the church forward, in an exceedingly complex world.

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Cooing, Crooning, Bawling and Hollering


Read downwards.

This what you would hear from a couple cooing and crooning behind the bushes. Obviously before marriage:

He:  Yes. I have been waiting all these days for this only.
She: Will you think of leaving me?
He:  No. Never. I will not even dream of it.
She: Do you love me?
He:  Yes. Today and forever.
She: Will you cheat on me?
He:  I would ratherI die.
She: Will you kiss me?
He:  Surely. What a happy instance this would be!
She: Will you scold me?
He:  Never. Don’t ever think of it?
She: Will you hold my hand and walk with me till the end?

Read upwards.
This is the same conversation that we heard afore, But now it has metamorphosed into a conversation after marriage.

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Sweet and Cryptic Words used by Women.


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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I came across this caboodle of sweet and cryptic words used by women penned by an anonymous author under a different title.

1. Fine:  Word used to end an argument when she is right and you need to shut up.

2. Five Minutes:  If she is getting dressed, this means ‘half an hour’. Five minutes are only 5 minute given to you to watch the game on TV before helping around the house.

3. Nothing:  This is the calm before the storm hits you. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that generate ‘nothing’ usually ends in ‘fine’ (see #1 above) .

4. Go Ahead:  This is a dare, not permission. So, don’t do it.

5. Loud Sigh:  This is actually a word –  a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks that you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing there and arguing with you about nothing.  (See #3 above for the meaning of ‘nothing’) .

6. That’s Okay:  This is one of the most dangerous cryptic statement uttered by a woman. ‘That’s Okay’ means that she want to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will realize and pay for your mistake.

7. Thanks:  Do not faint or question if she thanks you. Your response should be “you’re welcome.”  This ‘Thanks’ seems to be true unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’, which by the way is pure sarcasm and is not thanking you at all. In this case do not respond with “you’re welcome” that will result in a ‘Whatever’ (See #8 below).

8. Whatever:  It’s a woman’s way of saying f*** you.

9. Don’t worry about it, I got it.:  Beware. This a dangerous statement meaning that she had told you to do something several times before and is doing it herself now. You will now be asking “What’s wrong” to which her response would be ‘nothing’ ((See #3 above for the meaning of ‘nothing’) .

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Eyes do speak


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Priya (Photo: Karthik Muthuvali)

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I fell in love with the photograph of this girl.

My student Karthik Muthuvali had captured her eyes that convey many nuances, and I could not resist commenting:

“பேசாமல் பேசும் விழிகள் சொல்லாமல் சொல்லிவிடும் சேதிகளை மென்மையான ஒரு பார்வையில் சொல்லிவிடுவாள் பெண்.

With her tender reticent eyes, a woman can indeed convey subtle implied messages.

Yes, the eyes speak.

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Poor people in the United States!


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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Elkridge, Maryland, USA.

January 30, 2012

Yesterday, my son suggested that we go shopping at IKEA. Though it was sunny and cloudless, the temperature outside the car was 45° F (7° C) and freezing.

Before coming over to the United States, I thought that everyone here had enough monetary resources. But, on our way to College Park, the image in my mind of an affluent United States of America shattered.

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Do you see the woman in the center of the above photo standing in the middle of the road holding a placard?

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Since we were in the third lane. I could not read what was written. So, I zoomed in with my camera.  What I read shocked me.

Family in Need
Due Lay off
Any help Appreciated
Thank you
God Bless.

– Elkridge, Maryland.

While in India, I thought the United States of America was a land flowing with milk and honey. But now I realize that this country is no different from any country in Asia. It too has its own quota of poor people!

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In a lighter vein, my former student Keerthi Jeyaraj posted the above picture in Facebook. He says:

“Quite common here…I see a lot of such ppl with hoardings in Manhattan… the best part I saw was at Vegas… a beggar had a board in front of him that said:  ‘My Ex-wife had a better lawyer’.

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Photos taken while travelling by car in US.


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj
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I took these photos on 14 and 15 January 2012 while travelling in my younger son Subas Raj’s car.

Initially, occupying the front seat while my son drove his Honda CRV smoothly between 60 and 70 mph, I felt a bit jittery being not used to left-hand driving.

I really admire the clean streets over here in the United States – not a bit of paper or piled garbage could be seen. The roads are smooth devoid of potholes – no bumpy roads and so, no backache.

No town busses. So, everyone has a car or two. The drivers are road conscious and polite towards other drivers and stop and give way to pedestrians crossing the road. No harsh driving, no unnecessary road hogging and no rash overtaking; and everyone obeys the road rules. All use the fantastic GPS for guidance and direction.

Spacious non-congested landscape with houses built with light materials, looking bleak and drab outside. Almost all houses look alike with mostly painted – no vivid or vasthu colours that we see in India.

Since it is winter not much of green foliage could be seen.

Though the sun is shining, the outside temperature chills the bone. Here I give the lowest temperatures in degrees Celsius for the past 4 days: 13th: 2, 14th: -3, 15th: -4 and today (16th) it was -7 at 8am (it would have been colder outside while we slept) and now at noon it is -1. Inside the car we need the heater for warmth. Inside the house a steady temperature of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is maintained throughout day and night.

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Flight from Chennai to Washington


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj
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My wife Assuntha and I flew from Chennai to Washington via Doha on January 11, 2012.  I used my Nokia XpressMusic 5220 to take the photos displayed on this page.

Flight from Chennai to Doha

Our flight QR277 left Chennai at 4:30 am.

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It’s me on board QR277.

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My wife facing the camera.

Sun rising in the horizon.

Flying at 30,000 feet there is nothing to see down – only a carpet of clouds resembling an immense flock of sheep.

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After flying for almost 5 hours from Chennai we landed at Doha International Airport.

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At Doha International Airport waiting for security check.

Flight from Doha to Washington

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At Doha International Airport waiting to board.

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On board QR 51 – Doha to Washington.

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Flight route of QR 51 – Doha to Washington.

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Arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport after 15 hours of flight from Doha.

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At Washington Dulles International Airport – Jetlagged

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of what comes to my mind.

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