Friday, September 30, 2011

The Photo Meditation of the Month (September, 2011): THE EYES

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Attentive eyes of a baby
Photo (Toronto: Sept. 13, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

The Eyes

Eyes are a precious gift of God to us. Eyes help us see and appreciate wonderful creations of his. These valuable organs are an integral part of our daily activities.

What we are depends mostly upon what we see, understand and apply in our lives.
According to our state of our mind, our eyes can be innocent, loving, compassionate, inquisitive, angry, rebuking, hateful, taunting or vengeful. With our eyes we can commit sins, too.       

Eyes also can help us acquire knowledge and understanding by keen observation and reading of printed materials.With proper use of our eyes we can express our love for others, comfort others, and encourage others.

Let us use our eyes judiciously for the greater glory of God and for peaceful purposes among human beings.


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Poem of the Month (September, 2011): YOU'RE THERE, LORD

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A doodle on God
Doodle (Dhaka: February 2, 1995) © Jerome D'Costa

You're There, Lord

You're there, Lord,
But we don't see you.
You're there, Lord,
But we don't hear you.
You're there, Lord,
But we don't feel you.

Yet, we believe you're there,
We realize your presence in our heart,
We strive to live our life for you,
We even can die for you,
That's the reality for us,
That's the reality for us, Lord.


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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Catholic Deacon George Dardess Seeks To Understand Muslims and Islam




 Catholic deacon George Dardess
Photo courtesy: www.americancatholic.org/

George Dardess, a retired professor with a Ph.D. in English literature and an M.A. in theology, was converted to Roman Catholicism in 1983. Later he became a deacon in the Catholic Church,  where a deacon serves as the minister of the Word (giving sermons during the Mass, preaching and teaching of religion), minister of the Liturgy (giving holy communion) and minister of the Charity (providing service to the poor and underprivileged). He is also a consultant to the Diocese of Rochester, New York, on interfaith dialogue and migrant ministry.

As a deacon, George Dardess came to know about Catholic Church’s attitude towards other religions and interfaith dialogue. The horror of the first Iraq War of February 1991, spurred him to know the Muslims and their religion of Islam although, previously, he had no contact with Muslims and he knew nothing about Islam. 

In the meantime, he took training on Islam and came in direct contact with Muslims. He wrote to books, Meeting Islam as a Christian and Do We Worship the Same God? In his approach and in these books, George Dardess took a sympathetic outlook toward Muslims and Islam. Some commentators in different blogs severely criticized him for this sympathy. Some even commented that he lost his way. 

To know more about Deacon George Dardess, his mind on the Muslims and Islam, and interfaith dialogue efforts of the Roman Catholic Church, you may read the following:




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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (September 25 - October 1, 2011)

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A dim light source
Photo (Montreal: October 31, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa



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Friday, September 23, 2011

Manzoor Moorshed Khan Defrauds Nine Condos of $20 Million

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The Sept. 23, 2011 The Toronto Star news on Manzoor Moorshed Khan
(Click on the above image for enlarged copy of the news)

Manzoor Moorshed Khan, a.k.a. (also known as) Azad or Sayed Asadul Azam -- a Bangladeshi resident of Toronto -- fled Canada recently after allegedly defrauding nine condominiums of $20 million (equal to seven crore and 29 lakh takas in Bangladeshi currency). As the President of Channel Property Management, he is said to have taken these loans in the name of those condominiums by falsifying legal documents, forging signatures of real board members of condos, and showing two of his employees as condo board's president and secretary.
He led a lavish life. The Toronto Star reports that Mr. Khan "collected cars like shoes and wore gold and diamond rings on every finger."
For further details, you may read the following:












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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Earthquake Hits Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, India, and Bangladesh

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September 18, 2011 Earthquake in Bangladesh
Graphics (Toronto: Sept. 21, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

An earthquake measuring 6.8 in the Richter Scale hit the Himalayan countries of Sikkim, Nepal, India, Tibet and also Bangladesh on Sunday, September 18, at around 6:10 p.m. The epicenter of the quake was on the border of Sikkim and Nepal and the hypocentre was about 21 km (13.05 miles) below the surface.

Sikkim was the victim of the extensive damage to houses and infrastructures and about 28 people were killed. 

In India, the quake was felt in Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh including Delhi and Rajasthan. In Kolkata (Calcutta), some buildings showed cracks. 

In Bangladesh, people in Dhaka, Chittagong, Bogra and some other areas felt the jolts of the quake and many of them panicked and ran to safer places. 

 The 1897 quake, with the epicentre in Assam, was one of the worst ones hitting the region. Extensive destruction of properties and infrastructures and loss of human lives were marked at the time. The Brahmaputra River flowing near the town of Mymensingh in Bangladesh completely changed its course at the time. Dhaka city also felt the brunt of the quake. Many kancha (mud-walled) houses in Dhaka were completely levelled. The Holy Cross Church adjoining the old St. Gregory's High School building experienced a large crack. Later the church had to be demolished and rebuilt. 

For further details on the present and past earthquake in the region, you may read the following: 


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bangla (Bengali) Calligraphy: KOLKATA (CALCUTTA)


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Calligraphy on Kolkata (Calcutta)
Calligraphy (Dhaka: Oct. 6, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa



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Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (September 18-24, 2011)

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East York General Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Photo (Toronto: December 1, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa



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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Again to the Sauble Beach, Ontario!

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It was the second consecutive year that we headed for the Sauble Beach this year on September 2-5 for the sun, sand and swim. Our trip to the beach last year was so enjoyable that we repeated our short sojourn there.

This year we stayed at one of the Bel-Air cottages where we could cook our own meals. Last year we stayed in one of the Bel-Air motels where there are no cooking facilities available.

The following photos give you a glimpse of the sun, sand and swim that one can enjoy at this well-kept beach. The sunset scenes are always different and they linger on in your mind for days to come.


The welcome signboard can be seen from afar

Some people play volleyball, others swim
or use rubber dingy to go to the water


Parents help their children build sand castles

Sunbathing, reading, resting and recreation can go hand in hand

More sunbathers and readers

Three bathers taking a walk before their dive into the water

A little but happy swimmer returning to her parents
after completion of her first round of swimming


Another bather in the water

Swimmers and bathers enjoying their time in the water

Some swimmers get attracted to brave
the higher waves during the sunset period

A boy plays with his "tiger" -- a plastic floating device --
before venturing into the water


Two girls are trying to swim with their colourful swim tubes

A young man is windsurfing in the water

A girl surfs with the oncoming waves

Flying seagulls add a beauty to the surrounding scenes

A seagull is diving to retrieve a fish that got away from its grip

A bird in search of food in the sand after water was on the wane

Birds of another species are in a dignified walk for their food

Why only humans need a bath? Birds do, too!
A seagull is taking a bath by flipping in the shallow water


Look at the sky and see how its colour begins to change
before and after the sunset. This is a pre-sunset scene.

Another pre-sunset scene

A beautiful sunset scene

Another change in the same sunset environment

More changes in the sunset scene

A sunbather and swimmer is trying
to hold the setting sun by her palm


A couple is enjoying a romantic sunset scene together

Photos (SaubleBeach: September 2-5, 2011) © Jerome and Joachim Romeo D'Costa



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Monday, September 12, 2011

Did Bangladesh Remember Its Own Dead In the 9/11 Attack of 2001?

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The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre
in New York under plane attack on September 11, 2001

Photo courtesy: www.bnp.org.uk/

I didn’t see news of any remembrance or even a public message of the Government of Bangladesh on the tenth anniversary of the deadly plane attacks on the soil of the U.S.A. I even didn’t see any news of Bangladesh paying tribute to its own citizens killed in the same attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on that day. If Bangladesh missed this opportunity to remember its own dead or to speak against terrorism, it speaks volumes about its thoughtfulness and seriousness of its intention for fighting terrorism.

A number of countries around the world officially remembered the dead in New York and paid tribute to them, including their own citizens who had fallen victim to the dastardly plane attack on common people in the twin towers.

Pope Benedict XVI, while in Ancona, Italy, prayed for the 9/11 victims and their families. He also said: “I invite the leaders of nations and men of goodwill to reject violence always as a solution to problems, to resist the temptation to hate and to work within society based on the principles of solidarity, justice and peace.”

In the four plane terrorist attacks on that day, a total of 2,996 people were dead – among them 2,977 were the victims and 19 were jihadist terrorists influenced by Osama bin Laden, the founder-leader of the Al-Qaeda. Citizens of about 80 countries, including the U.S.A., were among the victims. No one is sure about the exact number of Bangladeshis and Bangladeshi-Americans who were killed in the attacks.

Why Bangladesh Should Remember Its Own Dead

  • September 11 of every year is a good occasion to pay tribute to the dead, including Bangladeshis.
  • It is an occasion to remind the country men and women about the viciousness of terrorism in whatever form it may come.
  • It’s a time to express solidarity with the world in fighting terrorism in its own soil.
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Friday, September 9, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (September 11-17, 2011)

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Hand-knitting of woolen baby sweater
Photo (Toronto: January 27, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (September 3-9, 2011)

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A cloudy summer sky in Toronto
Photo (Toronto: August 5, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa




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