Entertaining Angels


I  couldn’t sleep.  A call had come in 12:00 a.m. and I had missed it.   Now it was 4:21 a.m. when I tried calling back.  No answer.  By 6:30 a.m. the second call got through.  A relative of a woman here in India had a dear family friend who had traveled to India with his father because his father desperately needed heart surgery.  But his father had unexpected died just before surgery.  Now her friend was all alone.  Could I please find him at the Apollo hospital and care for him?

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“Can You Please Say Again?”

Those fun guys from the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow have statistically verified what we already suspected:  When our brains only get part of a picture or a conversation, they fill in what’s missing using very sophisticated sampling methods taken from our previous experiences.  In other words, our brains fill in the gaps using bits and packets of previous memories.  And, according to the Scottish researchers, our gray matter does a pretty fair job of it.

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Jewel in The Crown


The British had something they didn’t want  to lose.  The British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli called it, “The brightest jewel in the crown.”  He was talking about India.  Not only was it the center thumbtack in the map of England’s Commonwealth of nations, it also had the manpower, resources, and products that could make an accountant’s green eyeshade spin around his head.  So in order to hush shouts for independence, England tried to buy silence by building India a capital city fit for a great colony.

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Brother Stan

Every Thursday night we stroll down into the “village” to do our shopping for the week.  It is a collection of side streets and small stores tucked back into a neighborhood like a secret inside this huge city.  As we head out to shop, Aslam, our driver, has trained us to say hello to the proprietors we’ve come to know.  The electrician, the barber (great hair cut and neck/scalp massage for 60 rupees—now if he’d just clean his combs between customers), and the chemist where we buy our really cheap drugs.  Two weeks ago as we were chatting with the pharmacist, I noticed I was leaning against a larger than life-sized poster of a beautiful young woman applying whitening cream to her face.  It felt like far too intimate of a moment with her, so I shuffled off to the other side of the cramped store.

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Entertaining Angels

The writer of Hebrews scratched out an ink warning:  “Keep showing hospitality because you never know if some of your guests will turn out to be angels.” 

Like most people, I’ve pictured the feathery kind that play horns.  Today, we were surprised by another pair of angels who entertained us.

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The BMW I Deserve

          The iridescent coal-black BMW 750li (see above) normally screams accomplished elegance.  When this sleek beauty was backed into our driveway, it whispered “notice me” very, very loudly. This is a land where neighborly surveillance is a finely-tuned cultural skill. The detail that it carried diplomatic license plates made our landlords the envy of our block. No one needed to know that it had nothing to do with them.  They liked the symbolism of that particular car in their driveway…a lot!  So much so that my driver, 800 miles away heard about it from their staff and called to ask how I was enjoying my new ride.

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Brought Together By a Treadmill

The weather in Dehli is delightful.  I’m whispering it.  If I say it too loudly  invariably somebody feels an obligation to remind you that the fires of hades will soon be roaring down and desiccating our skin.  I have no idea why people can’t simply let me enjoy my brief Indian Spring reverie.  But they can’t.  So we’re doing our part to prepare:  We bought a used treadmill and parked it near the air conditioner.

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