Blue and Yellow are the National Colours of Ukraine

You will have seen the devastation of bombed flats, hospitals, kindergartens and factories in Ukraine. Millions of mothers, children and older grandparents have escaped to Poland and smaller countries on Ukraine's borders, leaving their husbands and over 16yr olds behind to help defend Ukraine with the Ukraine army and air-force.  The women may well become widows and their children orphans as thousands of their men are being killed in the Russian bombing raids on the Ukranian  towns. Today a scheme began in the UK to let ordinary citizens offer a room to Ukrainian and Afghani refugees for 6 months. In the first hour 20000 people have registered to have a refugee. My daughter has offered her spare room.  On Saturday there was a candlelit gathering in the town centre of people holding candles to show solidarity and compassion for the people of Ukraine, to pray for them and all those killed in the fighting, Russians as well as Ukrainians.  People are wearing blue and badges and puttin

Time to banish the winter and enjoy these cartoons by Sainath.


With Best Wishes for a Happy Holi


Dear Awaas Parivar Have a Happy Holi !

  You are probably looking forward to Holi, though as senior citizens you are probably not going to be throwing coloured powders at another. You may however, enjoy the bonfire of the Holika. I wonder if you have ever had one of the traditional foods, jacket potatoes, that are associated with Britain's Bonfire Day  on November 5th?   A jacket potato is a large one that is cooked in its own skin, though these days usually wrapped in aluminium foil (to prevent it getting black and ash covered), after making a few holes with a sharp knife in the skin, to stop the potato from exploding! It is then placed in the bonfire's red hot and glowing embers until cooked. I think that sweet potatoes could be cooked in a similar way.  Another British Bonfire Day tradition is eating to ffee apples - apples coated with a crunchy sugar-syrup toffee, on a stick. In the north of England ginger cake is traditional - rather like the cake we had at Christmas.   So my dear Awaas Parivar do enjoy celebra

The Photo Competition

  I  confess to taking lots of photos but that is only when I am on holiday. I take them home and eventually get round to editing them and deleting the worst. My favourite editor was Picasa but that early Google product has been abandoned and replaced by Google Photos. If, like me, you take crooked buildings and un-parallel columns, you would have liked easy to use straightening tool. However, although my old photos are safe with Picasa, my new ones seem to be demanding a place on a cloud or asking me for money to increase my space! I noticed that most residents have smartphones so I wondered if they, like the younger generation, were 'snap happy' - meaning that they took lots of photos.  Judging to the response to the invitation to enter a photo competition, it seems not. I have come to the conclusion that smart phones are mainly used to send videos to one another on Whatsapp, accompanied by an invitation to forward them to friends near and far. Being free it is well used.    

Treking in the Himalaya - by Avinash Deshpande

 I would like to share my Himalayan trek experience in Awaas News. The experience I had covers the splendour of nature, the mystics I met, the courage people showed while facing obstacles, landslides, broken bridges, hailstorms, wild animals, the mind transcending the body, the angel-like people of the Garhwal region and the help we received when trapped.  Some 13 years before my retirement, in 1988, I read a book                 " Wandering in the Himalay" by Shri Tapovan Maharaj, the Guru of the great modern saint, Swami Chinmayanand.  It fascinated me so much that I decided that after retirement I will also trek extensively in Himalay.  I knew that I would have to be extremely fit to start treking at the age of 60, so I stopped smoking and drinking liquor. I learnt and practiced Yoga and took daily 10km walks. When I retired in 2001 I was raring to fulfill my dream. Luckily two of my friends were also keen. We planned the first trek of 21kms, ascending from 6000 feet to an

Mr Avinash Deshpande has asked me to put the following in the Awaas News - 25th December 2021

  She came like lightning and tomorrow she is going back. Yes! I am talking of Manya. Just as lightning brings light and electricity, she also brought light in the life of Ashram inmates. Also electrified the atmosphere. So many games and tournaments. Connect 4, Walkathon, Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo and Carrom. Literally single handedly she arranged decorations, 10 days were filled with excitement. Finally the evening Christmas Party was the icing on the cake. She could manage to pull everyone out of their rooms and made us participate in games, OK Manya, in India we never say bye but we say come again (aawjo) to charge our batteries.