Paradise Biryani

Not a paid endorsement. That being said, they served up *7* cups of rice – *1.5* liters of rice – cooked very well with plenty of sauces. It was delicious, but I hit my “cheap and best” value mark after getting the eggs and about 2 cups of rice. My friend Andy had the chicken biryani, and there was about a half of a chicken in there, easily. I loved it, but next time I eat there, I will plan ahead on how I’m going to do it.

And for 140 rupees – just less than $2 US – this was a fantastic bargain. For it to be so good for so cheap, it’s amazing. And I will nosh on it again. It’s got a killer good blend of herbs and spices, like all great local hero fast food should have. The biryani in the 5-star restaurant at the hotel was better, sure, but this stuff is a *very* close second. If you’re down to your last 200 rupees and wonder what you’ll eat for the next 2 days in Hyderabad, the answer is simple: Paradise Biryani. You’ll live like a king off of that big ol’ bag of deeeeee-licious rice!

Video evidence of how big this pile of rice is: https://youtu.be/-wNhtA669Pk

In Memoriam, Dear Children…

There are times when the cosmos seems to be an idiot: blind, thrashing, killing innocents indiscriminately. My heart mourns for the family of a dear friend, who has suffered the loss of a child, as my family endured in 2001. Such anguish, such grief, such violence… the cold feeling of death penetrates the body and it feels no hunger that can be satisfied. It endures a sadness without end. It experiences a wound without closure. The shock passes over, the pain lingers long, and though one becomes accustomed to the pain, one never truly ceases to feel it, not entirely.

Even so, God is Love, and healing may still be found, though bitter experience may still make it hard to find. Healing may still be found.

God rest thy soul, good child. Thy light was dimmed too soon, but it shall burn brightly in a day yet to come.

God rest thy souls, friends and survivors. The search for meaning is difficult, even impossible at times, but meaning can be found. One must never abandon hope.

God rest thy souls, mothers and fathers; sisters and brothers. These are the sharpest tears you will ever shed. Your eyes will be cut raw with their passing. Even so, in the days to come, never abandon hope. Never abandon faith. Never abandon the pure love of Christ.

The sun eventually rises anew, and in that dawn, there is the hope, the promise of a new life and an ending to the pain.

Never lose that hope. Never.

The day will come again when Jarom Webb and Zoe Hastings will smile and laugh again. Until that day comes, never lose that hope.

Never.

First Full Day in Hyderabad

Since everyone had the day off, my work colleagues in Hyderabad took me and my fellow American traveler to Charminar, Mekkah Masjid, and Golconda Fort. I’ve posted those pictures on my Facebook page, so I’ll leave those sights to those pictures. Here, I want to talk about my non-photographic impressions.

First, the smells of India. Yes, there are spots where the sewage is noticeable, but those have been very few. Instead, the overwhelming aroma is of spices and fragrant incense. Everywhere I’ve been, I could smell the perfumes of spice in the air. It’s wonderful. I’ll never be able to enter an Indian market again without remembering the bazaar in Hyderabad.

Next, the tastes. I’m at a hotel with an amazing restaurant, and I’m tasting things I never dreamed possible. It’s a different palate, sure, but again, the spices penetrate the mind and heart and win me over, every time. I have to be careful what I put on my plate, because I will clean it, totally. And while I could order French toast or waffles for breakfast, I want to try the Indian offerings while I’m here. So far, it’s been amazing, and I don’t see any break in the action. I’ll be adventurous, and order something different each day. Today was upma with sambar. Out of this world. It’s like grits with masala.

Now, the sounds. Horns all the time on the streets. Peacock calls on occasion. Hindi, Urdu, and Telugu whizzing past my ears, with me being able to pick up scraps of the Hindi and Urdu. Bargaining. Sharp rebukes. Kindnesses. Grace and gratitude, it’s all here. I’ve slept very well in my quiet room, but the noise of the city is its heartbeat.

You might gather that I’m loving my trip here. You would be correct in that observation. Now I need to start my second full day here…

God’s Purpose

“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” – Moses 1:39

God’s purpose is clear: this verse reveals the love and care that motivated His creation of the universe as a place where we could, with His guidance and planning, pass through trials that we might be able to learn better how to love one another. By loving one another, we become more like God, for God is Love.

Quote of the Day

β€œIt is a paradox that men will gladly devote time every day for many years to learn a science or an art; yet will expect to win a knowledge of the gospel, which comprehends all sciences and arts, through perfunctory glances at books or occasional listening to sermons. The gospel should be studied more intensively than any school or college subject. They who pass opinion on the gospel without having given it intimate and careful study are not lovers of truth, and their opinions are worthless. To secure a testimony, then, study must accompany desire and prayer.”
– John A. Widtsoe
Evidences and Reconciliations