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Album by KANAGA Maria Arokiam, Chennai Province (INM)
Tamil get-together in Rome
9 March, 2008

The Tamil confreresin UPS, particularly the students - Maria Charles, Jesudoss, Pathiaraj, Clement, Arokiasamy and Rosario - hosted a feast for the two provincials, the delegates for GC and all the other Tamil confreres in Rome - Oh, yes, also some FMAs - on 8th March, Saturday in the evening.   They had planned it two weeks early and were eager about it. The menu was sent to us a week ahead of time. On the appointed day Fr. Stan and I, toegether with two sisters who came to Pisana reached UPS after travelling for an hour and a half by city busses. Already from far we were aware that something was cooking! We could get the masala smell in spite of the cold we had! Imagine how stromg it would have been for the European noses!When we reached the kitchen set aside for ethic cuisine at the edge of the building, the confreres immediately told us to take off our over coats and leave them outside the door, for otherwise they would smell of masala for the next entire week. So we duly divested ourselves and entered India! The hosts did it in style - there were starters, main courses, desserts, fish curry, biriyani, steamed rice, pork, prowns and an assorted variety of bottles, some presented by superiors and others bought by them.

Soon everyone reached: Professors Vallabaraj, Pudumai, Sagayaraj and Francis Vincent and workers Samson and Kannan from underground (catecombs), Ambrose from Testaccio, Arul from the Deacon`s community. With the 5 GC members from TN and Sahaya Gnana Selvam from East Africa - Tanzania, we were a sizable group of eaters. I need not tell of the joy and noise that followed the raising of the toast. Charlie and Pudumai - two loving rivals, provided us with continuous entertainment, revealing each others secrets! The provincials gave news about Chennai and Trichy provinces, elaborating on all the wonderful things their provinces are doing. They were also interested in getting the rumours about the transfers that the confreres heard, so that it can give them some ideas about transfers next year. We took note of the strong presence of Chennai province in UPS, both teaching and studying,and in general of Indians here. The family gahering came to an end around 10.30 pm. After that Prof. Sahayaraj dropped us back in Pisana with a Pulmino (van) so that we could go to sleep. The 4 sisters, Alphonse, Joyce, Viji and Immaculate who helped in the cooking, left before the meeting, because they had to reach their houses before supper. They are very strict about it, as usual.

When Indian cooking is done, it is always the same story - glorious entry in the evening, and next morning a rather painful exit! Well, the tongue likes masala, but with the system below it, it is a different story! In fact even after only three weeks out of India, I could testify to the story.

The confreres send loving wishes to all in the provinces of TN and in India. You can see the attachments form some photos.

Fr. K. Maria Arokiam SDB

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