Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Sister I Never Had (Happy Raksha Bandhan!)

O.K. Maybe I am just an old softie...but the sweetest thing happened to me yesterday, and I don't mind telling you that I got all teary-eyed over it.  For my American friends who have probably never heard of this:  yesterday was the festival of Raksha Bandhan, where Indian sisters give their brothers a Rakhi (small thread bracelet that they tie on his wrist) and ask for their blessing.  Brothers, in turn, give their sisters gifts and sweets and promise to protect them for all time.  Anybody that knows me knows that I am an "only child" - - and my father and his father and even my great-grandfather were "only children" as well. There's not a whole lot of knowledge about the love for a sibling in our family.

Well, yesterday afternoon, Krishna's wife Jyoti "adopted" me as her brother.  Krishna told me that Jyoti wanted to see me.  On the upstairs landing, she had set up a chair and had some things set out on a desk that we have up there.  She then tied a beautiful red Rakhi on my right wrist, put a small red tilak on my forehead.  She then did something that I was not prepared for.  She knelt down at my feet and did a prostration and asked me to bless her.  She touched my feet as a sign of deep respect (this is where I got a lump in my throat!).  I gave her the same Priestly blessing I have done hundreds of times, and then we shared some sweets.  This was frankly one of the sweetest things that has happened to me in a long, long time.

It's a little uncomfortable, coming from the West, to have this kind of respect so openly shown.  I remember well the first time a little Orthodox Armenian lady kissed my hands at St. Mary of the Angels.  I remember wanting to stop her and say "Hey - - don't do that! I'm just a man!"  - but I realized, after time, that it was not *my* hands that she was touching and kissing, but through the Priestly office that I have only through the grace of Jesus Christ, this kind woman was kissing the hands of a Priest - - and - in turn, Jesus' Own Hands as well.  Jyoti's action was the same kind of thing.  She was honoring me as her "older brother"!

Now I have the sister I never had.  That's pretty special!

*                    *                    *

Amy Suzanne Brubaker is not only my wife of 12-years... and my best friend...but she's my favorite equestrian as well!  I've been watching her ride since we first started dating (on our very first date, Amy got a page (remember "pagers"??  How "last century" is that??") that said come to the barn right away, "C.J." ("Make A Wish" - her horse at the time we met) was colicking and was in a bad way.  We left the restaurant (it was Buca di Beppo on Green and DeLacey in Pasadena) and drove straight to San Pascual Stables (in a neighborhood that I coined: "Where the Arroyo meets the Ghetto!" in Pasadena).  I was both scared and fascinated by the scene.  C.J. was in a bad way.  The vet was there and they had him standing, but the poor guy wanted to lay down so badly!  We kept him moving as best we could.

For those who have never seen it, the treatment for a colicking horse is a messy procedure.  The doctor gives the horse a mild sedative - - and then sticks a large, flexible clear-plastic tube down the poor horse's nose (Ewwwwww!) and pours in about a full gallon of mineral oil!!  You have to understand that the digestive system of a horse is a complicated series of interactions among many different organs. The small intestine alone is 60 feet long in your average size horse. Equine Colic can originate from the stomach, the small intestine or the large intestine. The entire digestive network is suspended and nourished by a thin membrane called the mesentery. Any malfunction, displacement, twisting, swelling, infection, or lesion of any part of this complex body system is what horse-people recognize as colic.

There are many things that can cause colic.  In this case, we think it was simply that C.J. ate his dinner and didn't drink enough of his water...and things got sort of "plugged-up" in his innards.  The mineral oil helps to "get things moving again".  And move they did!!  I'll spare you the visuals - - but let's just say that C.J.'s colic that night came to an explosive end!!

I'm sure that I looked horrified...but - Amy told me later that - because I was willing to spend our first date like that - - I was probably "the guy" for her!

Anyway...I tell you all of this to say that Amy's love of horses knows no bounds.  She has had a super-successful amateur career in the hunter rings around Southern California (and Arizona and Maryland and....) - - On the "totem pole" that is our life together, Beloved is on top in the Number One spot - - her horses are Number Two (that takes up a whole lot of "totem pole", too!!)  I'm down at the Number Three spot...and - since I knew this fact "going in" (our old dog, Gismow, held the Number One spot for almost 14 years!) - I have no complaints.

Not to brag on my wife, but over the years since we've been married, Amy has won the Foxfield Medal Finals, the L.A. and So. Cal HSA Medal Finals, the WCHR (World Champion Hunter Rider) Adult Amateur title two years in a row at the Capital Challenge Horse Show... she won the overall points total for 2010 as well - see: WCHR standings for Adult Amateur - and innumerable other show championships at Indio, Thermal, Del Mar and Blenheim.  Just about every weekend was filled with trips all over to ride and enjoy the competition and the camaraderie  of the Southern California horse-show circuit.  Needless to say, leaving this world behind and coming to the other side of the planet was a hard thing for her to do...but - she's done her best to try and ride here at least two times a week.

Last Saturday, she decided that, in order to ride the best horses in Hyderabad...she would begin to take polo lessons from Mir Hafeezuddin Ahmed at the Nasr Boys School in Gachibowli.  There are uncountable disciplines in the world of the equestrian arts - - hunters, jumpers, dressage, "three-day eventing", Grand Prix jumping...even fox-hunting in some parts of the world.  And that's just English saddle stuff.  In the Western riding camp are barrel racing, rodeo, cutting horse competitions - - but - I am beginning to believe that polo may be one of the toughest of these disciplines!

Golfers...imagine hitting a three-wood off of hard-pan - - with accuracy - - from the back of a galloping horse!!  That's polo!!

For your enjoyment, I present these five short videos from our YouTube channel - - Amy's First Polo Lesson!!

Amy's First Polo Lesson #1

Amy's First Polo Lesson #2

Amy's First Polo Lesson #3

Amy's First Polo Lesson #4

Amy's First Polo Lesson #5


  1. That's such a sweet story about Jyoti! Brought a lump to my throat too Fr K :-)

    The description of Amy's riding history and 1st date? I could see in my mind's eye, but luckily not there to actually SEE it all. Yes, I'm sure that clinched the deal... on the very 1st date! I'll have to watch the polo videos at another time over the weekend.

    Keep up the great blog posts from your very own "A PASSAGE TO INDIA" adventures!

    1. The closing ceremony of the Rio Summer Olympics 2016 will take place on 21st of August 2016, evening.Summer Olympics 2016 Closing Ceremony.

    2. Rio de Janeiro Olympic Opening Ceremony 2016 is on August 5th at same Maracana Stadium.

    3. Up board 12th result 2017 will be available online for annual Examination. check out Up board 10th result 2017 Roll Number Wise.

    4. Up board 12th result 2017 will be available online for annual Examination. check out Up board 10th result 2017 Roll Number Wise.

  2. Hi Father Kingsbury! I loved this post and I have adored keeping track of you! this is from my normal everyday blog - not Lady Libertas :) :
    I received a Versatile Blogger Award & I am passing it on to YOU! Please see: - Happy Thursday!

  3. Punjab Board of School Education will announce PSEB Board 12th in May 2017 check Punjab 12th Result and
    MPBSE Dept. soon issue the date of MP Board 12th Result 2017

  4. The Haryana 12th 2017 will be declared on the month of May 2017 At 10 AM Haryana 12th Result 2017 Check Haryana 12th Exam Result 2017 Haryana 12th Result 2017 form here given link
    The Bihar board 10 result 2017 will be declared on the month of May 2017. Bihar board 10 result 2017 Check Bihar board 10 Exam result 2017 Bihar board 10 result 2017 form here given link


  5. Here we get good details, you can get Kerala HSE Result 2017 details, when the Kerala HSE Result 2017 will be released.

    There are going to declared out CBSE 12th Result 2017 in the month of May, 2017. Download CBSE 12th Result 2017 once releases out.

    Check Bihar Board 12th result from here in the month of May/ June.

  6. Here you can get all the details of Class 10th result 2017 Check out all the details of Class 10th result 2017 of all state boards.

  7. Up board 12th result 2017 will be available online for annual Examination. check out Up board 10th result 2017 Roll Number Wise.

  8. Check PSEB 10th Result 2017 Information will be declared in May 2017 Check Punjab 10th Result 2017 Students can check also check PSEB Board 12th Exam Result 2017 as Punjab 12th Result 2017 given link

    Check State Bihar Board Secondary Education Bihar Board 12th Result 2017

  9. Nice details for upcoming HBSE 10th Result 2017 presenting here. Download HBSE 12th Result 2017 as soon as possible once release.


  11. very nice details are available regarding AP Intermediate Result 2017 ">.
    so Kindly visit AP Intermediate Result 2017 for more time to time updates

    made by the officials.

  12. TS 1st Year General Results 2017 the result will be declare in predictable time period on 17th of April 2017. So check your result use your enrolment number wise, name wise or DOB wise online on our particular official website also update all information related TS Board Intermediate 1st year Result 2017 check all updates visit our web portal. Wishing you all the best all guys.

  13. There will ge going to releases out Telangana Jr Inter Results 2017 on April 17th for the current session. Check out TS Jr Inter Result 2017 from here also.

  14. On April 17th, 2017 there will be announces TS Junior Intermediate Result 2017. Students can check and download TS Junior Intermediate Result 2017 here also.

  15. There will ge going to releases out TS Jr Inter Results 2017 very soon. Check out TS Jr Inter Results 2017 from here also once available.

  16. The Telangana Board of Intemediate Education will be releases out TS 12th Result 2017 very soon. All of the students will be able to fetches out TS 12th Result 2017 after the board announcement.

  17. Applicants who are in Andhra Pradesh 10th and 12th Class and searching for Fresh Notification, then you can visit the official website. As per the latest notifciation the Assam Board of Secondary and Higher Education has stated that AP Intermediate Results 2018 aand AP SSC Result 2018 will be available in March Month 2018. Visit official Website regularly for more updates.

  18. As a result of evaluation of answer sheets there is available 10th Class Result 2018 Haryana Board Bhiwani. Hence the respective education board attempts to upload out Haryana Bhiwani Board 10th Result 2018. After the successful announcement all of the pupils are able to view out HBSE 10th Result 2018 School Wise as well as Haryana 10th Result 2018 Name Wise also in case of not having exam roll number.

  19. Telangana Board 10th Result 2018 Declared: The Board of Secondary Education of Telangana will disclose Tamilnadu Board SSC result 2018 on today on May 2018.

  20. Telangana Board 10th Result 2018 Declared: The Board of Secondary Education of Telangana will disclose Tamilnadu Board SSC result 2018 on today on May 2018.