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FLIGHT TO BANGKOK – Romance in the Air -by Trophy D’Souza

flightFlight to Bangkok covers an eventful journey that has an unexpected outcome for some of those on board. It is not a travel odyssey and really deals with two individuals, who meet accidentally, ‘in the air’.

The two travellers on this flight from East Africa to Thailand sitting side by side get to know quite a lot about each other. Turbulent weather over the Indian Ocean compels the airline to take an unplanned stopover on a tiny island. In the hotel arrangements passengers are allotted only the limited double-rooms available, according to their pair-seating on the plane. The two from Africa –a man and a lady— have to share a room. The lady has an anxious request for a separate bed at least, in the room.

After less than an hour in the hotel, the lady, who appears to have emotional baggage, uses the room situation to seek help from the man.  The chat earlier on the flight leads her to believe that he is the ideal person to rescue her from the uncertainties in her life. She finds him knowledgeable, supportive and trustworthy and wastes no time in thinking out a plan to win the man’s sympathy and confidence. She employs ingenious moves to get closer to the man.

The narrative describes how the two quickly slide from a casual acquaintanceship to a closer relationship.   Flight to Bangkok, a fascinating tale of how two people get drawn to each other, also deals with snippets of African and Thai history and culture, and of some eastern traditional practices.

This story whose alternative title is ‘Romance in the Air’ is and isn’t about ‘romance’. It is a tale that could easily be played out in today’s world where ‘religious’ involvement in ‘secular’ situations can lead to surprising outcomes. The book seeks to portray situations that even those living committed lives could have to face.  Dedicated living by definition is moored to established principles and statutes. However, varied influences from social pressures and from work situations could in subtle ways misdirect the focus of individuals from commitment to laxity or perhaps even to frustration. The book seeks to analyse what happens when cracks appear in training or performance schedules. The narrative takes up a few instances of committed individuals who veer away from their goals and objectives under unexpected pressure.

Flight to Bangkok serves up some typical examples of how pitfalls occur or perhaps of how constructive programmes might bolster flagging dedication. Romance is a natural phenomenon, and people who live committed lives are not above its influences. Managers who are responsible for training may be able to take a leaf out of this book and include wholesome and perhaps innovative programmes to add to their training schemes.

The Author draws from his experience of travel and of working across a few countries delivering programmes, curricula and projects. His involvement with people and cultures comes across in the six books he published earlier. In some of them he tries to be the ‘voice of the voiceless’ or perhaps the ‘speaker’ taking up causes.  His books attempt to delve into what happens when theories, systems and traditions collapse, and human emotions take centre-stage.

Flight to Bangkok, his seventh book (published: September 2016), picks up this emotive theme and shows how relationships do not always develop or evolve. They can sometimes just happen, as incredible and refreshing surprises, with people walking into them or perhaps ‘flying’ into them, as happens in the story.

The Author’s books throw up sensitive flashpoints and shows how empathy helps in resolving tangled human issues or settling complex emotional situations. In Flight to Bangkok he seeks to demonstrate how what often really only matter are Understanding and Love, and perhaps Patience as well.

 [See for more on his books.](Flight to Bangkok: published September 2016)
[Order copies: Amazon price: $9.63 or £5.86 or €6.50- Kindle price: $3.49, or£2.68, or


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Mother Teresa and the Salesians

MT and Salesians

Please click the link to read a four page cover story on Mother Teresa and the Salesians

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St Teresa of Calcutta statue unveiled – Bengali news clips

Some newspaper clippings of the unveiling of St Teresa of Calcutta statue at Archbishop’s House Calcutta, 26 August 2016 in Bengali language.

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St Teresa of Calcutta statue unveild

Some newspaper clippings of the unveiling of Mother Teresa statue at Archbishop’s House Calcutta, 26 August 2016 in Arabic, Hindi and Oriya languages.

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St Teresa of Calcutta, 26 August 2016

Some ENGLISH language newspaper clippings of the unveiling of Mother Teresa statue at Archbishop’s House Calcutta, 26 August 2016.

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SIGNIS Asia Focus features Assam Don Bosco University Media Dept

Signis Asia FocusGuwahati — The Signis Asia Focus, a quarterly e-publication of the world Catholic Communications Asia group has run a two page feature on Assam Don Bosco University’s Mass Communication department. The news feature in its May issue is found on pages 9 and 10 of the attached PDF file. Signis Asia Focus-May 2016

SIGNIS Asia Focus is its official quarterly publication. The 20 member countries of Signis Asia are divided into three regions: South Asia (5), East Asia (5) and South East Asia (10) members. South Asia members are:  Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. East Asia members are: Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Maccau and Taiwan. South East Asia members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Timor Leste.

Signis is the World Catholic Association for Communication. http://www.signis.netSignis was created in November 2001 from the merger between two organizations (Unda, for radio and television; and OCIC, for cinema and audiovisuals) that were both created in 1928. Signis has consultative status with UNESCO, Ecosoc (United Nations in Geneva and New York), and the Council of Europe.

It is officially recognized by the Vatican as a Catholic organization for communication. The secretariat of Signis World is in Brussels, Belgium.

SIGNIS Objectives: Signis’ primary objective is to oversee and coordinate communications activites in the field of cinema, radio, television, audiovisuals, research and training.

Signis also involves itself in film festivals (Cannes, Berlin, Monte Carlo, Venice, Ouagadougou, etc…) and makes the Church’s presence by being a member of the jury in most major film festivals of the world.

Members of Signis World come from all over the world representing 140 nations. Apart from nations, membership is also open to organizations and institutions who have similar objectives.

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Study becomes youth ministry, says Don Bosco Mission head

“I see no gaps between the pioneering missions and the university project,” says Visitor

0Guwahati – “Study becomes youth ministry,” said Don Bosco worldwide mission head Fr Guillermo Basanes addressing the first Salesian university community in the English speaking world at Assam Don Bosco University Guwahati at its Azara campus, 12th May 2016.

The words of Don Bosco, who told his boys “For you I study, for you I work, for you I live, for you I am ready, even to give my life,” must have been at the back of Fr. Basanes mind when he said it.

1In his concluding remarks to the university community consisting of nine Salesian students and seven Salesians from six provinces, the Extraordinary Visitor to the province of Guwahati said, “While studying with and accompanying young people, you not only do youth ministry, but also become promoters of the university.”

Among the nine young Salesians were students hailing from the Salesian provinces of Calcutta, Guwahati, New Delhi, Shillong and South Sudan, and seven staff from Guwahati, Dimapur and Calcutta provinces.

3Besides, Salesian students and faculty members, religious communities represented include Fransalians, Holy Cross, Pallotines, Claretians, Order of the Imitation of Christ, and several congregations of religious sisters. There are also diocesan priests from Calcutta, Jhansi, Tura and Udaipur dioceses.

While complimenting the staff and students from different provinces, the visitor expressed his desire for more active collaboration with all the members of the Salesian Family in the South Asia region for this “mega University project of the Salesians.”

Fr Basanes went on to recommend that each of the 12 South Asian Salesian provinces could meet together at least once or twice a year to be briefed on the progress of the university project to solicit their active collaboration in sending Salesians to work and study in the university.

0In clarifying any lingering doubts and allaying the fears that could lurk in the minds of some Salesians in India that the university project is “an unconnected reality with the charism of the pioneering missionaries,” Fr Basnes insisted saying “I see no gaps between the pioneering missions and the university project.”

“The university project is continuation of the missionary spirit, to provide the same service of higher education to needy youth,” said the Visitor emphasizing the fact that he is “loosing his time (9 to 12 May) in the university, is meaningful in itself.”

20160510_163120The visitor spent one hour each talking to every one of 16 Salesians in the university community, and encouraged them saying, “Keep / make the university [accessible] for the poorest youth of northeast India.”

In conclusion, Fr Basanes encouraged the university community to promote the alumni association.

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