Featured

How Mature Are You?

Age alone does not an adult make. But what does? What makes you finally, really an adult? Adulthood is a social construct. For that matter, so is childhood. But like all social constructs, they have real consequences. They determine who is legally responsible for their actions and who is not, what roles people are allowed to assume in society, how people view each other, and how they view themselves. But even in the realms where it should be easiest to define the difference—law, physical development—adulthood defies simplicity.

You can’t drink until you are 21, but legal adulthood, along with voting and the ability to join the army, comes at age 18. Or does it? You’re allowed to watch adult movies at 17. In many countries kids can hold a job as young as 14, depending on state restrictions, and are even allowed to deliver newspapers, babysit, or work for their parents even younger than that.

Chronological age is not a particularly good indicator [of maturity], but it’s something we need to do for practical purposes. We all know people who are 21 or 22 years old who are very wise and mature, but we also know people who are very immature and very reckless. We’re not going to start giving people maturity tests to decide whether they can buy alcohol or not.

There is definitely no certain age at which maturity sets in. In my personal experiences, I’ve observed that age has little or nothing to do with it. I have met young people who are mature well beyond their years, and I’ve known older folks who act childish, only thinking about themselves. So the question is: What are the character traits that show maturity? And do “mature” people exhibit them 100% of the time?

Well, I’m not sure that we can be mature in every situation that presents itself to us because we are always growing and learning as human beings, and I’m pretty sure that all of us have been guilty of at least some of these negative behaviors at least once in our lives. That being said, by considering these 25 tell-tale signs, perhaps we can be more aware of the interludes in which our whiny, complaining, adolescent self rears its immature head…

1. Realizing how much you don’t know.

2. Listening more and talking less.

3. Being aware and considerate of others as opposed to being self-absorbed, self-centered, and inconsiderate.

4. Not taking everything personally, getting easily offended, or feeling the need to defend, prove, or make excuses for yourself.

5. Being grateful and gracious, not complaining.

6. Taking responsibility for your own health and happiness, not relying on others to “fix” you or placing blame for your circumstances.

7. Having forgiveness and compassion for yourself and others.

8. Being calm and peaceful, not desperate, frantic, or irrational.

9. Showing flexibility and openness as opposed to resisting, controlling, or being unreasonable.

10. Helping yourself, not just expecting others to do it for you out of a sense of entitlement.

11. Doing good deeds even when there is nothing in it for you other than knowing you helped, being selfless.

12. Respecting another’s point of view, beliefs, and way of life without judgment, not insisting you are right, belittling another, or using profanity or violence to get your point across.

13. Sharing your good fortune with others.

14. Being able to turn the other cheek without wishing harm on another.

15. Thinking before acting and having good manners, not going off half-cocked, lashing out, or being rude.

16. Encouraging and being supportive of others.

17. Finding joy in the success of someone else, not envy or criticism.

18. Knowing there is always room to grow and improve and reaching out for help.

19. Having humility and laughing at yourself.

20. Recognizing that which does not work in your life and making an effort to do something different.

21. Passing up instant gratification in favor of long term benefits.

22. Accepting, liking, and loving yourself, not needing someone else to “complete” you.

23. Standing up for fairness and justice for yourself and others and choosing to do the right thing.

24. Making sacrifices for the good of others without resentment.

25. Not clinging to materialistic items or bragging.

I’m sure there are probably other signs, but this list covers at least the majority of them. I know we can always do a better job displaying our mature sides. I also know that, by doing so, we lift each other up through our example. What’s most important, however, is seeing the negative side of our behavior and knowing we must do something positive to change it…And that, my friends, is WISDOM.

Badam Leaves ~ Fr. T

Art unmatched
creative divine
badam leaves
fallen gathered
rain washed
colour splashed
each unique
varied design
rearranged…

He does it all the time
this loving God
all round every time
plants flowers oceans
creatures mountains
insects butterflies…
restlessly making
more beautiful for us…

most wonderful of all
each human being
creations best
in image likeness
His very own

our grateful living:
joyous response
to glory gifts He gives
to glory gift He is…

Does Solitude Help With Personal Growth?

When we hear the word solitude, we probably jump right to feeling like we’re the odd man out or that we’re being isolated from others. Granted, after the lockdown and stay-at-home orders, the definition of isolation now includes phrases like remote work and distance learning.

Pandemic aside, the word solitude seems to be synonymous with feelings of loneliness for most of us. Even the media warns of a “lonely epidemic” where we’re dedicating less time to cultivating healthy connections, which only adds to our feelings of disconnection.

It’s important to spend time around people. You can improve your habits and learn new things when you’re surrounded by interesting people. Of course, much of life’s biggest joys stem from our relationships.

But too much “people time” might also be a bad thing. Our digital devices often make us feel like we need to be connected 24/7. And all of the noise, activity, and hustle can wear you out and ironically can leave you feeling lonelier than ever.

If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.

Sartre

Being alone and feeling lonely are two completely different things, however. Many people feel lonely even when they’re in a crowded room. And some people spend lots of time alone without ever actually feeling lonely.

In fact, building more solitude into your daily life might actually reduce your feelings of loneliness. Solitary skills take practice if you’re not used to being alone, but over time, you can grow more comfortable with being by yourself.

But shirking loneliness isn’t the only reason you should spend more time in solitude. There are many other reasons spending time alone can help you build the mental strength you need to reach your greatest potential.

1. Solitude helps you get to know yourself.

When you’re by yourself, you make choices without outside influences. You can choose how to spend your time without worrying about anyone else’s feelings. Making choices on your own will help you develop better insight into who you are as a person.

Being alone will help you grow more comfortable in your skin as well. The more you know yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to be your authentic self when others are around.


2. Alone time could improve your relationships. 

Spending time with friends, family and colleagues contributes to a “we vs. them” mentality. Although unintentional, you’ll see people who don’t fit into your inner circle as different from you and you’ll develop less empathy for them.

Spending time alone breaks down those barriers. Studies show you’ll develop more compassion for other people when you set aside time for solitude.


3. Solitude boosts creativity and productivity.

There’s a reason artists, musicians, and authors seek solitude when they want to create something. A private space, whether it’s a secluded studio or a cabin in the woods, allows them to be more creative. Studies confirm that being alone often fosters creativity.

In addition to boosting creativity, solitude also skyrockets productivity. Studies consistently show people perform better when they have privacy.


4. Solitude improves psychological well-being.

Learning how to be comfortable by yourself may take some getting used to. But solitary skills could be help you become mentally stronger.

Studies have found people who set aside time to be alone tend to be happier. They report better life satisfaction and lower levels of stress. They’re also less likely to have depression.  


5. Being alone gives you an opportunity to plan your life.

While it’s important to have joint goals with your spouse, partner, family members, or business partner, you also need to make sure that you’re living your best life as an individual. Be proactive about planning out your life, similar to the way you might plan for retirement or plan a vacation.

Setting aside time to be alone can help you reflect on your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Take a break from the hustle and bustle to think about whether you’re living life according to your values and whether you might want to make some changes.


If you’re not used to solitude, the silence and lack of activity can feel uncomfortable at first. But, setting aside time to be alone is an essential component of building mental strength and living a rich and full life.

What Sparks a Light in You?

Do you know what ‘sparks a light in you?’ Are you aware of what makes you feel excitedly creative, awakened, full of life and energy, brimming with enthusiasm and passion?

When you start to do the things that you truly love, it wouldn’t matter whether it is Monday or Friday; you would be so excited to wake up each morning to work on your passions.

Edmond Mbiaka

Here are 3 ways in which we can be inspired to spark that inner light:

Finding our Light in the Darkness

Sometimes, our lives feel full of darkness, pain and distress, perhaps in the form of loss, grief or illness.

Sometimes, it might feel as though that vital inner spark which carries us through has dimmed or disappeared.

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.

Mary Oliver

The poet Mary Oliver discovered that, in time, out of the box of darkness came some goodness, some light.

This can be in the form of insight, learning, life experience. Such awareness of the good that may come from bad experiences is part of a long process.

This is a process of resolution, of working through our painful darknesses in life and moving into something lighter and brighter.

Are we actually aware of our own ‘inner light’ which can still shine and guide us through the darkness?

You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun.

Shaun Hick

It is essential that we become aware of the light, power, and strength within each of us, and that you learn to use those inner resources in service of your own and others’ growth.

Chiaroscouro (light-dark) is a term in art that refers to the use of powerful and contrasting light and dark tones, which can also be used to achieve a three-dimensional effect.

This artistic effect is also symbolic of the light and dark within ourselves.

Having both aspects in our personality in a balanced and integrated way, means that we are more fully-rounded as people, more whole, with each part of us enhancing the other parts.

It is true that we gain strength and power through having experienced suffering and having been very vulnerable. Out of our weakness emerges the kernel of our strength.


Rekindling The Inner Spark From Childhood

Nothing is more beautiful than seeing a child light up with enthusiasm. The zest for life, the excitement, the energetic, uninhibited, exuberance of a happy child is a joy to witness.

Can we hold onto this spark of childhood enthusiasm, whilst channelling it into adult life and work?

Childhood fantasies and excitement can be transformed into something equally beautiful…and lifelong.

Following one’s passions, allowing ourselves to light up with enthusiasm and creativity, can mean that we will hold onto this capacity to be fascinated and amazed.

What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.

Jung

Being With Other People

Being with another who is brimming with passion and vitality for an idea, a cause, work, creativity, a book or a painting, is an infectious and inspiring experience.

It is helpful to be with people who have passion and interest, who can ‘relight our fire.’ Such creative energy is catching and it tends to boost our mood.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

Albert Schweitzer

It is this that makes us feel uplifted. When we are enthusiastic, we feel stimulated, confident, creative, motivated.

It is an exciting, animated feeling, one that can propel us eagerly onwards and upwards.

In addition, when we are in the company of someone who has empathy for us, we can feel encouraged and inspired to develop ourselves, our ideas, our thoughts, no matter how absurd they might seem initially.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Renee Swope

Our time on this planet is pretty limited. You’re too precious to not shine that light back into this big old world!

How Do Apps Like Google and Microsoft Authenticator Work?

Authenticators are applications that serve several purposes for Android and iOS devices. They’re mainly used for two types of authentication, known as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and multi-step authentication (MSA). They provide advanced security for user sites.

What this means is that it’s not enough to know or have an account password. With increased hacking and cybercrime, authentication codes are necessary to guarantee the security of your online activities and personal data.

Having a protected account means no thief or hacker can access your data, whether on an Android or iOS device. Typically, you only need a password to sign in and log into your online account. With an Authentication app, you can use both the password and the OTP generating app simultaneously.

Here, you’ll need to apply 2- factor authentication (2FA), which includes the knowledge factor where you as the user know your password. The other factor is the possession factor where you have the smartphone.

Let’s take a closer look at how the Google Authenticator app works. 

There are two stages involved:

  • Stage 1 – The user enables Google two-step verification 
  • Stage 2 – The user uses the authenticator for logging in, etc.

Let’s look at these stages.
 
𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞 1
Steps 1 and 2: Bob opens the web page to enable two-step verification. The frontend requests a secret key. The authentication service generates the secret key for Bob and stores it in the database.
 
Step 3: The authentication service returns a URI to the frontend. The URI is composed of key issuer, username and secret key. The URI is displayed in the form of a QR code on the web page.
 
Step 4: Bob then uses Google Authenticator to scan the generated QR code. The secret key is stored in the authenticator.

𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞 2
Steps 1 and 2: Bob wants to log into a website with Google two-step verification. For this he needs the password. Every 30 seconds, Google Authenticator generates a 6-digit password using TOTP (Time-based One Time Password) algorithm. Bob uses the password to enter the website.
 
Steps 3 and 4: The frontend sends the password Bob enters to the backend for authentication. The authentication service reads the secret key from the database and generates a 6-digit password using the same TOTP algorithm as the client.
 
Step 5: The authentication service compares the two passwords generated by the client and the server, and returns the comparison result to the frontend. Bob can proceed with the login process only if the two passwords match.

Here’s an illustration of the above 2 stages

Source: Hua Li, LinkedIn

Is this authentication mechanism 𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞? 

  • Can the secret key be obtained by others?
    We need to make sure the secret key is transmitted using HTTPS. The authenticator client and the database store the secret key, and we need to make sure the secret keys are encrypted.
  • Can the 6-digit password be guessed by hackers?
    No. The password has 6 digits, so the generated password has 1 million potential combinations. Plus, the password changes every 30 seconds. If hackers want to guess the password in 30 seconds, they need to enter 30,000 combinations per second.

Microsoft Vs. Google Authentication

Although there are other authentication apps, Google and Microsoft are the most widely used authenticators. However, the two apps differ slightly in terms of convenience and ease of use. For example, Microsoft provides a 30-second counter before the software token automatically resets instead of Google’s blue round fading countdown timer.

Furthermore, Microsoft has one-tap push notifications for all Microsoft Accounts, something that Google doesn’t provide. Microsoft also allows users to hide or copy the secret code. On the other hand, Google allows users to change email for all existing accounts.

Overall both authentication apps provide high-level security for all your devices to ensure your online services or data are protected.

How does India’s 𝐔𝐏𝐈 (Unified Payments Interface) work?

UPI has gone through 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐝𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 since its inception in 2016. It builds a digital payments ecosystem with payment apps, banks, and NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India). 

It now takes up 60% of digital retail transactions in India. 

It is estimated that the digital payments market in India will grow by 3 times in 2026.

So, What exactly is UPI?

UPI is a payment markup language and a standard for interoperable payments in India.

To make the process of transacting money simple, UPI introduced the concept of human friendly unique IDs called UPI Virtual Payment Addresses (or VPAs). The VPAs are usually of the form <unique_identifier>@<address_provider>.

The UPI VPAs are similar to email addresses. They are interoperable. A gmail user can send an email to a yahoo user.

Some simple examples UPI VPAs are alice@ybl and bob@axis. Here, ybl and axis are two banks that provide virtual payment addresses. And, alice and bob are the unique identifiers in respective address providers.

Just like how domains get resolved to IP addresses, every VPA needs to be linked to a bank account. The UPI handles get resolved to bank accounts and IFSC during the payment

The Actors

The Banks

Banks hold your money. UPI works directly with the bank accounts, unlike Paytm, Venmo, or CashApp. The bank account will be debited from or credited to whenever you send money or receive money.

The banks that hold your money are also called Issuing Banks.

The Payment Apps

Payment Apps are consumer-centric products that can be used to link a bank account and transact in the real world. Some major apps are Google Pay, PhonePe, BHIM, etc. Almost all the banks have their own versions of UPI Apps. There is a wide variety of options to choose from.

Payment Apps allow users to create handles to make everyday transactions easier. However, not everyone can start creating UPI handles. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulates who can create UPI handles. Currently, only the member banks of the UPI ecosystem are allowed to do so.

That’s why all the payment apps will have to tie up with banks. These banks not only allow payment apps to create and manage UPI handles for their users, but they are also the interface to the UPI ecosystem.

These banks are called Acquiring Banks.

Google Pay has tied up with HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, and SBI. PhonePe has a tie-up with Yes Bank and ICICI Bank.

Banks provide separate APIs to allow payment apps to create and manage the UPI handles.

NPCI

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is a non-profit set up by the Government of India to facilitate digital payments. They facilitate many payment schemes (like IMPS, BBPS, FASTag, etc.)

If we reflect back on the original objective of UPI, it was to build an interoperable system. An interoperable means anyone could download a payment app, link any bank (that they own), and transact with anyone else from any other bank.

The UPI creators made NPCI as the trusted switch and they standardized the protocol. NPCI makes sure that data flow between banks and payment apps are routed to the correct and verified destinations.

The end result, the payment apps, and banks talk just to NPCI and can be assured by NPCI that they are really interacting with who they intend to.

Source blog.setu.co

Apart from being the trusted router, NPCI also hosts non-financial meta APIs to serve everyone in the ecosystem.

Some examples of meta API are listAccountProviders (returns all details of all banks), validateAddress (helps in validating VPAs), requestOtp (for 2FA), etc.


We will now see how these actors work together for the registration and account linking process

And how the flow of a transaction works

Hope this helped you understand what goes on behind the scenes when you are transferring money to your friend in a matter of seconds! 🙂

How does 𝐁𝐍𝐏𝐋 (Buy Now, Pay Later) work?

Earlier this year, we took over development of the mobile app for a retail app of a leading brand of kids clothings. And one of the features on the checkout page is the option of using Afterpay as you can see in the screenshot below. 

This got me wondering how do 𝐁𝐍𝐏𝐋 (Buy Now, Pay Later) providers like Afterpay work? How do BNPL providers make money?

BNPL has grown dramatically in recent years. It rewrites the product payment flow for both eCommerce and POS (Point of Sale) and the BNPL provider is the 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐞 between the merchants and the customers.

Benefits for the merchants
The merchants who offer the BNPL payment option see a 20% increase in cart conversion and a 40% increase in the average order size. 

Benefits for the customers
The customers can now acquire the product with only the down payment, and pay later with zero interests or fees.

Benefits for BNPL providers
BNPL providers can sell future installments (receivables) to a lender at a discount. For example, a series of $100 installments to be received in 6 weeks can be sold at $96. This is quite a high interest for the lenders.

I came across this lovely illustration on Hua Li, Founding Member at ByteByteGo

Step 0
​​​​​​​
Bob opens an account with AfterPay. This account links to an approved credit/debit card.

Step 1
​​​​​​​
Bob wants to buy a $100 product and he chooses the “Buy Now, Pay Later” payment option.

Steps 2-3
BNPL provider checks Bob’s credit score and approves the transaction. 

Steps 4-5
BNPL provider grants Bob a consumer loan of $100, which is usually financed by a bank. $96 out of $100 is paid to the merchant immediately (Yes, the merchant receives less with BNPL than with credit cards!) Bob now needs to pay back the BNPL provider according to the payment schedule.

Step 6-8
Now Bob pays the BNPL $25 down payment. The payment transaction is sent to Stripe for processing. Stripe forwards it further to the card network. Since this goes through the card network as well, an 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐞 needs to be paid to the card network.

Step 9
The product is released and can be shipped to Bob.

Steps 10-11
​​​​​​​Bob pays installments to the BNPL provider every 2 weeks. The installments are deducted from the credit/debit card and sent to the payment gateway for processing. 

Would you choose the interest free option of 4 installments or pay all at once?

Who is St. John Marie Vianney?

Known as the “Curé d’Ars”, Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney was born on 8 May 1786 in France in the town of Dardilly, near Lyons. His devout Catholic parents were farmers, and from an early age, John worked in the fields. Without formal education, as a young man he was functionally illiterate; but thanks to his mother’s teaching, Vianney was able to memorise and understand numerous prayers, and live a devout religious life.

Source: Archdiocese of Bombay (Instagram)

At that time in France, the winds of Revolution were blowing. Young John made his Confession at home, rather than in a church, to a “non-juring” priest – that is, a priest who had not sworn loyalty to the revolutionary government. The same priest gave him his First Communion in a barn, during an “underground” Mass. At the age of 17, John Vianney felt the call to the priesthood. “If I am to be a priest,” he said, “I will win many souls for God.”
But the path to ordination was not an easy one. It was only thanks to some wise priests – including Father Balley, the parish priest of d’Écully, that he finally received Holy Orders on 13 February 1815, at the age of 29.

If we really understood the priest on earth, we would die: not of fear, but of love.

St. John Marie Vianney
Source: Archdiocese of Bombay (Instagram)

Three years later, in 1818, Father John Vianney was sent to the town of Ars, which, with just 230 residents, was little more than a small French village. Here the young priest dedicated all his efforts to the spiritual care of the faithful. He visited the poorest families, restored the village church, organized patronal feast days. He also founded La Providence, a home for girls.
But it was for his dedication to the Sacrament of Confession that the Curé of Ars is best known. He was always available to hear Confessions and offer forgiveness, spending up to sixteen hours a day in the confessional. Crowds of penitents travelled from every part of France to make their Confession to the holy priest. In time, Ars became known as “the great hospital of souls.” St John Vianney himself would keep vigils and fast to assist the expiation of the sins of the faithful. “I’ll tell you my recipe,” he told one of his confreres. “I give sinners a small penance, and the rest I do in their place.”

Source: Archdiocese of Bombay (Instagram)

Having given his whole life for God and his parishioners, John Vianney died on 4 August 1859. He was 73 years old. His relics can be found in Ars, in the sanctuary dedicated to him, which is visited by some 450,000 pilgrims every year. He was beatified by Pope St Pius X in 1905, and canonized twenty years later by Pope Pius XI. In 1929, the same Pope proclaimed him the “heavenly patron of all parish priests throughout the world.” During the centenary of his death in 1959, Pope St John XXIII dedicated an encyclical to St John Vianney, pointing him out as exemplary model for priests. Fifty years later, Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated a “Year of Priests” on the 150th anniversary of his birthday into heaven, in order “to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal for the sake of a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world.”

Source: Archdiocese of Bombay (Instagram)

How are Notifications Pushed to our Mobile Devices?

Most people have a love/hate relationship with mobile push notifications. On the one hand, they keep us updated with the information we willingly asked to be updated on. On the other hand, for people like me, that constant activity on my phone is annoying and distracting. 

My friends tease me, but I can’t go to sleep or do anything, for that matter when I have a little red dot in the top right corner of an app on my iPhone. Once I’ve checked out that notification, only then I can move on. Nevertheless, I need those notifications, so I can’t turn them all off. 

What are push notifications?

A push notification is a message that pops up on a mobile device, such as a sports score, an invitation to a flash sale or a coupon for downloading. App publishers can send them at any time, since users don’t have to be in the app or using their devices to receive them. Push notifications look like SMS text messages and mobile alerts, but they only reach users who have installed your app. All the mobile platforms – iOS, Android – have their own services for supporting push.

Why are push notifications important?

Push notifications are very effective at helping users stay engaged with an app or re-engaging with an app they haven’t opened in a while. This is particularly useful because re-engaged users have significantly higher in-app conversion rates and lower acquisition costs than new users. Because you can receive pushes while you’re browsing in-app or even when your device is locked, this makes them a great way to convey messages of urgency, such as breaking news, current traffic conditions, or limited-time offers.

A Brief History of Push Notifications

Apple and Google are the leaders in the push notifications feature. 

In 2009, Apple launched the first-ever push notification service – Apple Push Notification Service (APNs). Google didn’t stay behind for too long and launched its Cloud to Device Messaging service (C2DM) in 2010. 

Rich notifications with images and calls to action appeared in 2013 on Google’s service, and then Apple added interactive buttons to their service in 2014. 

In October 2014, Google acquired Firebase; it merged with Google’s push notification service and became known as Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM).

So how does a notification reach your device?

Let’s see how this works with Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) which supports both iOS and Android notifications.

An FCM implementation includes two main components for sending and receiving:

  1. A trusted environment such as Cloud Functions for Firebase or an app server on which to build, target, and send messages.
  2. An Apple, Android, or web (JavaScript) client app that receives messages via the corresponding platform-specific transport service.
Source: Firebase

To setup our apps on FCM, we need to upload the relevant Apple and Google certificates. And then integrate the Firebase SDK into our mobile apps. 

What follows is then what happens when users install the app and we give permissions to allow push notifications.

  1. App registers with FCM the Sender ID, API Key and App ID. 
  2. FCM returns a registration token
  3. This registration token is then sent to our backend where it needs to be stored along with the user details. 
  4. When our backend needs to send a notification, it sends the token, message and other details to FCM.
  5. If the client is not online, Firebase stores the messages. It keeps checking regularly to see if the device/client is online to send the notification. 
  6. If the client is online it forwards the message to the relevant transport layer. 
  7. The client/app receives the notification and displays it to the user. 

Here is a lovely infographic I came across on Push Notifications on huree.co

Fallen Leaves ~ Fr. T

Fallen badam leaves scattered on the ground carelessly.
Soon to be swept away to garbage.
I wandered among them searching, selecting, picking up,
putting together…

The three in the centre are long ago dried up pipal leaves… also very beautiful…

flip flit float fall
fatal end now stayed
picked purposefully
as art hand propels
to wild expanse beyond

arranged then mystic shape
gracious pattern hue
weaving dreams of please

content bound in still
raising lives in hope

we ever have to very end
fresh purpose yet ahead
God keeps us always beautiful
His magic still remains

Sharing from a message sent by Fr. Terry SJ

New York, New York

After 3 long weeks in Secaucus, I finally managed to get myself to go to New York. I had gone around NY when I came to the US for the first time in 2018. And maybe that’s why I didn’t feel like going again. And also this time I am alone and sightseeing without company is something I don’t really enjoy! But yes, I finally made it. So here’s how my day went..

The weather in the morning was cloudy and this is the view from the bus before we entered the Lincoln tunnel which goes under the Hudson River that you see in the photo. Thankfully it got nice and bright and sunny once I got into Manhattan.


Few shots as I moved towards the 9/11 memorial


The United States Court House


The New York Public Library


Though I had visited the 9/11 Memorial the last time, I was still filled with heavy heart and a sense of wonder as I stood there this time.

Located where the Twin Towers once stood, there are now two large grey chasms in the ground from which water cascades down all four sides before gathering in a pool and finally plunging into a dark void in the middle, seemingly descending to the center of the Earth.

On the brass rims around these twin pools you’ll find stencil-cut names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. At night, lights shine up through each letter illuminating the names.


Today, at the World Trade Center site you’ll not only find the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, but also the Oculus building which is both a train station and shopping mall designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Its wholly unique design has been likened to everything from a bird’s wings to an armadillo to the twisted steel structures found at Ground Zero. Regardless of what it’s actually meant to be, the bright and lofty architecture is absolutely breathtaking and clearly provides some light to it’s darker counterpart, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. 


Across from the Oculus and 9/11 Memorial & Museum is the One World Trade Center (unofficially known as the Freedom Tower), the tallest building not only in New York City but the entire Western Hemisphere comprised of 104 floors and a height of over 500 meters. 

On levels 100, 101, and 102 of the One World Trade Center, visitors can access the Observatory for a 360° view of New York City and the surrounding waterways.


From here I next visited Trinity Church where I was lucky to catch a service that was about to start. The choir was heavenly!


The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was very close to Trinity Church. Also caught a glimpse of the Charging Bull, sometimes referred to as the Bull of Wall Street


Next I saw the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park. Being a Sunday the ferries were super crowded and even though I had a ticket, I just felt like avoiding the crowds.

At Battery Park is also a memorial for those who gave their lives in service of the Navy during the second world war


Next to Battery Park is the National Museum of the American Indian


From there I went to Central Park which is so majestic and beautiful. There are horse carriages to take you around as well as cycles. I walked around a little. It is tooo huge to cover in a day. This lush 843-acre patch of nature in the middle of Manhattan. The park is home to scenic hills; meadows; playgrounds; skating rinks; ball fields; and many well-known attractions, including Strawberry Fields, Belvedere Castle, and the Central Park Zoo. 


On my way back to the bus station, I passed by Radio City Music Hall where the Grammy’s and Tony’s are hosted as well America’s Got Talent and many other shows. You will also see the building which hosts Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.


Before I got into the bus station, I finally managed to get a clip of this big group of cyclists roaming the streets. I had crossed them twice during the day.


The Port Authority Bus Station is HUGE! I had to catch my bus back to Secaucus from here and what amazed me is that every bus number had their own little escalator to the waiting area for the bus.


And that is how I spent my Sunday at New York! 🙂