Friday, January 30, 2009

Atta girl Ally!

Ally was my room-mate from my post-grad years.I stayed with her for two full years in a place which was so far away from my roots and yet so close to my heart in the border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
In simple words,she was a great girl-beautiful inside-out.
She belonged to an extremely conservative jacobite family-her father was a christian jacobite priest.She had studied in a malyali medium school all her life-had never ventured out of Kerala till she got into madrass medical college for her graduation.Five years of medical school was where she started learning english.By the time we met ,she used to rattle off in english like she was born speaking it.She was a prayer warrier !
We parted ways after my post-grad ,I came to the north and she went back to Kerala mostly to be with her mother who had widowed quite some years back.There were occasional emails .
Most of my roomies were going through the rounds of arranged marriage hip-hop.Every other week-end they would come back with some stories about a potential groom.
Four years into our seperate lives and one fine day I received her wedding invitation.I could't attend but a common friend spoke in superlatives about the groom.I thought Ally would settle but it was a beginning of a nightmare for her which ended in two years in a divorce.She had no choice whatsoever but to call it quits.Her trauma was something we as her friends failed to understand.My constant question was, why her lord?She was such a beautiful person,a prayer warrior to boot....The following year was a year when she went through the dark night...so many states away from her ,sometimes I used to feel the tug to pray for her at the middle of the night.I used to be lost for words while speaking to her because words start sounding hollow after a point.
Yesterday I received a simple card from her which read my second wedding invitation .She is getting married on the 9th of the coming month.It also happens to be her birthday.
I knelt down on my knees and thanked the lord for the wonderful present she had given all of us who really knew Ally.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I made a thirteen year old orphan cry!

Dealing with the tuberculosis patients has been so far an extremely rewarding ,educating and nourishing experience.Yesterday the boys came to me with a complaint of a thirteen year old who they suspected were chucking the medicines instead of eating them.I called the boy into the clinic.An extremely likeable village boy with a cricket cap breezed into my OPD smiling widely.I couldn't help smiling back.Getting back to business I had to be firm with him and had to explain the consequences of his not eating the medicines and it's implications.I saw the sunshine go out of his eyes even as the magnitude of his mistake struck him.
Today he came back to the OPD to collect his medicine .
He told me a little about himself.He is from a village around 100 kms away from Satbarwa town.
He lost both his parents and three older siblings to the disease.All he has left is his six year old sister who cooks in his uncle's place to earn her keeps in the village.Sakindra Bhuiya ,as the boy is called, works as a hotel boy in Satbarwa town.He earns Rs.40 per day.He has been saving whatever he has been earning so far in the local post office.He says for the past five years.That would make him eight years old when he started off.
He says he gets a simple vegetarean meal thrice a day apart from his salary.
I asked him what he would do with the savings and the first thing he said was he would get married!
Now this was child labour-but what other option did a tribal orphan like him have?He seemed pretty self-assured ,owned a cycle ,had learned to earn his keeps at such a tender age.
God forbid ,but he is in many ways much better equipped to face the challenges life would throw his way than I was at his age.
God bless these little angels who gives us a clearer perspective in life from just getting to know them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Good Shepherd…….

Jesus during his ministry on earth called one person out specifically for the task of looking after his sheep.That was Peter.
When Jesus appears before his disciples after the crucification he calls out to Simon thrice to look after his sheep.
What was Simon Peter’s qualification?
He was rash,impulsive,quick to anger,had earned the reprimand of Jesus ‘get behind me satan’.He prophesied undying love and loyalty to Jesus.Slept through Jesus’lonely and intense prayer in the garden of Gethsemene.Denied Jesus thrice on the night of crucification.
What was his qualification?
His only qualification lay in Simon’s brokenness and his genuine answer to the question Jesus puts before him-‘Do you love me Simon?’he said ‘yes lord ‘and he meant it.The third time his answer goes a step further when he says ‘you know everything lord!’
If there had been no denial, there would have been no brokenness,if there was no brokenness there would have been no repentance,if there had been no repentance the ministry would not have been there.
Jesus fore-saw everything .When Simon Peter declares his undying love and loyalty, Jesus says-before the cock crows you will deny me thrice …it is the next sentence that really touched me .He says…-‘WHEN YOU RETURN TO ME - look after my sheep’.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New-born-girl or a boy??

I have just finished doing a caeserian section.The baby turned out to be a boy .You should have seen the smile writ all over the family's face.I felt strange.
It's not a rare site to see such a reaction.
One of my juniors was narrating an incident where he after delivering a girl baby wrapped her in a warm blanket and went eagerly forward to show the baby to the grandmother.The grandmother confirmed the sex of the baby and gave the doctor concerned such a dirty look that his expression was 'as though I was responsible for it'.Such things seem to be very deeply etched into the psyche of most people from northern part of India.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Famsie and her recipes....

Famsie my cousin was always baking cookies and cakes in her adolescence years.My uncle had a fetish for trying out new things and was full of enthusiasm.I wonder where it came from.At half his age I feel completely drained out.So we were the guinea pigs who tried out all her half-baked cookies.....and cakes.....some of us giggling away to glory and rest of us suffering it like 'saints' even as we politely gulped it down....it was not always like this though.Over the years ....she improved....and finally when she got married she was quiet a cook!
The reason I am writing this article is because this morning she sent me some recipes from NewZealand .......and what recipes they were!
Kewa Phagsha(Spicy Pork with Potatoes)Contributer: Tshering Cigay Dorji
Ingredients350 g of pork (thigh)2 potatoes peeled.3 green chillies.1/2 onion.1/2 teaspoon chilli powder3 cloves of garlic (crushed)1 piece of ginger (finely chopped)1/2 tbspoon canola oil.DirectionsChop pork into chunks (not so small). Add about 400 ml of water in a sauce pan. Add pork and a bit of salt and boil for about 20 mins (Pork should be thoroughly cooked; soft to feel). Cut potatoes longitudinally into 6 or 8 pcs each. Cut chillies longitudinally into 2 pcs each. Add chilli, potato and onion and 1/2 teaspoon of canola oil (Discard for ladies). Cook until potato is 75% cooked. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 3-4 mins. Stir...pepper or coriander seasoning to taste. Serves 3.Note: Vary the amount and type of chilli according to your tolerance or taste!
Life surely takes a full circle........ha!ha!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nirmalji.

We visited the village today.It was absolutely dark with just the light from the fire .Nirmalji lives in a mud-house .He was extremely gracious and a whole lot of villagers got together in his house even as we started singing hymns.We prayed with him.We blessed the family.It started drizzling for bits.There house was a mud-cluster with a few pots and pans which were on fire cooking their evening meal.
It hurt even as we tried to connect with those simple villagers by the firelight.Lord!where does this kind of absolute poverty whether it be material ,spiritual or even social end.
I say a quiet prayer for the family asking the lord to release them from every kind of bondage.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Draft

I CHOOSE TO HEAL!© By: Chering Choden Tenzing
Mary of Bethany,
Branded,out-caste,
Fallen,with nothing to lose,
Wounded,beyond repair,
With scars to show and seen.
Who would help her heal?
Is anybody there?
Pharisees and the people,
Predictable,judgemental
Made a coffin of prejudice,
For the woman,
To lie down cold, in the box
Unattended,willing her to disappear.
Mary ,with the eyes of the beaten,her radar sensitive
Saw ,the savior for what he was,
Took the alabaster,
Risking mockery, rejection,
Broke her most precious,at the feet of Jesus.
,‘Your sins are forgiven-Sin no more!’
The box was broken ,a lifetime of painful sin relieved,
A prophesy ,the precious alabaster
To be broken at the cross- to heal.
I choose the anointing at the cross,
I choose the alabaster that is there for the lost,
I choose God’s best,his precious blood,
I choose God’s forgiveness , cleansing of the dross,
I choose Jesus the lamb of God,
I choose healing and the alabaster’s source.

"EPTHATHA"

New year is come,with it new day,new aspirations and new hope.
The chilly night of the 31st saw me preaching,singing and strumming my guitar in the chapel.....
It reminded me of the incident in the gospel of Mark where a deaf boy with a stammer is brought to Jesus for healing.Interestingly,the people who bring him ask Jesus to lay His hands on the boy.Jesus looks up towards heaven and then says the word-'EPTHATHA'......which translated actually means -'open up'.
The boy gets healed.
To have the hand of God on someone means that the power of God is working in that life.
I was actually drawing parallels between that boy brought to Jesus and myself.
I have ears but seldom hear-made deaf by fear,prejudices,and all the nonsense that the world has fed into us (so to say Thief)-I have been given a voice and yet I stammer when I have to give the good news.
I do like most people want the power of God to work through me -Lord give me the grace to open up to you.
Amen.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Salt of the earth

Nirmal Singh is a short ,wiry villager from a hamlet in Palaumu.I first saw him ,an unassuming man,when he brought his two year old daughter with all the classical symptoms of tuberculosis.We put her on DOTS.She responded well,completed her treatment.
It was quite a surprise for us when Nirmalji as we call him volunteered to become a DOTS provider himself,more so because DOTS providers had no renumeration at that time.
He faithfully oversaw the DOTS of many of his co-villagers and walked with them to health.
We, in the hospital developed a deep respect for him.He never once changed his stance.
After five years of faithfully volunteering his services for the cause of TB in the region he came to the hospital other day with a history of cough ,fever and seem to have lost some weight.He turned out to have contracted tuberculosis himself.
I was deeply shaken and humbled by his attitude.He looked beaten but not out.He had the medicines in one hand and the renumeration he had received for completing treatment for two other patients in his other hand.