Sunday, March 29, 2009

Faltering prince of Egypt and the actual realisation of his prince-hood.

Moses was chosen of God for a very special task.Even as the spotlight falls on him in the word,one sees the hand of God in the troughs and crests of his life all the time .Each time ,rubbing into his character, traits which were of use to the lord for the task he had set before this man.His life although extraordinary goes through the rigours of changes that take place in most ordinary lives.The process through which it occurs although is extra-ordinary no doubt.
This Hebrew child has to be abandoned so his life can be saved.He grows up in the palace of the Pharoah with the best that the world can provide and yet he does not forget his roots .In the process he rejects the best the world has to provide to claim what the Jehovah had promised his ancesters.The promise was not tangible then.He is called by God,this faltering man and he obeys.His obedience takes it’s pound of flesh.
Every step of the way he has to depend on God and his providence.The people he is called to lead are ignorant,shallow,fickle,and rebellious.Forty years in the desert with such companions under normal circumstances would do havoc to the soul and yet the lord provides manna in the desert for his people.The physical manna satisfied the physical and the spiritual need of the people.For Moses and the few faithfuls with him, they saw the hand of God at work even as they walked with him in obedience,it must have lifted their spirit to no end to be so much in tune with the lord in such an unlikely place.’The desert’ to be exact.
To be ‘the chosen one’ was not an easy task-any leader of the world who has not compromised can tell you that .Yet in the strict sense of the word all of us are chosen and called apart by God for a purpose .This chosen man of God chose to claim his princehood by obeying God’s call ,he did it almost to perfection,at all times but once.A man who was hesistant to take the mantle of a leader ,get’s transformed to a man who pleads for these very people who do not think twice before rebelling against him.He was called to lead a nation of people who disobeyed God at most times but was reconciled and forgiven again and again and yet he, who leads God’s people through the desert, never made it to the promised land for just one act of omission.Strange justice, one would think.
Yet from the heart of this man whose life was sold out to God came a praise we often sing in our worship sessions ,-
‘Ascribe greatness to our lord the God ,
His work is perfect and all his ways are just.
A God of Faithfulness and without injustice
Good and Upright is He .
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Good and upright is He.
The man Moses knew what he was singing about.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The first rain

The sound of the first monsoon cascade-
through the clouds warring,
on the tinned roof,the metal window ledges,
the glass pane and the path just outside my window-
cleaning,clearing the windshields of my dusty memories
painful yet warm
luring me back to the time
which does not exist anymore.
Momentary flashes of light,thundering clouds grand,
pregnant with memories-
overflowing,pushing,shovelling,demanding presence in my today.
When I have settled the matter with me
I sit back to watch and celebrate the play of the nature -
the colour,the vigour,the flashes of energy
from a distance-
a mere spectator watching the beauty of creation in it's passionate tyrst.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I feel blessed to be a doctor in a rural set-up.
Just sitting in my clinic on a busy monday morning brings in a hundred and eighty colourful characters with stories of their own.Some of them endearing to say the least.
Gopal Chaurasia,a strapping 26 yrs old is brought in to my OPD.I know Gopal from a few years ago when he was diagnosed to have pleural effusion and was treated with DOTS.He responded well.
He had developed a bout of haemoptysis .
A repeat X-ray of the chest showed a fresh pneumonic patch.
My line of questioning went along a predictable route but you never know where it is going to lead when you have innocence personified on the receiving end.
Have you ever migrated for work elsewhere?
Gopal's mother-No never!-He is my good son who never goes out of my sight.His daily routine varies between going to the sweet shop where he sells them and coming back home.
Are you married?
Gopal's mother-How can he be married when he hasn't been getting any proposals.
How come? How old is he? Any ways in your society aren't you supposed to look for girls for your children?
Gopal's mother-No actually the offer has to come from the girl's side.He has been getting proposals but they are not big enough.
What is a big proposal?
Gopal's mother-Not rich enough.
Is that so?
Gopal's mother-Actually no,the proposals he's been getting are all from fat girls.
So what's wrong with that? .
Gopal's mother-Fat girls are angry girls( Now that was a strange logic!)-Gosh she would make my life hell.
They are also dark girls-I want a fair bride for my son.
No actually I just want a good girl for my son.God bless her!
Fatima Khatun had come from over two hundred kilometres away.She complained of breathlessnes .She was a spirited ,good natured old lady of around sixty-didn't in the least bit look sick.
As I examined her she started chatting.Her son apparently was one of my patients.He was away in his job .
He had written to her asking her to visit me,collect some medicines for the breathlessness and send it in a parcel to him.As a way of conversation I just asked her son's wherabouts she innocently blurted out -some place abroad called Kenya !!
Now that sure was a long distance medicine from Tumbagara to Kenya!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

By and by

It is the season of lent.
The intense pain of sin drips down ...drop by drop!
Borrowed ,misplaced,displaced.
Struggling to drink the bitter cup.
Is this sin mine ?Is it yours?
Do I own it?
Is it Gethsemene?
Or is it just me?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Last year -this time!

It was the strangest of times.The communists in Bengal had gone wild.Budhadeb,the progressive face of the red was marking out special economic zones .The public in feeble attempts to stop the industrial houses were protesting in the opposition's platform and their voices.Momta di was the messiah.Comrades went over-board trying to supress the voices of dissent.Their excesses in Nandigram saw repercussions in the adjacent states.The headlines spelt doom for Budhadeb.
In Jharkhand, the elections were on .The police,the politicians and the jungle were a law in itself.The last but a week of March withnessed a complete stand-still as far as any kind of work being done was concerned.Everything that moved were carted to the politician's rally.The jungle law seemed abnormally near.People you talked to everyday,people who greeted you with their hands on their heart were being fried away with smuggled guns.The reality of India shining,an upwardly mobile India with everything gleaming was in sharp contrast to the villages in Jharkhand where people live in mud-houses in stark poverty.
As we engineered our car through the gullies in between the mud- houses and make-shift roads made by our tyres,one saw the enormity of the task a conceintious government had in hand.
There was Nandeo and his wife Sheila Devi .They lived in the middle of a cluster of make-shift houses.They were nearing the eve of their lives.Their son had gone away to a bigger city to earn his living .He would get a few bucks back ,but there would be a bigger price to pay in terms of loss of innocence,heaps of bad habbit and invariably some disease.The luckier ones would get away with tuberculosis and the more adventurous lot would harbour the HIV virus.
2009 Feb-March.
Bengal is quiet.Budhadeb is still around-'Nano'-the cheapest car in the world moved out of Nandigram . It is to roll out from a factory in Gujarat.Momta di is gearing up for the elections.
In Jharkhand,the president's rule is on after the state government collapsed for the 'i don't remember how many times'
March has definately come in and guess what?we have't had a bundh for two full weeks.It's a record of sorts.People are still being fried away-the last I heard it was the gentle burra babu with his four assistants from the adjacent thana.
The people in Jharkhand continue to live in the same stark poverty-the muddy gullies exist-there is one difference though-there is no elected government.
'Slum-dog millionaire' has won eight oscars.
Nandeo and his wife Sheila are alive and kicking.Their son is back without the disease!