I close my eyes and try to recollect where my life was when I was twenty....I vaguely remember Bengal,endless
friends,poetry,aspirations...and a feeling that I could conquer the world....somewhere out there a calling for something more....
It's not so clear but I definately know where Ashwini Kumar was when he turned twenty.He was behind the bars somewhere in Dehradun district accused of raping a minor....released on bail and then tried to end his life by consuming a poison.
It was one of those days when the ICU beds were occupied three in a row by patients of deliberate self harm.Two were twenty,each one in their twelfth class and the third was a girl just about thirteen.
I was overwhelmed and loss for words when I went for the rounds in the morning.COuld not manage having a chat with all three and so after a close observation I picked out the one who looked the most bound and that was when Ashwini fell into my plate.
It was the usual story of hormones gone on an over-drive with no guidance to see them through.The father ,an agent in the local bus service, tried to hide the fact when I first asked him and after a brief chat he broke down.
I got the story from the boy.
He had missed giving his class 12th exams in April and apparently fell for a girl next door.They decided to elope.Elope they did to Haridwar which seems to be the place for all sorts of escape activities.However,the law caught up with them,the girl's parents filed a case of rape against him and that is how he had landed up in the jail.
He was out on a bail and the girl had apparently changed her statement once she was with her parents.
At twenty he was bankrupt in every which ways and saw no reason to continue living....
How can one identify with a person who has had such a bad deal so early in life..how do you connect?
Ofcourse there was only one person who could reach out into the depth and be there with him with an assurance saying I undertand your pain...and that is the favourite person I started talking about even as I broke down.
He helped me with the story ...it seems once again here, he had been to the church a few times.
I spent around half an hour talking to him and then I handed him over to my colleague to be followed up by the local church.
Here was a family which badly needed accompaniment at a crucial time like this to see them through..as I saw it only Jesus could see them through to the other shore but even as the ray of light needs the dust to reflect it's light through so that it can be seen, how many of us who have tasted Christ are willing to be the dust for the Lord's light to fall into all the dark corners of the world?
This counselling broke me somewhat,but the Lord ministered to me through the psalm of David.(Psalm 139 vs.7and 8).
"Where can I go from your spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens,you are there;if I make my bed in the depths ,you are there."
Do pray a silent prayer for Ashwini and his family.