Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thank you,Mr Prime Minister!

Today our Prime Minister visited Sikkim.
It was a promise he had made some days ago when the earthquake happened and true to his word he kept it.
I felt overwhelmed with a deep sense gratitude although one would say it would be his duty.One does not expect the obvious from anyone anymore.
Sikkim is not a vote bank to be reckoned.It has exactly one seat in the parliament,and the area where the disaster has occured is extremely sparsely populated.The Prime Minister thought it important enough to visit it.Thank God we don't have a cut and dried politician on the top whose line of thought and priorities would I guess have been different.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This is Mangan for you-not a cry baby,hopeless and helpless!
Even as the nature spilled out it's wrath,the affected families were quick in getting shelter in the relative's homes.
A rumour goes forth that from one of the villages completely cut off they got a message asking the relief workers not to airdrop any more food but send them petrol so that they could start the generators.
Tried scanning the media for some news about Sikkim but the whole space was taken up by the 2G scam and Chidambaram.
This is how it is!
The locals are up and about in a big way taking control of the situation.
The aftershakes continue,relief work goes on.Was trying my brother's mobile.Could not get through.Worried,called up mom in the evening,came to know that the BSNL lines are down.
He had been about the whole day organising a brain-storming session of the engineers even as they look towards repairing the columns of the concretes which have suffered some cracks.They have invited some experts from outside as well.
Local comittees have been formed to take stock of various situation.
They all are at it heart,mind and soul.
Doing their bit!
What an amazing place,what amazing people!
Mangan,you make me proud!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


It happened out of the blue!God was merciful in that even before I knew it had happened the news that the family was allright had reached me.
My cousin was at the skype reminding me how gracious God has been,in Iraq with the same intensity earth-quake I believe 40,000 people were killed.
I was talking to my mother the other day and she was telling me how she was praising the Lord and holding on to Dad even as my brother came running down from his room to collect them to take them to a safer place.
There is a community place where the folks gather right in the beginning of the old market place which just celebrated it's centenary.It has a huge peepal tree on top of a white limestone raise which is more than ten feet tall and can chair around thirty chairs easily.
There are lovely wooden benches by the road where the old folks gather towards the evening to catch up on the news and we sometimes just walk over as a family to sit and enjoy the evening breeze.All of it has survived the havoc of the 6.9 richter scale earthquake,a silent spectator to the rumours of all that is happening around.
I call my brother up and he says everything is fine and the day is sunny, but the fact that he continues to hover around my parents most of the day speaks volumes.
I would like to write about heroic deeds and the goodness of people around such disaster but the the news that is not flashed around is the news of selective help that is getting through to the people in need.One such news was of the Teesta-Project helicopters refusing to haul the local bodies out and only working towards rescuing their own staffs.
Even as we were frantically scrambling for the coverage of the Sikkim disaster ,it was Narendra Modi's farcical fast which was competing for the media space.
That Rahul Gandhi visited Sikkim was a big news,but he skirted Gangtok in a token visit and flew off as he had come,in a copter,even while clumps of people whom they claim to represent lie burried under rubbles unreached,unheard and uncared for.
These people do not deserve to lead,they do not know how to serve!When will the people of India wake up to this fact??

Monday, September 19, 2011


Kiran passed away this morning.She was all of seventeen.
I got to know her as a person when she came down for her summer holidays to Asha,my neighbour.Before that I had heard about the problems she had been through while trying to get on with the nursing training at Satbarwa.I had never tried to look beyond that.
She had been abandoned as a child by her parents and had been brought up in a home.Having fallen sick during her nursing training she had to be rehabilitated to a home of sorts in Delhi where she was helping out with teaching the slum kids and earning money,so she seemed happy and was looking towards saving enough to pursue her studies.
When she came to Asha's I would see her hovering around ,one day while striking a conversation with her somehow her need poured through so I took her shopping.It brought a lot of joy to my heart.
I asked her if she would like to meet her parents ever and if she had a clue as to where they were?She had an idea about the place but not the address but just being in Delhi gave her the hope that one day she would meet them.
Before she left I asked her to keep in touch.
A week after,I received a small package from Asha.Kiran had left it to be passed on to me.There was a key-chain with a picture of jesus,a pink ribbon rose
and a card which quoted psalm 145,19.This was a precious gift indeed,so dear in the Lord's eye.
On thursday,she went into a coma in the ICU in Stephen's,four days and she had not recovered.I had been reading the book 'The boy who came from heaven' and I was visualising Kiran watching the proceedings around her lifeless body from above with Jesus to give her company...'.She was declared dead this morning.
"She is in a better place",I told Asha, and for once I meant it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ties that bind !

It's well past a year since my cousin passed away.His mother is gracefully putting on in years.I can understand how difficult it must be for her to let go of a son and such a special one for that.Two nights back she dreamt a dream where one another cousin of mine walked into her room with a black bag carrying a letter from her dead son.The letter read,"dear mom,whenever you send a birthday card to wish my cousins please don't forget to write my name in it".She cried herself to sleep over it.
A day later she realised it was my sister's birthday the next day.
The two of them literally grew up together.
Even as the funeral took place,my sister had flown in from Australia and the memory that was clearest in her mind was of her as a little girl,the elder sister taunting the younger brother even as he bawled asking to be taken with her to wherever she was going.My cousin was forty six when he passed away and my sister was forty nine.The memories that tie us !

Monday, September 12, 2011

My sisters ,my best friends!

I seem to be going through a crisis of sorts is what I am telling my sister over the phone and lo before the word is out she tells me she anticipated it.How would she know?I live 22000 kms away from her,rarely speak to her on the phone and when I do it is almost a 'by the way'conversation,I have not seen her since the April of this year when I went home for baptism and she tells me that she knew it was coming.That's women for you.Coming back to my sister,she started counselling me and put her finger on my problem even before I had a chance to say anything.Showed me the solution to be as simple as it was all along.
I have in the past always got a good counsel from her.
She offered to pray over the phone for me which she did in a sweetly rich content which further brought light into the problem.....when she had done with it-I was light years lighter.
She has no idea of what's happening in my life whatsoever.
That's why I think sisters are our best friends!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Springs of water.....that I might overflow!

That was the sixth time I had got a call from the wards and my leg hurt.Dragging myself desperately through the HCH driveway,I was trying to get over with the errand as fast as I could when a group of innocents happened upon me.I took a ninety degree,trying to avoid them but the leader of the gang decided that they should take a detour as well.I took another ninety degree and I found myself talking to the Lord-'Lord it hurts!'.I felt a deep release......I found them waiting at the end of a drive-way like a bunch of kids.....I looked through them like I do most times.That's just me the way I have always been,doing things I don't mean to do.
That is the way the Lord has dealt with me with surprises I never anticipate and revealing sides of me that startles me and makes me wonder once too often.It takes an innocent to help you unlearn and it takes another to help you start learning again.
Lord,give me also springs of water...that I might overflow...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Does God need me?

Yesterday was a day when I was feeling emotionally drained.My blood pressure recording the previous night which showed a high did not help.I had carelessly put in more than my usual share of salt in my curry and felt too lazy to do anything about it.Had a throbbing headache and when it amounted to nausea I walked to the casualty to get my blood pressure checked.As expected it was high.
I popped a sublingual nifedipine in my mouth, walked up to the library and then sat outside on the steps for about an hour just praying as I sweated it out.
Not a smart move,my blood pressure had plummetted down to 60/40,I waited a little longer till it came to 90/60 ,spent the evening with KT and Helen pouring out my woes,as usual they were there listening to me,helping me and praying with me.KT made his lovely cup of tea and Helen her heart-warming dinner.I entertained myself with Russel Peters.I laughed my belly out.
The next day was a monday.The OPD was chaotic.I could just about manage to catch a cup of tea with Alem and it was seven in the evening.Time for the monday prayer.Just then a lady was wheeled into the casualty.She was a paraplegic who had been bed-ridden for the past five years.She had insisted that she be taken to Lehmann hospital and her husband was very clear that just to fulfill her wish they had brought her in and they would take her back just then.The husband was a catholic and the wife a hindu.She understood every word I was speaking but could not speak a word .She could lip sync though.I shared the gospel in a few lines,letting her know that Jesus loved her,there was no need for her to be afraid and if she accepted the Lord as her personal savior she would have the inheritance of the eternal life.
I asked her if she would pray with me.I took her through the sinner's prayer twice even as she lip synced the whole thing .At the end of the prayer time when I asked her if she had truly prayed-she gave me an affirmative squeeze in the hand.I told her 'Jesus loves you'-even as I left her to go home for the the first meal of the day.Her husband took her back home.
This evening I was at the women's fellowship just praying when Alem called me up to let me know that someone had come to the casualty looking for me.It was the husband.He told me that he had come to withness to me that his wife had talked to all the family members at night and had gone to be with the Lord while in her sleep and she had been really struggling to get the release for a long time.He had come all the way just to thank me.This is not my story,this is the story of the Jehovah who loves his people,about the people who need the Jehovah,and a great God ,the creator of the universe,you and me, who listens to our feeble prayer,when we say 'Lord,I am feeling empty'and decides to feed you.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Death Row!

Mohammad Afzal, also known as Afzal Guru, was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India in 2004. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on 20 October 2006. Afzal was given a stay of execution and remains on death row.
The other death sentence that has been in the news in the recent past is of those involved in Rajiv Gandhi's assasination.According to the law of the land,the power of clemency lies with the president or the governer,but does it?
I was reading an article in the 'Tripple Helix' which struck a chord and set me thinking.This article was written by a doctor who had in the recent past forfeited his doctoring job to follow his call of serving full time in the ministry of the Lord.When asked why he had decided to leave a blessed carrier of saving lives,he replied that as a doctor he does not save lives but just tries to prolong it the best he can.
When we come to the crux of the matter,the entire humanity is in the death row,the fall, brought with it the death sentence,sooner or later everyone has to die.Some people are fortunate enough to have an idea as to when it could be, whereas the rest of us are out of the race in a blink of an eye.
Is there a way out,a true clemency,an act of mercy that can buy us out of it?
Yes,and it is already paid for on the cross of Christ.We can if we want to become inheritors of eternal life.
The doctor's decision was wise.
He had taken up the mantle of facilitating people towards eternal life instead of trying to prolong a life which will ultimately lead to death.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Astha (name changed)came to us with florid jaundice ,looked grossly incapacitated ,had a virchow’s node palpable .Even as I examined her, I silently sent a prayer up asking the Lord for early diagnosis because she had been admitted in a hospital in Dehradun, had been worked up without a conclusion for over a week.We had the diagnosis at the end of the day.She had Ca-head of the pancreas.She was all of 32 yrs old,had lost her husband to a bout of drunken driving.I had to break the news to a broken father and an incapacitated sister.Not a pleasant job.I sat with the duo ,broke the news,talked to them generally about the way to go about it ,talked about God’s goodness in answering my prayer of an early diagnosis and offered to pray with them.Disturbed they were, but extremely receptive to my suggestion.Since Sushil was looking after the ward and they were referred for a second opinion to the oncologist in Dehradun,I thought that was all I would see of them.
The next morning ,while my clinic was on ,a husband and a wife entered my room and asked to talk to me.Well dressed and well spoken,they had come to get the plan reiterated.They were the brother and the sister in law of the patient.I did what I could and after expressing their gratitude for the time ,they were about to leave when the husband suddenly turned around and introduced the topic of faith.Apparently he had been in touch with a pastor in Dehradun who had been leading them through a series of healing and accompaniment for various issues of life.
He was a hindu gentleman and he concluded the talk by informing me that he would ask the pastor to pray for his patient and see what happened.
Out of the blue,I found myself saying –‘why do you want to ask the pastor,why don’t you do it yourself,He is your Messiah,as much as he is the pastor’s!’.
The man looked shaken …I repeated the sentence …touched by the power of the truth I had just spoken….what an amazing revelation for a man from a culture where ,for every favour asked ,one needs to pay a price and a medium to perform the rite.