Saturday, December 7, 2013

INCARNATIONAL PRESENCE....




I opened up my mail during lunch time to see a letter from the editor inviting us to write some article for 'Voice' and the topic was 'Incarnational presence' . My immediate thought was, ' there will be enough people contributing so I will let this pass'. I walked back to the OPD after lunch.

From a distance I saw Jessica cycling , I thought she had a small bundle at the back.

Beautiful Jessica smiled from the heart and waved at me even as she said , 'Welcome back to the campus, good to have you back. ' I waved at her and thanked her as she cycled past.

What I saw then will remain with me for a long time, I know.

It was 'little Adam' on her back on the cycle with her .

He had a cap on and with the two tiny hands, that miracle child was holding onto his mother's back 'firmly' even as he enjoyed the speed of the bicycle.

I stared long and hard at those tiny hands ...at those tiny grip.

I stopped short in my walk . My soul lifted, my heart melted.

I felt an overwhelming presence of the Lord.

To me, that was a beautiful illustration of the incarnational presence we so often harp about , 'our un-selfconcious vulnerable grafted selves living a life of utter dependance on God'.

Thank you Lord Jesus for never giving up on me.

(Glossary-'Little Adam' was abandoned by his biological parents and received into Dr Rajah and Jessica's family .)

 

 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This fiction happened.

(An assignment from the fiction writing course).

On 22nd December 1938 ,at seven thirty in the evening, Phugu Dorjee, having served his master a frugal supper of fresh potato with vegetables ,went out for a quick stroll to the market place.

He was sitting on the hearth of one of the stalls.

At seven forty five ,a sentry on a horseback, came trotting into town beating a drum.

..'citizens,please listen........ his majesty, the chogyal(King) of Sikkim,has given an urgent call to all the citizens of Lachung to vacate town as soon as possible.A big glacier is expected to sweep through town any moment....hear,.hear!.'.

Phugu Dorjee rushed back to the mission house where he saw his master's study door pull closed.
It was time for Pilkenin Sahab's evening devotion.He prefered not to be disturbed.

The matter was urgent so Phugu Dorjee knocked at the door,opened it judiciously and said, ' Sahab, a big glacier is expected to sweep through town any moment.Everyone is leaving town with supplies for the journey, we have to make a quick exit.'

Pilkenin sahab was on his knees with a King James version of the bible open on the mat in front of him.

He looked at Phugu Dorjee indulgently and said, ' Phugu , why don't you get things ready , the horses, supplies and all , in the mean time I will finish my devotion.'

The clock struck eight in the kitchen clock.It was drizzling lightly.Phugu was ready, booted and packed.He took out a fresh pair of boots for his master and laid it near the door ready to be slipped in.

'Sahab, should we go, we are getting late.'

Pilkenin sahab ,still on his knees, said, 'Just wait Phugu, let me finish praying.Why don't you start off.Keep the horse ready and I should be able to catch up with you .'

'Master, I will wait for you on the other hill but please hurry up'-said Phugu.He jumped onto the horseback and trotted off as fast as he could with his supplies.

Pilkenin Sahab went back into the joy of undisturbed prayer .

Phugu in the meantime began to worry.He had known his master to spend whole nights in prayer.He fervently hoped this was not one such night.After three years of serving him he had grown fond of his master who was kindness personified.

Pilkenin Sahab was a missionary who had been sent by the Finnish mission to this remote mountain village of Lachung in Sikkim.

Three years into the service, he had never heard a harsh word from his master.

To Phugu Dorjee, Pilkenin sahab was the personification of 'Yeshu Athing'(Jesus Christ) the sahab so passionately preached.

At eight-thirty Phugu caught up with the rest of the village who had assembled on the opposite hill and started making arrangements for retiring for the night .

He unloaded his bag.There was a pin-drop silence.
All who were present described it later as ' a deep rumbling sound ' .The earth below them trembled.

The noise continued for the next fifteen minutes, following which, everything was still.

Phugu dropped the bag he had been carrying and started running across the bridge.

The opposite hill was broken right in the middle.

He saw a few small pieces of rock rolling down , the only evidence of the hill that had dragged down into the river which was flowing mercilessly at a high speed , there was no going back.

At the streak of dawn , Phugu crouched where the mission house had been.

There was no evidence of life, just a big stone stood where the house had been.

On 24th of December in the Pilkenin household in Finland , when all the family were getting ready to attend the Christmas service, a telegram arrived which was received by Jane Pilkenin,sahab's five year old daughter.

It read ,'REGRET TO INFORM,JOHN PILKENIN NOMORE.TO BE LAID TO REST ON 1st JANUARY 1939 IN HIMALYAN FREE CHURCH,MANGAN,SIKKIM.'

'

 

Friday, October 25, 2013

LOSING MUQARRAM.



Muqarram would have been twenty three years old.He worked as a barber in notorius Muzzafarnagar.He was brought in by his parents barely breathing ,he had a tachycardia of around 170 beats per minute.He was being treated as tuberculosis by the local quacks.

He had chronic rheumatic valvular heart disease with florid Mitral regurgitation,Aortic regurgutation,Mitral stenosis and presented with congestive cardiac failure and infective endocardites.

Thus began our tyrst with this young man.

Everyday we would hopefully go to his bed-side to see some kind of progress.

Blood cultures were hard to come by and he had to travel a distance of more than 60 kms to get the echocardiography.He was hardly stable to make that journey.

Everyday during the rounds I would chat a little bit with his parents.Mother was an unusually strong serene person who never got on our way.The father did all he was asked to without any question.

Muqarram would give us a mute ,blank look everyday in between catching his breath.

He stabilised with time.The gleam came to his eyes.His eyes would light up whenever we came around for the morning rounds.

I requested Paramjeet our local pastor to share the gospel with him.

'The next day he saw me, sat up and promptly said-'namaste Dr jee.'

Somehow through the entire tyrst he seemed to have sensed that he had made some kind of connection.

He went for his echocardiography.He turned out to have infective endocardites after all.He was second week into his antibiotics doing extermely well.

We shifted him to the general ward.I had started talking to the parents about the definative management and arrangements for the valve surgery.He would all along look at me with eyes wide open listening intently.

One day when I went around for my rounds-I happily asked -'How are you Muquarram?'

There was no answer,instead he was lying in the bed fitting away.

The father who had been sitting beside him was stunned-he had been fine and chatting away a moment before.

One of our ward aids carried him to the ICU where we stabilised him.

He still had two episodes after that.

They could not go for a CT scan.We put him on anti-convulscents and waited for the morning to come.

The next morning he had another episode and by the time the doctor on duty came he had arrested fully.His parents refused to let him be intubated.

I was informed after the CPR had failed.

This was the first death I had really faced after starting my work this year in HCH.

I was deeply upset.

I did not meet Muquarram's parents.

His uncle came to see me later .

His exact words were,'You all worked so hard Dr jee but it was Allah's wish that prevailed.'

I needed to be reminded .

Farewell Muquarram ,my friend-I pray that I might have been able to give you some comfort in your last days.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The ordinary bread.

I am in the church.The preacher is a muslim convert.He is preaching from Isaiah.He is reiterating the Word in full gusto.I listen,I pray ,I pray hard-Oh Lord please inspire me today.
The choir sings beautifully.I pray to the Lord of my heart please Lord ,inspire me.
There is a call for the Lord's supper.
The lady's line touches the door but the men's line has just four people in it.
Taking a cue from one of the old nurses I change into the men's line.
I walk up to the Lord's supper and give a reverant glance at the supper before me.
I see crumbs of ordinary chapatti ,hastily torn by the preacher into small pieces.
It deeply touches my heart.
How I forget time and again ,my master.
You have called us to eat the ordinary bread in reverence,in the memory of you.
When you are in it ,the ordinary becomes sacred.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

So much water has....

Walking with Angel this evening in HCH made me realise just how much water has flown under the bridge.As I walked with her ,enjoying her eloquence and her take on what is happening in her life and that of her parent's and her little brother Joshua's,I was painfully aware of the shift in time.
The joy of connecting with the child and learning what was happening with her filled me with a sense of awe .
She talked about her music which seems to excite her and the piano exams which were around the corner.She also seems to be part of the advanced choir in school.
I always relate Angel to the little child who would rush out of the door every now and then to give me updates on what was  happening ,anytime she felt her mother was struggling in any way when her dad was away in the field.
I also relate her to a little girl who used to pray for us every night in a single breath.I have, on so many uncertain dark days taken comfort in the prayer of this little child.
A child she is ,totally unaware of the impact her life has made on a person like me.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Getting back.

I am yet to get some kind of equilibrium in my place of work .
I missed the sunday rest even as I travelled to jolly grant to attend the seminar on scrub typhus.
Now that the weekend is approaching I am feeling the brunt of it.
I struggled through the OPD today especially just before lunch when my sugars I think were hitting a low and then towards the evening when the cards did not look like finishing.
The deadline for my first assignment with the fiction writing is also fast approaching.
I have done the piece .
Each time I read I find something more to edit.
It has been an interesting week professionally,getting back to medicine as practised in the mission field.A week of work has given me a lot of food for thought.
With age comes a sense of rest.
The last week saw an onslaught of people coming in with all sorts of personal problems.I listened,I even wept with them but oddly enough  I had very little to say to them.
Yesterday I had to take the night prayers for the nursing students and I found myself in the odd boat of talking to a batch of twenty students,twelve of who, had never heard the Word before.
At the last moment I decided to share about Jesus calming the storm even as the storm overtook them in the boat.
Stressing on the fact that they had taken shelter in a boat which had Jesus aboard,so how important it was to know who Jesus who was in the boat was and how it would change the way they responded to situations in their life.
I share through a lifetime of learning and living the experience.
In the meantime I listen.I observe,I study my responses constantly, heavily trying to prioritise on time which seems too short every day....there never seems to be enough time already.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eating Khuri and remembering the stalwarts.

I remember eating Khuri when the Namsoong group used to visit our place during the Lepcha festival.
Aneu Maili used to lead the team of young boys and girls playing their traditional music and singing beautifully melodius song.
Aneu Maili used to be that quintiscential figure in white dress who used to have all the solution to our medical problems during our growing up years.
She always treated us kids as special and we equally returned the favour.
She has long passed away but I remembered her yesterday when my mother asked me if I would want Khuri for dinner.
I said yes and I did not regret it.
One mixes 250 gms of flour in water to make a watery mixture with one egg,two spoons of olive oil ,pinch of baking powder and salt to taste.
For the filling one can use cottage cheese with celery,onion leaves and garlic leaves chopped with chilli powder,garlic paste and salt to taste.One can also use any other green leafy vegetables.
Heat a non stick pan ,super hot and thinly let the flour mixture spread on the tawa like the dosa.
when it cooks the roti seperates easily from the pan.Spread the roti on a flat top and fill it with the mixture and roll it like a wrap-there you have the khuri.You can have it with a sauce.We all loved the khuri we made.
 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Who have I on earth beside you!

I love spending time with my father,my mother and my brother.
I even watched the premier league with my brother and mother today.
I love to just lie down beside my parents and listen to them reminiscing...it takes me back into times when I wasn't born ,remembering childhood stories,understanding my siblings and even my cousins better.This place could be my favourite place on earth ,next to the presence of the Lord.
I love the church when they sing the old hymns...it makes me realise how precious the presence of the lord is.
Today the preaching in the  church by a young preacher was about 'Loving the Lord your God with all your heart,all your mind and all your soul'.
As I sat in the church and participated in the service ,it made me realise how frial we human beings are and How great our God is.
This week has been a challenging time of doctoring my own uncle,something I have not really done before.While he slipped in and out of situations which could have turned tricky,I found myself promising my aunt that I would bring my uncle back in one piece a couple of days later from Siliguri.
All my doctoral knowledge aside and years of experience treating patient's more sicker than him I trembled before the Lord our God in helplessness.
Two days later ,everything cleared by God's grace alone ,I returned my uncle to his family.
Throughout the process,I found myself weeping when church members came to pray.How precious are the prayers of believers in challenging times.God healed him

Saturday, September 21, 2013

HOLIDAYING...

I have not been blogging for a while because I have been caught up in doctoring an uncle of mine who needed some sorting out.It was a whole week of running around before he settled down.
I have also gone headlong into my fiction writing course.
I am done with the first week but now I need to gear myself for the second week.
In the mean time I continue to marvel at my parents.I thank the lord everyday for them.
Yesterday on the long drive back from Siliguri,I bought a kilogram of Avocado,all of rupees fifty but just the right consistancy for the tropical salad recipe I picked up from my mother's cook-book.
There is nothing much to it really.
Slice the avocado and the papaya into long strips.
Take the leafs of watercress and arrange it in a plate with the avocado and the papaya.
Take 10mls of fresh lemon juice and sprinkle it over the salad with a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Voila you have a lovely tropical salad.
If we want to make a meal of it ,we can put in some boiled eggs.
It is heaven just spending time with my parents and my brother.

 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just a thought.

You need to squeeze people into situation to really understand what they are made of.
There are disasters and there are disasters.
My folks made a strange observation the other day.
The big disaster happened in Uttarakhand.
They were shell-shocked to see the reaction and the initiatives of the people.
For some reason,the media had some grotesque stories to tell of people who were trying to cash into the situation in every which ways....stories of people earning lakhs of rupees to ferry the victims and leaving them mid-way,stories of people cutting off the hands and ears of people with jewellery and carrying it in a bag,people over-charging the victims for every bit of essentials.
My folks who never comment on people's character said,'The people there seem to be bad!'
They have been through a disaster recently and they were commenting ,such a thing would never happen in our place.
Many months after the episode dead bodies are still being unearthed.In Mangan,the locals took the initiatives of digging out people themselves.
They were telling me how the local people rose up to the occasion to manage the situation themselves.
They found themselves as shelter givers to the labourers working for the project which many see as an intrusion of purity of the place.
Taxi-drivers ferried people too and fro free of charge,locals opened soup kitchens in different places,people paid the fares for people who had no money .
What does it take to make monsters of mere mortals,I wonder.



 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Resilance in the Lord!

The nursery school was an initiative of the community when the concept of nursery school was not there in my home town.My mother used to teach little children in the church....so all of us went through the church school.It is where we learnt our first ABC's.
Through the initiative and encouragement of the then CDPO and the district collecter who were both ladies and the general public,the school came into being.
The school existed on a no profit basis and catered to the poorer section of the community but in it's hey days,everybody and their children went through it because there were no other nursery schools.
With time big money was flushed into the town and many private schools sprouted up.
The Ideal nursery went through tough times but I learnt resilence in prayer from the team.
Then the earth-quake happened.
The roof of the nursery school caved in.
I had been a little worried for my mother's health for sometime.
I was almost relieved.I remember telling my mother to let it go.It was high time.
The session was mid-way so they pitched up tents and taught the children in the tents.
One day one of the senior IAS officer from the government of India walked into the tent.
He had been a district collector to the district more than two decades earlier and his child had been educated in the school before they were posted in Delhi.
He not only came with a good tiding but also a small gift to the school.Enough to keep their spirits up but not enough to raise a building.
Through the rain and shine that little group of teachers who had clustered around my mother,could have easily opted for cushy government jobs but chose to stick by her, prayed,,,through the hurt,through the disaster and through the question that loomed before them,through the rain on the road-side.
We watched from the sidelines...through the process.
Then one day ,the now district collecter walked into the tent with three ladies in tow representing a non-government organisation.His exact words to my mother were ,'Here!,one of them is your student ,please talk to them.'
The new building came up with the help from the NGO,who donated three lakh rupees,goodwill of the people and Grace of God.
The money had come from Mira Nair's brother..they later came to know.
I went to pick  my mother up one such day and saw the tiny little people all over the place.
Resilant people  from difficult dynamics at home but full of spirit.....enough to rub on you.
My brother was telling me the other day how during the selection for under twelve football team the six year old children who seemed to have no idea about the rules were excitedly saying-'Ideal Nursery School should be able to clinch it.!'
Next day in the headlines of the newspaper were the photograph of the tiny tots,rushing towards the football like they were professionals.
My mother tells me,every teacher who subscribes to the paper had brought a copy to the school.
Out of the sixty children,nineteen are from the children's home.
One of the teachers during the break ,during the course of conversation expressed concern over an issue...the other teacher quietly said,'we just need to keep it in prayers it will be allright.'
My mother was telling me how her teachers would be quietly praying in the corner before sending the children anywhere for group activities.
These are the true missionaries....
Thank you Lord for these testimonies that encourage.....testimony of your goodness which manifests not in our personal victories but in the helplessness of our complete dependence on you ...in the Land of your goodness .,,,a land which is watered by the Lord our God.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tom Sawyer ?

I have been going into some foreign territories ever since I have come home.
My lovely parents and my dear brother indulge me in my idiosyncracies.
The other day I declared to my family that I wanted to do some cement plastering work.
My parents showed me where the cement and all the paraphernalia connected with it were kept and my brother patiently showed me the proportion of sand  to the cement I should use with all the dynamics required.
I made three portions of one and half cups of cement to the proportion of sand  and did a two hour job on what I had put my mind to.
Every morning I sprinkle water on my handiwork.My father tells me it has to be done till the cement stops absorbing water ,after which I can go crazy with a brush and the colour of my choice.
I might sound a bit like Tom Sawyer,but I enjoyed the process thoroughly.
I have just finished the book of Ezra and have shifted to Nehemiah in the last few days,so it all makes sense.
I was tired at the end of the day but felt absolutely thrilled at the finished job.
I am neither Ezra nor a Nehemiah.I do not have a grand agenda or a nobel burden.
I have  that joy of having made another small jump into the unknown.
I also sleep well at the end of the day.
Doesn't the Word say,'The Lord gives His beloved sleep.'
I must be doing something right.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hridaya bheti charao prabhulai...

As I come home after a year away ,I find there is a lot things to be grateful to the Lord for.
My parents for one seem to be well in the Lord.
They seem to have coped so well to the long distance travel to and from Sydney.
As I sit around in my room I hear the din of the choir from the church singing that beautiful hymn of Fanny Crosby ..'this is my story ..this is my song..as enduring as it is endearing'.
The next song is that beautiful nepali song I have heard it for ever in my growing up years...'Hridaya bheti charau prabhu lai hami sab sant gan mili......'
Translated it means,'offer your hearts as an offering to the lord ,together oh  saints...!'
I sit,I kneel,I pray.....I rejoice....I live!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Coming Home.

The flight back home was unusually tame and short.
I decided to take the KLM home.Got such cheap tickets that I had to doubt till I had checked in as to whether there was a catch.However there was a detour through Amsterdam.
The flight to Amsterdam was just forty minutes.Sandwitched between two gentleman ,one of whom had this terrible flu-I had a tough time trying to make sure that I don't get sneezed on for one final time in Europe.
The sandwich they served was made of wholewheat but the container took the cake.
Coloured earthy brown, it was full of information and the recipe for the dutch wholewheat bread.
I ate my sandwitch and much to the amusement of my co-travellers folded the container neatly and put it into my bag.I thought the concept was fascinating.
In the airport found my way to the lounge and looked into the shops to see what I could find.
Picked a few tulip bulbs for my parents and the tiny clogs ..and headed to check in.
The lounge was full of co-patriots.
There were two Caucasians .
There was a security call so the boarding was done twice.
I had a Sikh lady on the way home from Canada on one side and a young gentleman going home from Amsterdam on the other side who was struggling to tide off his habitual smoking and so was clinging on to the electronic cigarette.
Indians are Indians, before long all of us were pally enough to find the Sikh lady asking me for some toothpaste to freshen up.
I watched two movies back to back.
'Paul Scmidt ',which had sterling performances from Helen Mirren and Al Pacino and 'Argo' which swept the Oscars.
I also suffered through a documentary on' One Direction' and 'Eagles' before settling down for the comedies on television.
The choice of music on the flight was nothing to write home about and the only hindi flick was Talaash which incidentally I seem to have watched,must be on the flight into UK.
I reached Delhi at 1.30 AM ,it sunk me then why the ticket was so cheap.
I walked through the customs where they just waved me in for whatever reason to the pre-paid booth.
I had told my sister I would catch the taxi home.
She categorically told me not to take the black and white taxi but to take the radioed cab .I had told her I would call her up as soon as I landed so that my brother-in law could do the half an drive from Dwarka to pick me up.
Predictably my phone's charge conked off and I stubbornly headed for the pre-paid cab.
The driver was some typical village person from the heartlands I have always been so comfortable with most of my adult life.
Did I feel scared-no.
I felt absolutely at home.My heart just welled up with a compassion that is not my own and I knew I was home.
 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Charles Darwin I never knew.




The Great Malvern Priory in Worcester,it was to be.


David Webster was preaching .The beautiful structure which Dr Richard Lewis ,a colleague  and my host

so poetically calls , ‘the most beautiful building’, lofty,  aged and  elegant, stands high in the morning sun

even as the bells toll ...it makes me want to tilt my head and just listen ...the sound I sincerely believe, is

heard in heaven because it calls sinners like myself to commune with the eternal God.


The Lord speaks,He affirms and He upholds as usual in a simply profound message the missionary doctor

from Africa shares.
 
When I was leaving Worcester in 2005,Richard and Anne had given me a copy of 'The shimmering heat'-

a book by the good doctor on his life in Afr

I got to see him in person and like all great men he was unassumingly  simple.

On the other side of the road beyond the cathedral ,is a beautiful hillock with benches ,trees ,green

grass and the cemeteries.

I climbed the hill to  enjoy and soak the beauty of the place.


One cemetery in particular was attracting a host of tourists with cameras.

I let them pass and when they had gone I clambered down the hill to read the edifice.


It was a cemetry of an eight year old child.What caught my attention was the name,the surname  of the

greatest  athiest that ever was.

Anne Elizabeth Darwin was neatly carved on the tombstone .it was dated in the 1800's

I called Dr Simon  another colleague  over and his exact reaction was,'but it couldn't be!’.

However , it was.


David Webster told us the story.


Anne Elizabeth Darwin was Charles Darwin's eight year old daughter who unfortunately contracted

tuberculosis.


Malvern was famous for it's spas  then.


With the hope  that the spa might give his little child the much needed rest and healing , he brought his

daughter to Malvern.It did not.

The daughter passed away. Charles Darwin grieved the death of his daughter gravely .



 He walked away from the  funeral service that was arranged in the great Malvern Priory and he never

looked back.


I would like to believe that It was not the theory of evolution ,as people might naturally presume, but

grief ,that cost him his faith in God.


Almost two centuries later ,the faithfuls in Malvern Priory have planted tiny yellow flowers  around the

grave.

In that beautiful green park with the sunlight waltzing it's rays through the tree,the lawn and

benches...those are the only flowers amidst the rows of other cemetries of young and old from another

era  altogether.


The yellow flowers bravely,bobbing it's head and standing up in the church premise ...

as if to say ,’ I am home,I am happy ,I am allright  daddy’.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I like happy endings Keith!

Yes I like happy endings !
The night team specially walked up tp me to hand over a patient.
A bad case of sepsis who was bringing out an altered vomitus,had a distended abdomen and was tachypnoiec and tachycardic.
I struggled with him the whole day.
At one point I thought I had lost him.
I had put him up for escalation.His parameters were deceptively normal so the ITU refused to take him.
His INR was elevated.,
At the end of the day he saw me picking up my bag and he asked me,'Are you going now?'
I said not.
The nearest of kin listed in his papers was a friend.
At seven in the evening a man and a woman walked in.
I asked Keith if I could talk to them about his situation.
He gave me the permission.
The man started off by saying what a lovely man Keith was and how he loved cars.He had known him but two years..The lady had known him a while longer.Apparently he never spoke about his past.His words to describe his past was 'happily divorced for the past 25 years'.He apparently has two sons and he refuses to give his friends their address.I felt a sad tug in my heart.How fragile relationships are and how painful their legacy when they fail.
Tonight I will whisper a prayer for you Keith and your two sons.The lady did not mention the wife.


 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Foreshadow of the things to come...

David ,was a weak shadow of the redeemer who was to come.
Shimei,from Saul's clan curses the mighty King and his men and pelts stones at them,calls him a murderer ,scoundrel....
Imagine the scenario in this day and age .
Imagine the scenario in that day and age.
When David's men intents to harm the man and calls him a dead dog,David rebukes his men.
Brought to mind the stage before crucification when the soldiers come to arrest Christ.
Simon Peter in a fit of anger cuts off the servant's ear and how Jesus rebukes Peter and makes the servant's ear whole again.
David had committed a murder.David had been a scoundrel in some phase of his life,but he was a God-fearing man.
Jesus on the other hand did not deserve the shackles,He was purity personified.
He not only rebukes his disciple for intending harm on the servant He also restores his ear to wholeness.
David was a God fearing king,
Jesus was God himself.
One did not act out of fear of God ,
and the 'Other 'acted out of Love for you and me.

 

The conference.

I have never been to a conference like the one at O2 yesterday where waves and waves of humanity were there representing various churches,families and individuals.
To me it seemed that every seat was filled and this mass of humanity were swaying to the rythemn of the day.
Even as Chris Tomlin sang his songs,I went into a time of prayer and in my mind's eye I was visualising the Lord Jesus casually sitting down on the steps 'just being' serenely even as the mass of humanity lifted his name up.As I was praying I was praying for Chris Tomlin and I was addressing him as this brother who is leading the worship,I remembered my unsaved part of the family,my saved part of the family,my friends who are struggling,my colleagues who are in various points of their lives,my seniors,my juniors,my facebook friends,my friends who have been a family for me in England,my colleagues at work here in Basildon ,the children I know,...I prayed for that mass of humanity gathered in the O2 arena,I remembered Ireland,....I prayed for the missions back at home.....,I lifted my hands everytime Louis called out for a show of hands for prayer....something I have done only once in my life.....and never since......
 Between Louis Giglio's message and the worship time Louis asked us to turn around and greet the people around and I saw big men with tears running down their face.
The conferences I have attended here has a poignant moment ,the moment when someone gets up and gives the testimony...it touches most hearts because these are people God has truely touched-dead people brought to life.As Louis Giglio put it, when a funeral is interrupted and death converted to life it does make a big testimony.
If we do not have a testimony chances are that we do not know the Christ of the gospel.
Christianity is not a set of moral values to make us a better person.It is not a way of life we inherit from our parents..
It is a life and death situation .
May we experience that 'life' that Jesus gives,'voilently' everyday of our lives.






























































brought them to life....

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What do we do when calamities strike?

The Lord strikes David's household for the sin he commits against the poor man Uriah ,the Hittite.

Nathan prophesies the death of his son born through Bethsheba.

David goes into a fasting and praying mode pleading before the Lord so that the punishment may be revoked.

The son dies.

The king's household expects an ordinary response to an extraordinary situation like this .But David being who David is, does something extra-ordinary.

When he hears that his prayers have gone unheeded by the Lord,he washes and then goes in to worship the Lord and then comes out ,breaks his fast and proceeds on to the task of living his life.

Is his heart broken by the demise of his son?The answer is yes ,he talks about going to him.

How does he respond to God for the calamity that has struck him?He goes and worships him.

Before the demise does he sit back with his folded hands and wait for Lord to strike?

No,he tries his level best to revoke the judgement in the way he knew best.

David's perception of the Sovereignity of God comes across as being absolute.

David also comes across as a cold and practical man but there is a very important lesson to be learnt here.
David was a king,he needed to stand up and stand up quick.

We all need to stand up from the calamities life throws at us .

The only way to do it is to go to the house of the Lord ..that is where the healing flows from.

..but we don't ,do we?

We all have our stories to tell.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Do we qualify?

I was reading about David and Bethsheba this morning.
Uriah the Hittite whose only qualification to be mentioned in the bible was the fact that he was Bethsheba's husband and what a mammoth proportion he takes of David's life because of the mistake that David makes.
David,the seemingly redeemer of God's people,the powerful man,annointed of God,a man after God's own heart commits a crime which according to the world seems apparently innocent but God sees the heart and he disqualifies.For everyone's good it could have been swept under the carpet but in God's account it counts and it counts so much that he narrowly escapes losing his own life regardless of the fact that he is a source of so much blessing.
God's justice is perfect.
Only Jesus in us qualifies.The question is,is Jesus in us the decision maker in our lives?
Do we qualify?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finding the Father!

Today I travelled one hour ,twenty minutes to attend a church service at Tottenham court.The hillsong church which was being conducted in a theatre.Charles Neuman from Elpaso, Texas was supposed to be preaching in prelude to the 2013 London conference which is a week from now.
I was not sure which exit I was to take from the underground-I just followed my gut and walked straight into the door of the theatre.
The theatre was teeming.I just about made it into a seat.I thought that must have been the only seat empty.The worship was what hillsong worships are generally like.I just about managed to connect and then it was over.
A young guy,I'll call him Amos,all of twenty-three years glowing with the glory of Christ,gave a testimony that took the cake and had most in the audience weeping.
He was born to an unwed seventeen year old in the south-west of London.He was given up to the social services and changed five foster homes.
He did not remember the first foster parents,he was too small but the second home he clearly remembered and loved it.However ,at the age of eight his foster parents decided they did not want him anymore.
He walked the earth with this deep pain of rejection for the next six years.He was kept in an orphanage before some family picked him up.He was such an angry child.He once broke the nose of one of his teachers in a fit of anger.One day while on a shopping trip with his foster family he saw a father and a son playfully playing around and that broke him completely.He missed not having his father ,he went back home and cried in his room.At the age of fourteen his foster parents dragged him to the church.He had no desire to go.That changed everything.
Today,the strapping young man is a Cambridge graduate and raring to go and is standing up in the Hillsong stage and giving a testimony which touches the chord of every heart in the room somewhere, remembering what  Jesus means to each one of us.
The datas speak of homeless ,abandoned orphans filling the jails and the juveinile delinquent homes.
Just how many Amos' meet with the Lord and experiences this turn-around?
Have I consciously or unconsciously facilitated it?




 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It is a mystery!

I am a cold fish.
It does not take much effort on my part to leave a place.
I don't even feel sentimental about these things anymore.
Yesterday evening I found myself tuning in to see what was happening in Northern Ireland.
This morning during my morning prayer I felt such an ache in my heart.
A few days after I came back from Ireland I tuned in to a vineyard service and there were two preachers preaching.Incidentally the first preacher had been a protestant from Northern Ireland according to whom his favourite portion of the church used to be the doxology where the closing prayer goes,'Amen ,amen ...aaaamen' before he became a believer and he preached through the Galatians,a fiery message on the Holy spirit and it's manifestations.
The second preacher had his roots in the catholic faith in the southern Ireland and he was sharing how he used to regularly go to the church as a boy because he was so scared that he would boil in the fire of hell.That is how the priests used to scare the little boys but he never read his bible and did not own one because the priests read it for them.
The message spoke to me deeply.
This morning while in my prayers I found myself weeping for Ireland and the dynamics there.I prayed for that land.
I barely let anything get under my skin .and it is entirely unintentional.Somehow Ireland seems to
have got through.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Adieu Ireland !

I travel back from Derry with companions travelling to their holiday homes in castlerock ,a beautiful beach where the river Foyle goes on to meet the Irish sea which further on becomes the Atlantic ocean.Rows and rows of beautiful ,tiny caravans and pretty houses.Stretches of green,green lawns where posh ladies with their shades and designer clothes hit the ball.But wait,this is Ireland ,I realise.All the ladies in between their strokes take time to wave at the passing train with sunny smiles.You find yourself waving as well.
Belfast looks tame and quiet on the 13th.
I have some time to while before I catch my flight and I have decided to spend it at the Titanic centre.
The value cabs are the best bet.I pick up the direct phone and call a cab.
The driver gives me a detailed instruction as to what I can do .
The charge to the centre is nominal and he gives me a printed ticket and tells me to show it in the centre where I will get a concession.He also advises me as to what I should avoid if I wanted to avoid getting ripped.
I again reiterate ,lovely people this.
The titanic centre is interesting in that it takes us to the economic history of Belfast.
Belfast's industrial rise with Linen,ropes,ship-building,...etc.
It takes us through the history of Titanic.
We also hear the live voices of the actual passengers who survived.
There is so much written and said about that Olympic ship but at the end of the day one realises it is the people there who gives a character to an event.
I print out a souveneir ticket from the gift shop.
I have already had to chuck a pair of jeans due to lack of space in my hand baggage.
But I just cannot resist one thing I had been scouring the shops for 'A little book of Northern Ireland 'written by Mike Henigan.It is a must if you travel in Northern Ireland or you will be left asking a lot of questions.
For instance words like orange order,Ulster,republican,nationalist ,union,even a joke about George Best went over my head because I did not know who he was,I am sure my brother will never forgive me for this one!

How can these things be?

I am sitting down in the lounge in Londonderry waiting for the train to Belfast,reading through the morning papers.
...and I am weeping.
Because as unworthy as I am ,today I realise the spirit of God was hovering over me .
I was reading about the July 12th bon-fire and the incident of the statue of mother Mary being restored to the catholic father by the protestant man.
I was weeping at the absoluteness of Jesus,His words that reach out to the crux of the matter and shows us something precious ,something to be held on to amidst the confusion that prevails.
The bible says- 'I am the Lord your God and there shall be no God's over me.'
That was the point where He touches the issue about idol worship and man as we are harp on and on about a man-made structure which might in no way be our idol.
The shankill man who returned the statue to the catholic father,I believe, had a spirit of a peacemaker,for it was Jesus who said ,'Blessed are the peace-makers,they shall be called the children of God.'
In a certain way he broke an idol by what he did yesterday.
Oh friends believe me,all of us have idols that take precedence over God the father ,God the son and God the Holy spirit.
May the spirit of God bring life in these areas of death and reveal the beauty and absoluteness of Jesus....and help us to understand who the person of Christ really is.


 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Revisiting my religion,not my faith.

Belfast was in news for the violence during the orange parade yesterday.
While going on the bus tour I saw that mammoth bonfire effigy in the protestant part of town.
That effigy was in news today.
Amongst the things thrown in to be burnt which included the republican flags was an idol of mother Mary.
The twelfth of July is celebrated by the Orange order which consider themselves to be the protecter of the protestant religion.
The history of the orange order goes back to 1795.
Now the July 12th procession is considered to be more of a traditional thing but it still manages to stir some hornet's nest.
Yesterday ,in Belfast there were some restrictions put in for the procession to get into certain quarters and that caused quite a stir , the media reported it widely.However in Derry the procession went on peacefully .
Coming back to the idol of Mary,a shankill(protestant) man apparently recovered the statue of the virgin Mary from a stacked bonfire and handed it over to a catholic priest.
That statue is perhaps a symbol of all that stands between the two denomination and yet as the writer points out that with that one step the shankill man has fulfilled the second greatest commandment Christ had commanded-'Love your neighbour...'
The incident reminded me to revisit my religion,not my faith.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Irish heart!

I walked the four miles to the walled city from my hotel.I enjoyed the amble.Just outside the walled city I met a lady on the bridge walking to her hair-dresssers.She started chatting with me and directing me to the city.The city was flodded with policeman setting the security into place for the orange parade.Between the lady whose hair-dresser was shut so her primary concern was making sure I got my directions right and the policeman who walked me to the square and even put in a suggestion as to what I could do ,I walked the walls.
The walls are a window to the city of Derry,with churches within the wall.
The St.Augustine's church,St Columbus' church,prebyterian church..
One can see people assembling for the march ,all prim and proper with some gear around their shoulder.The crowd is building up with the bands playing the irish tune.
I watch the crowd from a distance and the crowd watches me.
I stroll into the crafts village where people are beginning to stir.
I peer into a glass and am greeted by a bellow of laughter.The door opens and a kindly gentleman is all information about the place with a few questions about myself.
I walk into a gift shop.Ireland is the first place in my various touristy expeditions where I have actually been tempted to buy various knick-knacks.I cannot resist a handcrafted heavy irish door knocker .
The knocker has a classic cladagh and a celtic cross at the base.
'The legend about the claddagh goes to a true tale of Richard Joyce ,swept to slavery from the little fishing village of Claddagh;of time passing and the intervening years in which Richard became a masterly goldsmith who was eventually rewarded with freedom.When at last  he returned to his beloved Cladddagh he turned his fine skills to the creation of a jewel that would be renowned as an emblem of love and friendship:two hands cradling a crowned heart.
Village of Claddagh has vanished but it's golden legacy remains' and a small piece of it,will travel with me home.
The celtic high cross is the best known symbol of early Christianity in Ireland.
I walk across to the peace bridge to the guildhall and am fascinated by the exhibition on the plantation where there are debates one can listen to ,vote for the speakers and understand life as it was then with the various dynamics with London.
The lady at the reception gives me a little insight into the parade and the demography of the place in general.The walled city apparently has more catholics and across the bridge the predominant population is protestants.
She also tells me something about Free Derry and areas around there and a tip on Giant causeway.
I decide to make the trip to the giant causeway today which would give me another day in hand to do what I like wherever.
I travel to the causeway via Bushmill.
I have never seen the volcanic rocks in my life and am fascinated by the layers of what looks like a beautifully cut stones and columns forming hillocks and more by the sea side.
There are people and more people from all walks of life come in to see the giant causeway.
I request a lady to take a photograph and she takes five.
I walk back to the museum ,go through the knickknacks and pick a small souvenier from the place.
Lunch is irish stew and bread with butter-delicious and filling.
I walk down to the bus-stop.There is another couple waiting,who help me with the timings,it is with joy we see a bus approaching ,we board it to reach the train station where I have an hour to while .I walk around the market place and then come back in time to catch the train.
Derry is full on with the procession -taxis are not commuting towards where Beach-hill country resort is.
A taxi driver stretches himself and brings me to my hotel and charges me the usual four pounds.
Back at the hotel,I can barely stand so I fall into a deep sleep.
I manage to make myself two cups of tea before I feel rested.
I ring up the reception for some extra mlk and sugar and the lady comes up with a dozen milk and a handful of sugar satchets.
There is something about the Irish,it is like as though every Irish child has been hammered the idea -'Be gracious to strangers.'
Every expression is friendly,every gesture an extra mile ,the mystery is 'how does a nation manage a feat like this?'

While scouring through the gift-shop I came across these small lockets with the alphabet of one's name on it.Each one had an Irish heart engraved.I immediately thought of a sibling of mine who has an extremely kind and generous heart.
I realise she has an Irish heart.
I bought one for her.

 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Belfast ,Belfast!

It is difficult to catch an essence of a place in a day.Especially for a person like me .Few people I have had the privellage to meet in this place have impressed me with the depth of their knowledge and 'no hang up 'attitude that makes them a winner.

The person on the open top bus had a mother who was born in Madhya pradesh and knew quite a bit about Sikkim as well.They seem to be well-versed about the history of the world in general.The cab driver gave me a lecture about Gandhi and a commentary on the Orange festival.

One thing you should not perhaps do is try and make bookings after hours for anything.

I called up the open bus service around seven in the evening.The man who answered the phone very sweetly said,'we will pick you up from your place at nine-thirty in the morning allright',-sounded almost as patronising as an older brother.In the morning they seemed oblivious of the arrangement.Nevertheless ,true to their perhaps drunken word,they sent a pick up to my place which was nowhere in their usual route.They even apologised.

Belfast and the Titanic.Yes ,there was this T-shirt in the gift shop which reads,'An Irishman built the Titanic and an Englishman sank it'.There is a whole musuem dedicated to it and there is also a titanic studio where movies are made.

C.S.lewis is a worthy son of the soil to whom a few relics have been dedicated .

Oscar Wilde was mentioned in the passing but I did not see any relics dedicated to him although the gift shop did have a handbook on Oscar Wilde's wit.
There is a festival dedicated to Samuel becket on now.
We saw the hills in the Belfast horizon which apparently had inspired Jonathan Swift to write the Gulliver's travel.
We have many such hills around Mangan.Hear,Hear!

The coach driver was reminding us that Aldous Huxley and C.S Lewis died on the same day and yet there was hardly much media coverage on their death that particular day.It was the day John F Kennedy was gunned down.

Samuel Becket was another son of the soil who was kicked out from an institution because he had the gall to call the attenders of the institution 'rich and thick'.

There is the Belfast hospital which occupies a special place in the heart of an irishman.It has quite a lot of Laurels to it.Apparently father of Emergency medicine ,Frank Patridge was from that hospital who apparently was also responsible for the first mobile defibrillator.There was a time when it was said that the safest place in the world to be in if you had a heart attack was Belfast.Milk of Magnessia was discovered in Belfast.

Prince Charles made the mistake of calling the hospital buiding 'the ugliest building he had ever seen' and the locals immediately nicknamed it 'Camelia'.

This is what makes an Irishman special.Now if one british citizen would speak up for NHS.

Belfast owes it's rise to the industrial revolution.

We also saw the notorius Bombay street where the uprising between the catholics and the protestants started-an innocious neighbourhood with a row of staid houses and a cathedral with broken windows which have been preserved .

The murals lining the street speak of a spirit of freedom...strangely touching.

The usual tongue in cheek Irishman has named a mural of a gun-totting comando,'Mona Lisa' after Da Vinci's famous painting which is supposed to look at you from every angle.

There are localities with rows and rows of houses with the northern Ireland flag hanging from every corner and street and at the end of the road is the muriel of prince william .

Wikipedia reads-
'William III & II (Dutch: Willem III; 4 November 1650 – 8 March 1702)[1] was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange (Dutch: Willem III van Oranje) over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland; it is a coincidence that his regnal number (III) was the same for both Orange and England. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II.[2] He is informally known by sections of the population in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".[3] In what became known as the "Glorious Revolution", on 5 November 1688 William invaded England in an action that ultimately deposed King James II & VII and won him the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland. In the British Isles, William ruled jointly with his wife, Mary II, until her death on 28 December 1694. The period of their joint reign is often referred to as "William and Mary".

A Protestant, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic king of France, Louis XIV, in coalition with Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith. Largely because of that reputation, William was able to take the British crowns when many were fearful of a revival of Catholicism under James. William's victory over James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by the Orange Order. His reign marked the beginning of the transition from the personal rule of the Stuarts to the more Parliament-centred rule of the House of Hanover.'

The Orange order is the biggest conglomeration of the protestants in Northern Ireland.
On my way to the station to catch a train to Derry I ambled into a pretty little market ...a heritage from the 1700s.
A house market ,a concept which apparently was popular then.
St Georges' market had a St.Georges' restaurant serving St.Georges' beef stew with buttered mash and bread.
Just my kind of food for a day of lots of walking.
The flavoured water was refreshing as well.
I am fascinated by the Belfast story.
I am going to do a lot more reading on the place.
It is adieu for the next two days.

Derry -London Derry

Reached Londonderry,known as the city of culture.Train journey was staid and suddenly started picking up from castke-rock.This city is well known for the G-8 summit which was held here a couple of weeks ago.
I booked into the Beech-Hill country house which seemed reasonably priced and looked like a quiet place.As soon as I reached Derry I started receiving an update about who all had stayed there.There was Kennedy,Clinton and Cameroon in the recent G-8 summit.The best part was it took me sometime to remember who Cameroon was.I take it to being tired after the journey.
The hotel apparently used to be owned by a judge and had through the generation been converted into a hotel.The rooms were plush,the bathrooms plusher,the halls were filled with what a posh old money country house would be filled with.
Tomorrow,being the 12th of July there would be a procession and the bands would be out on the street playing ...I look forward to Derry celebrating the Orange.
I can't get over the bathroom though.It looks like something straight out of the Victorian age.
It has acres and acres of lawn and a beautiful driveway-something like 'Mandalay 'from Rebecca.
I looked out of my French window in the bathroom and guess what?There is a waterfall,a bridge and a beautiful walk within the premises,not to mention horse-riding.
By the way,Derry is also the only walled city in Europe .
The other main attraction here is the 'giant causeway' which has been numbered the 8th wonder of the world by the world heritage body.
I am yet to see it.
Ireland keeps throwing surprises at me.I love it.

 

The first stroddle through Belfast.

For a city which is part of great Britain,Belfast on a superficial wander seems to be filled with hospitals and medical facilities and churches almost at every five minutes distance.
I call the manager of the open top bus to pick me up the next day and he says he will and I can pay him on the spot tomorrow.
I find Belfast a liitle strange and oddly different ,although I have hardly seen the place as yet.
Hospital and churches?
Is it a reflection of the recent history?
I saw the documentary on Londonderry by the BBC ,Belfast yesterday.I found myself crying and deeply touched by the hardship and the spirit of the people and a sense of triumph when Londonderry was declared the cultural capital of Britain.
There is so much one can absorb in this part of the land.
I look forward to exploring the city ,especially the murial arts from the difficult times,a form of  expression which might have made the burden of the hospitals and the church lighter.
Four days is much too short indeed.
Please visit Ireland.It is a great land.
 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Remembering a saint....without a name or a trace but just a childhood memory.

Some memories are so strongly imprinted in your mind that somehow it never leaves you.
I must have been around four years old.
The road above our compound in Mangan was being metalled.
There were people and more people working on it with the GREF overseeing the supervision since it falls in the border road area.
There was this man on the heavy wheels who used to drive the vehicle to plain the tar.
He was a Christian and he loved the lord.
He would put us children on the vehicle and too our utter joy allow us to sit on the passenger seat even as he drove too and fro .
Whilst at this ,he would sing this beautiful Christian song with a beautiful voice and tears in his eyes which remained engraved in my memory forever.
Maile char disha ma here,
aakash dharte samma here ,
Timee jast mukti data ,
Maile katai paina paina,
maile char disha ma here.
Phukalie bandhan saara aphno ragat le dhoyera,
maile katai....
Translated it means-'I have looked in all four directions,
I have looked into the sky and the earth
I have never found a savior like you,one who has freed me from all bondages
,washed  by his own blood,
,I have never found a savior like you although I have looked in all four directions....

Just a thought on a flight.

Looking out of the window of the flight approaching Belfast one sees an endless stretch of sea.I look out fascinated at the body of water without a horizon with specks of island with proper settlement in place.A ship is on sail,a speck from the sky,hardly moving .
The clouds below,the sea and the sky merges into each other ,difficult to discern ....somethings will remain hazy depending on where you are looking at things from.Yes ,the sky,the sea and the clouds are so different.and yet from this angle they look like almost one ,the borders merging into each other.
I look from the top at the sea and the immenseness of it scares me,I am a stranger to it and yet perchance something were to happen to us ,the chances of us surving would be higher in that scary looking alien sea than the land we are so familiar and comfortable with.Look at the clouds from the top,it looks fluffy and soft and seemingly comfortable .You feel you could just lie on it and float away and yet it is just an illusion,it wouldn't hold you a single second and could be the cause of the turbulence causing the mishap in the first-place.
Yet we must not forget that man has received as much and more from the land as it has from the sea and the cloud.
It all depends on which angle you are looking at things from.
Perhaps before one comes to conclusion about people and things ,it's good to step back and see whether a slight change of position on one's part would change the total picture completely.
No there are no absolutes but for One.
 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fiction writing -an art! Are you sure?

I am a lazy person intellectually.I try as far as I can to save my brain .Unlike my siblings who love competing with each other with puzzles,games...etc I keep myself steered out from such hard work.I use my brain sparingly ,hopefully,where it is needed.
When I declared it to my oldest sister once ,she immediately called out to her husband ,'Colin ,did you hear that?'
I am not sure it is such a good idea though because science does say that the brain needs to be used to keep it sharp.
I like to restfully flow and I firmly believe serenpidity surprises a rested brain.
With some amount of apprehension and a push from a friend I decided to enrol into the Oxford distance learning on fiction writing.
It starts in a month's time but as per the syllabus they have prescribed three books I should have with me for the course,I bought two and am yet to lay my hands on the third.
Now that I am reading ,'How fiction works ',by James Wood,I am beginning to realise that fiction writing is not just an art but also a science.
At the moment I am lost somewhere between 'free indirect style and authorial inflection'.
Hopefully I should come out of it in one piece ,with my brains intact and a book in hand?
 

'Brick-lane'-on a sunday!

We decided to make it to the petticoat lane and walk further up to the bricklane one sunday.East-end it was to be.

My sister in law had wanted to see the street art and had been asking me about it.

We walked through the petticoat lane,miles and miles long array of junk,could have been Sarojani market in Delhi.

As we asked for direction ,one soul directed us to 'a traffic light through which thousands would be walking towards a direction '.

I wondered where we were headed to?

Soon we saw people and more people walking towards a direction as well as jam-packed and sitting on the road-side in rows and rows,just eating out of paper plates.

A novel sight in London.

We kept walking,sighted a few street graffiti's which my sister in law captured with her lenses for her younger daughter who is the arty type .

It was a sharp turn to the left and into a hall,which was a strangely surprising food court which was selling food from every part of the world.

The youngsters headed straight for a bracelet shop, one could choose one's own knick knack to build into a bracelet.

They paid around forty pounds for a bracelet each which was a trinket to say the most.

I opted for momos,mach ordered some morrocan food which was a bigger helping than we could manage,a caribbean stall made me a refreshing pineapple juice.

We sat out by the roadside like the thousands around and ate our lunch fascinated by the concept.

We walked in through the stalls which had arrays and arrays of quirky items and then we walked into this hall where all the art works were aestheticaly ,casually displayed .

At the end ,facing the street was this hall with long log tables and benches with prospectus for the art school casually thrown in everywhere.

We sat down on the bench and waited for the youngsters to catch up.They were still in the bracelet shop.

We picked up two coffees from the counter,the sugar had run out.

We sat down on the bench and looked at the other side of the street which was flooded with youngsters ,probably art students.

There was something extremely relaxing about the place.

I am discovering a thing or two about myself.

Walking down the streets of Oxford ,reminiscing on the research topics I had seen on the flier I remember asking Joy,'Joy ,what is the use of doing research on such vague topics?'-How is it going to make the world a better place?'

Joy laughed with amusement and said,'It is about selling ideas.'

I look at the youngsters and wonder what the huha about the trinkets are?

I actually never went through that phase in life when I was actually fascinated by such things.

A youngster tells me ,'It makes the young kids happy!'

I do have a lot to learn in life it seems.