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.
 
 
 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Second chance!

I have always wondered what it would have been like to have grandparents.
I am the youngest in a family of five siblings.
My paternal grandmother who was the last to pass away missed me by a year.
I watch my little niece and nephews interact with their grandparents and I keep wondering how much I must have missed.
The way grandparents deal with their grand-children is so different from the way they would have dealt with their children.
I have personally observed my parents interact with their grandchildren.
They are a lot more demonstrative,more gentle and are way more lenient.
Little Anhaita can get away with not having a bath for two whole days when in her summer holidays.
She can play with the mud,gather the children from the streets in the compound,pick fruits from the trees ,skin her knees,play marbles in the street,not open her homework even once ,fight with her aunty,...and the list goes on.
Little Martin could rip open a whole pillow with the softest feather and flood the room with magical floating dream and all he would be greeted with was joyful laughter......he would wet the family with the garden hose,pee in the shopping complex imitating the statue which was meant to be a fountain,take the family on a trip by running into a busy traffic.Never have I heard them raise their voice .I have often wondered if it was a case of 'doing it differently with experience,-a second chance.
 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

One life,a day and a year!

Her age read 38 but she did not look a year older than nineteen.
Had been brought in with an overdose.She had howled the corridors of the hospital through the night.
I went in to see her during the morning round,a nice lady,perfectly sane was sharing with me about her children's exploits.
Mid-day,her children were brought in by the husband ,two lovely children in their adolescent years.
Wept the entire visit through.
Through the sobs were the insecurity of obviously failing marriage.
The husband a dandy in his shorts and his shades bounced in and played the perfect father,hugging the children..
There was another lady,a friend ,I am not sure what her role was.
It was impossible for anyone in the viscinity not to get involved.
The relatives who were visiting the patient woud put in a word or two.
It was perfect mix of emotional manipulation,helpessness,betrayal ,insecurity and I don't know what.
I think I put on a year in just one day!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Life is what happens to you while you try to catch your breath.

I was going through the last minute browsing through the ward in the acute medical unit to see if I had missed out on any last minute stuff to be handed over to the night team when I heard huffing ,puffing and groaning from behind the curtains of a monitored bed.
I walked up to the lady there all of eighty and enquired .'Are you allright?'
She was huffing and puffing away but had a wire in her hand which she was holding up.
The night nurse came running after me to back me up incase there was an emergency.
I got a mischevious look from the lady and in between catching her breath she mumbled short of swearing ,'Because this thing would not plug in I lost my bingo!'
 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Oh Doris!This is what i will miss of England.

Doris May was sixteen when the second world war was on in full-scale.
She was reading a book even as she was attatched to the moniter and her heart had but started beating normally.
Even as I was to disturb her from her moment of utter involvement in the book,I decided to ask her what she was reading.It was a recollection of life during the wars as remembered by the lady author and a peep into three lives of the charecters in the book.
Doris started chatting about what she remembered about the wars.
She was one of the five in the family.
She remembered other families having up to sixteen members.
She wistfully declared ,'but we were happy then,each one of us helping each other out through the tough time.As little as we were ,we helped our mother with all the chores,worked in the factory and went into the bunkers when the siren went off.We did not have enough to eat but we were very happy.She did not seem too concerned about who the prime minister was then.She said,'I see my daughter once a week now'.
I had other stuff to catch up with so I told Doris,'I'll catch up some other time allright,I need to get back to work'.
She wistfully replied,'You know when we were young we used to play this game of going up to different doors,rattle the knocker and then run away'.
It took me sometime to understand her.