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’.