Wott-ee-dhaat?

“Wott-ee-dhaat?” is my daughter’s speak for ‘ what is that?’. In my attempt to teach her about things around her, I started asking her this question every time we saw something on the street, zoo or shop things she had seen in a book or on tv and now she asks this question ALL THE TIME!. Before you say anything let me clarify I allow her 1/2 hour of television after lunch and 1/2 hour after dinner. Now-a-days my daughter says many things in her toddler language which I hope to document some day! My friend Divs did a great job of recording her daughter’s first phrases in her scrapbook. (This is a gentle nudge for you Divs to get back onto blogging!!)

I have said it time and again, I have learnt so many new things ever since I got pregnant with my daughter. She continues to amaze me with her sense of wonder, innocence and curiosity. She sees something and is amazed by it over and over again. Sometimes I wish I could do the same. It would be so easy to be happy then. Some of the things that we often take for granted would become adorable once more. If only we can remind ourselves again what it was that captured our heart in the first place.

One area where this principle can be applied is spiritual disciplines and this is what I am striving to do this year. I remember as a little tween girl when I read the Book of John and the Psalms, I was captivated by the beautiful imagery the words created. At that time I did not fully understand the meaning but the words were music to my ears. As 2012 came to an end , I was once again reminded of the reasons why I my head and heart was drawn to Christ. I am feeling drawn to explore The Word a bit more and recapture the sense of wonder I once had. Kudos to those of you who have a regular scripture reading routine. it’s not easy but it has to be done. It’s much like cooking isn’t it ? You have to do it because your body needs it whether you like it or not but there at least you have an option of going out and eat what someone else cooks. The spiritual nourishment that the scriptures provide has to be consumed on our own – there are NO shortcuts. I am hoping that in my bible reading this year I would be able to ask God, “Wott-ee-dhaat?” again and once again He will let His truth shine !

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 8:32

Phir Milenge!

Advertisements

post 28: Mustering up words

English Standard Version (©2001)
“My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:” – Psalm 39:3

If Like me, you are from Delhi, India & living in North America then you’d agree that the last month has dealt a double dose of tragedy. First with the Newtown School Shooting  and then the brutal gang rape in Delhi . The details in both cases are shocking to say the least. Even with the high of Christmas and the holiday season I cannot stop thinking about the victims in both the cases.

I felt ashamed for all the times in past I chose to remain silent about being eve-teased as a young girl in Delhi. I felt sorrow for the families going through the loss of their loved ones. The questions that comes to mind again and again is  ‘what has this world come to?’. Even though , I do not have an answer, I firmly believe that there is still some goodness left in the world. Even if the bad seems so strong, eventually  the good will emerge victorious. In trying to articulate what I was feeling , I came up with the following few lines:

Would you believe if I tell you ’cause I know this is true

there is a God in heaven who knows you through and through

He knows all your questions; He knows all your complains

He sees all of your sorrow and he feels all of your pain

 

The lives that were taken on that  dreadful friday morn

are not lost, are not forgotten and surely not alone

a life was violated, out of a moving bus was thrown

he knows that too and with you he does also mourn

 

if he hears our cry for mercy, for justice and solution

why does he not act right now and remove our confusion

why does not he save us now from crime and persecution

reveal himself and take away our spiritual pollution

 

Would you believe if I tell you ’cause I know this is true

God has a plan and in his time he knows just what to do

Though we struggle now in due time we’ll surely understand

how sorrows lead to the fulfillment of, his plan- good and grand

 

With so much pain abound in the world ,you ask , how it can be

that God is good & true, but Have you not heard of the enemy?

We must think, find answers and some action must be taken

but in the midst of all our doubts, God should not be forsaken

 

The battle rages on so strong in the heavenly realm as we speak

Wait my soul, on him do trust, and his wisdom you do seek

There is grief and pain on this earth but there is peace in eternity

And one day we will overcome and rejoice in God’s victory

Over the past few days I have read some articles with facts that have shocked me and words comforted and have resonated with me. I am listing those out for you in the hope that some of these might help you articulate your own questions and feelings on these issues.

A message from Ravi Zacharias on Newtown tragedy

this film maker verbalised the questions we all have about the Delhi Gang rape and what it tells about a nation.

This editorial made me think about safety of women

One poem on the Delhi Rape case 

Another poem on Newtown tragedy

Shocking article on What some Indian policemen think about rape.

Phir Milenge!!

Post 27: Christmas Guest Post

Quote

Middle East and India based Frank Raj is the founding editor and publisher of ‘The International Indian’, the oldest magazine of Gulf-Indian society and history since 1992. He is listed in Arabian Business magazine’s 100 most influential Indians in the Gulf and is co-author of the upcoming publication ‘Universal Book of the Scriptures.’  His book ‘Desh aur Diaspora’ was published in 2012 and is available online here. You can read more of his work here. He blogs at www.no2christianity.com.

Today I have the privilege of sharing with you this poem written by him.

IN BETHLEHEM’S BIRTH
By Frank Raj
It is the evening of my days, it shows quite clearly on my face
In my immortal youth this was definitely not the case
I gave little thought to finishing the end of the race
How sweet are the hopes and pleasures of our youth
Yet so futile, for a life not undergirded by liberating truth
Divine, vital nourishment to anticipate our eternal youth
I wish I had understood early how quickly life concludes
Strength depletes, the skin wrinkles and time deludes
Teasing me with memories of promising days and youthful moods
I have my regrets but the loss of my youth does not figure very high
For that was the phase when my life was mostly big and small lies
Pride and ambition got out of control, as if time was something I could buy
I wish I had learned to be more alert about my enemies within
The most dangerous of all, camouflaged and so stylishly hidden
Invincible, unless Bethlehem’s birth brings new life in
Many beloved friends and family have gone ahead of me
I grieve for those who are taken unaware, who do not see in Galilee
God’s purpose and loving concern, as they choose to live carelessly
I know the evening of our lives is no time for a face forlorn
But a chance to innovate and discover newness in every dawn
To engage with life’s greatest adventure, and learn to be reborn
Phir Milenge!!
Phir Milenge!!

Post-9 : Fighting Fair

I always believed all fights were unfair …unfair to me that is …because I lost most of them. Growing up in a small mohalla (community) of New Delhi, we were a group of around 20 kids from 6 different families, ranging from 3 to 16 in age. We played together in the evenings and there were as many fights as there were games. I lost most of the times( 98% of the times …I was a chubby kid and totally lacked any physical strength) The few fights , I did win were against kids much younger to me therefore it was unfair to them( I lost to them occasionally too…but thats another thing!!) I was so keen on winning the arguments and fights laid out in front of me that I would resort to all kinds of tantrums……screaming …. fake tears were shed….My mother mostly intervened with a sagely ” fight fair ” advisory. She and other elders decided what was fair and if you cannot be fair you cannot play anymore…. life was simple then.

Physical fights ave rules laid out most of the time…don’t poke eyes, don’t  hit where it really hurts…etc….. Unfairness is relatively easy to spot in a physical fight but what happens in a battle of ideas? Fairness often takes the back seat. Especially when both parties are thoroughly convinced they are right and it is made even worse when like me you really really want to win. And the absolute worst part of it all is when you fight over small silly things with the ones you love. I believe fighting fair is all the more important in marriage- primarily because both are on the same side and the decision effects both equally. One good barometer of a fair fight between two individuals is the choice of words and the tone of voice, all pointing towards the kindness or the lack thereof in the relationship (in that respect, I am constantly amazed by the patience, restraint and kindness my husband exhibits in dealing with people and I am trying to learn from him). Many times I have found that I get emotional about my own point of view and it blinds me from rationally approaching the issue at hand. In the end , I am not as happy as I thought I would be after winning.  (I am hoping there are others who have been in situations like these….)

The scene from Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starrer  You got mail comes to mind where Meg ryan’s character speaks some harsh words to her business rival Joe fox(played by Hanks) which is against her nature and is something she never usually is able to do. However after speaking her mind she confesses to her online friend (Hanks again !) that she feels horrible! How true is that …..

Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias wrote this in his book, I, Isaac take thee Rebekah;

One impression of any relationship that stands out and remembered is the level of kindness or unkindness demonstrated between a husband and wife. The First is refreshing; the latter is discomforting. I would go so far as to say that there is never a reason to be unkind. There may be reasons to struggle. After all two wills are merging into one. There are constant compromises and surrenders demanded, but there is never a resaon to be unkind, particularly when you are tampering with the very fragile nature of a person’s sensibilities. I have seen love maimed and even killed by unkind words. Unkindness can be the hatpin to the heart of love and bleed it to death. Lives and dispositions are much more fragile than e think . Every relation ship should be marked ” Fragile: handle with care”.

I am writing this post fresh off a ‘discussion’ with my husband where we both were on a different page and disagreeing. He heard me out patiently and discussed what he believed was right and his reasons for thinking so. After a lot of back and forth, we ended up going along with his ideas.  Because we fought fair, I am feeling good about the decision we took together. It became collaborative not single-sided. In our marriage we strive to be kind and patient with one another. It helps that we share a common core-beliefs, values and culture and a common definition of fairness.

Fight fair and without getting historical (without bringing what happened in 1954 into the fights of today ) or hysterical (yeah that doesn’t help either!) is possible and then the outcome is more acceptable and pleasant.

Phir Milenge!!

Are you full? Are you filled? Are you fulfilled?

Living in North America, it seems hard to imagine life without its simple pleasures, like running water and round the clock electricity. In so many places around the world these are still luxuries available to only lucky few. My uncle who is pastor mentioned that one church (from the mission he serves) in the state of Gujarat in India got its electrical connection this month. This church is the only building in the entire village with electrical connection and it took a lot of time and resources. Life in those villages can be tough. You may have to walk miles to fill a pail with water and you might have to sleep on an empty stomach from time to time. By that standard we who live in the developed world are abundantly blessed yet we are often so quick to complain.

It seems humanly impossible to be satisfied and content. A capitalist was once asked, ” how much money is enough?”” a little bit more”, He replied.  Contentment can be a choice. A counter point of view is to be found in the scriptures of Old. To rephrase Paul –

I have learnt to be content:

no matter what my situation

no matter all my fears

no matter my ambitions

no matter all my tears

When I look at the television programs on Hoarding and obesity, I realize that even though our lives are filled with stuff or our bellies filled with food satisfaction and contentment can allude us.

It may be a worthwhile task to ask ourselves today if we are full, filled or truly fulfilled.

Phir Milenge!!