Naari (the woman)

“You are her (sarah’s) daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

1 Peter 3:6

This women’s day is not so much about celebrating the women for me but to remind young girls of the potential they hold. As a mother of a daughter, I want to be a good role model. I want her to know that a woman can be soft, and gentle yet can be strong. Being strong doesnot mean becoming manly but to embrace our own strengths. Even in the animal kingdom a mother with kids is an easy mark but we know she can be the most ferocious beast as well. Our vulnerability can become our strength if we remain aware of it. The creative and nurturing spirit that God has breathed in us is our elixir.

Sometimes it’s the women who stop other women from being strong. In India daughters are discouraged by their own mothers to pursue education and forced to settle down in domestic roles. Here is my sketch for the day  and a short poem:

image

Roughly translated it means:

Not only good looks give me good qualities,

Give me a calm and strong mind.

My heart tells me this

a dream lives in you too.

You gave me your manners and talents

Why did you not give me the freedom too?

Give me my right today mother!

Say “be victorious” and bless me.

Become the wings of my dreams,

and come fly with me.

Let me fulfill my dreams mother!

then I will be called your daughter.

Happy Women’s Day to you all.

Phir Milenge!!

Rising with the Billion

it is one of the posts that lingered in my drafts folder for longer than it should have. You may have hear about the one billion rising movement which was celebrated on Valentine’s day. It’s a movement to show the world that violence against women is a serious issue and that it needs to end. In India, it added further momentum to the winds of change already blowing after a heart wrenching gang-rape and murder. The crimes against the weal and the vulnerable still going on around us, being aware of the issue is the first step towards changing it.

He was strong

or so he thought

in a drunken stupor

he picked up that bat

and hit you

while the children cried

on the sidelines.

He was strong

so he could hit you

for asking questions too many

he thought his strength

would subdue you.

No more will you dare to think out side the box.

You were weak or so I thought

you let him hurt you

and you did not speak

or stood up to him.

You let your tears flow

mixed in the blood.

You told the kids

it will be alright

yet you did not walk out.

As blood flowed down

the sky was filled with your prayers.

He was strong

but one day

he saw his weakness face to face

he realized he needed grace.

he came to the person and the place

of justice mercy and forgiveness.

like the encounter on the road to damascus.

He was changed and so were you.

You were strong for you stood up

in your own way and in your time

unbeknowst to me

change was happening from within

what I saw as weakness was

indeed a sign of strength

like baapu your fight was for peace

your methods strange

you were fighting for change.

You were strong

for you changed

a heart of hate to a heart of love.

Yours was a blessing unique

for often the change we seek

comes not easily to us.

it is a tideous long process.

Speaking up is the call of the hour,

we have to shake the people up

from their ignorant sleep

from the power drunkenness.

For the pen would become our sword,

our voices echoing the storm

that a billion dancing feet create.

United we all can

move mountains and

through the pain we bear

a new way can be forged

for the next generation.

The fruits will show in their season.

Till that time we stand on guard

and in the gap

to build a bridge

to change the hand that hurts us

to the heart that cares.

Phir Milenge!!

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!!