Archive | April, 2012

Unfortunately Fortunate!!!

30 Apr

“God why do you put me through this? Why do you make me suffer like this? I pray to you for a better life and all I get is silence, why God why?”

Does this plead sound familiar? Have you atleast once in your life time looked upwards and cursed your destiny? I do this very often and mostly because I can’t afford to go toFloridato vacation at Disneyland or I can’t fly toHawaiifor a sun soaked beach experience or why I can’t have an I-Pad 2 instead of the functioning I-Pad I already possess. I dream of a life out of movies. A lovely home, a beautiful family and loads of money to throw around. Sometimes I dream of a Sex and the City lifestyle, sometimes I see theEmpireStateBuildingand yearn to live as a big publisher or PR agent inNew York. But alas, I am a mere downtown girl from the less known city ofIndia, stuck in the most unglamorous job. Hence, the above prayer was not new to me.

In my regular Monday blues, as I drove down to my work place I was met by the Big Red light. I was standing still behind a water tanker, which as usual was leaking and leaving traces of water. A small girl about the age of 2 or 3 years, whose parents had made the KP footpath their home, picked up a stainless steel glass and gestured an action of filling the glass with the overflowing water and then pouring it out in a make believe beaker. I smiled at the child’s innocence, amazed at her enacting what she might have seen her mother do day in and out. But what I saw next not only brought tears to my eyes but also made me want to get out of the car and just take the child away from there. The kid in her playful nature stepped on something; I just saw her face change from a smile to a disgusting expression. I followed her gaze to the footpath where she had stepped on something. On close scrutiny I realized that she had stepped on her own shit. She rubbed her bare leg against the clean side of the footpath and then suddenly she bent with the glass clenched tight in her hand. Before I could scream out to ask her to stop, she already put the glass on the crap and scooped it into the glass. The feeling of how simple was life from the eyes of a child, was replaced by disgust and depression. I wanted to roll down my window and scream at her to drop the glass but my brains failed to signal any action to my body. I saw the water tanker move ahead and heard the cars honking from behind. I put my car in motion and with tear filled eyes moved on to work.

Was I still depressed? Yes but not cause it was Monday, but because how neglected and deprived the kid was. Was I still sad about not being able to spend money? Yes, but not cause I could not afford Charles and Keith shoes or a Mango dress, but because I failed to spend on things that matter. On how I can instead buy a piece of clothing less and ensure that kids like her have something to wear, to eat or if I am being a little too overwhelmed here to say: be given to an NGO that can assure a good life for them. I of all the people understand the importance of a blessing. I have seen how a small gesture as giving a child the right direction can change the course of their lives. And yet I fail to do anything for that cause. I may have drifted off from what I really want to do and thus miserable at what I do. Maybe if my earnings can put a smile and better someone’s life- it will make the earning and working worth the sweating.

I take this opportunity to plead you to sacrifice one night out or great dinner or expensive shopping and give that to someone who really needs it. Make a difference and see how happy it may make you. Whenever I crib of not being able to fulfill my vain dreams- I will recall this child who was happy even amidst the shit the world had to offer. And if you can’t find a wake up moment of your own yet, you can borrow mine for now. But I beg you to WAKE UP!!!

Aside

Word-less…

18 Apr

Hand in hand forver untill the end…

The clock struck 5 PM, they walked into Cafe Mozart’s and took their regular seat near the window overlooking the lake . Tuesday’s being a little slow at this hour allowed me to for the first time observe my otherwise two most regular cutomers. I have been working here for the past 3 months and I have always seen them come in holding hands, man about the age of 30 years, pulling her chair to get her seated and then moving slowly to his chair and be seated. The girl was pretty, I estimated her to be about 28 years old or so. She had long blonde hair that she left untied to gently blow against the wind, her eyes were a light blue , the most innocent looking face I had seen in awhile.  The guy gently moved his gaze from the luminous lake to her even more sparkling eyes. Happiness shone on her face almost instantly. She blushed a little as she raised her eyes to meet his. Yet they said nothing. He reached out to touch her hand and once again looked away and gazed at the sun. Almost like questioning the sun about the endless hopes it had promised them but had brought nothing but disheartenment. They always sat there and ordered their regular. As if Shaun already knew what they wanted, he never once asked them. I soon got busy with the evening rush and immediately got back to taking orders.

They sat there for another hour and as soon as the clock struck 6 PM they got up held each others hand, looked at each other fondly and walked away. I almost regretted I could not watch them, see what they spoke about, like what was their story. Everybody had a story. One of the reasons why I choose to work in a Cafe always allows to observe people, get new ideas and seewhat each person is and what are they like when in public, through anothers eyes. On the surface everything looks good, but deep within and behind closed doors nothing ever is. So I knew that this otherwise happy couple had a story that was hidden deep within.

So Saturday after saturday they walked in and did just the same. Their routine never changed. It was my last week at work before I started college again and had to get back, but I wanted to unravel this mystery. I don’t know why but I wanted to know their story was. And this place was all about that-So many people meet her, love stories turn to marriage, some heart breaks, some wedding turned sour, some failed relationships, some happy endings….

It was my last weekend and I had almost given up hope that I will ever uncover the truth that lies underneath. I was cleaning the tables when I saw the man walkin. He looked older by atleast a year but only a week ago I had seen him. On reflex I looked behind searching where she was. But he simply walked straight to his table and sat down.The chair in front of him stood empty. She was not coming. I saw Shaun approaching from the counter, I quickly moved to the table where he was seated and asked him politely if I could help him. He looked at me with cold, frozen eyes and turned away. Shawn stood three steps behind me. I was angry not because he ignored me or gave the worse look I ever got from a stranger but because I knew this man had done something horrible to the girl. He must have had an affair I thought, or maybe refused to marry her, typical. The moment gripped me and took control of what followed. I put my hand on his shoulders and jerked him to look at me. What had I to loose this was my last weekend anyway, I would be gone by tomorrow. Shaun quickly came close, I held up my hand and looked at him. He took a step back. I blurted out in rage ” Where is she?”  

I looked him straight in the eye, I had tears in mine, for all the betrayal I had faced in my life, the hurt and pain caused by relationships and the amount of love I gave and never received. For all thos e failed relationships I searched for answers in this strangers eyes. He got up slowly not trying to alarm me, looked at Shaun and then back at me. He gently held my hand and gave it a squeeze. I quickly moved my hand. I know it was none of my business and hence extremely embarressed. I was shivering now. I looked foolish standing there demanding an answer for my life from a stranger. He suddenly raised his hands skyward and I almost mechnically looked up. With his hands he gestured “rest in peace” and then walked off.  

I did not know what to gather. I turned around and recognized Shaun’s presence for the first time. He came close, put his arms around my shoulders and seated me on the table where the ususal two sat. I immediately started to cry. Shaun whispered “I can’t believe Ann is gone. How will Steve survive this?”

So here is their story: Steve and Ann were abandoned by their parents at the age of  4-5 years. Since then they have been brought up by the deaf and dumb charitable home a few blocks down from here. Steve was a writer and Ann an artist the perfect match. They never fought cause unlike us they had no harsh words to say. Nordid they once get angry with each other, unlike us they never said what they did not mean or listen to what they choose to and not what one was saying. They loved one anotehr unconditionally without expecting anything in return. They never expressed their love other than in actions. Holding hands, searching his eyes for love, searching her soul for his love.

I saw a diary I guessed belonged to Steve. He must have left it behind when I startled him and forced him to leave in distress. I felt a pang in my heart- it was as if I had known them all along. I drew the diary close, Shaun got up and left me to myself. He always knew what one needed without having said a word. I opened the diary and read the first page:

“Hand in hand forver untill the end…”

Endure.. What else can you do?

9 Apr

Suddenly at the age of 28 I understand how important it is to endure. I had this really nice discussion with friends last evening about enduring and how there is very little we can do in the face of troubles and problems. The conversation was triggered by a verse in James 1:2 – it goes like this: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various [c]trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces [d]endurance. 4 And let [e]endurance have its perfect [f]result, so that you may be [g]perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Endurance is an important part of our lives and even if we want to shrug it or run away from it, you can’t, it will follow you until you learn to perfect the art of endurance (which according to the passage is through faith). I was wondering how true and applicable to everyday life this verse is. I was walking to my workplace and realized that a lot of time people make distress choices because what other option do they really have. Let’s take a very simple example here: A guy who is working extremely hard at his work place but due to some obscene reasons can’t help but falling into trouble, maybe trouble with boss or colleagues or he simple doesn’t’ know (in today’s lingo) how to swing with it. Whatever the case maybe the little guy is exhausted both physically and mentally and tired of the everyday drama. He closes his eyes to say enough is enough and suddenly sees his little girl playing in the park, his lovely wife looking at her tenderly and his aging mom seated on the park bench. What does he do? He endures this hell he is going through and from it draws a new strength to go on no matter what. He makes up his mind to move on as this life is apparently not about him. This is our shortsightedness.

If we look at the verse once again, word by word this time, it breaks down in three parts:

1) Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials

All joy or as some bible states- Pure joy (one possible only in God) is what are emotions should be when we are faced with troubles and pains.

Why?

2) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect  result,

The ability to take in more blows, the ability to handle pain and react to the trouble at hand in the right manner is important here. I can take all the pain that is thrown at me but if I scheme against another to take my revenge or be spiteful in my words or vent out my vengeance on someone completely innocent, have I endured it well? I am guessing no. That’s not how we are expected to endure. We are expected to have faith, have faith that the one above has a reason and he is watching over us and that no man can hurt you or break you, because your hope comes from God. To endure gracefully and learn from all the troubles, issues, set backs you face in your job, unpleasent situations at home, unnecessary fights with your loved ones or friends.

Why?

3)so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Als, the reward, the result. Why do we have troubles to begin with? Why do we need to endure you may ask? Why? So that we are complete. We are refined and molded into people that God hoped us to be. I love these last words perfect-complete- lacking nothing. And there right in the middle of all this chaos you are perfected. 

So the next time if things ain’t going your way, you are asked to take in all that is happening to you without reacting in a worldly fashion – know that you are on the journey of being perfected. I know I am cause each day a new problem surfaces and I am in a state of panic and as anxiety kicks in I just tell my self “If God is with you, who is against you.” I suddenly feel calm and know that this is my chance to endure, to have faith that through it all lies my reward..