Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nowhere

Nowhere to run,
Nowhere to hide,
Nowhere to lay my head,
Nowhere to die.

Nowhere to cry,
Nowhere to grieve,
Nowhere to curl up,
Nowhere to scream.

Nowhere to be safe,
Nowhere to be free,
Nowhere to be loved,
Nowhere to be me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

He collects our garbage

Every morning he comes around with his cart, collecting our leftovers, our waste, our broken bottles.
He collects our garbage.
He sifts through it with hands that have gone numb from working with filth.
He sorts out the plastics, the paper, the glass.
The stench.
He does not smell. He does not feel.
Too many mornings have gone by to think of what is clean and what is not.
When my father was ill he came to the hospital with fruit and bournvita.
We never did anything for him, but he came.
I do not know his name, or how many children he has.
I only know, he collects my garbage.
Every morning.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Water for everyone

I stopped at the traffic junction. The little children were there. The ones who do those strange acrobatics and squeeze themselves through little loops. The ones whose parents sit on the pavement beating a steel plate with a spoon. Their mother must have applied the lipstick and smeared the pink color on their cheeks, and lined their eyes with kajal. A little boy came up to my car window asking for money. I had a fruit I normally carry to work, so I called him over to my side and gave it to him. He took it graciously, and said, "Aunty... pani hai tho dho". Aunty if you have water please give me. So I gave him my bottle. He took it and ran off and gave it to an older boy who drank.

The reality of their situation came back to me and I even felt guilty that I had left behind work that may have helped children like them. I thought as I drove away in my car, of how water should be everybody's right. Of how children should not be made to dance like monkeys on the street. (And neither should the monkeys) Everyday I see children begging.

After I passed the junction, the tears came. This time I thought, I must do something about it. I must express it somehow. So I sent out a mail to all my friends. I told the story. I told them how I thought of the people in Plachimada struggling for their basic right to water and fighting the Coke giants for it. I told them how water should be free and how privatization is robbing so many of water.

A few wrote back:

"Why don't you write about it and send it to a newspaper?"
"Hey! This is really moving!"
"I never thought of giving food. I should carry water for these people the next time I go out."
"I agree that other parts of India have a water problem but I don't believe Bangalore does. Needy people need to be told where to get food and water".

Well...you win some you lose some.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Don't we know...

A boy of three was practicing for his little speech for a Sunday School program at church. His mum was teaching him to say something like, "Everybody is looking for love and trying to find where it starts. But they can't seem to find it and are getting very very tired. The toddlers of Sunday School would like to sing a song about where we think love starts". And the little boy, who is about 4 said, "Why should we say 'think'. We know love comes from God!"
"Let the little children come unto me, for to such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven". And so it is. For all my study, for all my years of being a 'Christian', I have not been able to say with such confidence, "I know". Truly, to enter the Kingdom, one must become a child.

Monday, November 19, 2007

God is interested

Over the past two weekends I have begun to see that God is really interested in me. Even though I have not made much of an effort to stay in touch, He is still watching over me... even working on me and sometimes, through me. This is overwhelming. That God would use people who were trying to run away from Him. That I would be allowed to be part of the great mystery, to be part of the transferring of His Grace even at a time when I have paid very little attention to Him...well, at least in the regular sense. I think God is never far from my mind, or my beliefs. I have only been upset sometimes, even disappointed, and confused. But I have never truly believed that God didn't exist. So, when He does make himself known in the physical world, it's wonderful. Of course I feel like a fool for acting like a spoilt brat but...it really is wonderful!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Festival of lights?

It's Diwali. My neighbour has set off a 1000 piece string of firecrackers. It has been going off for the past five minutes and counting. My dog has not eaten all day, and is scared to death. I don't know what he must be feeling. I also remember a child at this point who has Down's syndrome. She hates the firecrackers. She does not understand them and is afraid of the noise. Why do we like noise so much? Why do we like explosions? What strange pleasure do we derive from having our ears go numb from continuous noise?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Little girl at school

I was at a school for differently abled children this morning. Someone carried a little girl through the gate, into the lobby and placed her on the floor. He left her pink school bag next to her. She sat there, staring at the floor with a single expression on her face. I wondered what she was thinking. She was there for a good five minutes and then a helper at the school came, lifted her and put her on her feet, and made her walk. What goes on in these children's minds?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Birthing

A friend of mine was in labour for 41 hours. Phew! I can't imagine what her body and mind went through. When I met her after the baby was born, she was happy. Yes she was beginning to feel the bruises, the aches and pains, but never did she regret it. Not once. She was so sure that this is how God wanted it, and the anxiety, the pain, all of it was gone. Of course, the general hassles of being a mother, and taking care of an infant were there and very real, but the joy on my friend's face was so beautiful. I think this is so because they were so prepared for their child. They had waited, worked on their relationship, learned to trust God and each other, and they were so ready! It's important to be ready to have a child. Very important.

Choosing to be happy

When you decide to be happy, you are. When you decide you want to live a life that is interesting, wonderful, fantastic...you do. Often we don't see the little things that are out of the ordinary. Moments that bring smiles, laughter, and excitement. It's the little things that make life better. The seemingly insignificant connections we make with people, or with the universe that makes us believe that there is some meaning to our existence ... some meaning after all.