Gospel On Five Fingers

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Reverend Sister Jyothis has given me her personal copy- liberally marked and underlined with notes- of Mother Teresa’s private writings. It is entitled ‘ Mother Teresa- Come Be My Light.’

In it is a reference to the ‘ Gospel on five fingers’: ‘ You- did-it-to-me.’

It is a call to serve the poorest and the most underprivileged, that the Lord shall consider what you do for them, as what you do to Him.

I heard of Matthew 25:40 when I travelled with some missionary fathers and sisters for a seminar.

They were telling me about an old Sister, a doctor, a gynaecologist of great repute who has dedicated her life in the actualisation of Matthew 25:40.

Matthew 25:40

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Here is a link to an article on this great woman, great humanitarian, great doctor!

Why UP Govt. Honoured This Doctor-Nun From Kerala With the Rani Laxmi Bai Award

“Sister sleeps in the Labour room often, because the needy and the crying patients are so many! On the occasions that she could rest, on her walk back, she would whisper a prayer and throw seeds of papaya on the earth…and many have grown into fruit laden plants that quench the hunger of the poor!!! She always has a smile, and will never say ‘ no’ to even a single patient! She attended nearly 400 patients a day when interventions had to be undertaken to protect her health…. Her father was a renowned doctor herself and she could easily have opted for a luxury filled life as a young doctor, but she chose to serve the most neglected areas to help women and children…” The more I heard, the more I felt a great energy flooding through me. In this world that we live in, where crimes and brutalities fill every newspaper, what joy to hear about great souls who walk so unassumingly in our own midst!

I have made a promise to myself: I will meet dear Sister Jude , the Mother Teresa of Mau as she is called. I need to touch those blessed hands that have conducted – are still conducting- almost a lakh surgeries for the poorest of the poor women;  that have given life to many  over the past forty years.

“An instrument in His hands!” Verily so!

**

 

ChumaduTangi: Burden Bearer ( Poem Translation from Malayalam)

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Chumadutangi by Lakshmi Devi

( Translation from Malayalam)

The Burden Bearer:

Here, in front of the inn

Meant for wayfarers-

On this  Burden Bearer Stone,

Let me heave the bundle carried

By my weakening body till

Now.

The shoulder bone has

The greatest capacity to bear

Burden, it seems;

And Destiny again shoves

Unbearable weight onto

That today.

For a moment, I ponder

What it is that I carry, stumbling

Struggling onward,

Wrapped within the bundle.

Old sins, virtues

Or both equally divided?

Unknown it remains,

The Fate has filled up my bundle

For me to bear unquestiongly.

There is a bright lamp within,

The fragrance of camphor

As my dreams get enflamed,

The pains unabated, stirred deep

Leaving an oily drop beneath

The forbidden is inside, and the

Whiplashes for those mistakes

Committed unwittingly

The drops of tears which flowed

The red of a fresh wound

A Sun of a baby smile

The chirp of a bird, the breeze

In a shade so green…

I can no longer keep

My load on the stone

It is getting late.

Closing the inn’s door

The watchman too has

Hastened away.

The lonely road that stretches

Long, calls me quietly-

Walk on, until

You fall, losing

Your footing.

Darkness all around me-

Yet  I can listen  to those

Who are ahead of me:

‘ Move without fear!

Beyond the sooty darkness

Of this tunnel,

There might yet be light.’

***

In the olden days, Kings used to construct inns for wayfarers and also stones for bearing burdens. Without anyone’s help, the  heavy load on the villager’s shoulder could be heaved onto the heft of these stones.

Today, I watched again a classic  Malayalam movie called, Amritangamaya.

It is a line from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad…From death to eternal life ( Mrityoma Amritamgamaya).

In the movie,  one character was reiterating that the human shoulder bone is the strongest- designed to carry the Holy Cross of one’s life burden.

Flipping casually through an old vernacular magazine, I ended up opening the poem page where the sentence was repeated for me.

And then, I picked up a crayon, and a pen. These help in shouldering responsibilities with grace. Truly Burden bearers.

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Wisdom Is An Elephant

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So the Science Fiction aficionado goes ahead and wins a  student writing contest. She is also invited to attend the conference of all similarly inclined souls and read out her winning entry.

When I gape at the wonder of it all, my daughter laughs. Her heroine is called Sofia and she has a cat called Davetta. Sofia reads Werner Heisenberg’s Physics and Philosophy in the dead of night. And she hates authoritarian figures. By the way, her cat is bionic.

*

Her sister gifts her a  cute pink baby elephant- yeah, a stuffed toy. The elder one  takes it by the tail and twirls it around with amusement.

‘Why is it pink, eh? It creeps me out,’ she opines.

‘It is adorable and small and pink. You better treat it respectfully,’the little girl is firm.

‘It looks rather ominous,’ laughs the elder one.

‘What is ominous?’

‘This elephant.’

‘Meaning of ominous?’

‘Er, not very auspicious, let us say.’

The younger one casts a baleful glance at me. I am all for getting the elephant back from such an  irreverent  new owner.

But finally, the sisters strike a compromise. They christen the elephant Sofia.

As I wonder on its fate, the elder one says consolingly, ‘Amma, it means wisdom. I will make it befriend Electra, the startled cat toy. Besides, we will make them  unofficial mascots of our Physics lounge.’

*

With all the wise ones around, I ask one question. What are interstitial spaces?

Sofia’s leap of victory had been in the  sci-fiction writing contest with that  peculiar theme. Her  story title was ‘Knowledge beyond Logic’. Heisenberg was an adored Ancient in its weave.

Does a pink elephant befriend a cat?  Would such friendship occur in interstitial spaces? As my mind puzzles over the uncertainty of it all, I remember Heisenberg in a most  happy, weird way.

‘Revere those things beyond science which really matter and about which it is so difficult to speak.’

Sofia or Electra, pink or black, young or old, elephant or cat, Physics or Spirituality, we are bound by infinite reams of love and laughter. And my story, if I ever were to write on interstitial spaces would be on that. And two laughing sisters.

The Gods at the bottom of my glass always have their faces.

*

 

 

Monologues about Him

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1.

I asked the Light within:

How is it that when one focuses on some thing pure

Every other incident links to it,

Every person you meet,

Every conversation, every insight

Every piece of paper

Takes you further in that path

Of service?

Serendipity

Synchronicity

Sweet Grace

The light answered:

Because , the dust on His feet

Walks as fast as Him.

*****

2.

Once upon a time,

I was a scared person

Scared of being judged

Scared of harsh words

Scared of ironical eyebrows

Scared of being less than

Scared of being more than

Scared of offending

Scared of defending

Scared of my own dreams

Interval

Then I understood

That I needed only one approval

His.

Ever since I learnt that

I am no longer scared,

Because

He never judges

He never frightens

He never frowns

He never expects

He never denounces

He is

Just

Himself

Love incarnate

Laughter

Kindness

Wisdom

Compassion

Beauty

I just offered him my fears

He offered me Himself.

When the Greatest of the Greatest

Walks with you in his multiple forms

No fear

No fear

No fear, anymore.

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