Almost Dead

Almost Dead

– Cindrella Prakash I don’t find dogs cute. Nor do I find cats or fishes pretty. I don’t even find lizards yucky. There’s probably something terribly wrong with me to be so indifferent, I think. But anyway, I do love watching sunsets and trees. The colors, the way the leaves sway to the music of the breeze, the way the leaves look when they dance off the branches….there’s something poetic about it all. I like watching ’em. There are two trees that have caught my fancy lately. They’re tall with a rather thin bark and even thinner branches. Some may say they’re malnourished. I’ve lived in my current house for 25 odd years and I see these trees as I go in and out every day. To be honest, there’s nothing stereotypically beautiful about these trees. They have only one season of leaves in the monsoons and the rest of the time, they just look incredibly empty. Vacant. Withered. Almost dead. But it’s at this time that the tree gives birth to flowers. Red petals on brown branches. Still empty, still vacant, still withered but not dead. Let me take you back in time. There was another tree and on it hung a man – ugly, naked, a bloodied mess, almost dead. There was nothing stereotypically beautiful about this Person. I’m pretty sure there were many people who shut their eyes to this scene that day. They must’ve denied something this gory could happen. The pure ghastliness of this crime site must’ve been repulsive to many. But history marks that Man’s life with BC and AD. The horrific death...
A Dog’s Life

A Dog’s Life

– Taarika Chandy I think there’s a lot we can learn from dogs. They come in all sorts of sizes and shapes and colours (not to mention moods, like humans). But in general, their day-to-day life follows a wonderfully soothing rhythm. Early morning walk, food, the odd squirrel chase, food, sleep for six hours, food, early evening walk, food, rolling on all possible flat surfaces, food and then finally sleep again. But the thing I love the most about dogs is that they have this one face, the one right after they say “yeah, we’re God’s gift to you, thank you for (unintentionally) sacrificing your beloved chicken sandwich”. It’s the same face they get when they’ve found that perfect spot in the sun on your cushion; squinty-eyed concentration mixed with pure tongue-out ecstasy. It’s like they know exactly how beautiful that moment of rest is. I was rushing around sometime last week and in the middle of my frantic panic and running, I stumbled over a dog in the station. I freaked out, turning around to see if he was hurt or angry but he just glanced in my direction, eyes still half closed and wiggled a little before going straight back to sleep. I was absolutely stunned. It led me to start thinking about what peaceful creatures dogs are, especially compared to us humans. It’s so difficult to rest in the knowledge that God’s got our backs. We like to take control, even if it’s just through worrying incessantly about the future. It gives us something to do when actually all we are asked to do is nothing,...
Trust Without Borders

Trust Without Borders

– Ceenu Susan Jebaraj The family that ‘does life’ together stays together. One of the integral threads of the New City fabric is its community life. Most of us live across the length and breadth of Mumbai city. But we try to get together as often as we can. So sometime ago we decided to get away from the bustling city for a weekend together. We set out to a delightful campsite tucked away on the hilly Western Ghats. The clean, crisp air and the panoramic view of the YMCA Camp Lakeside was simply refreshing. We went exploring and came upon one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. Still, clear, cool water stretched out invitingly. Needless to say, we dived in. Well not everybody. I stood on the sidelines and wet my feet. I love water but am petrified of swimming. So my good husband, Abishek, decided to teach me to swim. He gently coaxed me to don a life jacket and step in to the water. I peppered the poor lifeguard who was supervising our party with umpteen questions about the safety and reliability of the life jacket, depth of the water and strength of the tide. Abishek instructed me to lie on my back and float on the water. After a few seconds of enjoying the swim, I looked around. Suddenly the shores seemed too far away and I felt that I was drowning(Not really.That was the result of flailing about unnecessarily). I panicked and screamed at Abishek to ‘get me back to safety right now!!’. He tried to reassure that I was fine. He asked...
Door-holders

Door-holders

 – Cindrella Prakash  Last weekend, we celebrated a friend’s 21st birthday. Her only ask was that she’d get to spend at least half a day with us, her second family. Touched by her emotion, we decided to fall in line. We spent the night playing games and the day eating large meals and watching a movie. We were a grand total of two guys and four girls. Why do I call this out, you’ll know in just a minute. As we stepped into the theatre, one of our guy friends, held the door open for the girls. I for one, love this old world charm and in that moment, resolved to pat him on his back. Funnily though, as he held the heavy door wide open, all the girls in the world decided to jump to the opportunity and walk right in. That’s a bit of exaggeration but I trust you get my point. What was unmistakable though, was how my friend, like a thorough gentleman, stood there letting everyone enter in. His smiling (and puzzled) face is etched in my memory. We at church do Community Bible Reading (CBR) together. It’s basically a bunch of us reading the same chapter from the Bible together and sharing our thoughts and convictions on a whatsapp group. Its one tool I completely love! It’s helped me tremendously to grow in my walk with Christ. This morning, we read through Romans chapter 11 and this verse stayed with me the most – verse 30-32 – “There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But...
The Train Starts Here

The Train Starts Here

– Taarika Chandy     Every morning for the last three months, I have caught a fast train in Mumbai that hurtles towards the dreaded Kurla station at peak travelling hours. This experience used to fill me with an increasing sense of doom-and-gloom as I battled my way through huge crowds in CST (singing “I Dare You To Move” by Switchfoot in my head and running in slow motion). But recently, the gloom has given way to an extension of my morning prayer time. Trust me, you have to be in a constant posture of prayer if you’re rushing through CST at 9am! In my church, we all try to make time to do something we call Community Bible Reading (or CBR). We all read the same passages in the Bible at various points during the day and then we share our thoughts or convictions with each other on a whatsapp group. There’s nothing more encouraging than hearing your phone vibrate, only to find that somebody has been incredibly inspired by today’s reading and is living their life differently because of it. My CBR time is mostly in the morning. I potter around until I’m awake and then quickly do it before I have time to panic about how late it is. This means that while I pray a little during CBR, a vast chunk of my prayer time is actually once I’m seated on the train. Honestly, I don’t know how I prayed before these months. I have never prayed more fervent, tear-filled, (sometimes sweaty) prayers of praise and repentance than I have on the crowded, freshly fishy...