Archive | March 2010

Brave chachi


The clock struck 12.00 at midnight. Ben downed his pen.
Got up from the wooden chair and moved towards the shelf and took the yellow
shawl hanging in the upper row.

“Come, let’s go for a chai” called Ben.

“No”, replied Raj,
his roommate and commented “The shawl is eye-catching”

“I bought it from the IP Mall
yesterday for 2000 bucks” replied Ben proudly and added “when you have a
lie-down don’t bolt the door. Just shut it. Bye”

Ben, donning the Kashmiri shawl on
his shoulder – already puffed-up with sweater and jacket-, stepped down out of
room no. 122 of Birla Hostel –C. Chill breeze socked
gently in his face – the only uncovered part. Humming tunes, Ben moseyed towards
the main entrance of Banaras Hindu University. Sodium
lamps on the sides of the Hostel Road, the lights from different hostels and
the shaft of light from the vehicles passing by ousted the darkness. Ben
sporadically touched and felt the velvetiness of that Kashmiri shawl. Crossing
the main entrance he reached Chachi’s Chai Dhookan.

A raised platform of wood, two
benches, a stool, a stove, three or four casks containing milk, some glasses,
few tins containing chai pathi
biscuits, beedis, cigars, pans, gudkhas and a plate containing beetle nuts, lime and
tobacco leaves in the al fresco constituted chachi’s
chai dhookan
. Behind
this dhookan was a grocery shop – closed by
now. Ben took his seat in a blue bench and ordered “ek
special chai”. Chachi
was busy serving chai, pan, gudkha, biscuits, beedis
and cigars

In a few minutes chachi
– a wiry, rickety, anemic lady of 35 – came with a lovely smile and handed me a
kullad and filled it with chai.
Her hands, rather her whole body, were trembling as she poured the chai. As Ben surveyed her, the flimsiest sari she
wore as a substitute for a woolen shawl caught Ben’s attention. Somebody from
the next bench conveyed “continuously for five days the temperature was around
7 degree”

Voley of Questions gushed out of Ben’s

so week, why does she work the whole day and night?”

couldn’t she make her children work?”

she employ a child
labourer by giving pea nuts?”

Ben decided to wait till chachi frees herself. Ben waited for about an hour
sipping some more chai, eating biscuits and
site seeing. As he was scrutinizing Lanka, Malviji’s
statue caught his attention. The light of the sodium lamp was reflected clearly
in a few dew drops in the cheek of Malviji’s statue.
It seemed to Ben as if Malviji was crying

Chachi sat to rest. She drove the stool near
the stove and took her seat. Seeing Ben, she asked, “what betta?
You are here for a long time…”

“I want to ask something” replied Ben

“To me?” laughed chachi
and said “ask whatever you want”

“When do you come to start the day’s
work?” was Ben’s first question

“At 8.30 in the morning” said she
with a surprise.

“When will you go back for lunch?”

“At 2.00 in the afternoon”

“When will you come again here?”

“At 10.00 in the night and will be
here till 3.00 in the early morning”

“What are your children doing?”

“The elder boy is reading in 9th,
the second girl in 7th and the third girl in the 6th
class. All study in Malviji’s Kendriya

“Being so weak, why don’t you make
them work in the dhookan?” asked Ben with a
sense of humanity.

“They do work, but after their
school-time and regular study-time.
Vishwas takes care of the dhookan in the evening after returning from the
school. Prema and Sahaya
cook and water the vegetable plants. I just take care of the dhookan. That’s all” replied chachi
with pride.

“See there. See how energetically the
two boys work in Sharmaji’s chai
dhookan. See here. See how his own children
work in Yadavji’s dhookan.
See the shop next to it. See there too two children are working. You too should
bring your children to work or employ some kids to work in the dhookan. With kids a peanut salary will do” said

“I am proud of not employing child labourers. Children can support their family
but not at the cost of education or child abuse. I will go to the extent of working
the whole 24 hours, yet I will never give consent to child
labour. Come what
may” proclaimed chachi.

Marveled at Chachi’s
determination, Ben took his shawl and draped her. Touching her feet, he left
the dhookan.

On his return, Ben threw a glance at Malviji’s statue. Now he found a smile of happiness too in
that moaning statue of Malviji.

Know God, mentor successors and give

Know God, Mentor and Give
(A Bible exposition of I Chronicles 29)

     As I was meditating I Chronicles 29, God spoke to me very powerfully. I will share few points which challenged me this morning.

Few qualities of God:

     Our God is the one who chooses people to do His ‘great task'(1). How merciful our God is to include us in His holy work!Greatness, power, glory, majesty and splendor is His(11). As we ponder over His greatness He is the great God to whom Heaven is the throne and earth the footstool(Act 7:49). His greatness is such that He send His only begotten Son for our salvation. His power is such that with His word He created the whole world. His strength is such great that He can give strength to all people(12) . His glory is so glorious that none can be alive after seeing It(Ex 33:20). His glory is like the sun shining in all its brilliance(Rev 1:16). His majesty and splendor are that great that He is exalted as head over all(11). Wealth and honor is in His hands. He is the ruler of all things. One day every tongue will confess ‘He is Lord’. Every knee will bow before His majestic throne. He is the one who can test ones innermost being. He is the one who tests ones heart and is pleased with integrity(17). How great our Lord is !!!!

The way God chooses people:

     Many times we are frustrated working with inexperienced and immature people. We long that people we work with be mature and experienced. But if we observe the way God chooses people we will wonder how wrong it is for us to think in those terms. He chose inexperienced, young Solomon to do a great task of building His temple(1). We can not get matured and experienced people unless they are trained. The responsibility of the mentors is to train their successors and provide them with all what is needed. Knowing well about the inexperience and immaturity of Solomon, David gives him advice. He provides him with all what is needed. He also prays to God for him and finally at the appointed time hands over the responsibility to Solomon. Knowing well that God chooses young and inexperienced people won’t we come forward to train our juniors, pray for them, talk to others about them, prepare floor for them and provide what they need? Many times we want God to give experienced and matured people. But we should not forget the fact that God wants us to mentor the inexperienced and young. Young people be ready to be properly mend by your seniors. Be with them and pray. Work with them. Learn as they teach you. Don’t get worried for you are young and inexperienced. God has given the great task of building students of our nation.

Few insights on giving:

     As we talk about giving we should understand the fact that everything that is in Heaven and earth is Gods(11). Every thing comes to us is coming to us from Him(14, 16). There is nothing in us to boast even if we give in abundance to Him(14, 16). From the life of David and Israelites, we learn that we should give willingly (6), wholeheartedly and freely(9), generously(14), abundantly(16), with humbleness(14) and with honest intent(17). Many times when it comes to giving we tend to be under pressure. We think many times before giving. But the example from David is that he and his people have freely. We should learn to give freely and trust in Him like the widow who offered everything(Mk 12:44). We should learn to give abundantly and generously. Here we find David and his people giving abundantly. When the Tabernacle was being made, pople brought things in abundant. Finally Moses had to restrain people from bringing(Ex 36:6,7). If we as EU-EGF decide to give in abundance there will be no question of deficit in our
constituency. When we give we should give with honest intent. Many times it so happens that people give to become popular, some times to get exemption
from income tax and yet another times we give so that we will get in abundance. Let us give without the sounds of trumpets(Mat 6:4). Let us learn to give in secret. When we give God will definitely bless us. No doubt about it. But we should not give with the intention to receive God’s blessing. Give unconditionally and freely. Blessing will automatically
follow. When we give we should be sure. God checks our hearts and is pleased in our integrity. When we give we should have humble heart. We should not be
proud for we have given to him. As David says "who am I, and my people, that we should be able to give as generously is this". Let us be humble like David as we give. One important thing that misses is challenging others to give. In v5 David challenges "who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?" As per our faith policy we can inform our needs within our circle and encourage people to give. Can we take that as a challenge to encourage others to give?

     May the Lord God Almighty who reigns with greatness, power, strength, glory, honor, majesty and splendor help you to give freely from what He has given. Let up also remember that He choses young and inexperienced people to accomplish great task. May this challenge seniors to mentor successors and juniors to get encouraged to accomplish the great task.