Archive | July 2010

What To Write On TEMPTATION?

What to write on temptation?

Praveen had just entered his room. He opened the room and found an envelope lying down in the floor. He bent down and took it which was addressed to: Praveen, Room No: 17, AMV Boy’s Hostel, MGK University, Varanasi. He was delighted to see “Campus Link” printed on it.

Praveen took out the magazine and glanced through the pages. He stopped at page number 18 which had the caption:  ”WRITERS!!! YOUR  ATTENTION, PLEASE”.  It contained the themes of the subsequent issues. After a perusal he added “temptation. Interesting topic. Why not I give a try?”

Praveen dropped the magazine on the cot and took his seat by the table. The question papers of previous years were lying on the table along with the hodgepodge.  He arranged the books in order and took the question paper; he gave a quick look to it. After reading the last question, “Discuss the use of flash back technique in R.K. Narayan’s novel The Guide” he pondered over it for a while; dropped it in the drawer and got ready to go out.

Praveen put on the overcoat and the monkey cap; locked the room and moseyed towards the cricket ground. Chill whether breezed the uncovered part of his face. He sat on the ground and started to think. His mobile gave the popular airtel ring tone: tin-tida-tin-tin——. He inquired the well being of his mother, sister and brother. He did not forget to kid his sister for the funny e-mail she sent last week. After the talk he switched off the mobile and connected himself with the busy-free network of God through the mobile, prayer. He prayed for special wisdom to write the article. After few minutes of prayer, he started to contemplate, with very little success.

Praveen started to his room. In the carrefour, he met Yogi and Sonu. The sweat flowing from their forehead disclosed that they were returning from the gym. Sonu asked him, “did you start reading Mrs. Dalloway? Kumari mam will teach the novel next week”. As they all walked together Yogi said “read at least first thirty five pages”. They reached the hostel.

Praveen opened his room and took out Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway. He opened the book and started to read. After a while he heard a knock at the door. He opened it and let Nabu in. Both discussed the novel. They also discussed the day’s first class where Kumari madam was banging the students for not reading the novel. Nabu left the room saying “keep ‘stream of consciousness’ technique (A literary genre that reveals a character’s thoughts and feeling as they develop by means of a long soliloquy) in mind when you read Dalloway”.

He related the phrase ‘stream of consciousness’ with flash back technique of the question paper. He thought for a while and asked to himself, “Why not I apply stream of consciousness and flashback technique to write article on temptation?” He recalled his old days when he was addicted to unhealthy hallucination. He jotted down few instances when he was badly influenced by it and was pondering over unholy subjects, even after accepting Christ. Those were the days when he started the days with a ‘meaningful quiet time’ and ended the days with ‘powerful prayer’. He was tempted very often when he was alone or at the time when he lay in the bed and prepared to sleep. The latter one was terrible. The pity was satan had blinded his mind that he could not identify that he was sinning with his imaginative faculty.

Raju anna was the one who helped him to overcome this temptation. He used to visit him in his hostels every Wednesdays, apart from their regular meetings in Thursday Bible Study. Initially Praveen did not share this problem with him. After many days, Raju anna took the topic. In their next meeting Praveen opened his problem. Raju anna started to explain him Biblical concepts. Also he gave him a practical tip too: to divert his thinking faculty in a useful way. Praveen recalled the exact words of Raju anna and noted them: “before you sleep or when you are alone, meditate on the day’s quiet time portion. You can also recollect those you studied in the class. You are also interested in creative writing. Say, you can ponder over Orissa issue; ponder over topics of Campus Link; write a poem, or story or an article. In these ways use your brain productively. Don’t forget to pray also”.

Praveen adopted the new method. Initially filthy hallucinations overtook his Quiet time contemplation. He could not overcome the temptation in a fortnight. He was constantly praying and was fighting with filthy hallucination. Finally, he adopted the method of ‘diverting the imaginative faculty productively’. Before he lay in the bed, he kept a book, pen and table lamp in the chair close by the bed.  He pondered over the topics given in Campus Link. Whenever he got a point he noted them in the book and again lay in the bed. He did this till he slept. He developed those topics to short stories and sent them to Campus Link. He was translating all these thoughts in to the paper – where he was writing about temptation- and put the title ‘conclusion’. By then he got a phone call. It was Dr.Aravind from Chennai; he taught him Indian Fiction in BA. He said,” congrats Praveen. I read your short story in the last month’s Campus Link. Really nice. I was really blessed. May God use you more and more. Bye”

How could Nehemiah initiate wall building???

How could
Nehemiah initiate wall building?

Benalin C.R., (UP-EGF coordinator, Allahabad)

Introduction:

The Holy Bible contains a lot of dynamic, interesting and strenuous characters. Nehemiah, Esther, David, Moses, Joshua, Abraham, Caleb, Paul, Ruth are a few to mention. Meditating on these characters beef up our spiritual life. The part played by Nehemiah in the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall is indispensable. Let us see few traits of Nehemiah with reference to Nehemiah: 1 & 2

Background:

Nebuchadnezzar assaulted Jerusalem in 586 B.C. He also battered and broke down the walls around it and set fire the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the house of Jerusalem natives were made captives and taken to Babylon (II Kings 25). The restoration of the Jewish exiles began in B.C 536 under the rule of King Cyrus. In B.C 516 the temple was built. Jewish had also attempted to rebuild the walls in the reign of King Artaxerxes I. But after the protest of Rebum and Shimshai, the King ordered the Jews to desist (Ez 4) .This is the period when Nehemiah comes to the scene in the Bible.

Nehemiah:

Nehemiah was the son of Hacaliah. His name carries the meaning “the Lord comforts” .He was the cup bearer to the king Artaxerxes I. When one of his brothers came from Judah to the Citadel of Susa, Nehemiah questioned about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile and got to know about their great trouble and disgrace. Hearing these things, Nehemiah mourned, fasted and prayed.

Following are a few traits that enabled Nehemiah to take initiative in building the wall.

a. Concern:

Being the cup-bearer, Nehemiah enjoyed the unreserved confidence of the King. So there is all the opportunity for him to lead a blissful and care free life. A man working in the royal court hardly has to worry for anything. But accordingly to Neh 2:2 Nehemiah’s face looked so sad when he was ‘not ill’. “This can be nothing but sadness of heart”. He was sad as the Jewish remnants in Jerusalem were in great trouble and disgrace and as Jerusalem was in ruins. Nehemiah considered the sadness of Jewish remnant his own. If we give a glance to the happenings of the globe, we can see a similar condition. The world in which we live in is in its ruins. It is “a wasteland“ as the poet, critic and playwright T.S.Eliot will call it. Are we concerned of the world we live in when we witness mass murder, terrorism economic meltdown and many similar incidents.

b. Daring to take risk:

In Nehemiah 2:2 we come across the phrase “I was very much afraid” The use of the double adjective “very much” is note worthy. This proves Nehemiah to be an ordinary human being like us. Nehemiah might have been aware of the protest of Rehum, Shimshai and others when the Jews attempted to rebuild the wall. Interestingly enough, the king under whose court he was working was the one who ordered the Jews to desist. Still with prayer Nehemiah approached the King and asked “If it pleases the King and if your servant has found favour in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it”. Nehemiah took leave from the court and made plans to build the wall.

c.Prayerfulness:

When Nehemiah heard the ‘great trouble and disgrace’ and the ruin of Jerusalem, he sat down and wept for some days; he mourned, fasted and prayed (Neh 1:4). Here we find a man in whom concern is translated into prayer. The developments in technology dump us with information. But are we really sensitive to respond to the prayer points or concerns?

d. Trust in God:

Nehemiah’s prayer in 1:5-11 expressed his trust in the Lord. He claims the promise God has given to Moses “… if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place have chosen as a dwelling for my Name”. Nehemiah also faced ridicule and mockery from Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. But Nehemiah had a strong faith that “the God of heaven will give us success” (2:20).

Conclusion:

Concern about his own Jews in Judah, daring to take risk, prayerfulness and deep trust in God even in the midst of oppositions helped Nehemiah to initiate the work for building the Jerusalem wall.

A kick starts the bike. Many people want to do great things for the Lord, but they want someone to initiate the work. Initiating in fact is a great task. Nehemiah did and God used him to bring change. Who is ready to initiate the broken student community? Do we have those traits which Nehemiah processed? If not come on ask God. If you do have it’s your time. Come on start building the student community.

Family Reunion

Family reunion

A tiny cute butterfly, Grahana

With her mother butterfly-

Wrapped in new feathers

With beautiful pencily legs

Came flying to see the father fly.

Two days have past

Since Grahana met her father fly.

At times it sees him in dream

As if she hangs on his legs and fly with him

Some other time, as he feeds nectar to it.

All of a sudden the little fly

Broke into tears as she discovers it to be a dream.

Mummy fly makes her to sit on her back

And shows beautiful flowers and makes her calm.

When Grahana falls asleep, she weeps thinking of the father fly.

They both counted down the hours

And waited the hour when they can meet pappa fly.

Grahana was thrilled in mind to see

Pappa fly’s structure in his absence and imagines:

Will he be like snake gourd or a pumpkin?

That day arrived when they all met together.

Seeing Grahana from a distance

The pappa fly buzzed aloud “mole*”.

His face shined brighter than the noon sun.

Grahana flew in the speed of an airplane,

Kissed the father fly and sat on his back.

Three of them were as delighted as

A panting deer discovering water.

*Mole – a Malayalam word synonymous for daughter.

Wrote in Dehradun when Pushpa dhidhi and Anugraha met Varughese bhaya after their trip to Kerala.

Written in CMTC ’08 in Dehradun