Friday, February 28, 2014

Mountbatten’s Coffee Cup

Lord Mountbatten opens the newspaper a week back and as a habit he reads the news from India first. After all he was the one who was entrusted with the task of a handover from British India to an independent India. Handover he did, but not before approving a surgical procedure of dividing the country into two, India and Pakistan resulting in the death of millions of citizens of erstwhile British India in the name of religion and region.
The news about formation of Telangana, the 29th state of India takes the centre page. Mountbatten had a smirk on his face while reading through the news. He was quite amused at the irony of it when he recollected how fiery were the arguments Gandhi, Nehru and Patel among others had, when they talked to him about the need for an Indian Union. Yet again, here is a country which was split into multitude of pieces which perhaps was one of the most complex jigsaw puzzles ever existed. He was the man who helped the people of the country to solve the puzzle. The fact that the jigsaw board was joined with a considerable amount of blood remains history.
What struck Mountbatten as an irony is that, this is the same set of people who accused the British Crown for implementing the policy of Divide & Rule. Of course yes, Britain did that and they did it with a purpose. Unless they had maintained these conflicts within the regions of the subcontinent they would’ve never achieved their agenda of domination. The strange thing that is happening now is the people of the country wanting to walk back to history where they existed as scattered regions of smaller power houses. They conveniently forget the truth that it took a lot of struggle to draw the map of what they see as India today.
Edwina came with a muffin which Mountbatten likes along with his morning coffee. He showed her the news. Her first reaction was, “What’s wrong with these people?” All over the world, even countries are trying their best to unite themselves to form stronger bonds, politically and economically. Here is a country, which by virtue of its size and diversity has earned the title of a subcontinent, predicted to be the next super power in the world and counted among the potential leaders of tomorrow’s world, fighting among themselves to march back to its pre-independence era. 
Unions are getting formed or at least discussed across the globe. The United States remain as a mighty power. European Union has shown its strength. Gulf Union is being thought about. It is a reality that stares at your face that the less disconnected you are, the more powerful you will be. Civil unrest and geographical tensions is the result when states try to defend their territories. Blessed are those who realize the power of being together!
Mountbatten let out a sigh. He was quite painful to see these developments. He has been living all his life watching the result of the partition he approved. He wish he could convene a meeting again with Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, Patel and the likes of these men and raise their voice to the people of this country about the dangerous waters they are getting into. It is a Telangana today; a Gorkhaland tomorrow and even surprising was a demand from the God’s Own Country down south for a state of Malabar to be formed!
Ridiculous is the word! It is high time the country realized that splitting is not a solution, it is creating further challenges. Wake up and realize that you are now fighting with yourself. If this continues you’ll end up tearing the country apart to tiny pieces which you may never be able to join again. What could be more alarming are the birds of prey that must be flying high watching your moves awaiting a right moment to strike! Beware of these modern day imperialists who will be waiting for an opportunity to invade and establish their empire even before you know you lost your freedom forever!
Mountbatten got up from his chair and as he turned the coffee cup slipped from his hand and hit the floor. He stood there helpless as he watched the beautifully crafted porcelain which now lies on the floor broken into hundreds of little pieces and they all seem to be asking him a question, ‘Can you make a cup out of us, again?’

Thursday, February 13, 2014

When God Delegates

Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - Feb 2014

Do you remember the kind of needs you had during your school days? Did you ever want something very badly but was a bit hesitant to ask your father to buy that for you? The most logical step you would’ve taken at that time is to approach your mother with the request. In some cases it would’ve been one of your elder siblings instead.
You would’ve seen the result of such an indirect approach taking shape in many ways. In some cases your mother will get it done withouteven consulting the ‘traditional’ head of the family. At times you’ll get a response in negative from her, stating a reasonable excuse for not getting that for you. Many a times you’ll see her waiting for one of the most suitable time of the day to present the case in a tactical manner to your father. This auspicious moment may arrive on the same day of your request or in some cases a day or two later. The matter is taken for a discussion and a judgment is usually made within the same day.
Things are not too different up there in Heaven. A mere thought on the volume of requests that reaches the Supreme Power, will be mind boggling. Imagine the number of prayers that get churned out every other moment by those who are alive, asking for a variety of needs that are to be fulfilled. Add to that the belief of praying for those who left this mortal place so that these prayers will make their entry to Heaven easier. Things become even more interesting when we believe that these heavenly beings will be submitting their own set of prayers for the well-being of their dear ones back in the Earth. If the Creator has to be the single point of contact for answering all these prayers I am quite sure that He’ll go crazy with this avalanche of requests that reach Him!
That’s when God has successfully empowered a next-in-line operations team where He expects a considerable number of requests to be handled by them. We call them Saints. There are quite a few of them known by different names and instilled with specific responsibilities. Historically, people have learned that God has delegated some of His powers to these Saints and asked them to deal directly with people, very similar to how your mother dealt with your request.
They are the mediators for God. It is not necessary that all your requests need to be directed straight to the Father in Heaven. He has entrusted His beloved set of Saints to handle some of these requests so that they can be addressed, probably at a much faster pace than what would’ve been queued up at the pearly gates of Heaven awaiting the attention of the Mighty One.
Though I am afraid a few of the above statements may be perceived as bordering satire, the fact remains that a divine intervention need not always be direct in nature. What is important as God Himself said is to believe. He is the one who created us and knows for sure that there is an element of materialism in all of us. Each one of us who are born mortal will have needs and wants for which we look up to Him. All what He expects from us is to believe and ask. “Ask and it will be given to you”, is what He said. And He created different ways by which we could ask.
I used to be a strong believer of direct communication with God Himself. Over the last few years I’ve understood that He does work through others. Many a times your wishes get fulfilled even without you asking for it. For this He may choose one of your loved ones itself or maybe a total stranger too. Nevertheless a bigger part is being played by the Saints on creating this pathway to Him in a seemingly easier manner. The prayers, material or otherwise, can be directed through these Saints which is one of the biggest realizations I had in the recent past.
It gives a very special feeling of happiness to know that there is someone out there who is closer to God and ready to help you with your prayers. All what you are expected to do is, to talk to them, tell them your concerns and request them to take your prayers to the One whom you believe in. And trust me; it never fails when you have an extra pair of hands to knock and you’ll see the doors getting opened for you! Believe!

Planning Your Trip

It is a well-known truth that nothing is more refreshing than travelling to locations, especially new ones. Many families do this at least...