Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Deal in Heaven

He was pleasantly surprised to see a large contingent of angels waiting to receive him at the gate. The group was led by a Seraph himself and greeted him with a very warm smile. A question came to his mind and he promptly asked the Seraph, “Is this how you normally welcome the new ones?”

The Seraph replied, “Oh not at all! You are very special to have made to the Level Five of Heaven directly and hence this remarkable welcome. Only a few I knew have achieved this before you. Congratulations!”

He felt good and asked again, “You said Level Five. How many more are there?”

“Look up yourself” was the reply from Seraph.

He looked up and saw five more levels right above, with the top most being the one where the Almighty resides. Many more questions came to his mind. But it was almost time to welcome him in and the Seraph reassured him that they’ll have a chat later the day.

After the joining formalities were completed, he was asked to take some rest. The journey from being mortal to immortal wasn’t quite easy. He had a good sleep and woke up to see the compassionate face of the Seraph who greeted him at the entrance.

“Hope you are feeling good?” Seraph enquired.

He replied in affirmative and was quite curious to see a notepad in Seraph’s hand. He enquired what it was and the Seraph replied in a hushed tone, “You are about to enter into one of the most important deals here in Heaven. You asked me earlier about the levels of Heaven and I could sense many more questions that you’ve in your mind. Are you ready for the deal?”

He felt a bit nervous; nevertheless being in high spirits he said, “Bring them on!”

The Seraph started, “This is the Book of Remembrance. As I said earlier you are one of the very few lucky ones to have directly reached Level Five of Heaven. Most of them start with Level Zero and earn their way up based on this Book. Each time someone back home remembers you in their prayers you get one point. You can accumulate these points and when a specific limit is reached you can use them to gain entry to the next level. Sounds simple, isn’t it? But of course conditions apply like what you people say back there in Earth.

Remember that just like you, there are zillions of others here in Heaven who wants to reach the next level. You need at least a million points to even qualify for the next level and with each level the required points go up making it quite a challenge! There are further criteria which I’ll explain later of what will really make you stand out among the qualified few. What’s important is that prayers from your near and dear ones need to keep flowing continuously for you to go up.

Don’t get disheartened. I’m not done yet. Each time you get a point based on a prayer, the person who prayed for you opens an account as well. Each of the points you earn will translate to half a point for them in their account. Once those points reach a limit you could redeem them to grant one of their wishes. So the deal is really between you and them! Isn’t Bartholomew a genius?! He is the one who came up with this score card system.”

He took the notepad from the Seraph. Walked to the window of his room and looked down to Earth. He could see his loved ones mourning their loss. He wanted to scream at the top of his voice, “Stop crying you morons! Start praying for me so that I can get the elevator to the next level and even grant your wishes!”

The Seraph smiled… 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

When God answers…

Raphael was seated at the chair kept for him at the dining table next to God Himself. It was breakfast time though that was not what he was there for. He had a small notepad with him in which he is expected to quickly note down what gets dictated from the Almighty.

The first set of requests taken was from Alice. God started granting one by one. In between He asked Mother Mary to pass on the bottle of jam. While applying the jam on to a slice of bread, He continued to grant a few other wishes as well for Alice. But a couple of them fell through when He was reaching out for the jam bottle. Alice had asked for these during her usual prayer time, but she took a quick break in between to check if there was enough jam left for the next day morning breakfast.

Paul's requests turned out to be next. This was a big one with requests for promotions, job change and what not. God was almost half way through His breakfast by then. He started granting Paul's wishes one after the other. It came to the promotion bit and that's when Gabriel walked in with a message that needed His attention. By the time He was done with the interrupting message, Paul's request for promotion was lost somewhere. Interestingly Paul while asking God for these had got a call in between which he answered before continuing with rest of the prayers.

Donna, Peter, Sylvia and Robert; each one of them had their own set of requests that got delivered to the Almighty. Most of them got answered. A few got misplaced in between. Those were the exact ones that were requested to God while each one of them was busy doing something else in between the prayers.

Focus, when you talk to Him. He listens, always.  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Blessing of Haves

Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - Jul 2015

Alex had promised his wife Nisha that he'll take her to the Mall in the evening as she really didn't want to miss the annual sale at the famous European store. It was a really hectic day for him and by the time he got out of office, he was almost dead tired. All what he wanted to do was to hit the bed so that he can wake up early in the morning tomorrow to finish the pile of work at office. Nevertheless he reached home and was reminded of his promise. Though not quite happy, he took her to the Mall where she was greeted with a shopping heaven as expected. The options available were endless and the best part was the price tags! She thanked God and the person who invented the concept of 'Sale'. 

The store was well lit and the dresses on display were quite tempting. She felt like taking the entire store back home. Of course since that was not practically feasible, the next biggest challenge was to decide what to choose. Naturally it took quite a long time and Alex ran out of his patience. He made some remarks which led to a few arguments and by the time they reached home, they were not speaking to each other anymore. Alex didn't even bother to say the prayers or wish his wife a good night. Instead he went straight to the bed and soon was fast asleep. 

Next morning, he didn't tell her a bye and in the blink of an eye he was out of the house heading to office. She didn't speak a word either and just closed the door after him though she was expecting with half her heart that he'll turn back before he took the elevator down. That never happened. Both of them felt miserable, but they had their egos to be pampered and that's exactly what they did as well. 

Alex soon got busy at work and before it was mid-day he got a call on his phone. Nisha's picture showed up on his phone screen and for a moment he had a grin on his face; the grin of a winning ego. He answered the phone expecting her subdued tone with his ego reaching its pinnacle. Instead he heard a man's voice, introducing him as a police officer. The words that followed melted all the mountains of ego he had built within himself, on top of which he was sitting with his false pride. His wife met with a terrible accident on her way to work and was taken to the City Hospital!

Alex drove like a mad man and reached the hospital in no time. Two things happened in parallel. Alex stepped into the reception of the hospital and frantically checked about Nisha. It was almost the same time when a nurse was covering Nisha's face with a sheet of white linen. The heart monitor showed a flat line. Alex was taken to her by someone there at the hospital. He removed the linen and looked at her face. It was still beautiful though now marked with some cuts and bruises. Those eyes which saw lots of dreams together with him were closed forever. Time seemed to have frozen around him. No one was moving and so was his sweetheart who was now lying in front of him. 

All the scenes from the previous evening suddenlycame back to him. He remembered not giving her a goodnight kiss. He denied the usual warm bye hug in the morning too. He didn't even turn back and wave at her before taking the elevator down and letting his ego go up! All that is over now. She is no more and he didn't even tell her a proper goodbye. All of a sudden, memories with her from the past came rushing and started suffocating him. He sat down on the floor and tears that were locked deep down somewhere started flowing. That was the moment of realization. He knew the blessing of what he had which he won't have any more. 

He was soon crying uncontrollably. No one could pacify him. All of a sudden he felt someone holding him by his shoulders and shaking him quite vigorously. He opened his eyes and though the tears blurred his vision, he saw a figure that he very well knew. Nisha was standing right next to him holding a cup of water which she earlier sprinkled on his face asking him to wake up before it gets too late for office!

It took a full minute for him to realize the nightmare he had. He looked at her and rubbed his eyes once more and without giving her much of a warning he gave her the tightest ever hug in their life. He was holding her as if he didn't want anyone to take her away from him even for a fraction of a moment. She was totally confused. He was crying and with a smile of great relief, looked at her eyes and said "I love you". 

Know the blessings that you have today. Do not wait to realize till the time they are taken away from you. 

God bless you all!

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...