This whole concept of “together forever” and “happily ever after” might be the biggest bullshit the world has ever conjured. Let me tell you something, some of the worst days of your life will be when you are the loneliest. No one will ever be by your side 24×7, not even mentally and emotionally. Many battles in life are waged alone. Probably the only friend who is always going to hang around is God. We always expect. I have always expected, that so and so was going to be around, was never going to let me down, was going to show me gratitude. But time and again I’ve been proved wrong. I’ve fought my battles alone. The truth is, sometimes, when those who have given birth to you don’t care about you, your fate is sealed. You’re wasting your time waiting for and expecting others to understand your core being. Humans are limited. The only love close to God’s selfless love is a mother’s, but when that has not been given to you, rest assured you’re an orphan till you hit the grave. Everyone is putting up with you with an inner motive. Some motives are selfish and self-centred while some are for mutual gain. The more your heart gets broken, the more your heart learns to be stronger, to be independent, to depend less on others and to rely solely on God for strength, help and companionship. As a woman, it is so important to look upto God, to keep yourself embedded in Him. The more you look up to Him, the more satiated you will feel.

The world will never look at you with gratitude, for it will be ever ready to point at the flaws they see within you. You could pour out your soul to do the best possible for everyone, yet you will be deemed the worst. Gratitude and appreciation are expensive personalities that we cannot expect from cheap people. But God appreciates our efforts, our sacrifices and sees our daily struggles. Therefore do not let human attitudes discourage you. Every man reaps what he sows in God’s timing. We must only do what’s right and move ahead, God blesses the rest with his best. Read the below excerpt from the Bible to know that you are never alone in your battles. Many have already walked and still many more are yet to walk your path. Take heart!

Psalm 41:5-12 KJV

Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them. By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.

This is an excerpt from the Bible. If anyone asks me who my favourite personality from the Bible is, it’s David. A man like me, passionate, flawed, forgotten, abandoned, falsely hated, feared, forsaken, empathetic, God fearing, the list of similarities is endless. In the above passage he states his extreme disappointment and rightfully so. If it had been his enemy that had hurt him it would have been easy for him to move ahead but it was his very loved friend, someone he trusted, someone he dined with, someone he relied on, someone from whom he hoped for mutual reciprocation of affection. I don’t think there would be any other man in the Bible who took his friendships so seriously. He loved Jonathan beyond himself and that friendship extended to the next generation. So we can understand why a close friend betraying him caused him so much agony. I’ve seen myself at this juncture so so many times because I’ve taken all my relationships very seriously.

At the end of the passage David turns to God for justice and salvation. He realizes that in the end it’s always going to be God and him and that God would never forsake him, that he’s got his back. In the Bible there are numerous other places where it teaches us never to trust in humans, not even the ones right beside us. There could not have been a wiser lesson. May we all learn to rely solely on the faithful one and stop flaunting about people because they are only a facade. One day when that facade comes crashing down, you will be devastated. Always remember human beings are insatiable. It’s better to lean on the eternal pillar, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Beauty from the inside out – God’s design!

I’ve been looking at myself in the mirror lately and I realize I’ve put on a lot of weight, I’ve got loads of grey strands, my stomach is a permanent bulge with all the bloating, my umbilical hernia pops out, my body has loads of stretch marks and looks floppy, my lower abdomen is completely messed up on the inside. My body is a shapeless pumpkin. I can’t deny feeling weird looking at this body of mine. I take myself back to the times I remember, of looking at myself in the mirror and actually liking what I saw. I used to admire myself back then. This must have been about 10 years ago.

With all this in mind, I went to my husband and asked him, “Look at me, I’m a shapeless, puffed up pillow, how do you still love me?” His answer was simple, “I keep looking at the place I’ve always looked at, your heart.” How sweet is that? It may seem like a simple answer and yet it’s so profound. That got me thinking, his answer actually sums up everything we know about true love. All the people we love so dearly are not the ones who have the best looks but the ones who have a beautiful heart, the ones who have sacrificed a little bit of themselves every time they’ve stepped out of their way to help build us up. If you have a person with a beautiful heart, it’s the most priceless possession you can have on this earthly journey.

Looks are often deceptive and beauty is only skin deep. Words are meaningless unless actions follow suit. I’ve seen some people chase outer beauty and lose out on inner grace. It takes a while for us to recognise the inner beauty some people have hidden within. We can’t identify it overnight. But the relationships that are founded on this are solid and can’t be shaken easily.

One of my favourite verses from the Bible has always been 1 Samuel 16:7.

God’s never out there looking for some good looking chap or lady to have a relationship with or to do His ministry. He’s looking deep down into the heart. This heavenly love is the prototype by which every human love must operate. But why? Why can’t He just pick someone good looking? Look at what the Bible says in Mark 7:20-23.

The heart matters to God. Unless God looks at the heart, He cannot identify those whose words and actions line up with their intentions. God doesn’t entertain hypocrisy but He loves a sincere, genuine heart. In a world where people can easily honey coat words and backstab others, looks and words mean nothing. This is why it’s so important as Christians to always be led by God when it comes to building relationships.

I find it reassuring that God’s looking at my heart and not at the plumpy person I am. It makes me feel secure and safe. My looks and words may change and no one will ever know the truth, but if my heart does, God’s tuned in and knows instantly. That’s why I always say, humans can cheat other humans but they can’t cheat God.

So in a world that’s driven by social media, that’s praising outer beauty, that’s using filters to hide flaws, that’s satisfied with shallowness, may there be people who realize that external beauty is fleeting, that eternal charm flows from the inside, that even when others are not watching God sees it all. May there never be a deficit of people who fall in love with the heart, for this is God’s very design for love.


Misinterpreted & Misjudged

Extended family people are touchy. I’ve always had my apprehensions about getting too close to them. When I do, things seem so sweet and harmonious until one incident turns it horribly sour that I beat myself up for going down the wrong road with the wrong person.

A mother-daughter relationship is quite difficult to grasp. If me and my mother are put together alone we’re like good comrades. Throw my dad into the picture and we become acquaintances. Add her family to this mix and we are strangers. Finally, throw in our differences and we are fierce enemies. We have cold wars and breathe fire through our noses. But the fact that we are women also gives us a soft spot (never seen it too often in my mother, but I don’t blame her, given her situations and the kind of person my dad was to keep her within four walls all her married life without showing her the world, it’s comprehensible) and that is what makes us open up when we talk. Even if we can keep secrets when we’re on good terms, when we argue over something we pour everything out like a drunkard, or at least I do.

I’ve always tried to stay pally with my maternal family. But it has never worked out. One way or the other the bonds end up breaking. Among the elders there’s just way too much gossip and exaggeration which I can’t really tolerate. Today I’ve realized that among my generation there’s way too much misunderstanding, misinterpretation and misjudgment to sew us up into one fabric.

I always longed for a sibling, a sister. I hated being the only child. That dream never turned into reality. So every time my cousins got married and brought a girl into our family, I kept wishing at least one of them would turn out to be my soul sister. However I was hurt by my own unrealistic expectations. History keeps repeating itself time and again and yet I’ve never learnt to lower my expectations. I keep forgetting what I’ve learnt over and over again, that no one is transparent, nor do they mean what they say and everyone has a motive behind their smile and friendly nature.

You see, I make the mistake of smiling too innocently, trusting too easily and loving too honestly. When a girl says “akka” (elder sister), a part of my heart melts. Every time it melts, it also gets hurt and that part dies and gets icy cold.

Very recently, I found out that one of my cousin’s wife deleted my number and unfriended me on Facebook. Unaware of this, I even out a heartfelt wish for their anniversary the day before, and I was acknowledged with dead silence. I tried not to make a big deal out of it, but it involved my heart, so here I am writing this blog at 1:00 AM. I never intended to get close to her, it just happened haphazardly last April and it all started with the word “akka”. Two years down the line, I know this incident would mean nothing to me, I have been hurt countless times by words and actions and this is just another one to add to the list, but for now there is the pain of a fresh wound.

Four years ago, one of my cousins, whom I was very close to since childhood, completely shunned me out of his life because of my marriage. The very person who should have been happy that I was happy, displayed such a cold attitude, which I still haven’t comprehended. Yet, with time, I’ve learned to let it rest.

So my cousin (hereafter, cousin denotes cousin’s wife) shared a few family details with me (nothing new, I have known my aunt since ages and my mom is head over heels in love with her). While my mom took my aunt’s side, I took my cousin’s. Me and my mom had arguments over arguments because we heard two different stories and she said hers (her sister’s) was the right version and I said no, mine (my cousin’s) is. To prove my point I blurted out everything my cousin said and asked my mom, “Do you still believe your sister’s story?” My husband told me then and there that I’ve started a forest fire. Boy was he right!

My mom didn’t end up believing me or my story either so it was pointless to have shared the information. Big blunder on my part. My mom couldn’t keep quiet (neither could I, every time she brought up the topic). Every time we heard a new story we kept going back to both of them to figure out which one was true and both had their own variant. After we spoke to them, we resumed arguing in favour of who we thought was right, my mom, for her sister, and me, for my cousin. I had always felt that my aunt and my mom were a dangerous combination for gossip, doing more evil than good, and I never really liked that. I tried my best to keep their nonsense at bay, but I failed miserably.

Anyway, my mom didn’t keep quiet. When my aunt came home to stay, she let the cat out of the bag. Now the fire had spread to such an extensive extent that it could never be extinguished. One story multiplied and reproduced a brand new tale and finally all hell broke loose. I apologized for my mistake of sharing details with my mother.

My husband already told me I had done something very wrong, especially after knowing my mother and her habit of opening up. But once the damage is done, it’s done. Sorry cannot change a thing. From then on my cousin changed, she gave me the cold shoulder, the one who said she would be the sister I wished for. I guess forgiveness is only for blood sisters and not for make-believe ones. Sigh! The “akka” apparently died a miserable death once again.

I still clearly remember how my chest pained early that morning as I lay in bed with my own ailment, when I heard the phone ring, followed by the terrible news of her father passing away. Today there’s a different kind of pain, a pain that cries out, “Why do you keep on feeling all the time, for every soul, as if it were thine own?”

A week ago I heard that my aunt wasn’t keeping well. Though I’m not in favour of her stories, she’s still my aunt, of course I care. I messaged my brother to go over, visit her and take her to a doctor. For once, I spoke for my aunt. Voila, my number is deleted and I’m unfriended on Facebook. I still feel it’s a bit too shallow, but understandable, because I don’t expect dept from a woman in her early twenties.

Heck, I was a wreck in my twenties and even early thirties. My husband still teases me for the numerous times I’ve deleted and reinstalled my social media apps. It took two kids to instill depth into my attitude.

The irony is me and my mom were arguing over some story, the truth of which only God knew; because after whatever happened, I could not trust either version. I was waging war with my mom for someone whom I didn’t really know inside out and whose every word I blindly believed. The outcome was inevitable because I just wasn’t made for gossip, family politics and inside scoops. I tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Hence, I’ve always preferred to keep the drama at bay, which is why I’ve stayed away from extended family.

When my generation of cousins finally came together after a long breach, we kept saying that the older generation always gossiped and had too many scuffles, but we should make sure we stay united, come what may. This motive stands defeated today by the very person who initiated the reunion.

I may never, ever have the sister I longed for but I’m comforted knowing that my kids have a sibling.




Shallow Christianity

Most Christians know the story of the “Good Samaritan” and yet how many of them can actually be one?

The parable that Jesus portrayed was so beautiful. There’s a man in a despondent situation and several spiritual figures walk by with no real intention to help the man’s plight. Yet one stranger with no spiritual position, stops, lends his hand, helps him, cares for him, tends to his needs and ensures all is well before he leaves, all this for someone he’s never known before.

To be blunt, he got off his high horse and did something instead of just yapping away vain Christian words like what most Christians do today. Here’s the excerpt from the Bible.

Luke 10:33-35 KJV

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

If someone is hungry, we need to feed them. If someone is cold, we need to wrap them with a blanket. If someone is in tears, we need to hug them and tell them that everything is going to be okay and do whatever is possible to ease their situation.

There’s a trend in the church at present where everyone thinks they are doing service to God and man, by telling people who are going through difficult times, that if they keep on praying they will get through it, and all they need to do is think of God 24×7. But these so called spiritual Christians themselves, will not do a thing, or go an extra mile to personally help those in need or in trouble. Well as far as I’ve read the Bible, it doesn’t say so anywhere that we have to forget our human self, live half the week in church and just keeping thinking of God 24×7.

Yes, we love God, we respect God and we think of Him every single day, maybe every single moment when we are walking through a tribulation. But God has given us the earth, our families, our neighbours and every area and situation we’re actively involved in, as a responsibility, for which he will hold us accountable. I am of the belief that we have to give account for everything. If we don’t treat our spouses well, if we don’t take care of our parents as they age, if we neglect our kids and try to get away with it, God is going to catch hold of us at some point and expect an answer. We can cheat the world but we can’t cheat God. If I don’t cook and feed my children and leave them hungry just because I have to make it to church, it’s not going to get me a ticket to heaven nor is it going to help my kids. It’s only going to affect my kid’s health, my own family and eventually my relationship with God.

And yet there is a mob that believes if they neglect everything and stay in church the entire week they are getting into God’s good books and are climbing up to No. 1 position in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I am not against going to church every single day because I’ve done it myself and I’ve seen the abundant blessings of God on my life. But my question is what about the more important things like physically helping someone in need, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, strengthening the weak in spirit? Isn’t that what the Bible says is the route to heaven? Take a look at what John the Baptist had to say to the people when he asked them to repent with a true heart.

Luke 3:10,11 KJV

10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

Lately, I’ve been so weary of prominent people from my church calling me for this meeting and for that. They want me to get actively involved in the ministry. But I have two toddlers. In my time of desperate need or sickness, where are these people? No call, not even a message and I have roughed it out on all those nasty days, all by myself, the only one who has been by me was God. There were days I’ve cried by myself, not knowing whom to turn to. I can only remember one Hindu family that used to invite us over for meals when I was pregnant, who had actually taken the pains to make us feel good and at home.

All these paths I walked, led me to suggest to some of the elder women from church how we should try to help young mothers with little ones. I recommended occasionally cooking a meal for them or just going to their homes and helping with little chores like, cleaning, doing laundry, etc., and I even volunteered to pitch in (with two toddlers myself). But I was given the cold-shoulder for these suggestions. They said they were too busy with their own families (with big, grown-up children) and could not take out time for such activities. Rather the women in the ministry just wanted to go by their modus operandi – go to a mother’s home, sing, brag about how they survived their tough times with God, pray, eat, drink, make merry, click a selfie and head back home to their shallow Christian lives, full of words and no actions. And that one of them had the nerves to gift my kids a big bag of expired chocolates is despicable. I failed to see how this could help any new mother. Because at the end of the day all mothers will eventually cross this tough phase somehow, with or without struggles. But if someone would ease out a single day for those mothers who are so far away from family and friends, they’d be forever grateful, indebted and inclined to go do the same for someone else. They may even feel relaxed and thankful enough to praise God. I know if anyone had offered me a cup of tea, I’d have been on top of the world. Sadly, no one did.

The below passage is for those who feel their sweet, sugar-coated words are enough.

Matthew 25: 34-40 KJV

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Somehow, I am happy to not get involved in any activity tethered to church. It’s the only way I can stay genuine and help anyone I get in contact with, in my own way. If I joined the ministry I’d just be following the crowd and doing nothing worthwhile for God or for my fellow human beings.

I would like to encourage Christians to go do something for someone. Your encouraging words and earnest prayers can help someone, but your presence and physical help will be the only thing that can make them feel loved and happy. Remember God works through His people. Let us be Christians with depth. Here is a final verse to ponder on.

1 John 3:17

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?