Monthly Archives: October 2012
My first sports hero was Sunil Gavaskar. How could he not be? He is short, just like me and he was born on July 10th, which is the date of my birth on the certificate. But then I heard few things about him: how he would hold a grudge against an opponent, even after the game of cricket is over. That bothered me a lot.
I mean, cricket is a gentleman’s game. And how could someone hold a grudge against his opponent after that game is over? It bothered me a lot. I was hoping that there is some explanation for Gavaskar’s behavior. And one day, in an interview he gave, Gavaskar explained his stance. I am paraphrasing his words, I don’t remember his exact words.
He said: “Yes, cricket is a gentleman’s game and things happen in the field. But to show how tough you are, you don’t have to abuse me. Even that does not bother me. But when someone comes and calls me a bas***d, or uses abusive language towards my mother or my family, and then after the game is over, he comes to me and says, “hey, whatever happened was in the spirit of game, now we are friends”, then I have a serious problem with that. You can not abuse everything that I value because I am on the other side and then come and tell me that now the game is over, we are still friends. No, it does not work that way. I am who I am today because of the same values that you have just abused. You can not use such a filthy language towards whatever I believe in, whatever I value in and then come and tell me, oh, that’s different. No, it is not. You just used abusive language towards my mother, you used filthy language to mock fun of what I believe in just five minutes ago. Now we are friends? No way!!!” (paraphrased)
People still may not agree with him, but I totally agreed with him. It made a huge effect on me and from that day onwards, I have decided not to attack someone personally whatever their stance towards things that I believe in.
But today, this is on the rise: to show that what they believe is so right, or what we believe is wrong, people attack others, mock their beliefs, use filthy language to describe the core values that we believe in and then say, but that is different, we are still friends, aren’t we? And, my answer is: No. We aren’t.
Out of 100 people we meet, 95 will not agree with us. Some of them will surely believe in everything in the exact opposite things, which may be abhorrent for us. But what the Bible and my LORD has taught me is to accept them as they are, without any reservations – because the LORD accepted me that way. We understand that our friendship is based on mutual respect and admiration.
But there are some people, who would force their beliefs on us, who would mock everything that we believe in, say, “Man, what you believe is nothing but bullshit, how can anyone be this stupid to believe in these things? Oh, but I respect you for what you are. We are still friends, right?” How do you answer that?
My answer is, “No, we are not.” It feels good to know that someone respects us for what we are. But we are who we are because of what we believe in. If not, we will have no identity for ourselves. We will not have respect for ourselves, forget others respecting us. How can someone insult and mock everything that has shaped us and still say that they have respect for what we have become for believing in the same things?
There is a way to disagree with anyone. There is a way to present your opinions. But insulting someone and mocking their values just shows who we are; it reflects on us and our upbringing. And, we should not expect to insult someone’s core values, mock and insult the things they believe in and say, “But this should not affect our friendship… because we were just having a healthy discussion, right?” WRONG. Very very wrong. Probably people have to learn the meaning of the word “healthy”.
Bible Verse: “Show proper respect to everyone.” – 1 Peter 2:17 (NIV)
When I was young, very young, I was just like every other boy – I was a MCP. I grew up thinking that girls were inferior to boys in every possible way. As I started to grow, I realized that is not the case.
And, I can tell one thing for sure: I don’t know what I would do without my wife. Though I have had some great times in my life before I got married, when I turn back and look, it feels as if there was no time before her. In everything, she is there. My happiness. My sadness. My laughter. My tears. My ups. My downs. In everything, the constant companion. Trusting me, pushing me, never letting me settle for something mediocre.
- There are times when I have left my working place in a mess. (Oh, who am I kidding? I always leave the place in a mess ) Those who know me will understand what a mess it would be . But when I come back, it will look so serene and clean.
- Times when I wanted to eat something special, but didn’t feel like pushing her. And in the evening, when I come home, that smell…. smell of that something special I have wanted. Don’t know how she does that. But I adore her for that.
- When it comes to emotions, she is a rock. There are so many times I have done stupid things that would have hurt her. But when I am down because I had been hurt, she would not blame me, she would not even show that she is hurt. She would get me back…. only later when I am looking at things, I would realize how much I had hurt her.
- One day, I proudly declared that I will be doing the cooking chores for one entire month. I wanted her to rest and just enjoy the food. Nothing else. Little did I know, that to cook one meal, I would be taking an entire month. There she was, hungry and tired. And it took me 2 hours to decide what to cook. And eventually when I started, I had to call her every 5 seconds to help me . Still she would not complain.
- By the time I had made the dinner, she was exhausted by hunger and I was filled with a new appreciation for my wife.
- I have heard guys say that women are good only for cooking and keeping the household clean. Really? Have you tried to do that recently, all by yourself? Try for a day and you will understand how difficult that is.
- Am I saying that my wife is good only for these things? Oh God, NOOOOOOOOOOO……!!!!! What I mean is, even the dullest chores of mundane life, she makes it so much better and enjoyable.
- I may look active and busy, but she is the one who really is.
- And, all I am wondering is have I shown my appreciation to her? Have I told her lately how much I love her, how much she means to me?
- And when I read this small poem this morning, I realized that I want to make sure that she knows that I really really appreciate her….. more than I can ever express.
Amid the cares of married life,
In spite of toil and business strife,
If you value your sweet wife,
Tell her so!
There was a time you thought it bliss
To get the favor of a kiss;
A dozen now won’t come amiss-
Tell her so!
Do not act as if she has passed her prime,
As though to please her were a crime-
If e’er you loved her, now is the time;
Tell her so!
Never let her heart grow cold;
Richer beauties will unfold.
She is worth her weight in gold;
Tell her so!
Bible passage: Proverbs 31:10-31
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
I grew up reading about the three artists. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael Sanzio. And, by nature, I like classical works. Whether it is paintings, music or anything else, except probably books…. I am more into Robert Ludlum and John Case, rather than Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy. Once I had gone to an exhibition and I saw people admiring a painting and I had heard about the artist before: Pablo Picasso. So, I went searching for another classical paintings, but what I saw there did not make any sense to me – at all. Apparently there are three musicians here in this picture and I have no idea about what exactly this picture is about.
This is the master piece of Picasso’s work – Guernica. It is about the atrocities of Nazi invasion. Again, I could not make much of it. But, something weird happened there. First of all, I was ridiculed for not having an eye of an artist. Really? Of course, I don’t have the eye of an artist. I am not an artist. Second, I was told that I have a closed mind, that I could not see the wonders of modern art.
Michelangelo’s painting: Creation of Adam
Raphael’s painting: Entombment of Jesus Christ.
And of course, the most famous smile known around the earth.
And as some people were passing by these paintings, they started to pass very derogatory comments about these paintings. They started to tell how horrible these paintings were, how they have nothing extraordinary about them and how these paintings do not appeal to the intellectual mind.
I was actually shocked. Yes, I don’t understand the works of Pablo Picasso, but I don’t put his works down or insult those who admire his works. But today, there is a section they call themselves intellectuals. They know a lot more and they understand better – at least that’s what they think. How do they show how great they are? By belittling everything else that does not support their views. Just shows how small they are.
But, it taught me one thing. People have different tastes. And they are not going to like what we like and more importantly, they may even put you down because your tastes are different. But what matters most is you remain true to your beliefs and you enjoy what you like. Don’t conform yourself to the world around you. Be yourself. Be unique. Believe. Who knows, you actually may have better taste than the world.
A story is told of Peter Miller, a plain Baptist preacher living in Ephrata, Pennsylvania in the days of the Revolutionary War. Near his church lived a man who maligned the pastor to the last degree. The man became involved in treason and was arrested and sentenced to be hanged. The preacher started out on foot and walked the all seventy miles to Philadelphia to plead for the man’s life. Washington heard his plea, but he said, “No, your plea for your friend cannot be granted.” “My friend!” said the preacher. “He is the worst enemy I have.” “What!” said Washington, “you have walked nearly seventy miles to save the ,life of an enemy? That puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon.”
Bible verse: “Love your enemies…” – Matthew 5:44
Loving someone who is your enemy is probably one of the toughest things to do. But, for someone who has tasted the love of God and His grace that forgave his/her sins, is a sign of humility. At times, life is not that easy. People do things that really, really hurt us. Should we forgive them? Yes, we should. Can we forgive them? Now, that is an entirely different thing. There is only one way to do that. When the LORD spoke again to His disciples about forgiving others, they asked Him just one thing: “LORD, increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5) Only with faith – faith that has tasted the love of God, faith that has shown His grace, faith that made us realize who we are.
Lord Jesus, as the disciples asked that day, I come into Your presence, knowing all the well how You have forgiven me, how You bore the wrath for my sins and how much love You have showered on me…. and LORD, I really want to love my enemies. Please increase my faith. Amen.
Many years back, I was preparing for an important exam in Chemistry. In the University of Pune, Department of Chemistry, till then no one had cleared the CSIR-NET exam. It is one of the toughest exams in Chemistry and I was studying hard for that exam. I almost did not talk with anyone for nearly a month, locked myself in a room and was studying very hard. My juniors heard about my studies, but no one would disturb me during those days. Finally just days before Christmas, I went to the department to tell my Professors that I am leaving for Vandavasi, my hometown, from where I would give the exam and then would be back to Pune in the New Year. The juniors were in the lab, they saw me, but because I was having some serious discussions with my professors, no one told me anything. I left for home.
On December 31st, as I was in the bus en route to the exam center, I panicked, realizing that there were few topics that I had not covered. So I opened my book to look at few things and there it was…. a card… that I still have. It said, “Patrick, if you study hard, you will not have time to worry. Best of luck, your juniors.” I felt such a peace going through my mind. I closed my book, went and wrote the exam and became the first student from the Department of Chemistry, University of Pune to clear that exam.
Over the years, I never gave second thought to that beautiful gesture by those juniors, who I didn’t know much, but still took time to get a card for me, sign and leave it on my book. On October 13th, 2012, Saturday, I gave another exam for which I had been preparing so hard. Some of my friends knew about the exam. But not one of them bothered to wish – not one. Only my family. I know that we Indians are often called sentimental fools, that we don’t live in real world.
But I would rather be a sentimental fool and live in this world of love, care and expression, rather than in a world void of those characters. Because a world that does not have all these characters is not a world to live in.
I am so proud of being an sentimental Indian fool.