Thursday, 19 July 2012


I had finished checking out - some of my money was now safely in the cash-till of the friendly-cut-price-supermarket - I had a bag of groceries and was clutching the bill.  The security-man gave me his smile - and I returned it.  I have seen this clean-cut mustachioed man a number of times. 

I asked him how his family was.

He told me that they were back in the village.  In Bihar.

Where in Bihar?

In Aurangabad.

That name took me back.  Back 12 years to when Sheba and I were working at the Nav Jivan Hospital in Satbarwa. 

I told him we used to work at the Mission hospital in Satbarwa - near Daltonganj.
His already smiley eyes light up a few more lumieres.

When were you there?  We used to go there!

And indeed they did.  We used to get patients from far and wide.  Especially for tuberculosis.  Sheba had been able to start an amazing TB control programme - and our successors Dr. Arpit Mathew and Dr. Jeevan Kuruvilla have taken the TB programme so much further. Today the hospital serves as the District TB Control unit for the whole of Latehar District - one of the few in the whole country where a govt. programme is coordinated by a charitable organisation.

Dr. Jeevan Kuruvilla continues the amazing story of Nav Jivan.  His blog ( )gives an on-going guts-and-glory look to the challenges and joys of serving among the many, many challenges there.

Nav Jivan will always remain very special to us.  I carried my new bride through the door there.  We served together with an amazing team who our hearts still yearn for.  Our daughter Asha took her first breath of air and announced her presence with the sweetest cry I have ever heard in the main operating theatre at Nav Jivan.

All these memories come to my mind after hearing the word 'Aurangabad' from the mouth of my smiling security-guard friend.

Our lives are knit together with hundreds of threads of meaning and purpose.

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