Got to thinking about where I was every 11 years of grace. Come walk with me...
At 00 - I was in Bombay. Made my grand appearance on the 2nd of April 1969 and was photographed 2 weeks later with my loving Mum. She and Dad called me this morning to wish me and shared how when I was first shown to her by the nurses at the hospital she just could not believe that I was there - she was so thrilled.
We moved around Bombay a lot in the early years - had a stint in New Delhi - and a year in the US before coming back to Bombay in 1973.
When I started schooling at the Cathedral and John Connon Infant School on Malabar Hill we finally moved down town - first to a tiny appartment opposite JJ hospital - the unfortunately named 'Samson Appartments' - and then to the rambling bungalow at Nana Chowk where I spent over a decade of joy.
Mum and Dad were deep into the heart of their time with Operation Mobilisation - which in those days was a radical Christian mission organisation who lived out their lives very much like a commune.
11 years later takes us to April 1980. I had just shifted to the German School (Deutsche Schule Bombay) and we were worshipping at Bombay Baptist Church. Here's a pic from that era with pastor Charlie Lazaro and his wife and son Lloyd, along with my sister Premila, myself, Stefan, Mum and Dad.
Another 11 years and I was almost through with college at Taylor University in the US. April 1991 had me studying in my 3rd year of college - deep into botany, ecology and environmental studies - along with a healthy dollop of hi-jinks and lots of work keeping cash going - and lots of prayer too.
In the shot I am wearing an Earth Day t-shirt from the Taylor dining commons and Stefan is togged out in what I think is a Mu Kappa t-shirt.
The car is a hand-me down that was given to our parents who along with Premi came to the US for 2 years in 92 after I graduated from TU.
Amazingly 8.5 years were spent in the US between Taylor and Yale universities. And I returned back home in Jan 1996 without a single paisa in debt! God is so very very faithful and kind.
The next 11 year stop saw me at 33 and a Dad! I had married the amazing Sheba in the last month of the last millenium. After serving at the Nav Jeevan Hospital in Jharkhand for 4 years (the last year and a half with Sheba) we were clearly called to work in Mumbai with people with HIV and local churches.
The shot below was in early 2001 when we took Asha down to CMC Vellore for a memorable trip.
At the end of the year we shifted over to Thane as the work of the Jeevan Sahara Kendra was picking up steam and we wanted Sheba to be involved more deeply with JSK. Sheba helped shape the beginnings of Jeevan Sahara while she was carrying the rapidly developing fellow who we named Enoch when he was born in Feb 2003!
And finally to 2013. The magic 44 has been reached today.
The last 11 have seen their share of glum times - but how many, many, many blessed ones.
To see Asha and Enoch grow up and start to apply their sharp minds and warm hearts to the world around them is a special joy for Sheba and myself.
I was reading the book of 2nd Timothy this morning and was struck by Paul's statement about how he knows that his time is almost over - but that he has fought the good fight and run the race and kept the faith.
Will I get to 55? 66? anything further? I don't know - but I do want to be where I am today: I am so very very very grateful for these past 44 year. And I am looking forward to however many spins around the sun are left for me... and then on into an eternity that is beyond imagination.