Friday, 11 September 2015

A wonderful life

So many years ago, TV images were dominated by towers falling in smoke and rubble in the far-away land of New York.

Today on the 11th of September the sun has already set and the low-cloud sky is a dull yellow.  Caws of crows and the grinding traffic sounds, interspersed with honking of various notes drift in through the open windows.  A occasional trill of parrots and the banging of the 'pav-bhaji' stalls from the roadside pepper the soundscape.

Dad is up at Bethany Hospital again.  Dose 2 of Round 5.  His neutrophils were down a bit, but the oncologist gave the go-ahead, so Dad went down and found that there was no room in the inn hospital.   Bethany is bursting at the seams - he had 'booked' a room last week, but his doctor came late and it has been taken for another admission by the time he made it down to the reception.

It's a good problem to have for a hospital - maximum occupancy.

Dad went back home with the assurance that he would get a room at 2 PM.  When he went back it took a few hourse, but he is now hooked up and getting his chemo dose now as I type these words in the gloaming.

Sheba is knitting in the other room - while Asha is preparing for her Hindi exam on Monday.  Enoch and Yohan are playing downstairs - heavily swathed with odomos to keep away the ever present mosquitoes as they play cricket with their pals.

We have an hour before we go out to our staff member Giri's home for supper.  We can expect a good meal made by his wife Sushma and a jolly time playing with his daugther Nissi.

This is the new normal for us.  A life lived with hope today, and in the swirls of all that is going on around us.  We very much feel and experience the prayers of many.  It's a wonderful life.

14 years ago we heard the world crack when we were serving at the Nav Jeevan Hospital in Jharkhand.  Our TV had died due to a lightning strike the previous monsoon, but we went over to Dr. Pradhan's home that evening to see the terrible sights of the towers collapsing.

Who would have imaged then the meltdown we see across Syria and northern Iraq today.

Le plus c'est change...

Kingdoms have risen and fallen in the past too of course.  Mum tells us how in the dying days of the WW2 things were so uncertain that rumours spread about how the world would end on so and so a date.  And with their world having collapsed under the allied bombs and the final surrender of the Reich - those statements carried a weight of plausibility.

How to reconcile the wide arch of history with the day to day business of living?  How to deal with the questions of the end of time and the rhythms of washing dishes and eating together?  How amazing that we can even consider these eon-spanning thoughts while at the same time humming a tune in our heads and walking through the events of the day in our minds.

It's a good thing we live in an open universe and that we have a Father who cares amidst the dizzying vastness of space and the mind-numbing banality that so much of humanity (confession - myself) has latched onto.

Sheba is preparing soup for Dad to eat when he returns from the hospital.   We are likely to be given chicken curry at Giri and Sushma's place.  Our lives weave in and out like dancers in a line.  Thank you for being part of our journey into grace.

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