Friday, 11 January 2013

An unexpected journey

Mussoorie is the last place I would expect myself to be in winter - but this morning I bundled out of the train in the darkness of Dehra Dun, got into a trusty-rusty ambassador taxi - and found myself wending up the roads to the cold, blue-washed-with-morning-sun-gold-crispness of Mussoorie.

And look what greeted me when I got out of the taxi at Sister's bazaar:

The awesome sight of Bandarpoonch - its 20K ft peaks towering majestically under the powder blue sky.

I had to pinch myself as I walked down to Shanti Kunj. The morning sun was shining through the oaks, lighting up the ferns and moss growing on their trunks into green gold.  The stark blackness of their twisted forms against the rising warmth put a song in my heart.

I came to Mussoorie this morning on behalf of our families to spend some time with Dad and Mum as Dad injured his neck 2 weeks ago.  But as I walked down leaf littered path in the stunning beauty of the morning I wished so badly it would not only be me walking down - but that we could hear the happy shouts of Asha and Enoch as Sheba and I walked down together.

That was not possible because of the work at Jeevan Sahara and the children's tests that are starting up next week - and so I was designated to bear their love and prayers and get-well-soon cards to Dad and Mum.

And as I turned the final corner - who should I see but Dad himself!  He had come out to close the front gate and saw my white-wooly-hat bobbing down the path.

I was soon ushered in and with hugs and prayers we started the supremely pleasurable business of delighting in each others company.

Dad was looking so great - the cold means that he has to bundle himself up and the Philadelphia collar he wears is hardly seen under the layers.

I had been able to stop in to see Stefan and Neeru briefly yesterday night on the way to the train station - and so was bearing gifts from both the Thane and Dwarka branches of the Eicher family.

But more that the notes and pictures, it was the love and concern that so many have expressed for Dad.  With so much going on, it has been hard for Mum and she picked up a nasty cold which she is just coming out of.

How God works - a week ago, the thought of my coming here seemed impossible.  But when it became clear that Dad would not need surgery (which we were suggesting be done in Thane if it were needed) the thought came to just pop up for a few days.  A dear friend of ours gave the thrust to this by getting Mumbai-Delhi tickets and almost before I could say 'Raymond Elmore Eicher'  here I am in Mussoorie!

That includes gaping in wonder at the beauties that curates all over the house:

And looking stunned at the pristine sky with the hills fading into smoky blues.  All with the almost ringing sound of sheer silence about me.

I drink lots of tea - but today's haul of endless (and very large) mugs of tea and coffee takes the cake (did I mention that Mum made hot apple pie that came right out of the oven as we finished supper)? 

Yes, I think you can sense that I am a bit confused.  I was supposed to come up here to comfort and help and be of use to Mum and Dad.  Instead, I seem to be lapping up beauty like nobodies business.

Truth be told, Mum and Dad were just thrilled - and so grateful to the whole family (and not only in Thane, but also in Dwarka and Alaska) who are standing by them at this time.  I was the happy sacrificial lamb who gets to be the bearer of love.

We talked a lot today - and not only about happy things.  There are dear ones to us who have made and continue to make such destructive choices for themselves and their families.  We prayed and talked and ate and slept (yes - all 3 of us took afternoon naps) and so the day has come to an end.  I am about to turn in to the electric-blanket heated bed down-stairs.   Everything is cold and dark and quiet here in the woods on the edge of the Himalayan foothills.  Below me twinkle the cold diamonds of Dehra Dun's lights.

And far away in Thane-town, Sheba and Asha and Enoch will be returning home from the Friday night Bible study.  They should be back by 11 PM and will be sleeping under a fan.  Sheba's help in holding down so many responsibilities to enable me to bring their love up here makes the experience all the more poignant for me.

Its a strange world - but one where the love of God compels us to move forward.  None of us would have dreamed on Monday that on Friday night I would be here in Mussoorie.  Thank God!


  1. (This is Scotty) Thanks so much for sharing, Andi, and letting us share in your joy of the beauty of your parents and Shanti Kunj. My prayers for Ray's quick and complete recovery.

    1. Thanks Scotty and Lisa - we are looking forward to a visit from you and some key leaders from your church in Lima one of these days!