The Ghost of her – Short Fiction

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” For the first time in my life as the music played I realized dimly that I had no one to think of, imagine for, feel as a part of my soul.., I was totally disengaged from pure notions of romance, instead I experienced such musical longings with dazed, emptied and free emotions.., strangely love was not something that I longer realized, relished much less believed in…”

Let’s just say that whatever expressions of affection, the dying, defeated, broken ones that my soul seems to cling on to.. ie the romantic kind are attracted towards her. Her, sounded like the sweetest hymn that inspired melancholic longings so ferocious and fierce that they seemed to make me sadder and sadder as I intensely re-entered the scars that she had left behind… Each time a contact full of promise failed I broke inwardly a little, I became a little more regressive, a little less hopeful and a lot more frustrated in a cognitive, invisible manner.

I am an asker of questions.., Why did she have to come into my life..? Why did she leave..? Why did she return back again..? I knew that there was a realistic nature towards the events that had transpired between the both of us which probably involved her doing what was best for her future, her life and her ambitions…, but being the loner that I am, I replay back the last great thrill of romantic tragedy that affected my life and my heart.

In my heart of hearts I knew that I probably did not inspire the kind of chemical reactions that she had inspired in mine.., I was probably not as attractive as the guys that she found attractive.., the cultural dresses that she grew up around was in stark contrast to what I grew up around, I was a flaming contradiction of paradoxes.., but who was she..? Beyond my acute exciting fear of her.., who was she really..? Why did I want her..? That singular question stumped me.., most of my life I had survived well and fine on my own, I was infamous for being close mouthed about everything and anything, but this pathetic need for somebody else was scaring me…, I had dealt with it in some way or the other for the past four years.., but still I hated appearing weak, vulnerable, needy and desperate..!

Sure she probably yawned, brushed, and snored like the rest of our lowly selves.., but why did this powerful need to immerse myself in the reality of her intoxicate, mystify and excite me..? Me the notoriously passive aggressive individual who waited until all the constellations would be right before he could gather up the appropriate courage to speak in a way that created an impression in a potential mate, life partner, girlfriend etc. My track record thus far was a disastrous one, filled to the brim with debacles, mishaps, painful one sided infatuations that never materialized into even a small hello over prolonged, painful years…, why did I still wish to attempt to fight against what had and will always be against me..?

Why does it feel sweet to imagine her to be my one and only..? Why does she seem, feel and appear sweet..? What if she was as cruel, aloof and deceitful as Summer in 500 days of Summer..? What invisible, learned, conditioned inner processes fuel a girl’s rejection..? How did I appear in her eyes..? What action of mine had the capacity to spark interest in her fierce, womanly self..? Why did I feel like she was the gasoline that met my fiery flames..?

She came in like the wind, unsaid, blowing mystical fragrance into the universe of my soul…, made me feel things that I believed had died when my last gf had dumped me after a year long complicated circus of pain, torment and endless strife not to mention hurt. She brought back the faith that I desired in love.., and yet she still remains outside my powers of persuasion, I am not good at accepting defeat, rejection and the word No…, it creates a pain so deep within me that I struggle to come to grips with what transpired, being the dreamer I think that she feels the same way I feel about her.

I hate how much of myself finds irresistible joy in her..! How could someone so petite, so innocuous, so naive and so controlling inspire the kind of interest that I have revealed..? How many hours have I spent in delighted inner reverie merely imagining my life intermingling with the mere presence of her..? How many guilty trips have I made to her Facebook profile..? To her Instagram..? Only to encounter the cold splash of reality of her avoiding, moving on and irately blocking my attempts to enter her life or whatever bits and pieces that I could find online.

I am growing, I can sense it in the occasional jerk in reality that I get as I receive flashes of the new mingling into the old. I see the airports,the dusty faces, the places that I moved within… I see my vision opening up, my old fears encountering the brimming power of new frames of colors bursting with joy…, I see everything, I observe everything and anything out of the context heavy crowd that I find myself in constantly. I view people as though I would be receiving a staggering revelation of something hidden within their lives.

I had run into her online. Not her personal self, but her shrine of her personal memories.. her activities and her passions.., encountering her had brought back in full effect the ghost of her.., always within me.., but never becoming life#

Chronicles of an Imperfect Saint.

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I woke up and saw everything around me in terror. My heart racing over what I had seen, felt and done.

What had I done..? What had I done..?

I felt an unearthly fear grip me. I hear the light growl of a street dog in the distance, I hear the familiar sounds of the night in an unsafe neighborhood at unease with the unseen forces of terror that stalk and prowl, I feel my heart beat racing. Was I going to die today..? Did I have the assurance of salvation..? I had been engaging in a dangerous game of backsliding and grace abuse for the past two to three weeks, had I exhausted God’s patience..? Was murder going to become the way that I encountered God before I was to be led towards the fiery, never ending flames of hell..? I began to search for verses in my memory to combat the overpowering, domineering forces inherent in my mind. I tried to remember past experiences where I had been rescued, saved and comforted. I tried to calm myself and stop feeling what I felt. I did not have any luck… I knew the fear that I was feeling all too well. In my spiritual mind, I tried to discern if it was a spirit, if it was a spirit operating the mention of Jesus would yield a breakthrough in some unseen, mystical and supernatural way. The past few weeks I had been swamped with village visits, personal evangelism, preaching, witnessing, writing, shooting for tv, and testifying of the Lord’s power in the town that I was placed by the Lord. It was one of my greatest spiritual longings coming to life, and it had been coming to life in the greatest possible way… But I felt completely disconnected to it all despite being spiritually empowered and able in the greatest way possible. But the simplest way to put it across to you would be that I felt myself staring at it in unbelief. Not the emotional, overwhelming sort of unbelief. But the suspicious, anxious and unthinking kind where I did not even possess a human spark or capacity to comprehend what was at work in my life at the moment.

I had started to work as an evangelist slash (sub sub) assistant pastor to a Theologian, Pastor and Bible Teacher and despite my fears of the past, despite my fears of getting caught in a wrong situation, and getting caught up with some maniacal, Over Righteous Perfectionist whose bruising words of judgment, criticism and condescension would torment me eternally, I had taken a dive because working for the Lord was what I had been created for, it was the reason that I was alive today and it was the only passion in my life that consumed me 24/7. Prior to this dive I had had three months of fiery tests, tremendous mental trials and financial suffering as I quit my job at a Gospel Channel that I had had the pleasure of shepherding, laboring for and being a part of for two years. In that channel I had had my own tv show, I was popular on account of that show and everywhere I went people began to recognize me. As blessed as that made me feel, I could hardly care less.. It was the joy of ministering to people that I enjoyed, I was a wise man who had suffered endless trials and wounds in my past, I knew the perilous side of popularity and I wanted none of it, I enjoyed people finding a reason to talk to me, apart from that I did not particularly enjoy being known as someone who was a collection of television pixels in many houses.. I wished more to be a man of use to the Lord, effective to Him and absolutely of usefulness to the King of Kings who knew the pitfalls, downfalls and the people type who were rampant in my town.. I have always been more concerned about pleasing God than man.

I had my own individual, unique, God created way of ministering and I would usually get offended when people pointed out legal errors in my style that I had never been very thrilled about perfecting, as I had studied the Bible I knew deeply that the Lord chooses certain people for who they are and for who He had created them to be, but He would fill them with Him and then use them in Holy, awe inspiring Power. I get offended because people want me to be like them, to think like them and to talk like them in a Biblical manner, God has given me a different gifting that I find the most satisfaction in, it has enabled me to do His work in a form and fashion that is more about individual healing, understanding and empathy driven counselling, fiery preaching, expository sermonizing, building up deep personal connections, initiating complete engagement and filled with Holy, inspiring and Godly passion. My leadership was more in tune with my Master, Jesus.. I was a man of the people, I hung out with sinners but I fed them truths about the gospel, I prayed fervently for them(if i’m honest right now, it has been weeks since I have prayed for anyone with my style of time), I tried to bring out the best in them, I encouraged them, I supported them and I loved them like I loved myself, or at least attempted to heroically. I allowed them to be them self and I was wise about their nature, since I observed, studied and understood them in ways that they probably have not had the joy of being accepted. All such abilities come along with my Godly anointing, power and filling. It is the Power of the LORD that has helped me perform things that I am thoroughly incapable of. I was created for a different purpose, I was not created to please men, I was created to please God. I was a man of God, no matter how many times I say it I find it hard to believe and accept.

Growing up I never had a feel for my talents, gifts and uniqueness. I only found myself wounded since I was always overlooked, underappreciated and never recognized.

The worst part about the last few weeks was that I was underfed in my spirit. My prayers had been very distracted, filled with all kinds of fears, fraught with nervous tension, wary of Godly punishment and aloof from Biblical confrontation. I always have observed how the Lord grows sharp in rebuke the further I emotionally disconnect from Him. I enjoy that actually since i’m the exact same way. I know that only love has that quality. But it has taken me time to understand it, since I have always felt personally hurt with punishment since I grew up, a fearful, awkward, shy and self conscious kid. Academically I was poor, teachers rarely praised,admired, acknowledged my existence or even enjoyed my presence… As a matter of fact nobody that I knew acknowledged me, I was unseen, invisible and deemed unworthy. I was not loved for who I was, I was seen for who I was not. I was always at the bottom of the food chain.. words such as weak student, failure, slow learner, inept, foolish and other hurtful words in the Tamil language were bestowed upon me often. I gradually learned to look at myself based on the treatment, the words and the acceptance that I received. This was not frequent, but happened 80 percent of the time. It was always implied though, and my intuition has always been on point.

My parents were often informed of my low grades, and I felt humiliation at being such a poor example of my parents at my first school. I knew my parents story, they had worked so hard to come to where we were at the moment, and here I was ruining their name, their image and their pride. I felt shame about it, but I never talked about it, but it was something that I always felt even though there are tons of negatives about me. Very early on I could pick out social themes around me , one of them was inequality, I could understand why people looked over me, I could understand why they saw dark skin and saw it as something that reminded them of ugliness.., it reminded them of the ditch, the crows and unattractiveness. So you can clearly see the k I couldn’t understand why they still didn’t feel that even such a sort of inferior person, atleast in their eyes .. Still how they felt that such a person did not deserve kindness, respect and love is beyond me.. Culturally people grow up humanistically foolish.. My different world has always enabled me to be deeply humane despite all of my flaws.

So from my narrative you can sense the kind of emotional baggage that I possess in my heart towards being confrontational, controlling, judgmental and being criticized. All these experiences have drained into my nature a kind of individualistic, independence with a protective rebelliousness, where I learned to protect myself through self imposed isolation and emotional distance. I could understand why.. God has always given me deep understanding, but what I struggled, wrestled with and was unable to come to terms with was the question How. How could people disrespect and be so unkind..? How could people kill..? How could people humiliate others and never ask sorry..? How could people be so cruel to somebody else..? How..? How..?

At my first school, Inequality was implied, reinforced and taught consciously and unconsciously, at my second school it was worse. In the Indian education system teachers were allowed to punish, hit and hurt students back in my day. The motive was to make students succeed, I wonder if it has ever accomplished that though. For four long years, I went to a hostel where I encountered this in full force. I had failed 8th grade in my first school, which meant that I had to repeat it once again. Deeply depressed and hungry for a new experience, I asked my mother to enroll me in a school that I felt would make me stronger. Growing up around rich kids, privileged kids and amongst kids who knew how to express themselves with pride, strength and arrogance.. I felt weak, inferior, ugly, unattractive, undesired, left over and untalented. At my next school, my academic and socializing inabilities encountered bullying, teasing, cruel physical punishment, taunting, fights, pride, strength, force and verbal punishment. I was the one who was always punished the most, the one who felt the sickness in the system the most and the one who felt the hurt of others the most, growing up I could never sense anybody have the kind of heart for the suffering like I did. I say that with all humility, since the school that I studied at after failing eight grade implied that one had the license to be arrogant by brute force and be recognized as some sort of man. I can only laugh at the foolishness of all such imbeciles and snobs now, but still I have the humbling, my own pride breaking sense to also reach out with compassion to the bully in the same manner that I reach out to the suffering.

Punishment meant that I was unloved, rebuke meant that I was inferior, I knew that I couldn’t treat the Lord this way, as strong as it made me feel to have the power to stay within protective distance from the Lord’s rod of correction, I knew deeply well that I wouldn’t be able to stand a minute of His distance.., I would self destruct if He were to abandon and neglect me.., I would gladly murder myself if He were to distance Himself away from me forever. I can’t bear His distance, I can’t bear Him not enjoying me, I can’t bear Him being apart from me even though i’m an idiot who forgets things and acts belligerently and disrespectfully. More than seeing God as God, I view Him through the lens of my need.. Chiefly my inner most needs of wanting love at all times, at all costs and during all times. If He were to abandon me, I would revert to my former self, with all its demonic oppression, lies, fears and deep deep anxieties.

It had frightened me to my deepest core. The nightmare ie. But I sighed as I felt the absence of the deep darkness that I had felt as soon as I had woken up. I felt a deep burden lift from my the depths of my soul. The burden of my past and the promise of the future and my human inability to comprehend the power of both unsettled me, I wrestle when the burden of it all gets too much for my fragile human heart to handle. Christ has released me from the prison, the torment, mental suffering, the agony and the mental anguish of my past, but I still struggle to understand the difference. I can feel the presence of familiar strongholds, in my life they were not only based on personal suffering of the academic kind, they were of the highly sensitive kind, they were of the artistic kind, they were rooted to the chaos of a culture blind to the power of life in all its gory, brutal realities, I see too much, sense too much, feel too much and realize too much. I wish that I didn’t know what I know. But I do, and Christ is the only power capable of helping me from such an insane, deep evil at work in the human mind, in the outer fabric, layer, nature and power of reality as it manifests itself in places, people and situations.

Blackness.., blackness possessed the room. I could hear the deep slumbering whimpers of my canine lying next to me. I realized that the Lord had woken me up to pray. I was leaving for a trip, and He always knew how overwhelmed I got in unfamiliar places. He was asking me to pray to Him, He was asking me to rest in Him, to be refreshed in spirit and to talk to Him since He knew how hurt I had been in my last few trips after being ignored, rejected and unpleasantly treated by people. I immediately felt my own confusions stirring, why did I have to ask Him in order to gain it..? Didn’t my Heavenly Father know whatever I wished, required and wanted before I could find words to speak them..? Why did I have to ask Him..? My questions only aroused my deepest confusion, I wouldn’t be able to understand why I felt the way I felt, but I knew that my spiritual man needed to encounter Him. This was my spiritual mind at work, stuff that I can never explain with reason, even though I can if I wish to.

In my nightmare I had encountered a gang of hooligans, who wished to harm me and I had physically assaulted one of them out of self defense. He fell to the floor, bleeding and hurt. In my dream he dies, I immediately run away from that place, alarmed at my act and deeply disturbed by my own viciousness. Prior to this sequence, I had made a friend, and he invites me to a posh, three star restaurant and he has been sacked by that establishment, and I feel protective of him and wish to defend him. I knew that my violent attack in the nightmare was derived from my recent travels.., I had passed through Vellore’s prisons a week ago on route to an all night prayer, and I imagined the evil at work in the cruelty of the system that was godless, perverse and inhuman. I had shuddered at the thought of ending up there, my dream used that fear.., My current ministry also involves that I spread the gospel to the nearby villages that lie in scores all around my town, villages where the demonic Hindutva faction RSS are deeply rooted in. They are well known for using violence as a weapon to assault evangelists and preachers. I naturally feel fearful despite the thick sheet of God’s presence always around me, India is a cruel place for evangelists.., and persecution is a hidden truth.., but that’s the price that one pays for loving Christ.. I find that fear also woven into the nightmare.., I also sense the anger that I had felt in the evening towards a group of young guys at the ground that I played at. Their nature was so proud, haughty, rebellious, self loving and disrespectful.. in a spurt of emotion, I had imagined myself combatting those guys and teaching them some basic manners, this too was present in that dream. Over the past few days, my dreams had elicited fear and danger, these were themes that I was always discerning about in my life, not only as a former prisoner of fear, but as a prisoner of Christ wary of worldly realities that satan wished to preserve at all costs. I felt a spirit of fear at work in that nightmare, but the Lord was speaking more powerfully to me that I was around violent, demonic powers and that I needed to protect myself in His power.

I didn’t need any further prompting. I got off the bed, and opened the door and went to the Hall.

I knew that the city that I was heading to was tremendously difficult to stomach after my powerful experience with the Lord four or so years ago. Four years ago, the city had been my home for the better part of 7 years. In it I had grown up to become the man that I was right now, the city was like my mother.., I learned, grew confident in myself and learned to take charge.. But right now as an artist, writer and evangelist things would be different… I would not only see physical uncleanness, dirt, endless unkind and foul realities.. I would be barraged and assaulted by endless unkind, vile and disrespectful things that would make me sick to my stomach since the Bible is clear that God Himself begins to live within us after we are saved, and the Lord is hurt by a world of unkindness, uncleanness and hate. The thing that would hurt me the most as an evangelist would be the spiritual reality: scores and scores of diverse people groups divided by race, creed, nationality, social standing etc etc walking around having not even the most fundamental knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The attractiveness of people there would intimidate and confound me, the ease and comfort of people’s confidence would hurt and wound me, the intelligence and ability of people there would make me feel insignificant and useless.. My natural resources dry up the moment I hit its shores. I can only thrive and survive with Jesus power.

Godly power has enabled me to evangelize to most of my former friends in some shape, degree and fashion, all to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have loads and loads of basketball teammates, friends in petrol bunks, friends working behind the counter of the In and out stores.., watchmen and security guards.., auto drivers, homeless bums, flower sellers, beggars.. In my eyes, much like my Lord, everyone is a friend. I live that out, and I love that it is the way it is. I have always hated limits, rules and boundaries between people. In my life prior to encountering Christ.., I enjoyed conversing with people from different religions, different thinking styles.., I had among my friends.. Homosexuals, transgenders, shady types, bike mechanics, atheists who blasphemed the Lord routinely, Fanatics, people who blatantly did not like me.., but I was intrigued by them even though I have felt hurt on numerous occasions, I still enjoyed their personality, their person and their presence.., I had no thoughts about their sins.., their lifestyle and their mistakes.. In my eyes, I myself struggled with numerous sins, what made me so different from them all..? I still feel the same way.., God has enabled me to love people more powerfully since then.., where I couldn’t comprehend their choices, habits and lifestyle.., as a reformed man of God I can comprehend it.., and I see the staleness that sins create in a human soul. There is no art, no beauty in sin.., it only corrupts, destroys and breaks.., and now I do my best to save, rescue and help people with the living gospel of Jesus Christ which I believe with my life, my full heart and with all my mind.

This is why I love that city so much, it helps me experience people so different from me. I can’t wait to get there despite my natural fears, hesitations and anxieties.

I would like to leave you all finally with a moral from a recent experience that I had with one of my great friends. Part of my personal evangelism ensures that I hang out with tremendously difficult people who have nothing in common with me, but I plunge into camraderie, debate, conversation and endless attempts to win souls over, both to Christ and into a brotherly fellowship with me where I lead them into a deeper knowledge, power and understanding of Jesus Christ. The ending result is that I find myself facing intimidation, heartbreak, I encounter the shallow, nonspiritual nature of men, I encounter tremendous tremendous frustration, embarrassment, shame and awkwardness. I enjoy it deeply despite my well known aversion of any kind of pain. I literally have to stalk and follow people who want nothing to do with me, or with my calling, or with the Lord that I love so dearly in my heart of hearts despite my incredible weaknesses.

After my split from Tv ministry, the Lord paired me up with a friend i’d like to call Captain Wonder, which is his nickname by the way. He and I are worlds apart, but connected both by blood and by faith. He is my brother in Christ and I love him dearly, and affectionately.. But I was having trouble dealing with his way of looking at things recently. I had sent a story of mine that I wanted him to read. I know well how deeply restless his soul is, and how impatient he is, and how being outrageously extroverted is all that he knows. Still I wanted him to know my thoughts, my stories and my soul. I sent him the link to my wordpress account. I had chosen a story that I had written three years ago about a young man in a new city. I had gone through great efforts to send him that link, since finding this particular story meant that I spend half an hour searching through my posts since I have written around 400-500 of them. I also don’t share my works with people, since I know that their insecurity often parades as criticism and insight. Five minutes later, I get a reply from him stating that I used too many commas, full stops and that he couldn’t understand what I meant. Naturally I was hurt, upset and discouraged by his reply, but I wished to overlook it.

A few days passed and then he sent his writings to me. He had had a dramatic encounter at a temple in Thiruvanamalai a few years ago, which is a local religious hotspot for hindu devotees who view it as some sort of mystical shrine of their gods.. Wasting his life around material excess and moral confusion, he felt his soul encounter the truth of Christ in a place as spiritually dead as Thiruvanamalai. That touch had inspired him to walk with Christ, although he was struggling with direction and witness. I went over his written message, I enjoyed its vulnerability, I enjoyed its emotions and I enjoyed its effort. I understood what it meant, I understood also its unspoken emotion. If I had used his same critique about grammar, language and punctuation, his work was a disorderly mess. A casual reader would’ve discarded it the moment he would’ve picked it up. His understanding of the language was as astounding as his complete ignorance of how to use it with power, imagination and conveying a story. His thoughts had no order, it did not have the power to convey what he wished to say, his grammar was as correct as the random order of stuff in a garbage can. His understanding of his profound spiritual insight was as uninspiring as a cold wave of the sea with no color and life… These are observations that speak about the outer nature of things.. Which is the Biblical way.. the Bible points out outer ugliness to correct an inner dysfunction…I did not wish to gloat over my glee at his inability, I was a wounded healer and a preacher who often used both roles to convey scriptural truths. It was not his offensive response to my story that bugged me, it was more than that. I have a fellowship that met regularly on thursdays, where he is an active member. He has supported, provided for and shouldered that ministry from the start. But there were personal attitudes that were very demeaning, controlling, confused and power driven that I wished to help him understand, give him the inspiration to change and draw him closer to Jesus which was my ultimate goal. Working directly with people helps one understand the immense spiritual distance that exists between God and man, and how man often times assumes the greatest things about himself which are often deceptive and untrue.

I called him up and asked him if we could eat outside. He readily agreed. We hit up a local tandoori place and were very soon sinking our teeth into some grilled barbecue chicken, one of the finest in Vellore. I asked him about how things were going, I asked him the condition of his faith and his day. Midway through, in his method of apologizing he opened up about why he couldn’t read it. I asked him if he was ready for a few spiritual insights..? To which he replied that he was. I asked him how he would feel if his hardwork, endless nights of frustration, blood, sweat and tears ended up in a person’s hands and he dismissively cast it aside.. Understanding the response and trying to use familiarity as a way of encountering it, he talked about how he could understand what I was saying, and that he knew why I was saying the stuff that I was saying. Ministry work has helped me see that people often upset by making you feel upset in a way that is very subtle, but avoids an exposition of things that they are rebelling in.

I empathized with his convicting pain, I told him that this was how most of us were like towards the Lord, and that we were so blatantly disrespectful towards Him and His wants but pester and get from Him things that we want. I told my friend that we are all least concerned about the Lord’s feelings but only consumed by our own. I told him as a friend that I myself was an ugly sinner whose good works were like filthy rags, but that Christ enables me serve, love and obey Him. He grew silent, maybe for the first time in decades he learned to see a thing in the eyes of God’s most intense longing for humanity. The Lord makes us to become like Him. He enjoys who we are, but He knows that we can only touch the world if we are like Him.

Friends, I leave you with these stories, personal accounts and discoveries until the next time. God bless you and may you discover the king of Kings and know and understand that He is the ultimate treasure, passion and life worth living for.

First hit… Memories of shame

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I am always trying to ponder inner realities that exist within me. Coming to terms with what they are conveying.., I perhaps to write to understand what I feel so powerfully within me.., I write to share my side of the fence.., I write to live.., I write because I am in love with words, stories, prose, beauty, literature and secrets and feel compelled to treasure this gift of gab. I believe that a writer is someone whose soul can see past the nature of make believe outer reality, and into the real heart of things.

I can’t understand what is happening in my heart.., but I feel a tremendous heaviness on it right now. My Father and I had had our usual Saturday night conversation.., the topics varied from England dropping out of the EU to my sermon that I had just finished delivering in the church opposite to our house. He highlighted things in my sermon that were hard to take.., it was the usual criticism.., ‘repetitions, unwanted honesty, forgetfulness…’ etc.., I had to listen to my parents and their observations since they were just as sensitive as me when it comes to not realizing the brevity and reality of things. All my happiness and joy at battling intense inner fear, nervous anxiety, strain etc and then standing before young people who were so cynical, dismissive and attempted to mockingly laugh and smile at your face and delivering a message fizzled away as I listened to what he was saying.., He could be really persistent when he wished to convey truths about my sermon that I could never see…, Call me insane but.., I don’t understand criticism because I deal with my own inner insecurity.., and to heave a dose of observation right after a tremendous test was quite horrifying to me…I sometimes wish people listened with their heart and not with their mind.., but he is my dad and I love him in ways that I can’t even comprehend.., he has done so much for me.., and struggles with a burden so big.., for my sake…, I can’t help but listen to my hero…but I have to remind myself to sit alone with my Lord.., perhaps I can climb above the slab of the upper floor and be alone.., and pour my heart, my tears and my feelings to Him who truly cares…, maybe I can become sane again.

I’ve discovered that most of us are expert talkers.., but few can look beneath the layers and words and understand the heart.., and find the selflessness to love back courageously and look past our own scars, wounds and weaknesses…, True Love seems to be too easy to long for and so hard to find. I am no longer content with human love.., I demand, desire and hunger for a love that can conquer.., accept me at my absolute worst and encounter me at my most insane and still love me fiercely, ferociously and insanely.., So far I can only count Jesus in that list.., nobody else comes even close.., perhaps my parents, sis and doggy can be added after a billion kilometers.., but then again God gave them to me.., and they ask me to love God more than them.., maybe I could place them after a million kms since for the first 25 years or so they were the only reflection of God that I could see, feel and enjoy and they were incredible, amazing and otherworldly at it. I’m blessed and thankful always.

I remember not so long ago when I bumped into an old acquaintance of mine. He had been a mentor to me in my past.., but a hard, no compassion showing dictator who was relentless in his handling of me.., I was chastised often.., rebuked often.., told to study hard.., and it always felt like his methods were too extreme.., too hard and too painful for a hyper sensitive, dreamer in love with his imagination such as myself… and I could clearly see that I was nothing like him… He had built up his own empire from scratch.., he started one of the most powerful ministries during the 90’s and had been responsible for a wave of revival that had hit Vellore during that time.., all of a sudden there was a surge of meetings, revival meetings, youth meetings, Godly sightings.., Angelic Sightings.., curing of terminal illnesses such as Cancer, Aids, Tumors etc… God had touched the sun scorched soil of Vellore in centuries.., and my Ex Mentor had been in the thick of things.., He was a disciplinarian, who was a hardcore perfectionist… He had a soft side to him and I could see it work on certain people.., but he was above the pack and was always leading the charge and taking all hostages with him.

Growing up I had always struggled with feelings that I could never be good at anything. I saw people naturally blooming all around me.., and I was never good at anything…, I struggled with insecurity.., inferiority and shame.., I always dreamt of killing myself in my early years.

I was his polar opposite, ie of my Imperfect Mentor.., I was a free spirit, but I could feel too powerfully the pain of a hurting, broken world.., I was deeply hurt at the plight of the street dogs whose stomachs had shrunk and the bones of their rib cage showed real clearly.., I felt pained when I saw people throwing stones at their feet, I was hurt by the fact that dogs and human beings had to search in the trash for food…, I was hurt by how some people never had the freedoms and privileges that I enjoyed.., my heart was always reaching out to the lonely, the hurt and the broken… I disliked the life that everybody led, I wanted to live a life that I enjoyed.. the childhood version of it was to live on an island away from people and that island would have libraries, food for eternity and a world class view of the stars that I would see every single night.., I enjoyed freedom, I loved being free.., I did not like to be tied down, I always dreamt of freedom the more I found myself in systems.., I enjoyed sports.., and I had a hunger in my soul to reach for the stars.. I dreamt all day long of fame.., of fortune and of beautiful stories that I could imagine, and maybe create someday.

After the initial years of growing up next to him, my parents decided that I would do a year in my Dad’s Alma Mater – MCC.., up and until that moment I felt trapped in Vellore.., Vellore was too raw and primal.., there wasn’t class, refinement, integrity or friendliness here…, I felt nothing but inner torment, anguish and boredom in my early years.., School was a bore.., I struggled to cope up…, I was detained after classes all the time.., or I had to cross paths with stronger, more assertive seniors who used me to beef up their own credentials.., I was either a punching bag or a source of teasing and scorn.., My skin color was highlighted which made me feel ugly, unwanted and awkward.., I was never accepted by my peers for some strange reason.., most of them were the sons and daughters of either rich industrialists or doctors.., I guess I was not their type.., I felt unwanted by them .. My teachers did not exactly convey any feelings of me being embraced or celebrated either…, You remember what people don’t say to you and what people can’t see in you.., I still do to this day.., I remember feeling like I was of no use to this world and I dreamt often of death and suicide… I was an invisible person who had to live like I was different.., like I was not special and like I was of a lower species…, My language speaking skills would be highlighted often.., or my grades would be brought up.., Nobody worried for me.., they were just shoving my lack of interest in academia into my face and telling me that I was useless. The hardest part of it was to feel shame for the sake of my parents.., who I could see were such kind, gentle souls and here I was shoving a brutal reality pill into their faces because of my sensitive soul… They had worked hard to get to where they were.., my Dad had undergone tremendous trials.., losing both his parents.. moving here and there.., taking care of his sisters…, struggling to come up in his own life, and my mother came from a very poverty stricken family and had studied hard to reach the management ranks of the most prestigious hospitals in our town… I had let them down.., here they were working so hard under really hard circumstances to make something of me, and here I was just wasting it all away.., I was never considered for anything or thought to be anything.., I loved sports.., but nobody took a special interest in me.., or thought that I could amount to much.., Growing up I so badly wanted somebody to believe in me and push me in fields that I was interested in.., but sadly I had none.

Such experiences with the unkind, non grace offering parts of life made me really hunger and long for love, for empathy.., for being understood despite what was going on on the surface.., I wanted people to feel sorrow for me.., but I was confused since I saw people from even lower places than me survive, fight and live.., this further made me despise myself and made me close my mouth. I did not want to talk it out to somebody and listen to them talk about things on the surface.. Nobody had the power to perceive the depths of me.. No one.. Unless I talked about it.., and when I did.., it did not impact them in the level that it impacted me.., my inner struggles helped me listen deeply to other warriors dealing with a cruel cruel life.., late on in my life.., my wounds, scars and inner demons created an artist…, created a resource so deep for my craft.., but the same feelings that I heard in my earlier years would trickle into my heart after any accomplishment.., ‘This is not good enough..’, ‘ Is this the best that you can give..?’…, ‘ Look at him/her they seem to do it in a way that feels easier than you..’.., ‘ This felt easy.., you’ve not been really challenged yet..’.., ‘ You call this writing..? A 8 year old with no understanding can write better stuff than what you just did…’ …, and so on and so forth.

When we had moved into the colony that we are staying at right now, he was the only person who was caring enough to welcome us and to also help us ingratiate ourselves to the culture of the small island of Christian only homes that stretched down two parallel streets. He was so kind.., and took such genuine efforts to include us and make us feel welcome…, but I remember the initial awkwardness of it all.., I remember my neighbors treat my mother with disrespect as she attempted friendly conversations with them.. I could not see it in their faces but I got a hint of it in my heart.., I was offended that they could respond to my mother’s genuine smile with a calculated one, how inconsiderate were they that they offered hate for love..? And I was never wrong about them.., all those highly rude individuals always seemed to find newer ways to establish their supremacy in our lives, their facial coldness seldom seemed to still.., they were always wound up, always ready to attack and always eager to express their imaginary dominance… and I am a really objective guy.., but I have always abstained from those who don’t welcome… I believe that it all comes down to early experiences. I have always struggled with being rejected.., I still do.., now I am a tough nut to crack.., but my heart is too soft. I am like my mom.., dedicated, personal and intense.., I used to alienate myself and rebel to gain strength briefly but I comply, conform and humble myself for the sake of the gospel these days, and the friendship of my Lord has really helped me forget those initial difficulties.

Nothing special seemed to happen to me.., nobody wanted to talk to me.., nobody seemed excited to be my friend.., nobody could really see me.., I understand it all now.., but the heart of a guy who knows and desires love but finds emptiness.., egoism and hostility can be hurt eternally. I did not get any love letters.., I was not anybody’s best friend.., I was hurt by the lack of interest.. by the indifference.. by the unkindness and chiefly by the inability to perceive one as being important, necessary, needed etc hurt me. But I guess those initial years and the senses that I absorbed have made me the person that I am today.., have helped me take on the cross for Christ’s sake.., and have created in me a hunger to find people who suffer the same silence that I did.., and perhaps lead them with the help of the Holy Spirit to the Lord Himself.

I don’t know who ends up reading this.., but I will beckon you to attempt to make the world a better place than the way you found it. I implore you to know Jesus as your personal Savior since the world can overwhelm, destroy and kill your good intentions.., but Christ can help you with His strength and power and lead you to work for the Kingdom of God.., and believe me the benefits are out of this world.

Confessions: Lost chances( Short fiction)

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‘ Is it your fault.., or was it mine..? Whom do I blame for this sorrow..?’
– Translated from a tamil song

The basketball court grew translucently vacant after eleven in September… September made you feel different in the city.., as a watcher of people I pick up on a lot, all cities have the same traffic.., the same zone defense of public roads.., the same feisty cops pulling up bikers with helmets…, but God has different layers to each month.., the trees lose more leaves.., there are a lot more winds.., the waves of marina are are more lustful of the shore.., loneliness is much deeper in the underground caves.., and the antisocial appears every now and then when things grow still after the din grows low… A man who knew loneliness sat here often hoping to absorb the energy of sane souls, I knew him as well although he and I don’t really talk much.. I get the sense that the world that he occupies does not allow entry of people who talked.., he was a sad soul.., lost to a world that was indifferent to his plight.., unkind to his homelessness and harsh to his presence.., can’t really blame him.., but I wanted him to pour his soul into mine and feel my warming fire.., I was not exactly normal either.., I was a misfit myself.., a loner who preferred a ball and an empty court to people… Friends in my life were people whom I knew but who never knew me.., I was too deep to be understood, I was too distracted by the world to conform to their demands and expectations which seemed silly and childish in my eyes.., I was a man who knew things before they happened and who saw things before they were perceived.., I was whatever place I absorbed and I was whoever people wished me to be. The Park drew in folks.., the park did not catch your attention immediately, you would pass it by and it would not invoke any sensation.., it was bare, plain and possessed no juicy vibe.., like a plain woman you passed her by.., and then you encounter them and you begin to know them and you get the sense that you were guilty of perhaps discrimination but you’re safe since it happened in the secretive layers of your mind…. but this park was where I in all of Madras city found myself drawn to.. Perhaps this would be my own dream theater of performance.., where I can be the heroic motif that I pick in my day dreams.., where I create a legacy for my own knowledge but unseen and unrealized by those who frequent this same place as me.

There was always a buzz on the basketball court.., the eager to flaunt players held hostage by their domineering coach.., the visitors who sat on the stone galleries to ponder life’s mysteries.., the middle aged uncles who rested their vertebrae after a back breaking walk around the park to burn off calories.., shady cats whose eyes glinted with the spirit of marijuana and who scowled and mocked everybody that their eyes could see.., homeless drunks who argued loudly and later slept soundly in the top stair of the stone gallery.., local flower men who sold threaded jasmine buds to middle class city bred ‘Iyer’ ladies who slept on the hard stone floor.., Fatigued auto-rickshaw men resting after a tiring day…The court was my kingdom.., and I imagined myself to be the king of my court.., and it was my job to realize with the eyes of the heart the souls that walked through the court.. I would attempt stories from what I felt when my heart touched upon their souls.. I would also try to place each person with a song that I would spend hours searching for.., or perhaps crystallize them with a poem..By nature I am distant since I could care less about the formality of mere connectivity.. I could not understand why people had to spend so much time getting acquainted.., I know the bad ones.., they always try to make you love them and they always try to puff you up.., the rest are a mystery that requires patient chopping .., my mind is always afar since I alienate myself from the usual.., but there is a music to each soul that one can listen if one listens closely.., a hidden tale buried within each layer.., and I was determined to discern and navigate through the darkness of being.

He was one of those middle aged men who enjoyed mere banter. He had a charming and disarming way of engaging you.., He and I shared the same lonely space for quite a period of months, I wanted him to find it in himself to dare break the invisible walls that people erected around themselves.., He approached me with praise, a great conversation starter.., he wanted to understand why anybody would choose a public park to practice after 11.30.., a place well known for antisocial scum, insane marauding hooligans on bikes and bloodthirsty wanderers… I responded by saying that I could say the same about him to a certain extent.., A spark glowed in the darkness of that court which was a well-known magnet for unfinished tales.., broken hearts and restless souls… He would generally do his circular walks around the park with a distracted look, he found the practice difficult but he still kept at it.., he was from a small town deep in the south.., his language contained the soul of the town that he was from. The people there probably spoke from their heart.., lacked cunning and were delightful of people.., maybe they lacked the sophistication of deeper understanding.., for a brief while we clicked. Our souls are thirsty for as much of earth that we can find.., for in eternity our souls will suffer uncertain fates depending on our choices. I knew that a soul’s relation to the revelation of Jesus would decide one’s eternity.., but in the here and the now all souls starved and hungered for love and want.. They had a funny way of expressing it since immaterial realities kept pressing against their conscious shores…, but it was there and you had to learn to handle the bitter reality of people and their incapability of knowing their presence and their actions on another soul.

I am a chamber full of secrets.., many souls speak what besets their soul into my depths.., they share their hurts which are often painful realities that still torment their inmost minds..,I seem to inspire their openness.., and I seem to inspire them to enter into my inner stillness to phrase in fleeting lucidity their inmost torments which always found a way to confound their lingual capabilities.., for the moment they could find the perfect, most honest, most soulful and most heartfelt way of narrating their lives in his presence.., it would finally lift off and decrease in its intensity.

He remembered the first time he saw her.., he had known since he was 8…, it was not her eyes, her appearance or her behavior that he noticed…, he noticed instead how his heart fluttered when she walked past him oblivious to the nuclear damage that she was wreaking on his simple soul. Over a period of time the feelings became mutual…, he was 14 by then.., and she 13.., they held hands on the long mud paths surrounded by rice fields and sugar cane fields that led to their homes when nobody was watching.., he climbed trees to pluck mangoes for her and.., wrote her I love you hundred times… their love blossomed over the years.., he came from a conservative system.., multiple social walls stood in his way.., she was from another caste.., he belonged to another.., religion spoke about how he belonged higher.., but his heart could see no such reality.., his heart wanted her more intensely as the years progressed.., they promised each other multiple times that they would find each other no matter how far they got.., that the other would wait if something were to happen.., but as fate would have it education brought him to the chaotic city of Madras.., he would call her many times.., but there were no mobile phones back then.., the timing had to be perfect.., her Father owned a goods store and he would be out by 7 in the morning.., her mother was always at home.., but went at 2 pm to the temple for half an hour.., that would be their time.., even if her mother returned.., she would act as though the phone call was between her friends.., but one time her mother stayed back and long story short got wind of what was happening.., they beat her so bad that she swore to never contact him again.., but she was lying.., how can emotions such as love end in the face of adversity.., it is the very soil that it blooms and flourishes in.., he promised her that he would come back for her the moment he got a job.., but her parents got her married before he could make good on his promise.., marrying her off to some businessman…, heartbroken he wept, cried and wandered in sorrow and despair.., the years passed, he tried to forget her but to no avail.., how could someone forget someone who had inhabited his inmost being..? Who had loved him with a love all her own..? How could he overcome that which only made him linger.., stay and wander in a world of inner hurt..? He grieved like a man who knew not how to survive in a world devoid of his sweetheart.., he could not bear the thought of her in the arms of another man.., he could not bear another possessing her…, love was never meant to be shared by a third party.., Never.., His parents sensing his woe married him off to a proper Madras girl.., he hid his sorrow and began to live for his future.., family.., responsibility.., he had become so possessed by this intense hurt in his heart that he struggled to love his wife fully.., even though he had gotten over the deadly blow.., he could never forget his first love.., he shared this to me over a period of time and I listened as I always did like my life depended on it.., funny how strangers heal wounds that one’s own efforts seldom seem to. I know that the good Lord placed me on this planet to heal people, He did the healing.., I just had to reach out to the souls.., and I always could find them no matter how they hid their wounds.

I did my best to console him.., I spoke nothing .. there was nothing that I could say that would reach the inmost depths of him and pull him away from what he felt, I only listened and allowed my silence to do the healing.., I allowed my warmth to speak what I couldn’t.., what could I say..? I only felt myself grow sad.., there was a certain amount of sadness that this court seemed to attract…, I was a lost soul myself.., but I knew that Jesus healed.., you just had a sense for these things that was more than reason oriented.., I understood his moral reality.., He was married.., had kids in school and was a normal functioning member of society now.., but he would forever remember the lost chance.., and what could you do about it in this wild jungle..? Love more deeply..? Take more chances..? Marry for love..? I didn’t have a clue.., all I knew was that life moved on.., I had more souls to meet and more stories to glean. But what I encounter and see will always bleed within me.

The people in your background don’t matter

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In the end it’s not the people in the background who matter, I mean really.., think about it.., it’s always about you and how you take it all in and live…but you know who these people in the background are. Imagine this, It might be a harmless KFC luncheon that you wanted to go to. Up and until you arrived, you were full of excitement.., the joy of finally sinking your taste buds into that esteemed, legendary Zinger Burger.., the thought that you were going to be sharing your space with a hundred or other strangers as some vague, rock song that made you feel colder and more fearful than you anticipated never ever struck you. You see that’s the trouble with wanting to be hip, cross cultural and well put.., a thousand other strangers feel the strange way, and seem to take it as a challenge to sink into a character, that can only be talked about as a mask that hides their vulnerabilities, that hides how they cry when they feel sad, or hides how real they can be.., and who can blame them..? They think, feel, emote and behave just like a million other people so hell bent on expressing stuff on the outside that they have forgotten the inside.., they have forgotten their character.., their spirit.., and their soul.. And who can blame them..? The demonic god of this world has blinded their eyes.., their hearts and their minds.., they are swirling like sparkling champagne, intoxicated with their flesh.., worshipping their lives.., worshipping this moment and pretending that this impermanent moment was a selfie of their very existence. How foolish these souls were.. Had they ever heard of Hell..? Of Christ..? Of His purchase of God’s forgiveness on the Cross..? Idiots.., greedy and deceived, mankind.

You got there, and you immediately feel hurt, threatened, pained and awkward…, you can’t be yourself here… Memories come rushing back…, that English school that your blue collar working parents were able to get you into after begging and pleading with the refined Principal or headmistress who was a below the radar heartless cod, yes the very one that required a tidy sum of money and in exchange it promised to magically transform you into a product that knew manners, could marry a foreigner, become a doctor and have class and refinement. But you never fit there… People are not meant to fit, they are only meant to find their fit and niche, and then live for it gloriously and with passion. The purpose of education was to kindle a fire in the darkness of being, not erase the tender, innocent dreamer who felt the challenge of becoming like the crowd, impossible, difficult and unnecessary. Those memories come in, and oh, the pain.., the scars that nobody sees.., the hurts that still live within no matter how far you run.., they all come rushing back.. because of this same symptom of a dominant class of species, well bred, competitive, sharp and well in tune with the world… out classing others…, it was Survival of the fittest wasn’t it..? Wrong.., there is no survival, there is not weak species.., people are souls.., people are lost.., people need God.., and the presumed weak man has treasures far greater in value than the strong, proud conqueror.

You feel the stabs of the idolatry of pride all around you, you feel it making you insignificant.. making you small.., making you , you feel the cackling self indulgent laughs of a generation consumed with joy at it’s mutual narcissism, and indifferent to the painful reality all around it. The culture seems, feels proud, arrogantly non inclusive and pompously elitish.., you feel excluded.., the fake cheery, make believe voice of the cash attender uses his memorized lines and flings it at you…, almost condescending.., as though his mastery of that bit of memorized dialogue is equivalent to Albert Einstein’s E=mc2… full of theatrical sophistication.., he stares at you irate at being forced to have a job just for the money.., irritated, impatient and tense that the person opposite of him refuses to speak…, he assumes a fleeting sense of flagrant pride at his Westernization… How ironic that a food outlet consumed with the killing of chickens, consumed with financial profit can inspire such a tremendous ego in a person devoid of such intelligence. Outside this shop a different language is spoken.., the deep emotion and soul of the land, with her deep desire to be remembered, celebrated and lived through the souls of all the folk of Chennai.., and meanwhile English is expected from a Western Franchise, it’s only fair.., but you can’t blame the workers alone…, the customers too brought baggage, their heavy egoic baggage.., they would snap.., bite, and demand.., and speak often in the sensational.., Poor fools, both of them were keenly aware of what the other could do, and they lived in a wary caution of the other’s nature, using defensiveness as strength and using repressed frustration as their language.

Snobs lunched around, cracking jokes, but they were not snobs.. they were humans.. flesh and blood.., with personalities.., with education bred into them.., but there were spiritual influences, inspirations in their thoughts.., in their actions and in their lives, unseen, hidden and parading as their own mirror images that lived within them.., and they fed this dark force their lives, their thoughts and their own fallen nature… Demonic principalities, dominions, powers of the air, and the spirits that influenced territories were at work in the hearts of fallen mankind breeding iniquity, breeding disobedience, breeding rebelliousness, breeding hatred towards each other beyond reasons that one could perceive, perhaps men unconsciously absorbed demonic hatred and presumed it to be their own. Where is the flesh in all this, where is a man’s individuality in all of this..? Why can’t they see God in all of this..?

Surges of Brilliance – Poem

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Surges of brilliance,
unpredictable gushes of torrential clarity,
a deep thrust into the depths of whatever it is that runs within me,
crashing like splintering, waves,
sending shivers of intense emotions ,
what reality covers with mediocrity and oppressive sincerity,
The Moonbeams bring forth from the concealed
depths,leading inwardly into doors hidden beneath,
Spaces of time, what candle so brief should shudder like hips swaying to a mystic tantalizing beat..?
Stepping past the passage of self pathos, running headlong with pants of eager longing
into the meadows of art’s maddening glucose,
My heart is haunted by ghouls and rushes of psychic emotion,
Senseless Panic pulls away the soul from the abstract pathway into oblivious richness,
Invisible hands drag me down whenever I climb art’s ladder,
Fear’s demons dance around drawing me into manias of doubt,
I pay more attention to my fears than my goods,
I am a man divided and blown apart.
Too intense and too hard,
Too cold and too warm..,
I contain worlds and paradoxes within.