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.

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Debating God – a short article

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I spend a lot of time debating, testing and trying to understand the Bible since implicit Obedience is not exactly my strongest suit.., and blindly following a doctrine is not my strongest suit either.. I question motives, intentions and agendas often.. I am skeptical about the dramatic, emotive and authoritative portions of scripture.. I try to understand them better, with clarity… I often wonder if what is written is true, authentic and factual. I often wonder if what is written expresses what everybody seems to think it expresses…, I am often hurt by what it expresses.. Since it bares open the nature of the flesh with it’s forceful impulsiveness and self destructive powers.., I find passages of the Bible commanding and authoritative and overpowering.., I find the punishments, the eternal consequences described terrifying and highly hard to digest… they hurt, wound and anger me.. I try to understand why.., the world does not seem to make a huge deal about sin.. I have often wondered why God does.., Hell always feels like too harsh a judgment to me.., I am not saying that what I am thinking is right, sound, correct or even wise.., I am just being brutally honest since I deeply care about God, about following Him even though I do a terrible job at it every single day.., I often hurt Him with my stupid, insensitive words.., like a child who blames his parents without ever realizing their value, their millions of sacrifices and their genuine, flawed and perfect love, I feel that I too am toeing a sensitive line when I am critical about faith…, but I am doing that on purpose, I still have doubts about faith, religion, dogmas, religious leaders…But I don’t doubt God… I have trouble understanding Him.. Everyday as a matter of fact.., I have trouble following Him and getting rid of personal, and outward sin.., I have trouble staying encouraged …, I have trouble being spiritual all the time when I have the very nemesis and enemy of faith within me.., I have a hard time counselling other people about the strange tragedies of life… but I know that God is right about everything.., I know that intuitively, intellectually, spiritually and absolutely.., I don’t have any trouble with Jesus, His teachings and His thoughts.. I can blindly follow them even if they are extreme, taxing and impossible.., God’s presence in Scripture makes it vital, pure and loving.. As a matter of fact, He makes the difference in scripture in my opinion….To be blunt, if it is said by God.. I enjoy the Bible…, otherwise it is a very difficult book to digest with all of its terrible punishments, sacrifices and wars. God makes the difference in that book to me.

It is by Him that I find my strength to follow the incredibly impossible demands of faith…, I know Him in my heart and in my life…And you get a sense of who people really are when you spend time with them and get to know them personally… The God I know in my heart has been nothing short of my rock even as I am slipping into what could’ve been the endless abysses of self destruction, Eternal torment and Agony…The God I know in my life has been understanding despite cruel deeds on my part when I begged for His forgiveness as I was assailed by the guilt and the pain of my deeds… I know the billions of times He offered a hand of Grace, mercy and understanding even though I am risking His wrath, His fury and His Patience by doing so… I know the millions of circumstances where a life threatening situation was in play, and I was offered a gracious way out without a scratch…, when hundreds to thousands everyday perish with the same odds against them…Without ever getting another chance.. It was Spurgeon who wrote that we are all hanging over eternal hell by a thread, and that thread is breaking second by second. Why does He have to be kind to me..? I don’t exactly have great credentials like so many wonderfully disciplined and obedient children, I am a mixture of a beautiful mess and a Saintly Sinner often times. But Why ME though..? Why be so kind to a useless wretch who still uses Grace to sin..?

My blessings in my heart and mind are His everyday providence, His faithfulness in my trials..His mere presence in my life.. I do ask for a few flashy gadgets every now and then, He is my Father after all.. I ask Him all kinds of spiritual things…, and I keep getting them all the time.. The delivery services are way ahead of Amazon and Flipkart and way better too.. The product has no expiry and the validity is out of this world.

I am trying to blur the lines between my thoughts and the thoughts of a million others, I feel that I am expressing a collective voice often when I write.., I only have trouble with the interpretations, the fallacies and the errors of human laws, intentions and motives. I begin to understand that God’s laws have incredible and loving motives for our emotional, personal and spiritual welfare.., Being narrow is often a great sign of emotional balance and health, being narrow in definition gives a great deal of clarity.., It takes away the hideous delusions offered by the crazed instincts of our minds and allows us comfort, peace and security… God’s laws helps us see our own lawlessness since this world was created by God, we can only assume that reaching Him, following Him and knowing Him needs His mechanics, perceptions and desires…, We are not exactly trapped… Since the Bible tells us that He is Life.. What a beautiful, infinitely empowering statement dear friends… To know that in God is Life.. means the world to me.., For I have been a great lover of life, for her experiences and all her highs.. I am addicted to life…but I must confess that I can’t still grasp her.. but I can grasp God since He offers Himself to me despite my cynical weaknesses, despite my bitter anger and venom and despite my foolishness…, God gives me the greatest courage, comfort and hope…. even more than I can muster…, which is another foolish comparison since I am His creation after all.., I am beginning to understand with a great deal of pain( mostly because I hate being wrong) that following God is about becoming willing, all my questions of the Bible.., my sharp scrutiny and investigation are often tools that stem from being robbed of my own independence, my reactions to the bloodshed are often doubts that doubt His motives, my doubts regarding verses of correctness, righteousness and Holiness are limited in their perspective since I am often wondering if there can be another way to be Holy.. But as always God’s ways are narrow in nature since they prevent misunderstanding, deceptions and deep seated confusions. Yes there are genuine intellectual doubts, genuine historical doubts, genuine spiritual doubts.. but I understand that I need to have Patience, chiefly with God and then with myself.., He is more complex , just, correct and loving than I can ever imagine.., I just need to trust Him and seriously spend a lot of time with the Word( Which I often don’t) and try to understand it for what it is.

By Nature I find myself expressing Loyalty, Love, Devotion and Obession to my Father far better than Judgment, Obedience and Discipline.. I am a man of principles and ideals.. this naturally makes me more flexible, sincere and open minded whereas my dogmatic Christian brethren have a hard time connecting to people of other faiths and accepting them as they are… I have no trouble or only mild trouble in learning their heart, their lives and understanding why they find it so hard to accept the domineering views of Christianity… I guess that we can’t blame them either, they have not had the luxuries of a faith oriented life, even though that did no wonders for me … Human life is complex for us and can’t be understood in its vast, incomprehensible form(believe’ me i’ve tried), and that is exactly why we need a Creator, whose directions and guidelines are more knowledgeable than we will ever be about living in such a rapid world of incessant evil and decay. We need someone who knows the spiritual consequences of being led into traps where unseen forces of evil can create a ruckus and serious emotional and psychological damage in our lives, the laws are strict because they protect us…, God is strict because He wants us all for Himself.. in His way and in His directions… We don’t exactly have a manual on reaching Heaven written by our finest authors.. chiefly bcos they have no idea about how to get about it even if they pretend to. God can only guide us, or so I have discovered, I still have my doubts.. But I can see further than most people and see reasons, causes and effects quite well.. by the grace of God ie.., but still in humility I often go to Him after terrible discouragement.., Needing Him to comfort me and calm me down.. because nobody else Has His patience and love.. Nobody else can guide me with the truth and still correct me with not just kindness but with firmness…He is the only voice that I seem to trust even though I can’t exactly hear Him, but I’ve been with Him long enough to hear Him even if He is not there visibly.