​THE BLACK HOURS OF MY 28/1

28th January 2004 – an unforgettable day for me and my family!

Like everyday my parents sent me to school but they never ever thought that it could be the last day for their son. My sister never thought that she would be the person to bring the bad news to my parents. My younger brother never thought that he would find his brother almost dead in another classroom. My father never ever imagined that he had to bring home the corpse of his son. I never thought that I will be carried back home like a mentally retarded boy. Yes…barely at 15 such a day dawned in my life! In an atrocious accident, I lost my memory. Still those black hours of my life are like a tale for me…whereas it is a reality for the whole world.

At 12:05 P.M., I fell back from my classroom bench and at once hit the floor. I fainted, lost my memory and got intense internal head injury. I went into a serious concussion. My brain stopped working. I was unable to identify anyone and behaved like a mentally retarded person. And in those days, my family was going through severe financial crisis. Unable to even afford the ambulance cost, my father took me back home. Their dreams for me were worn-out within a few minutes… I turned to a corpse…There was no human being to help us…No one to wipe away the tears of their eyes. In the hopelessness, my parents went on to knees and prayed thus, “Jesus, we don’t know what has happened to our son. There is no helping hand for us. We believe our son is your gift and now we commit your gift into your mighty hands. Whatever you will do, we will respect that. Amen!”

Nobody knows what happened to me, WHO did what but lo…I sprang back to life! Though I was unable to turn my head to any side, I started recognizing everyone. I was able to flash back to the hours before the accident. After a day, my parents took me to the hospital and at the first sight the neuro-specialist asked my parents, ‘How is your son alive? He is supposed to die on the spot or ought to be mad or else in coma. How can he recover to a good condition, when medical science has no answer to this? IT IS THE GOD WHO ANSWERED YOU!!!’ My diagnosis report still says that I am not supposed to go out into the sunlight till I turn 25…that I can’t study further; that I can’t memorize anything because of the internal damage is that serious and can’t be operated. Medicine and time had given an answer for me.

But I continued my study. Like every other child I finished my University study at 21 and within 3 months of my graduation, I was inducted as an on-field professional.

Will you still say there is nothing as MIRACLE???

Miracle is never ever possible without the interference of God in our lives. Humans can say great words, science can give great innovations, witch-crafters’ magic will produce destruction but nobody can give NEW LIFE apart from the One who has trampled the sting of death and has given the HOPE of resurrection with New Life and New Meaning. Bible says, ‘God has given us a new life through Christ Jesus’.

Finally I quote C. S Lewis, ‘Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary’.

Stay tuned…

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WHO WAS THAT GUY?

It was one of the playful evenings and I was 5 at that time, playing with one of my friends, on the terrace. Children at this age are so innocent that they don’t realize the dangers near them. My friend and I were sitting on the edge of the terrace, which didn’t have grills or any kind of protective fence. To top it all, the house where we were playing wasn’t ours. It was of one of the neighbors, who had gone out of station. At that time, there was no flat system and there were single-storeyed individual houses, whose terraces were almost boundary-less, with just 4-5 inches high border. So, it was very easy to go to one another’s house via the terrace.

My elder brother, who was 10, and his friends were playing on the adjacent terrace and I, with my friend chose the closed house. Silly we were, fighting over a piece of paper! It was a newspaper and I wanted the graffiti part of it which my friend also wanted. It looked like a tug of war. Obviously, the paper got torn and I fell backwards, not realizing that there wasn’t anything to stop me. I fell on the mezzanine first and the force of my fall made me fell down on the floor.

Commotion followed and my brother rushed to mom and shouted, “Mummy, Ruchi (that’s my nickname) has fallen down”. In shock, mom hurriedly ran and climbed up the stairs to the terrace where she found me lying unconscious on the floor. There wasn’t any blood, but I was lying still. She was about to jump down, but everyone held her back. Soon, many people gathered and were thinking how to take me out of the locked house. Just then, a guy from nowhere​ came and jumped into​ the house. He held me up and sprang out, over the wall. Before anyone could talk to him or thank him, he just vanished out of sight. My right eye was swollen like a ball and  I was taken to our nearest family doctor, that too  at his home, who said that I should be rushed to the hospital. Without wasting any time, he took me in his car to the government hospital- the  only hospital in town.

The next challenge was how to inform my father about the accident. At that time, there were no telephones at homes and no phone booths in trend. My father used to go 22 kilometers  on his motorbike for work. One of the uncles in our neighborhood just took out his bicycle and rode all the way to my father’s work place. Ah! So kind people were during those days.

By the time my father came to the hospital, I was still unconscious, but had vomited blood. Tension prevailed and there were lots of bad thoughts coming in everyone’s mind. My father sat by my side. It was around midnight when I opened my eyes and said, “Papa”. My father thanked God that I was sound and normal. Everyone around me said that it was a miracle I was safe. I had no clue about what was happening, but was very happy as the doctor advised me to have lots of ice-creams because there was internal bleeding. All our neighbors kept visiting me during the next couple of days.

This incident has been re-told and narrated so many times in most of our family get-togethers. But, everytime we are left with the same question, “Who was that guy?”

THE MIRACLE OF MY BIRTH

Some time back, I had watched a programme on television – a story from a book being enacted. It showed a sick man lying on a cot with the doctor examining him. The man’s little son was looking expectantly at the doctor to hear something positive. The doctor removes his stethoscope, shakes his head and says, “Only a miracle can save your father.” The little boy who had already lost his mother is determined to save his father’s life. He empties his piggy bank, counts the money, puts it all in a pouch and sets off. Thinking that MIRACLE is the name of a medicine, he goes to all the chemist stores in his village offering all his money for a bottle of MIRACLE. All the chemists shake their heads saying that they have never heard of this medicine.

With tears of hopelessness running down his cheeks as he is returning homewards, an old man sees him and enquires his plight. On hearing the boy’s sad story, the wise old man smiles and says that he knows where MIRACLE can be got from. The boy’s face lights up and he offers the pouch of money and asks the man to get it for him immediately. Refusing to take the pouch of money, the old man points upwards and says, “it is only God who is capable of DOING MIRACLES.

Any seemingly difficult/impossible thing coming to pass – we label it as a miracle. The dictionary definition of miracle reads thus, “an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.” The things that we are able to do, may be with a lot of effort and help from others, are not called miracles, no matter how hard they may seem to be got done. But, those things which are out of our reach altogether and no human aid whatsoever can make it possible – when such things happen, they are miracles!

I call my birth a miracle and my parents testify it so. Expecting a baby for the first time is a novel and joyous experience for any woman. So was it for my mother. When my parents paid a visit to the gynaecologist at the end of my mother’s first trimester, they were in for a shock! The gynaecologist suggested my parents to get the pregnancy terminated as there was no growth and no shape of the foetus – just a mangled mass of flesh.

My parents were heart broken. My mother was inconsolable. As they reached home, they couldn’t gather the courage to decide to terminate the pregnancy. They just prayed that God would guide them as to what to do. Days passed by. Still they could not arrive at any decision. It was then that my father suggested that they go in for a second reference before arriving at a final decision. They went to another gynaecologist for a check-up without sharing with her the previous reports.

The fresh reports came as my parents were waiting with their hearts in their mouths. To their amazement, the gynaecologist went through the reports and said that the foetus is developing well, only that my mother was weak and needed a lot of rest! On hearing that, they shot a volley of queries to the gynaecologist and were satisfied by what she said. They would have had such a relief that evening – I cannot imagine!!

As a living evidence of that miracle, here I am – alive and penning these lines today! Had my parents decided instantly to terminate the pregnancy and had God not led them to seek a second reference, I wouldn’t have seen the light of this world. Whenever I think of this or hear my parents narrate this incident, I remember the Psalmist’s words in the Bible –

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;

    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

I wonder how intricately the Master Designer would have given form, shape and breath to that mangled lump of flesh so as to make it whole. It defies human understanding! And in case it was all about just a faulty diagnosis, how wonderfully the Divine Director stopped my parents from taking a hasty decision and in course of time, led them to a second referral. Again, it goes beyond logical comprehension!

Miracles do happen! And it is only God who can work them out – when we rely on Him. When we choose to rely on ourselves and people around, we don’t give God scope to show His magnificence. But, when we turn to God with faith for those impossibilities of our lives, He shows His divine power.

Are you among those who has never experienced a miracle in your life? It’s time you tasted it! Look around you and within you for the most impossible thing in your life. It may be some area in which you are desperate to have a breakthrough, but all doors seem to be locked. Give it into the hands of the Almighty God for whom nothing is impossible – “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” And wait with faith. Do not doubt. “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Miracles cannot be bought with money or with righteous deeds. Wait on God with faith and you will see the impossibilities of your life turning into possibilities. You will see those tall mountains that cage you from all sides, crumble into heaps of dust thus making the way for beams of exhilarating light to engulf you.

Gear up for a new experience!

 

OH MY, I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN REALLY EXPLAIN THIS IN WORDS!

I am absolutely thrilled that I am writing this article today because today I really saw rather experienced something out of the world. I am an engineer who is working for Philips Healthcare. My job involves making various healthcare products like CT, MR, X-Ray, Ultrasound etc. to work together in the hospital. Part of my job also involves hospital visits and sessions with doctors they are our customers.

It was year 2007 when I saw the first surgery in my life. I was blown away when I saw the surgeon operating on a patient just by looking at the monitors. It was an angioplasty procedure where the blockage in Patient’s heart had to be removed which was causing a heart attack. It was minimal invasive surgery which meant that patient’s heart is not required to be opened up. Just a small incision on the thigh from where a catheter is introduced. It is navigated all the way to the artery that is blocked and a stent is placed there. All this by just looking at the monitors that gave him real time X-Ray images and guided him throughout the surgery.

Since then I have seen a lot of medical procedures and scans – MR, CT, X-Ray, Ultrasound etc. It amazes me how science has evolved to show the internals of a human body without probing the body at all.

Today I had a chance to meet one of the eminent Neurosurgeons of the country. It was interesting to see what he had to say about the devices that we sell to the hospitals and his challenges with them.

Today he was kind enough to take us very briefly into an Operation Theatre virtually through a 3-dimensional TV. What I saw completely astonished me. He showed us the inside of a human brain and how he very carefully with a skill of his hands removes tumors from the brain. With such a finesse, he uses the scissors, clips and other tools to take out what is unwanted in the body. He has to be extremely alert, his hands cannot shake, every millimeter of the patient’s brain that he touches can have a negative impact on the patient. Without trembling and with tremendous confidence he cuts the right part of the brain, goes deeper and deeper inside till all of the nasty tumor is out of the brain.

We watched various surgical videos for about 30 mins and for next 30 mins, I still had my heart racing. Somebody from the audience asked the doctor – “What if something goes wrong during the surgery?” Doctor said “You know it is only the thought of God that is on my lips when I am doing this surgery. And I find myself privileged that I get a chance to work on one of the most beautiful creations every single day – Human brain.”

My first reaction to that video was “Oh, it is horrible!” because I could only see the blood and some slimy looking tissues that did not look nice in the first instance. But as we progressed through the surgery, I could appreciate the little intricacies with which our brains are designed. The network of nerves and blood vessels flowing all across, the various layers of tissues covering each other, the intricacies of the membranes protecting the insides of the brain. Oh my, I don’t know if I can really explain this more in words!

When Edison invented a light bulb, he couldn’t have imagined how this light bulb will get transformed to what it is today. When Graham bell invented the phone – he wouldn’t have imagined these mini computers that we call smartphones could ever exist. When Wright brothers invented the first airplane – they couldn’t have thought of all the kinds of sophisticated fighter plane that are made today.

Human body is a miracle which is extremely well engineered, designed and executed. But the biggest miracle of this universe is the most important part of the human body – The Human brain.

Human brain that created this science, technology and skill-set to operate on another human brain. Human brain that can imagine something that is impossible and work tirelessly to make it possible in the coming days, months, years, decades or centuries.

When medical science and the technology is used to save a person close to you – that is when you feel the real blessing of it. When my dad went through angioplasty – I realized what a boon this technology is. When I first heard my baby’s heartbeat while I was 6 weeks pregnant and later I went on to see him nicely curled up inside my uterus – I realized how this technology actually touches people.

Lives are being saved with the help of technology and medical science. Millions of patents are filed all across the world to innovate better and more. Every generation is getting a better, easier and healthier life because of science and technology.

My Tayaji (Uncle) often say this every time he is amazed by technology – “Science da kamaal hai” (It is the magic of Science).

It truly is magical how human brain over centuries of work have managed to bring science and technology to a place where it is today.

SHE IS A WALKING MIRACLE …

A baby was diagnosed with a birth defect which would have most parts of the belly developed outside of body during fetus growth and would be delivered the same way. While the news of the baby was painful, the family had little choice but to go ahead with 0% chance of survival of the baby. The family is mine and the little baby is my sister.

Few years ago …

When my mother’s blood test results arrived, they were abnormal, doctor performed an ultrasound to confirm my sister’s growth is not normal. “Her body organs, especially of her belly are growing outside her body, though this is known to medical science, it is extremely unlikely to say anything until the baby is delivered about how the conditions would be” – listening to something like this would put any would be parents to tremendous amount of worry, the case was no different with my parents. 

In her 8th month of pregnancy, my mom insisted that she wants to visit her most trusted God, she believed that He is the only one who can save her baby. My father made arrangements for the visit, with all the pain she managed to travel, pray before her deity for her child’s life.  

I was five year old, when my sister is delivered. As predicted she had complications, but more additions to them. Her complete intestines, liver and many parts of her belly were outside when she was brought to this world by C-section. I don’t know, but my grandfather often used to tell me, “we could see everything, she almost had no skin on her belly”. She was underweight, bony to look at, with all her belly parts out, it was hard for normal person to see her. Imagining her is giving me goosebumps…. 

“For her health condition, it would be highly unlikely to survive. We have to perform two surgeries on her, one now and another one four years later. If she can live through both the surgeries, after 5 years we can say that she is out of danger, till then every second of her life is mercy of Him”, said the doctor. My father was the one who was aware of this truth along with my grandfather. My mother was admitted in a different hospital, since her condition was not good, the doctor insisted that we keep this to ourselves at least until the first surgery is performed.

My sister was in ICU, none of us are allowed to see or hold her. She was wrapped in some kind of plastic along with her internal organs. Since her digestive capability is also less, only IV fluids with medications were keeping her alive. 

O-ve is her blood group, so the surgery cannot be performed unless blood is arranged, it took us two full days to arrange for required blood. The surgery lasted all over the night. How difficult it would have been for my dad, may be the longest night of his life. The doctor came out in the morning at around 7 , “We could not manage to sew back all the parts of her belly back into her body, so we have to leave a sac on her body, which would stay along with her for few days, later we would cover with skin, but the bulge would stay for the next 4 years until the second surgery. She needs to be cared every minute of her life. Please be careful, she is a fighter, her cry was very loud”, she left with a smile.

Doctor’s job almost came to an end, it was our time.

  • My grandmother: She is the one who used to stay with my sister all day in the hospital while she was on IV fluids holding her hand, ensuring hygiene all the time while my sister was in ICU for one month as well as after we brought her home.
  • The pediatrician: My sister used to vomit every liquid intake for at least two months, including medications. Thanks to him and the nurses at his hospital, they used to take special care of my sister.
  • My grandfather: He used to be with my sister all the time, while my dad used to visit my mom at the other hospital. Naturally my mother cannot breast feed her because oral intake is not recommended for my sister. My mother also had to be treated because of this.
  • My father: Being a responsible husband and father at the same time is quite tough especially when the resource called ‘time’ is sparse. He had to do this for over 5 years, being a witness I know how difficult it is.
  • My mother: Poor she, she wants to see her new born and she isn’t allowed. She wants to feed her and people around her say some stories. After 3 days she sees her daughter, wrapped all in surgical cotton and tapes, not even looking at her, no, I don’t want any mother to go through such situation. Finally, she gets to know, her daughter is still not ‘out of danger’.

After two months, my sister started to take oral food, we brought her home. My mom would take care of her during the day and dad during night. He had double duty of office and home. Since my sister had bulge (like half coconut placed on her belly), she is not allowed to crawl, we had to keep an eye every second so that she doesn’t topple on her belly. I have been given the responsibility of being her protector as she was growing up. I still remember how many times during the night my dad used to check if my sister is still breathing. It was very tough for each and every one of us emotionally.

For me, she is a walking miracle. After her second surgery, she really bounced back to being normal fast. His grace, my mom’s belief, lot of people’s prayers, she survived. He had been there with us all through the journey. I have many people to thank starting from doctors, blood donors, nurses to my own family.

When the pediatric surgeon met my mom few years ago, she was surprised to know that my sister is alive. She has no kids but I think God has blessed her with abundance of knowledge and opportunity to spread love to mothers and their children!! A glance at her made me feel divinity. 

 

KNOWLEDGE TO LET MIRACLES HAPPEN IN LIFE

Miracle according to web dictionary is –

“An extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.”

The other day I was discussing about miracle with someone very close to me. And I felt that discussion was in fact, a miracle. 😉

With my simple and limited wisdom if I have to describe a miracle then I would define it as something which we can’t do but only God can, because “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

My aunt’s father was sitting inside the cabin of the bus driver as he didn’t have a ticket. A friend of his was travelling with him. In the middle of the journey, he came to him to the cabin and asked him to go to his seat and rest for some time. My aunt’s father went to his friend’s seat after some hesitation. And after sometime the bus met an accident and the friend who went to the cabin died, as the front of the bus was crushed.

It was sad for that man. But for the other… it was God’s hand that wanted him to live for a little more time on this earth and He saved him miraculously.

My former boss’s daughter of few months old was lying on the bed and was fast asleep.

Can you imagine what could have happened?

The ceiling fan was loose and it fell on her on the bed. And guess what? Her tiny body was between the two blades of the ceiling fan and it was not revolving.

The tiny living mound of flesh was saved miraculously that day – a divine intervention truly.

If we look around, there will be thousands of such corporeal witnesses of divine interventions or miracles in this world. But when I consider my life and try to recollect, I find a few events where there’s presence of divine interventions. And those miracles were not so easy to come by. I needed to go through certain processes to witness them one after the other in life. As miracles happen because of God’s intervention, I had to know and understand THREE things about God to experience these miracles. Let me share them with you one after the other as under:

1. Knowing God’s Mind: I have always mentioned about my health in many of my articles. And many times I have explained that how I used to grumble about my health. I had a very complaining attitude. I literally stayed bitter and fought with God… looking towards the blank space. There were so many WHYs in my queries… There were many who asked me to go here and there for prayer. I went and but I was the same person… weak, sickly and ineffective.

Did people’s prayers fail? Does God fail? Of course not… It is just that I didn’t know the mind of God. And during my second surgery when I was in Manipal Heart Foundation, Bangalore in the year 2001, I found many different patients worse than my condition lying there in the hospital beds. God started to speak to me. A miracle started to take place! The healing process within me started at that moment when I started to look at myself differently. I never grumbled after that miracle because I understood the mind of God which let me understand that I will be like this till the end, for His purpose to be fulfilled.

Do you want a miracle to happen in your life? Seek God and try to know His mind about you and it will be easier for you to understand about your life than just struggling the whole life.

2. Knowing God’s Time: Three marriages in my family which made me understand how important it is to know God’s time in our life as well. The first one is my marriage. When I came to Kolkata I became very lonely for 3 years. And during all these times I had spent my time thinking about who can be my life partner. I even tried to approach one or two people and failed utterly. Then in 2004 January I prayed, “God I am not going to search for girls anymore… if you have kept one for me then give me or else give me strength to stay alone all my life.”

BINGO!!!

After 6 months I got Asmita’s proposal and we are married for the last 12 years.

Next was my cousin sister’s marriage which was fixed exactly during my wedding but didn’t go well and it was broken. There were disappointments and sorrows in the family. I was feeling really sad for her as we both were supposed to be married at the same time. Later after 3 years she married my friend and they have a fantastic family now.

Last one was my own sister’s marriage. A family came, saw her, gave positive indications and denied later on with stupid accusations. My mom was sad and weeping when I asked her to wait for God’s timing. She has a beautiful family now as well.

These three miracles happened only by going through the process of waiting and knowing God’s appointed time in our lives. I always tell my wife to wait and pray. Because sometimes God allows things in our lives because of our impatience and we lose out on the best that He has to offer. I am really scared of that: Going after my heart’s desire and then suffering for the rest of the life. 

3. Knowing God holds Life and Death: This is the most difficult process which leads to a fabulous miracle. When we know and trust that God holds the key of life and death then it is easier for us to rely on Him regarding every other thing in life. What a relief when you know that your life is safe in God’s hand? Have you ever thought about it.

God says, “I am the Living One; And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

For this miracle to happen in my life I have to go through the process of knowing that He holds the key of life and death every moment. It is not easy at all. I struggle but I see this miracle happen every time I get confirmed that God holds the key of my life and death and so I don’t need to worry even about the life after my death. That assurance itself is a miracle which transforms my daily life.

Friends! Do you wanna live a transformed life? Do you want to see miracles happening in your life? It is a call for you today to seek and know God and His Mind, His Purpose, His Time and the fact that He holds the key to your life and death.

Stay Blessed!!! 

STOP BELIEVING THE LIE

Since our childhood we all dream colourful dreams and strive to do the best to make our dreams a reality. But alas, in the mid-way sun sets, years of those colourful dreams seem like fairy tales and in bitterness we wish ‘Death’ as conclusion. Isn’t it?

There was a boy, who was an intense dreamer since his schooldays but since the final year of his graduation he stopped dreaming about his own life. Whenever he smiled looking at others he talked about others than himself. When he prayed he prayed, ‘God my desire is to see my wife like this. I wish my family would be like this’ and so on… But when he opens his eyes his smile fades away and he is reminded of his past – ‘If your dream will be busted again, what you shall do?’

Couple of year back I met a girl in a public gathering, she is highly qualified, beautiful and very friendly in behavior. We became good friends, we started chatting and sharing thoughts every day but all the time I found her quoting one sentence ‘Death is always a better option. No life…No pain’. Primarily, I thought she is little philosophical but the continuous recurrence, made me to question her ‘WHY do you think death is a better option?’ Then she unfolded me her staggering story of her past.

Why there is so much bitterness in life? Why our dreams are followed by past reminders? Why we are stabbed by our bitter pasts? Why we think death is a better option?

Sir William Blake says, ‘This life’s dim windows of the soul Distorts the heaven from pole to pole And leads you to believe a lie, when you see with, not through, the eye”.

Once I asked that boy, why you are always reminded of your bitter past? He answered, because deep inside I am fearful. Then I asked the girl, what is that stabbing pain which troubles you even now? She answered, it is my hopelessness.

Yes… though we know that we can’t go back and correct our past but still the past appears in our present, making our life bitter because we have started believing the lie – I have lost everything, there is no hope for me. I am a Corpse. We always see with the eye but not through the eye.

When people on death row are praying for life, we are alive (despite of all odds) but still we are seeking death.

WHY?

It is because deep inside our hollowness, our emptiness are eating us always. Though despite of the darkness of our past, God has shown us the bright light of hope by keeping us alive… but still we believe the lie of the existence of our past and we tend to beat that old drum – “I have lost everything, there is no hope for me. I am a corpse.”

God has promised me, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am holding you in my right hand. Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

Am I still fearful of my past because I still believe in the lie. Am I ignoring that God (the Omniscient – Omnipotent – Omnipresent ONE) who is holding my hands. Am I not much more valuable than just a sparrow to Him? Am I not created in His IMAGE?

Stop believing the lie… Start seeing through the eye!

Avinash