ON THE BRINK OF HOPELESSNESS

The year 2016 is about come to an end. And I stand discouraged and frustrated. My life seems to me as if it has no charm left anymore… I am compelled to think “how long God… how long… when will my life come to an end?” I feel like losing my life’s battle as I see this year ends.  I am pushed on the edge by the circumstances I am in right now.  There’s a feeling of hopelessness within me which is disturbing my peace because it’s something contrary to my nature/attitude.

My wife has a fear that if I die at an early age then what will happen to her as she is so attached to me and her hope is her husband. I understand her fear and when I wear the shoes she is wearing I feel her heart’s worry very well. There’s a sense of hopelessness I see in her eyes too.

There’re people who’re waiting for a divorce procedure… What would be their hope? A quick divorce or a peaceful mutual one or a rigorous fight with their ex to literally destroy his/her life? Whatever may be the situation her or his sense of hope is kind of distorted and less understood. She or he is in a condition of hopelessness.

There’s a sick boy whose mother is wishing his well being every day as she sees her child struggling… there’s issues because of the sick child in the family… her heart breaks down with hopelessness.

There are cancer affected members in the families. They suffer every time they go through the painful chemotherapy procedures. They must be hoping against the hope by living on the edge of their lives.

There are family disturbances. Brothers fight amongst each other for property. There are parents who are abandoned by their children. There’s quarrel between in laws in the house which seems to be unending even if this year 2016 is about to finish. 

Last 13 days we talked about our “glimpses of hope” that we see in our life situations. But I felt there’s a pullback feeling in most of us as we were quite not sure of the glimpses of hope that we are seeing. Some of us still have that feeling of hopelessness even when we are hopeful about something good to happen.  

Wish all this hopelessness ends with the end of this year 2016 to relieve all those who feel hopeless today in the New Year eve. The world will be busy merry making, drinking, dancing, having his and her share of fun on this last day of the year…

BUT…

There are lots of questions arise in the minds of people who are going through difficult times…

Where are we heading?

Do we really have any hope?

Who can show us a light in our darkened path?

Who can guide us in to the path of fulfilment and peace?

Who can change the course of our life?

Will we be ever saved out of our pit of death?

When when when?

How how how?

Who who who…?

Who can really take us from the brink of hopelessness to a life with hope, peace and love?

As these questions keep troubling us when I look around in the world the hope that I see in people’s eyes in the midst of despair and agony I try to brush off the thoughts that so easily encompasses regarding me, myself, my family, my struggles and so on…

How do they do that?

Let me end here hoping the New Year will bring something different… some new and assured hope which will fill our hearts with hopefulness, with peace and with so much of love…

Let’s hope that we can jump off the brink of hopelessness well as we enter into a new year tomorrow.

Stay Blessed!!!

WISHING YOU A HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR 2017

HOW DOES HOPE WORK?

When I look around I see only brokenness. I look into my life there’s brokenness. I look at others and I find broken hearts everywhere. This vacation of my life really made me very burdened and weighed down. At the end of the year when I sit down and thinking about my own life as well as the lives of others which made me very disturbed.

Why there’s so much brokenness?

I know there’s no answer to that question … But all of us we don’t stop living… We keep doing our part of the responsibilities, fulfilling whatever is required of us, making our supremos happy, satisfying our family members and so on…

But most of the times we drag our lives… like I do sometimes. And that way I really don’t make my authorities happy or satisfy the needs of my family members because I live on a life of pretension. Now pretentious life never allows us to live freely or in liberty. So we can’t termed that living as “live in hope”.

The Greek word for hope is hopemeno which means “to wait, ” “to be patient, ” “to endure” till something happens. And till something happens how should we behave, what should be our reactions, how we should stay? 

The modern idea of hope is “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire.” According to the biblical usage, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.”

Yes, if we are hopeful we should be happy, energetic, positive, enthusiastic, jovial, cheerful and so on… because our confidence on something or someone for which we are hopeful of something good to happen is of utmost value and on truth. Hope is not always about something good will happen to us only but it might be something good will happen around us… And our suffering will be credited to that good which will happen around us.

Hope I am making it myself clear by what I said above…

I took an interview few days ago which I published couple of days ago on “FACE 2 FACE” column of Candles Online. I interviewed a person who had been successful in whatever he touched or worked on… but he literally lost most beloved people of his life which always keeps him suffering day after day… That might continue till his last evening. But if you see him you won’t sense that something is wrong. He is quite jovial, friendly and very positive. He talks well and gives a very positive vibe on the people around him.  

I have re-blogged it and you can have a read of his life by clicking the link given as under:

Chiradeep: I met Mr. Asit Ghose, a 70 years old man during one of our official meetings and came to know that he will be joining us as our administrator. I was unaware of his age. I was thinking he…

Source: Asit Ghose – A man of sorrow but comforted by his Saviour!

He leads his life in HOPE. He doesn’t expect something good will happen to him in regards to the pain he is enduring but he is hopeful to meet his family again when he dies because human being is eternal and our body stays back but our spirits live forever. There are definitely criterias for making it to heaven but I am not going into that subject. I am just talking about how does hope in somebody works and works good. 

Secondly, as everything happens for a purpose; let me correct it… ‘for an eternal purpose.’ So the death of a person or the suffering of a person has some meaning and effects on the eternity as a whole. It will definitely do some good somewhere, in somebody else’s life, in some era or period of time which we don’t know but the Almighty is aware of it very well.

Thirdly, as the Almighty is aware of every details of our lives or whatever happens to us being the omniscient and sovereign Lord then we should be hopeful by trusting on HIM and HIS intentions and purposes behind everything as we walk on this earth till the end.

Don’t let hope loose its charm…

Be Hopeful always!!!

ASSURED HOPE

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;

Man never is, but always to be blessed:

The soul, uneasy and confined from home,

Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

– Alexander PopeAn Essay on Man

His school teacher called him ‘addled’ or ‘mentally ill’. He was deemed unfit for school education in the 1800s as he was dyslexic, though research on dyslexia began only in the 1900s.  Because of constant labeling and lack of help and support from the school front, the boy’s mother met the school authorities and said, “All right, I am hereby taking my son out of your school. I’ll instruct him at home myself.” The little boy, who could hardly believe his ears, looked up at his mother, the wonderful woman who believed in him and promised himself that he would make his mother proud of him. And he did that! Thomas Alva Edison held more than 1000 patents for his inventions which included the incandescent electric light bulb and the phonograph among others. Later in life, Edison said, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.” His mother’s faith in him gave Edison a hope for the future.

Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm at the age of 13 when she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. Having begun competitive surfing since she was 8 years, she felt her world darken after the attack. In Bethany’s words, “As I grew up with one arm and relearned how to surf, God taught me that He can take the hard times that I went through and turn them into something beautiful. I think that He can do that for each and every one of you. He can take what you have been through and use it for good if you are willing to share what He has done for you.” Hamilton is 26 years old now and enjoys the companionship of a wonderful husband and a son. Her story has been beautifully captured in the movie SOUL SURFER, and continues to inspire others not to give up on themselves…or on God.

Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia with phocomelia, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of legs and arms. Throughout his childhood, Nick dealt not only with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, such as bullying and self-esteem issues, he also struggled with depression and loneliness as he questioned why he was different from all the other kids. He couldn’t get the haunting question of “Why was I the one born without arms and legs?” out of his head. He wondered if he would ever find love, marry and hold anyone in his arms. Nick is 34 today and is blessed with a loving wife and two precious sons. In Nick’s words, “Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose….I found the purpose of my existence, and also the purpose of my circumstance. There’s a purpose for why you’re in the fire. If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart.”  

These are some stalwarts whom hope kept alive. Not only did they have a mere existence, but a fulfilling life impacting millions across the globe.

More than 2000 years ago when man remained doomed for eternity, God Almighty stepped down from His Heavenly glory to reach out to man – to reconcile sinner men to a Holy God. With the birth of Jesus Christ – God as man, the threat of condemnation was removed and the gateway of eternal life was held wide open. As a child, I used to think whether life was all about eating, drinking, studying, working, having a family, doing good to others, having faith in God and so on… What after that? Is there anything to look forward to beyond this? Then the following Scripture portion created a hope for eternity with God within me:

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him…”   

I wish to extend the same HOPE to all the readers today. No matter how trying your life has been, there is HOPE. No matter how this year has been till now, there is HOPE. There is HOPE not because of the assurance that things would be perfect in the days to come, but because of the assured strength that God gives to those who love Him in the midst of suffering and trials. 

Here’s wishing you HOPE this Christmas and an assured HOPE for the New Year!!!

HOPE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND

screenshot_2016-12-21-00-05-36-026‘Umeed pe duniya kayam hai’. One of my favourite saying in hindi which literally means ‘hope makes the world go round’ and I firmly believe in it. You know why it’s not a good idea to know your future?? Because it kills hope. 

Hope for a better life, a better relationship makes us work harder for it. Makes our life move forward. But still at times we all get caught in a situation which is beyond our control. And then it’s only hope which keeps us going.. 

Two years into our marriage we decided that the time was right to plan a family. But God had other plans. Soon I realized that something was not right. The gynaecologist confirmed that my ovulation cycle was not proper. So medication started and endless rounds of ultrasound were done. My mental status was such that whenever I used to look around and see anyone with children it made me feel very jealous and inadequate. During those times my ray of hope was my family. My husband and my parents-in-law never behaved in the typical Bollywood style of passing harsh comments. Instead they were with me and kept telling me that I was panicking without reason. Maybe they were right. And finally I was blessed with a baby boy. The funny part is I became pregnant the month I forgot to take my medicines…

Life is not fair. It is full of tough choices. I have seen a friend, whose husband is battling a life threatening disease, being very positive and looking at every alternate therapy available in the hope to cure him. Another friend who had a very crappy mother in law and a husband who believes each and every word his mother says. Still she is sticking around in that marriage in the hope that one day her husband would realize the true worth of his wife.

You may not agree with the choices they made. But one thing is for sure what ever googly life throws at you don’t loose hope. There is no other way to survive the tough times. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. 

MY LIST OF “GLIMPSES OF HOPE”

“Somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace”.

-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love.

I had never, in my dreams, thought of penning down this experience of my life. But you know how God surprises you with those precious opportunities you never thought you could get? So I hope people will be kind and patient while reading this chapter of my life.

Glimpses of hope – this topic of Candles Online drives me back to the lane of my life where I was accompanied with a beloved friend of mine called “Depression”. I am sure every person reading this article has had a friend similar to mine, which proves that I am no extraordinary rather a normal person like all of you.

I do not remember the exact date but I can freshly remember the exact feeling. It was a Friday night, I was home alone, sitting on the floor of my bedroom and weeping unconditionally. Feet turned cold, wet cheeks, trembling hands and rapid thoughts crossing my mind leaving me numb on the floor. I heard a voice inside my head, asking me, “What makes you cry?” to which, “I have no clue” was my answer. Soon after that I patted my eyes and pressed them as hard as I could to stop my tears. I wanted to stop crying, but all my efforts went in vain. The worst kind of sadness in the one which cannot be explained!

The worst part of this phase was that I couldn’t do any Root Cause Analysis of the situation. Because everything in my life was running quite smoothly. Good grades, strong friendship, love of my Parents, I had it all. But my beloved friend “depression” made my condition worse day by day. Sleep just wasn’t sleep anymore. It became an escape place for me. It was strange how I could totally be a normal person in the crowd but would end up cold and numb on the floor once I would be home alone.

I wanted to talk about it, I wanted to yell and scream, but all I could do was weep alone and tell myself that one day, everything’s going to be just fine. I remember hugging myself and mumbling “you are not alone”.

Finally, unable to handle it alone, I conveyed about this relationship with beloved depression to my father. I call it my beloved friend, because depression has taught me many life lessons just like a true friend does. I was surprised to know that he had the same experience too. Though he did not end up weeping on the floor like me, but his emotions matched mine. That is when he told me, “beta, we are humans, and we break down sometimes which is completely normal.” I am fortunate to have such an understanding father. He even explained that only physical illness does not require treatment, but assistance is required even when our mind gets sick. He was ready to find a counselor for me too, though it wasn’t required later on. May God bless every child with a father like mine!

He further reminded me that whenever you feel you are in unbearable pain, think about people who are not as fortunate as you. Think about the soldiers in our border, think about their family, which lives in the hope of meeting them soon, either alive, or with their body wrapped up in our Tricolour Flag. Think about them and absorb some strength from their courageous heart!

So from the very next moment, that is what I did. God has a beautiful way of giving you life lessons and the best part is, you don’t have to look so far, because your ‘Glimpses of Hope’ are somewhere around you, waiting for you to notice them.

hope-in-focus
‘Glimpses of Hope’ are somewhere around you

Firstly, I paid a close attention to the Man in my life who managed his family so well, kept his loved ones happy with all the strength in the world even after being physically impaired. No storm could stop him and he would always stand up as the Superhero of his family without the Superman’s cape! He became my first glimpse of hope.

Secondly, I saw the struggle of a girl, who was of my age and I addressed her as my sister, who supported her family and helped her father clear all his debts, by killing her dreams and working for her family instead. She would stand as the ‘Tiger’ of her family whenever required and shield them from all the troubles. She would smile and hug me with inspiration even after going through all the dark times alone. She became my second glimpse of hope.

Thirdly, I envied the strength of my friend who would keep her emotions intact, even after facing all the conspiracies of her own relatives against her family. I envied how firmly she would still trust and inspire people even after her faith had been played and broken by her own blood relations. Instantly she was added to my list of “Hope”.

Fourthly, I aspired to become like a friend of mine, who literally had been through hell and back, struggled through the taunting and discourteous behaviour of the society but still carried a ray of hope in her soul and faith of humanity in her heart. She still chose to express her smile to the world which once made her life miserable. She then became my ‘Glimpse of Hope’.

Lastly, I feel so fortunate to have read a book called “Eat Pray Love”, by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book brought me closer to God. It showed me a path of peace during the darkest tunnels of my life. This book created another Ray of Hope in my heart.

Though I have not written the names of people in the list of my “Glimpses of Hope” expressively in the article but I am pretty sure that they will recognise themselves while reading it. Lastly, I would like to thank all my readers for investing their precious time and reading this piece of writing. I believe that you will look around and find your ‘glimpses of hope’ soon, because the word H.O.P.E. itself says, Hold On Pain Ends!

Happy reading!

GIFT OF LIFE!

I know this article is about Hope, but before that, I want to talk about Gifts. I want to know what the best gift you ever got in your whole life or, you will be expecting in years to come is? No No, not that materialistic stuff, not car or jewels. I mean things that can’t be bought, as they say in MASTERCARD ad, that some things money can’t buy. I want to know stuff; please count seven such things on your fingertips. One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, DONE? Now tell me was Hope anywhere on your list?

I know Hope was not on the list. We don’t consider Hope as powerful as Love, Happiness, Peace. Hope is a four letter word but has the power to move mountains and bend rivers. At times it is the only thing standing between life and death, HOPE! At times Hope is Life!

Nine sets of families sitting in the waiting lounges of nine different hospitals in nine different cities. All have palms joined, fingers crossed and eyes closed, praying hard. Praying hard and hoping for their loved one to wake up, to be healthy again, to be alive and kicking. But amongst those nine families, eight were hoping for the death of the ninth one. Unfortunately, the ninth family lost their loved one. He/she was declared brain dead. The family is devastated and begs the doctor to give them hope, a glimmer of hope that yes, there is a 0.001 percent hope of recovery, but they were disappointed. The ninth person passed away. And the prayer of the other eight was answered. I know it seems like a riddle, but it’s an actual incident.

“A brain-dead Bengaluru boy has given a new lease of life to eight people in New York. The decision of the Rajeev Naidu’s family to donate all his organs came after he was declared dead in Brooklyn Hospital Centre on Sunday, reported The Times of India.

According to TOI, the 24-year-old was admitted to the hospital with the lung infection on February 21 and was undergoing treatment under the care of his roommates. His family decided to donate his eyes, heart, pancreas, kidneys, oesophagus, liver and bone marrow.” (Source: The news minute)

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Rajeev Naidu

Another such instance:

“Thota Manikanta will continue to live in eight others after his death. His vital organs are set to give a new life to patients at hospitals in Chennai, Hyderabad and Guntur.

Manikanta’s heart was transplanted into a patient in Chennai. His lungs went to another in the City. A patient in Hyderabad got his liver and two patients in Guntur his kidneys. His eyes offered a vision to two patients at Sankara Eye Hospitals, Guntur.” (Source: The Hindu)

This is the Gift Of Hope! I know many of you are revolted by the idea of organ donation. It seems barbaric and outrageous to maul our loved ones after they have departed this Earth. But when I thought about the eight families that got a new life, a life gifted by that one kind soul, I am overwhelmed. It’s a miracle. No, not the death of the donor, that was the saddest part, but the decision of he took and his family honoured.

unnamed-jpg-2Religion and society play a significant role in this whole concept. While in Hindu religion it is inauspicious to donate organs, the Buddhist say this is the right way to depart. My own Grand Aunt died shortly; she was a Hindu, her daughter in law adopted Buddhism. When my Grand Aunt died the daughter in law took the decision of organ donation, she was criticised and shunned by all. I was in them, I condemned her too, but not for the decision to donate. I condemned her because she did it against the wishes of the departed soul. The ethical and moral values play a great role in this decision.

In my mind’s eye I can see the scene as a video reel playing, one family lost all hope while other eight were thankful to that one person for his decision to donate his organs and save the lives of their kin.

Each year, thousands of people die while waiting for a transplant, because no suitable donor can be found for them. The need for organ donors has never been greater

Did you know In India every year nearly:

  • 500,000 people die because of non-availability of organ

  • 200,000 people die of liver disease

  • 50,000 people die from heart disease

  • 150,000 people await a kidney transplant, but only 5,000 get one

  • 1,000,000 lakh people suffer from corneal blindness and await transplant

India’s traffic problem has often been the cause of many deaths, only because ambulances couldn’t get patients to hospitals in time, or worse, ambulances weren’t able to reach the accident spots on time. The same applies to organ transplants – hearts or other organs from brain dead patients sometimes have to be transported over long distances and often from other cities. Getting them to the patients who need them in time is vital to their survival.

download-20A green corridor is a unique route, where all the street signals between the hospital where the organ is harvested and the hospital where it is to be transplanted are manually operated to avoid red signals. It takes lots of coordination between traffic police, and the situation is harder to manage during peak traffic hours. The organs most in demand are heart and liver.

I recently came to know personally about the Green Corridor, it was made for one of my close family friend(My aunt’s husband). The liver was brought from Jaipur to Delhi, and Green Corridors were made both in Jaipur, from hospital to the airport and in Delhi, from an airport to hospital covering the distance of hours into minutes. My aunt was overwhelmed by the idea, as it saved her husbands life. Isn’t it a perfect example of Hope as well?

I know it’s one of the toughest decision a person can take. And then except the medical, physical, financial and legal challenges there is another challenge, the emotional one. The challenge of not contacting and connecting with the recipient of the organ your loved one donated, because I know how much desperation there is to connect with the departed one more time. The Emotional Fingerprint as it is called is a more of a survivors dilemma than truth.

Death is inevitable, irrevocable and irreversible. Life, on the other hand, is full of possibilities and hope. It’s our responsibility to keep hope till our very last breath, and after that, we can still choose to give hope to the ones who need it. You can not give a better gift than the essence of Hope, the gift of Life.

Through organ, eye, and tissue donation, people have the potential to reach out and do good in this world. They can save the lives of those who would die without help. They can give new hope to their families. They can transform and improve lives, by restoring sight, health, and wholeness.It is one of the greatest opportunities today for those who seek to do good, pass along life, and help their fellow human beings
 

You have now, the power in your hands, to save many lives. Or you can choose to burn or bury the organs.

Stay Hopeful!

STRUGGLE IS ON AND HOPEFUL OF VICTORY ONE DAY

Hi Everyone,

February 2015, after a series of tests and sessions it was finally diagnosed and declared that my son is Autistic. The worst and saddest part is once autistic  always autistic.  As parents our hearts sank.  “Why it happened to us?” is the only question that disturbed our peace of mind.

Going further down the memory lane I have a two year old kid who won’t respond to his name, won’t socialize with anyone around, won’t understand the simple instructions, have a peculiar way of playing with toys, and most importantly have no verbal communication.  At first I simply thought kids prefer to live in their own bubble till they step out of their kingdom or domain called home.

At two and a half years he started going to school. At this point I must admit he has never been fussy when it comes to going to school, I am fortunate on that note :).  I was waiting for things to change.  But my hopes were slashed.  After six months he is still the same – all alone among everyone (unattached, unaffected by the world around).  What would be more painful for a mother than to have not heard word “maa” (mother) from her child and my son is five years now.  My heart still yearns for that word.

I started my quest to see if anyone else is sailing in the same boat with me. There are many alike me.  And all those characteristics mentioned above are a part of developmental disorder called “Autism”.  My heart didn’t want to give up to the very idea of my son being autistic.  I was hoping against hope that it is a temporary phase and he would soon start speaking and interacting with people around.

When I realised it didn’t happen I persuaded my husband that we should go for a medical opinion and soon it was established that my fear is here to stay as a reality.  We informed the same to the school authorities.  They clearly said they won’t have him in next academic session as they are not equipped with specialized trained teachers for autism and kids with such issues needs special attention which was not possible in a general school. The fear loomed still larger given the fact that Brussels doesn’t house many specialized schools and the few options we had were full and the waiting could be longer.

My mind was blank as to how shall I make my kid sit at home in case he doesn’t get a place in any organization to take care of his special needs.  I have seen him at home, agitated and frustrated after  a certain point of time just because he don’t know what to do and more because he can’t express himself.  We still have such sessions of anger bouts at home.  To make things worse I used to loose cool sometimes only to feel guilty later. And to wait without certainty made me numb.  I even broke into tears during one of my meetings with the hospital officials, my pleadings were just little less than begging.  You can imagine the state of my mind when I used to see my kid unattended at school.  There were days when my son used to return home with spoiled diapers intact for a long time.  I don’t blame teachers as my son was unable to communicate.  I badly needed a place for my son where he would be taken care of and respected as any other normal child. We tried to register our son with different organizations which take care of children with issues like autism so that at least one option works for us.

It did at last! 🙂

My ray of hope shone on me when a place was confirmed for my son in the day care hospital where he would be attended and trained for coming months till he graduates to the next level (till he goes to school).  I simply can’t express my gratitude, my happiness.  That feeling was out of the world to know that finally my kid will stand a chance.

And my hope breathed again.  In the span of one year (September, 2015 – September, 2016) my son showed lot of improvement in terms of autonomy and communication (though with pics only).  Now he has started going to the specialized school and we do hope for much more improvement in the future.  I hope to see him getting a degree someday and talk to me about his feelings 🙂

But I must admit that among the dark phases of life God has shown some silver linings, a hope to hold on.  My son is physically able, have exceptional memory power, knows alphabets, numbers, rhymes, animals, colors, food items (he can point out them verbally but at his will only), once habituated to regimes can follow religiously and of course have a very loving and caring sister (just 18 months old but her love for him is so evident).  And it is surely something to be hopeful and happy about.

Isn’t it?