LOOKS PINK! GOD’S GRACE!

A highly extrovert and expressive person like me will always have many people to thank to, many people to learn from, and many events to describe, unlike others who might feel shy and have very specific and little to say about their lives.

When I came to Kolkata in 2001, I learned to say ‘Thank You’. Before it was never a habit to say ‘Thank You’. In India, people have a mindset that close relatives and friends should not say ‘Thank You’ or ‘Sorry’ for small things. I don’t understand the funda behind it. Sometimes even I feel weird when somebody shows their gratitude towards me so much for what little I did for him or her.

Oh! Probably that was my utter humility… 😉

Khristina, Anupam, Rajnandini, Sulagna and Prabhjot have been with me for a long time since I gave birth to my baby ‘Candles’. Yes, their names were mentioned sequence wise. But Rajnandini and Prabhjot were more regular and committed.

I love both of them deeply for their hearts and minds and involvements in whatever I thought, whatever I planned and whatever I wanted to deliver through Candles. Trust me, without these two I would not have proceeded this far. They became my two wings to fly high to burn the Candles as much as possible.

I thank them for their commitment and involvement with me in Candles.

If I look back to my childhood, I find few people, ‘Special People…’ who are so worthy to be applauded and thanked.

When I got sick terribly in 1983, my Nanaji (Maternal Grand Dad) brought me to his house in Cuttack. Since then I stayed away from my parents as my maternal grandparents took care of me. I was only 7 years old that time. Nana Ji and Nani’s contributions in my life was huge… They became my parents since then till I was graduated. They literally took care of my physical growth. I am so thankful to them for what they did for me.

Next was my eldest aunt (my Mom’s elder sis) who is single till now and stays with my Nani (her Mum) as Nana Ji is no more now. Now this aunt of mine became my teacher, my guide and my mentor. She was a teacher in a school and when Nana Ji was hesitant to allow me to study because of my health conditions she was the one who took responsibility for my education. I was admitted to the school directly in 4th grade… that’s a world record. 😉

I used to go to school with her and come back with her. My entire schooling was done under her super supervision. She later had borne all my expenses relieving Nanaji. I was graduated from college and went to Bhubaneswar for my post graduation, and all these could happen because of my aunt. I am really grateful for her and her life. Everybody says, ‘God kept her single to mother Chiradeep.’ Probably that’s absolutely right.

In Bhubaneswar, my Badabapa & Badamaa (Dad’s elder brother and his wife) took care of me from 1997-1999 during my post graduation.  I am really thankful to them as well though my beloved Badamaa is no more amidst us. She was such an amicable and soft hearted lady. I miss her softness so much.

During my college days, my friend Binod Sharma was there to pick up from my home to college and drop me back at home. He used to stand in the line for me on the counter. He was an angel for me during my most difficult times. I had already written about this in one of my article published previously HERE on this site.

When I came to Kolkata one of my Mama (Mom’s cousin brother) became my local guardian who’s still live in the same complex/campus. I am thankful to him as well for what he has been doing for me till now.

I am also grateful to my doctor brother who is always beside me since 2003, and all know how easy it becomes when a doctor in a hospital is your relative.

I remember something which I want to mention here as well…

My first surgery was done in 1978 in by Dr Stanley John and my second surgery was done in 2001 by Dr Colin John.

Do you know both are brothers? Dr Stanley John was elder among them. I was too small to remember anything during my first surgery, but during my second surgery, Dr. Colin John remarked that my condition was very critical and you all pray as I operate. After operating me, he told my uncle who was the contact person for me in the hospital that, “I thanked God when I tore open his chest… it was in a fantastic shape… his lungs were functioning well, and we did the surgery successfully.” After 5 years of surgery when I met him again, he smiled and said from far as he was walking down towards me, “What Mr Patra you are looking absolutely fine…” And in his report, he wrote: “Pantop BD Glenn – Looks Pink! God’s Grace!” (BD Glenn is the surgery done on me). I have attached my scanned report as under:

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I thank those two brothers who did these two heart surgeries, and I am living…

Why I am telling all these? Why I am making a fuss about all these life stories and people in my life?

Because I want to thank HIM who kept all these angels on this earth at the right time and tight places of my life ready to be with me, pamper me, take care of me, do the surgeries, being with me in my hard times, taking care of my body, my mind, and my spiritual growth… Finally, HE brought the best angel in my life in the form of my wife about whom I had already spoken a couple of days ago… You can find that HERE.

It is HE who comforted me when I was shooting questions at HIM, “Why did you create me like this?” “What have I done to suffer all my life?” It was He who kept consoling me when I was depressed and sad. It was HE who kept on cleansing me from all my iniquities which I committed in the name of my loneliness, sickness and vulnerability.

I am always asked ‘how could you show care and love to so many people…’, “how do you manage all this…’ Again I would thank my Jesus who showed me how to love people. He soaked me so much with His love, and it is overflowing from my heart which I love to give away to others unconditionally. It was Jesus who loved me when I was an enemy to Him before I accepted Him in my heart. That transformed my mind, my heart and my life. It was easy for me to give love. I am really grateful to Him for loving me…

It is He who is worthy of all my heartfelt gratitude.

Friends! Never take your loved ones for granted… Never take God for granted… Don’t forget to thank them and Him ever…

Stay Blessed!!!

 

 

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MY  HEARTFELT PAEAN

I returned to my room,

One hot summer afternoon,

Which had cast a spell of scorching gloom,

And after a day so tiring I hoped my lunch box would be a sure boon!

 

As I opened the box with great expectation,

I simply stopped short of outward expression,

Knowing not how to show my dissatisfaction.

Seeing the rice and bitter gourd fry,

I really thought I would cry.

But so amazed to myself was I when with a smile I whispered –

‘Thank you Lord!’

 

I thank you Lord for giving me life,

For helping me tide across all storms and strife.

I thank you Lord for pardoning my sin,

And opening for me the gates of Heaven pristine.

Thank you Lord for my parents and friends,

In whose presence time never ever ends.

Thank you for teachers so affectionate and inspiring,

Who equipped me in much knowledge acquiring.

 

Thanks Dad and Mom,

For showering your love so warm.

Your tears for mine,

Your fears for mine.

Your numerous sacrifices untold,

Led my way blessings manifold.

I can never repay the debts of your love,

But humble gratitude this heart fondly behoves.

 

O my sister so lovely and sweet,

How can I not thank you for every witty feat!

With fervor and zest, you give me your best,

And light up our cosy little nest.

You are such a precious gift in my life,

Not thanking you would sure cause a big strife!

Dear Grandpa and Grandma,

Your values, discipline and tender care,

Have enabled me stand firm in a world so unfair.

How fond are the memories of running to your embrace,

To escape from Mom’s anger and distress!

‘Thank you’ is a phrase so small,

But I still use it to tell my heart’s all.

 

Thanks my dear friends,

Our companionship sure never ends.

The fun times and the tough times,

I recall sometimes.

Miles apart though we may be,

Your loving presence reassures,

That somebody out there loves me.

 

To thank the people in my life,

Is a pleasant delight.

Words don’t suffice,

And thoughts won’t cease.

My heartfelt gratitude to one and all,

Who have held me in their hands,

And have never let me fall.

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ISN’T THANK YOU TOO SMALL?

Thank you is a great word! Still, This word becomes too small when we try to appreciate someone for their great contribution to our lives. And this is a big problem for me as well.

“Where I AM today! What I am DOING today! The NAME I have today! The DEGREE I hold today! And The greatest of all the LIFE I have today! I have all these things today because of Someone’s love and sacrifice done for me someday in the past”. Every time I am facts with these words, they bring me down to my knees, rendering me speechless and overwhelmed with emotions, and the only one word my heart utters and my tear drops speak is– THANK YOU!”

Before we enter into the 17th year of the 21st century, I want to make a wish. I wish I could walk back to all the days of past 27yrs of my life and say “thank you” accompanied with tight hugs to the three significant people in my life. I believe I have always hurt them, given them pain brought tears to their eyes. They are the ones who sacrificed their absolute treasure to make me what I am today. Yes, they are none other than my Jesus (God), my Bapa (Father) and my Mumma (Mother).

It was the winter afternoon of 28th January 2004, Time: 12 p.m, as the recreational break(Tiffin Break), was over, I sat on the last bench before the class teacher comes in. There was no back support behind me as I was sitting on a bench, but subconsciously, I tried to rest my back and fell back. The back portion of my head was severely injured as it hit the ground on impact. Immediately blood clotted in my brain, and my brain stopped working, I went mad for nearly three hours. I was not able to recognise anyone, my parents were broken-up, medical science gave up, later on, my CT Scan report and my Neuro-specialist told my parents that, “we have three answers for your son: DEATH/COMA/MENTAL RETIREMENT but How come he is alive with sound state of mind? It is another miracle of God nothing other than that. But still, your son cannot study and cannot go out to sunlight till next 12 years, as his healing needs 12 years of time”.

I thank God who not only proved himself as Almighty but also gave me a new life to live for His glory. Now as you read my story, you can identify that I’m not mad!

While doing my degree studies, I went into the wrong relationship and messed-up my life with shame, guilt, curse and emotional brokenness. I disobeyed my parents; my lifestyle brought shame to my parents, my life and my family became the topic of neighbour’s evening gossip. Because of such disobedience, my father stopped talking to me for three and a half years. Though we were staying under one roof, travelled in one bus but still I was deprived of my father’s love. My Mumma and my siblings were always in tension due to my wrong relationship. Every evening my parents prayed for me with tears in their eyes. The same son who was expected to bring the smile on their faces brought shame and tears on their face. Though I gave so much pain to my parents but still when a dramatic change happened in my life, they accepted me with open arms and loved me in the same measure as they love my siblings.

I thank both of them (my Father and Mother) for their love, their sacrifices and bearing pain all the time to make me. Every of my effort as the payback to their love and contributions to my life is less before what they have done!

I LOVE YOU my dear GOD, BAPA and MUMMA!!!

HUSBANDS! HAVE YOU THANKED YOUR WIVES?

“In my opinion a homemaker is a woman who balances every work that she finds in front of her so perfectly that others won’t get a trace of it.”

That’s what I think about my wife… she is a perfect homemaker that way.

It was in the year 2012 March 8th on the occasion of International Women’s Day I got an opportunity to write about my wife thanking her on a different and bigger platform, “Yahoo Magazine”. I am grateful to my cousin and co-writer Khristina for giving me the information and helping me to publishing it on Yahoo. But now that article was moved to some other sites where you can view it HERE.

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Asmita, my wife

Apart from just being a great homemaker I would like to thank her for so many other things that are always go unnoticed. I wanted to highlight few of her actions behind the screen which I had mentioned in another article few months ago. I have quoted it as under:

The unending prayer pleas by my bedside when I am sick; the unspoken and the inexpressible heartaches because of my physical inabilities and weaknesses; the struggles of unwanted night – watching for my discomfort; the pain of carrying out undesired burdens of extra responsibilities; the display of forced smiles to manage the relationships and situations in the midst of taunts from loved ones. The list can be longer if I think and write more about her role, contributions and investments in my life as well as towards out marriage.

All she goes through are for me; to complete me, to manage me, to support me in life…

Adding to the above list if I expand it a bit more then I would like to thank her for trusting me for everything though sometimes I had accused her for not trusting me fully. I would like to thank her for my inspiration. Why did I say that… ‘my inspiration’? Even she won’t like it if she reads this… because she thinks she doesn’t have anything, any quality which can inspire any other person. But I would say she let me explore myself… Explore myself as a music composer. I knew I can write… but I never knew I could compose music… It was because she sings very well I thought of trying out to compose one or two songs… It clicked. I am really grateful to God and to my wife for finding myself as a music composer.

My friend Kuljeet commented yesterday in our group chat: “This Thank You week is turning out to be really great.. whenever I read the latest article I feel I can relate to it and my mind goes Yeah I too am thankful for this relationship… In our daily routine we take a lot of people in our life for granted. Thanks guys for reminding me that I am thankful for the presence of so many people and relations in my life…”

She was right… we read articles on being grateful to a Husband, a Brother in Law, a Grand Father, Friends, a Help-maid, a Mom, a Teacher, a Daughter and a Brother till now… and it was my turn to thank a Wife … Of course my wife, Asmita.  I am grateful to God for allowing me in her life.

Always be grateful for everything in life to God and to the people around you…

Stay Blessed!!!

THE BROTHER OF MY HEART

The most underrated relationship is that of siblings. We praise our friends,our parents but often forget this very important person/people in our lives. I love that I have this opportunity to thank one of the most important part of my life today: my big brother.

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Bhai & Me

Bhai, as clichéd as this sounds thank you for always being there and I am truly blessed to have you in my life. The earliest memory I have about you,  is that you were this annoying kid who used to tease me with “innovative”  names, who scolded me for following him and his friends around and also for trying to be a part of his cricket team and being really bad at it!!!

And then, you started your hostel life and we kind of drifted apart for a bit there. But then life changed when I started college, but I think it was for the better because i had you as a senior (ergo no ragging). I remember the times you saved your pocket money.. so that you could take me for out for  shopping trips. I know it’s not a big thing, a few hundreds, but it was the effort of saving even from the little that you had, just to gimme a luxury that others in the hostel did not have: freedom. Thank you Bhai, for becoming my home away from home.

And then when I graduated and moved to Bangalore you had already become the man of the house. And through the years I have seen you become so much more than a elder brother. You have become the rock of our house, the man of the house, and the solution to most of our problems. The sacrifices you have made in order for me to pursue my dreams has made me ever so grateful  to have you in my life.

You are my inspiration and my reason to go out there and do my best. Thank you Brother!! For holding me up in troubled times, for encouraging me to face my realities and to conquer my fears, and accepting and admiring me just the way I am. You truly are the wind under my wings and the brother of my heart!!!

THANK YOU… MY PRECIOUS!

whatsapp-image-2016-12-05-at-3-51-11-pm“Is that your daughter? She is such a sweet thing to watch. I have been watching her the entire service, and she made my day. She took away all my pains and tensions. She gave me peace. Thank you for bringing her to this service. I hope to see her always.” said a stranger to me at church one day! What did she do??? She was just one n half that time, and she stood looking and smiling at everyone who looked at her. That day she taught me that a simple smile and light up a dark surrounding as was for the stranger.

3 years ago, I had problems and went to see the doctor. She examined me saying I have multiple cysts and i cannot bear child ever. I and my husband came back home with tensions and sorrows in our hearts. Both silent and not being able to speak. And then suddenly he said, “Let’s ask the prayer warriors to pray.” We went, and prayed there. A prayer warrior told us to put both our hands on my stomach and pray every night before we sleep. I took medicines for 3 months and then we went home for Christmas. All my relatives (including our parents, unknown of my situation) told us that its high time for a baby. We would smile and say, ” We have left it on God”. We came back and then at last in the month of March I told my mother with a lot of disappointment, “Wait! Why are you in such a rush?”. And we prayed and prayed. My health deteriorated suddenly and I would feel so rusty from within. On Good Friday, after church, my husband said, lets go for a check up. And we went. And lo, we found out that I was 2 months pregnant already. How wonderful was that!!! Miracles do happen. And for us, she was our first and greatest miracle and a gift!

whatsapp-image-2016-12-05-at-3-51-09-pmShe has taught me many more things. Most importantly, how to be a mother. She has been a constant teacher to me, where she has never left me. Mommy to a 2 year old now, I have been through many situations and paths, both happy and sad, where she has always been there. The small span of 2 years with my cutie hasn’t only been wonderful but more of a roller coaster ride. I haven’t ever verbally said her thanks, not that she will understand! But, when I pray I constantly thank God for giving her as my daughter. I, at times feel that I am so not worth her. Times I hit her for any reason, times I scold her, times I say no to some unwanted things which she wants, it pains and breaks me from within. Still being strong and making her do something else has been hard. I have also learnt the art of sacrifice to the utmost extent. My morning starts with her and my night ends with her. Days are there when I hardly get time for loo. But I have learnt that she is more important that myself. Maybe some wouldn’t agree, but this is how a mother’s heart feels.

whatsapp-image-2016-12-05-at-3-51-08-pmIts not only in my case. But all mothers in the whole wide world feel the same. We tend to share the same feelings of utter happiness, sorrow, eagerness, tension and pain. And we have learnt to carry them all together doing all the house chores and still managing to smile making the day better for everyone. That smile is possible because of the blessings in our lives – Kid(s). So here am I, thanking my daughter for helping me go through so many situations and helping me stand strong – helping me protect her and cover her from harm, making me stronger only – for helping me understand signs and ways of life. For being able to be in constant touch with God, praying for her and her well being, only taking me more and more closer to him. Thank you my baby for all these. I know a day will come when I can tell you all these and you will understand. Till then its your Mummy and all her feelings for you only.whatsapp-image-2016-12-05-at-3-51-06-pm

She is my love, my life and my heartbeat. There are times when I do express and many a times I don’t. But this is what she is and will remain for ever. My first born, the greatest gift of God to me.

THANK YOU TEACHER

Hello Everyone,

It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom. – Michael Morpurgo

Teacher – the only person in this otherwise selfish world who is genuinely happy to see you succeed other than your parents.

Teacher – a person who could gift a person with personality by imparting knowledge above and beyond the syllabus and books.

But in the wake of commercialisation of education teaching is deemed to be a mere profession and the role of a teacher is slowly limiting itself within the boundary walls of school and contribution is assessed only numerically (read ranks).  In such a scenario can a teacher be referred as revered?

But today I am not here to get into the discussion how holistic teaching and teacher should be, what should be the professional ethics☺

I want to take this opportunity on this platform to thank my teachers.  I am very fortunate in this lifetime to have amassed love and faith of my teachers throughout.   Any examination be it academic or otherwise they taught me to face it with head high.  I am thankful to them to have made me inculcate the habit of owning up one’s mistake.

As a child I used to be an asthma patient.  Every fortnight I used to be absent from school.  But my class teacher, Mrs.Sandhya, was very compassionate, she used to arrange all the important notes for me to ensure that I don’t miss any important lesson.  Even in the class she made sure that I am comfortable when I used to return after my illness.  I could never ever be able to thank her enough for the care she took like a mother away from home.

Another person from teaching fraternity whom I want to thank for her contribution in making me what I am is Mrs. Jyoti, my English teacher in secondary school.  She is the one who taught me about leading – be it a group or own life, until charge is taken, read responsibility, it is not right to expect results.  And till date I abide by that.

In fact every teacher of mine have influenced my life and moulded my thought process in some or other way.  But today I want the world to know about this particular incident and incidentally thank my teacher.

It was in 2004, results of my graduation first year were announced.  I did well.  Very next moment I got notice that I am supposed to pay fees for next academic session within a week.  I was in a fix, not because the amount was higher (hardly few thousands, 4K to be precise) but as a family we were in serious financial crunch.  My father was in double mind whether I shall I continue my graduation in college or not, so was I.  I don’t want to blame him and I can’t, it was the need of the hour.  But somehow my professor in college Mr. E. Muralidhar Rao, got to know about my dilemma.  He called me and right away gave me the sum for college fees.  I was reluctant to accept that but he insisted and told me that ” a sincere student like you should never discontinue studies just for the lack of funds.  All your efforts and focus should be directed towards your studies”.  My eyesight blurred with tears.  How could I thank him for being so generous.  And it’s not just for the sum he arranged, I want to thank him for two valuable lessons he gave me:

  • If ever you are in a position to help someone never hesitate especially if you could help someone with their education.  Education is a tool to reduce disparities in the society.
  • Always be humble:  I have seen him like that for the learned person he was, I have never seen him raising his voice or boasting about self.

No words in any language would ever be able to explain what is your importance in my life as a human being.  I am thankful to God for gifting me this fortune of learning from revered teachers, Guru in true sense.

Thank you Teacher.