Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The book I love!

Name a kid, who doesn't love comics? That's how I started my first Bible. It was a picture bible, with pictures and dialogues in comics style. I loved that Bible, read it from cover to cover. Even now, the images or visuals of many of the characters or stories in my mind, are those from that Bible.Dad was working on a picture bible for tribals, without any language so he had collected lot of picture bible for his drawing reference. So my next bible was a LARGE Children's Bible. That was the age, when my favorite books were Hardy boys, Nancy Drew and Enid Blytons. The children bible fonts were huge just like the story books, that I read them like a story! ( I was probably 9 or 10 )

Looking at the way, I was reading the Bible, my mom and dad gave me a Gideon's Bible to read. I found it very hard to understand. The language, the font, the format were all so different from the Bible I loved. To make it worse I dint understand a thing. So my mom told me to read the Tamil bible parallely.

It was this time, that I made a friend with a book lover. We exchanged Hardy boys, Nancy Drew. She was a voracious reader. She would finish the book in an hour, whereas I would take 3 hours. We decided to read the bible togethar, and boy oh boy it was fun. We finished completely in English ( KJV) and Tamil, again and again may be 10 or more times, that we lost count. To tell the truth I don't think, if I really understood the meaning, I read it like a story book. Enjoyed the History books; gospels, dragged through the prophets, skim read the epistles perhaps. But it was fun to read togethar. Many words in both Tamil and English bounced off my head, but I just wanted to finish reading the whole bible, from beginning to end.

Then dad bought me a study Bible and my brother a Student's bible. I loved it at first sight. There was no columns like a traditional bible, the font was big. Moreover the language was very simple- the story book kind. I understood the meaning, I enjoyed reading it, I underlined,took notes. I woke up at 4 everyday, and spent time with God. I was young, probably 12-14, and that's when I started having a personal relationship with God, and learnt the power of the cross, about HolySpirit, about God's love. During family prayer, me and brother asked a lot of questions to dad. What this means, why so, how did it happen. Hearing and then reading from the Bible, was an amazing feeling. I then moved on to a 1 year bible, and then I often got back to my big old study bible. It is so bulgy, and old, with lines all over the pages! But I love it! Its been more than 10-15 years since I used it, but still get back to it to find some verses, coz I know which page, which side, and what color pen i had used to underline a particular verse! My favorite verse was Gal 6:14 and my favorite book was James!

My friend introduced me to Philip Yancey's book. Oh, how I loved them. By then, my mom had restricted me from reading all novels ( it was school exam time) So I stuck to only Bible and a little of Christian books. In college, my craze was on John Grisham's book, but when I realised my QT was reducing, I decided to stop reading all novels until I bring my QT steady. The same rule applied for any spiritual book. So these days, only when my QT is full and overflowing, I read any other Christian books/magazines! Works well for me!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Just as left is to the right!

Some habits are ingrained in your mind, that you do it automatically, without any thoughts. I was bumping into people, while walking in the hallway/corridor at work. My client manager called that a lil Indian dance. The problem was, I was taught to walk to the left, and my manager was taught to walk to the right. So when we meet in the corridor, am undecided, and move to the left and then to the right. Total mess. Now you got the dance?

In India, and I think even in UK, people keep to the left- on road, walkways, corridors etc. I had to learn and make a conscious effort to walk to the right. It was hard, to unlearn something you have learnt from childhood. But human mind is adaptable. You learn things and then learn to unlearn things. I had to, once I reached India. I was bumping into people again! I was walking to my right in the corridors, hallway of our office, railway stations, on the roads. I consciously tuned my mind to walk to my left. My short trip to Detroit, made it even worse. I was doing the Indian dance.

I wrote this couple of months back. Now its even more clear. Certain things are different. Just as left is to the right. Its better we learn, adapt, unlearn, and adjust than to change the environment we are in. We cannot expect things/people/environment to change, coz its different! - Just as left is to the right!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pine Cones!

My bro literally laughed out loud, when I opened my bag. I had blamed him, for the TSA had broke open my lock and had checked my bag after I had checked-in in Detroit Airport. ( I had got clay for Praveen, and I assume, they thought it was an explosive? Dono why, I have had 3 security incidents in the past 7 days in 3 different airports!)

My bro, laughed seeing all the pine cones I had brought. While going for a walk around my hotel, the lil pine cones fascinated me, that I picked few of them to my room. While vacating my room, hated to leave them and brought them along. In addition to that I got few from Cathy's home as well. Never realised that I had 15 pine cones! All the way from Houston, Detroit and now in the hot Chennai! ( and other cities on transit ;P)

If you had known me 20 years earlier, you wouldn't be surprised. Me and my friends collected stones 'precious stones' as we called, any pebble, colored stone or funny shaped stone was in our school bags. Yes, we also collected feathers. My favorite one was a greenish red parrot feather- a gift for my birthday from my friend. We stuck them in a collection album ( I did no stamp collecting!)

As my co-worker in Detroit, says, these days I have a thing for leaves and flowers. Every lil, big leaf or flower ends up pressed up in Bible. Everyday it reminds me of an awesome God who took time and care for such simple leaf, which is here today and gone tomorrow.

It also tells me that we don't have to go the Niagara or the Mt.Everest or the Swiss to be stunned by the beauty. All it takes is that we look down, on the grass and the teeny weeny wild flowers. So I got to see the purple crepe myrtle of Houston, the White Dogwood of Detroit, the pretty yellow tree in the sun scorching Delhi ( I spotted nearly 10 of them!) or the cotton puffed cloudy skies of Chennai! Seems God has put us in one HUGE BIG school. All we need are eyes of my 3 yr old nephew, whose eyes would light up, if he sees snow, or mine, when I get inside a huge icecream shop. But most of the times, we just shut our eyes so tight, that we miss all the fun!

Btw, bro said that I can find those pinecones in Ooty! I love them anyway. ( I still got no idea what to do with so many of them, if you have a bright plan, do lemme know!!)