Sunday, August 24, 2014


// Based on a true story//

Neeraj, brother Neeraj to many, placed his hand upon the weeping woman kneeling in front of him. He closed his eyes and opened his heart to God. Love and warmth enveloped him and poured forth from his lips in a rapturous prayer. "Father I know you are feeling the pain your daughter is now feeling. Please father, bring her peace. Bless her and bless her womb. May her womb open and carry a child so blessed that all her worries and tears and sorrows melt away. My heavenly father, you say you are filled with love. You have told us that you have engraved us in your palm. Look at your daughter with compassion dada and bless her with a baby."
Neeraj poured all his heart and soul into his prayer and begged the lord on Ramya's behalf. Ramya, who has been longing for a child for more than 5 years now, felt her heart lighten and tears of sorrow turn into tears of gratitude and belief. "Amen", they both said in unison and fell silent for some time. Ramya dried her eyes and looked up to Neeraj with gratitude. "Don't worry sister. God is so kind. He is going to bless you with a child very soon", he said and smiled at her. Ramya nodded through her tears, thanked him and set off on her way.
Neeraj sighed, his heart still pulsing with the after effects of his prayer. He mentally added Ramya to his daily prayer list and started preparing for the prayer meeting that he hosts every Saturday morning in his house.
Lydia put down her book and listened to her husband pray for Ramya. His beseeching voice carried over to her room. " Lord, I believe you and trust you the most. But then, why are you being so unfair to me?", she thought to herself. Married to an evangelist, Lydia has seen many miracles first hand. Sick getting healed, women becoming mothers after years of longing for a child, families getting back together -in short, things finally falling in place for many people whose life has been fragmented and filled with sorrow.
Inspite of all these, Lydia often wondered why God allowed her to make that fateful journey 3 years ago.
Neeraj was hastily throwing things into his bag in the last minute rush. Lydia stood by the doorway and watched her husband running around like a headless chicken with an indulgent smile on her lips. "We are so lucky. Thank you God." she thought to herself. This was the first time they were travelling out of Chennai after their honeymoon 3 months back. Even though it was an extended weekend work trip to Bangalore, Lydia was happy that they were stepping out of the day to day mundaneness that has slowly started creeping into their newly married cocoon of bliss.
Boarding the train, the anticipation of journey finally started sinking in. Neeraj could see the excitement in his wife's eyes and thanked God again for blessing him with such a wonderful life companion. He could not have asked for more. His gentle, loving and sweet Lydia filled his heart with peace and contentment. Putting the berths in place, they both settled for the night's sleep.
A twinge here and a cramp there...Lydia woke up with a start. The dreaded monthly has arrived. Irritated at being awaken in the middle of the night and wrinkling her nose at the thought of using the stinky loo of the train for sanitary purpose, she armed herself with the necessary supplies and headed to the restroom. Coming back, she settled in her berth and tried to fall asleep. In another hour, they will reach their destination. Pulling her dupatta closer around her, Lydia tried to fall asleep to the gentle rhythm of the swaying train.
Her eyes flew open with a cry chocked back at her throat. She felt as if an invisible hand had snaked inside her belly and was violently squeezing her uterus. Sweat quickly beaded on her forehead and another cramp started seizing her. Shaken by the intensity of this unusual pain, Lydia started prodding Neeraj, who was sleeping in the opposite berth.
Since that fateful day 3 years back, their life has been constantly overshadowed by the dreaded "When are you going to have a baby?" question. They didn't know at that time that Lydia was carrying a child and was also loosing one. When the doctors rushed her into the emergency room and performed D&C, they didn't realise that they would mourn so much for a life that they never knew was there in the first place. After that miscarriage, they have not managed to conceive again.

Every time they heard a news of pregnancy, every time when some one asked them about having babies, every time when they prayed for some one's conception, Lydia started feeling such a strong sense of helplessness and sorrow. Every month, when her periods arrived, she went into a state of depression. Getting through the first day was always a nightmare for her. Hormones, the memory of the night in train, the sense of isolation and helplessness bogged her down. She started questioning her purpose of existence and often soaked the shirt of Neeraj with her tears of helplessness and frustration. Depression, something she always thought that people could just snap out of, caught her by the throat and clouded her brain.

This shook Neeraj to a great extent. Being a man of God, he never lost his faith. " A beggar cannot bless another beggar. God will give us a child soon Lydia. Please don't cry", he would comfort her and himself. But he also was able to grasp to some extent how much different it is for a woman. It is in her body that the changes are anticipated. She is the one who hopes and hopes that atleast this month would be the month. It is she who is questioned the most by family and relatives and friends. It is she who lives with the dread of an approaching period. The hope when the period gets delayed by a few days and the disappointment when it arrives, the feeling of isolation when all her friends talk  about nothing but pregnancy and babies, the unwarranted and unexpected tears that suddenly start flowing because of this.... It is really not fair that some couples have to go through the nightmare of infertility while everyone else are so easily blessed with babies.


"Do you remember Ramya? I just got a call from her. She is pregnant and is so happy. God is great." Neeraj beamed to Lydia. "God is great and kind to all but me." She said. The smile in Neeraj's face crumpled. "Why do you always have to be like this? Why cant you just snap out of it? You are letting this affect you too much. So what if we don't have a child? We are so blessed. God has given us everything. You just don't know how to be content and satisfied. You always want to feel sad thinking about what you don't have. Cha....people like you can never be happy." Neeraj shouted and started packing for his impending 10 day Sri Lankan trip.

Lydia's face crumpled. She ran into the bathroom to cry her heart out. These days, she could share her feelings with no one...not even her Neeraj. He no longer had patience for her tears. Neither did he want to get himself tested. "I don't think I can bear to know if something was wrong with me", he told her. "But not knowing is killing me Neeraj. Why cant you understand? It is just a simple test. These days they have a cure for everything. Please da...I want to have a baby. I want to experience pregnancy. I want to know what it is to carry a child inside me. You cannot deny me of that." she cried. "Lydia, you just talk of suicide. If I know something is wrong with me, I will not talk. I will just not be there to talk about it." Neeraj turned to is side of the bed and slept, oblivious to her tears.

"I am going to heal her and bless her with a child." Neeraj woke up with a start. Did God really say those words in his dream? Isn't it an oxymoron to use real and dream in the same sentence? The cellphone showed the time as 2 am and as usual, it had no signal. He and his team were in the middle of some remote village in Sri Lanka, spreading God's word for the past 8 days. It was a truly uplifting trip where many had unburdened their sorrows to God and sought his blessing. Sleep eluded him after that and Neeraj went down on his knees to pray to God.


"But why is God so unfair to me? Why is he putting me through so much pain?" cried Anjana. Neeraj looked at her and smiled. He could now answer this question with more confidence.

"There can be no testament without a test, right? God is testing you sister. Do you know something? Me and my wife were trying to have a baby for more than 3 years. She used to ask me -you pray for everybody and God answers their prayers. But why he is not answering ours? But you know what, I had a miracle...We had a miracle. I was able to experience the miracle first hand. I was away on a missionary trip to Sri Lanka for 10 days when God came in my dream and told me that he is going to bless my wife with a child. After I came back, we went to the doctor and the blood test results came back as positive. To this day, I don't know how this happened. I was there in Sri Lanka and she was here in Chennai. Now we are going to have our blessed baby in another 2 months.

"You know why God is making you wait? Some day, some one is going to come and cry to you about this. At that time, you will make a difference in their life with your empathy and experience of having gone through the same pain. Trust me sister, God has always given the couple who waits the most blessed children. Even in your religion, all great people were born to those who I right? Aadhi Shankarar, Lord Ram, Meenakshi...

"Have faith and believe in God sister. Come, let us pray. God is going to give you your blessed child very soon."

 Brother Neeraj placed his hand upon the weeping woman kneeling in front of him. He closed his eyes and opened his heart to God. Love and warmth and enveloped him and poured forth from his lips in a rapturous prayer.


kunal.patil said...

very nice and inspiring !!!

abi said...

Good one Aruna :)

Rasuanam said...

There could be two interpretations to the story -- (a) true divine intervention or laws of probability finally playing out in her favor or (b) she took unorthodox measures to satiate her motherly needs!