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Saturday, February 26, 2011

One Faithful Friend

Some times the experiences in church can be truly moving! I arrived in church a bit late. The sermon was going on. "You must help when you see people who are in need." 'Oh yeah' I thought as just the night before I had commented to my friend on facebook that it is dangerous to have a good heart and one had better hide it!
"But Jesus never said you wont have troubles" continued the priest. "He would give you strength to handle the troubles of each day and he has said not to worry about tomorrow as each day has enough troubles of its own. Just don't tire of doing good."

I was mellow now but was thinking, 'What's the use anyway of any good we do, any advice we give? It doesn't seem to be interesting to anybody.'
"Many people left Jesus saying that his teachings are too hard." continued the priest."Jesus was also insecure and asked his disciples, 'Will you also leave me?' He also said, 'When I come again will I find any faith?' Jesus even felt isolated from God while on his cross and cried to Him, 'Why have you abandoned me'. It is important that we rise above our anxieties and ask God in prayer '..protect us from all anxiety...'

The priest seemed to be answering my thoughts. I had been waking up many mornings feeling very anxious and uneasy. From a spate of experiences with a number of people, I had really formed a strong belief that it was bad to be good as the good seem to be considered 'the weak' and taken advantage of. Also there usually never has seemed to be an acknowledgement or awareness of the good done but often the good was returned with bad or even abandonment especially when you were in need.

What happened in church was totally unexpected and as the mass ended there was the song, "I just keep trusting my lord as I walk along. I just keep trusting my lord and he gives me a song.......He is a faithful friend....I can count on him, to the very end." That was it, my eyes filled up. This had been my favorite song since childhood.

He really proved a faithful friend to me in church today. Even if there seem no results of doing good, moments like these are enough to inspire not to tire doing what seems good and what seems right.

Lakes and Trees

I love the sight of lakes, the natural contours of its shoreline surrounded by lush green trees and hills. I enjoyed the view of such a lake from an apartment in Puna. It was refreshing just to look out the window. Now in Bangalore I pass by a lake each day as I travel to and fro my work place. I must be so happy? Its just next to the road I travel really , but alas I cant see it!! I can glimpse portions of it if I am travelling by bus! The reason is that it is fenced, protected and there is a charge to visit it. Good thing, (considering the encroachment and deliberate filling of lakes that has been the fate of many of Bangalore's lakes), except that I can’t enjoy even the sight of it. Maybe, if fencing was unavoidable, a wired fence instead of cemented one or…well, stupid as it may seem but toughened glass fence would have been good so that people passing by could enjoy a pleasant sight to which they have every right. Am I being irrational? Maybe I should just visit the lake to enjoy it rather than cribbing that I can’t see it from the road. Well even inside, what with the construction next to it I really cant see it as a natural lake. With man having cornered lakes with constructions around it to make which allow us to sit by its side on chairs over a platform ... I really need imagination to see it as a natural lake and not a man made reservoir!(actually this lake was reduced to a puddle around seven years back due to encroachment and we have to thank fellowmen for salvaging it and protecting it, though I still believe that it should have been made to look more natural) Cant all these businesses go on but still retain the natural features around the lake to allow us to relish its full natural glory. Cant spare precious space for that I guess?

The other day I had to wait in front of a school for 20 minutues. There was a flyover work going on right in front. It was noon and I didn’t have an umbrella. I looked to the right and left for nature’s umbrellas, the trees but there were none. I was standing on the cement paving outside the school. I imagined trees being cut to pave the area in front of the school. Was it necessary to pave here? Who am I to decide it was not. Maybe it was necessary, but still ‘they’ could have paved round the trees leaving some trees for people who sometimes have to wait there in the sun? It used to be done like that in many other parts of bangalore as can be witnessed, trees standing inside concrete pavings...

An autowala who once drove me back from work, told me that when he was a kid, the area was lush with trees and the temperature never usually exceeded 20 degree. It was only after IT and the highway coming up that the temperature has been taking the upside as the trees were compromised. Well I enjoy the comforts of the highway and the accessibility but I enjoy trees and shade and 'even temperatures' too. Cant they coexist?

I had thought that it is population that is eating up the possibilities of coexistence of man and nature but I am thinking differently now. We make space and time for whatever we really value in life by compromising on things we don’t value as much. It is our misplaced priorities that are behind the mismanagement.
We value material comforts more than we value aesthetic comforts. If we had prioritized aesthetic comforts we would have thought twice and avoided the placing of structures that are currently in the vicinity of the lake and built them with the objective not to lose the pristine look of the lake. If we had valued the comfort of a tree we would have avoided our need of claiming land by paving it. Is the damage irreversible? Well, we give more priority to money, if it hadn't been so then breaking down some structures and rearranging everything so that the lake looks natural and breaking up some of the paving so a tree can some day be accessed after every few meters.. wouldnt have been a far fetched thought. On the positive side though, I must say that on my way to work there is one other lake which I can view from a flyover and it has been spared its pristine look...thankfully.

A lake to look at and a tree to stand under, if not for these little things, what really is life for?
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