This happened on a very unassuming day. I was at home, taking care of my kids and busying myself with the household chores. In the thick of peevish grumbling and occasionally chiding my daughters, I receive a phone call. In fact I was cleaning the house, and I was quite determined in mopping the floor crystal clean. Starting from the rear rooms, I am doing my finishing touch, when I pop into the Study, which opens at the corner of the drawing room. This is not my tradition; I am usually particular in finishing the drawing room first. Well, things changed today and I started mopping the floor of the Study. All the while, i had my eyes on my fabulous new phone. I am trying to habituate myself with the features of this new phone. So I am yet to get over the fondling and fiddling of this new phone. Suddenly then it rings, and stops with a single ring.
I had this irresistible urge to ring back, and my hands did exactly that. I rang back. It was the voice of a battered man on the other side. He sounded a bit old, impeccable English with a Tamil accent. He said he was calling from Chennai. My mind wandered, why is this call from Chennai, which lie in the South of India, while I sleep in the Northern Hindi belt.
“You called back!” He seemed surprised.
“Who’s this?” I enquired.
He ignored my question and started profusely thanking me. As I was wondering what the commotion is all about, he stated the reason.
“I had lost all hope, sir. I thought I had nothing more and so I was going to end my life.”
My curiosity had no bounds. I left the mop on the floor, and lent my ears to the curios story. Nick* is an educated man who once was a lecturer at a local college, which he had lost due to some sickness. He then, unable to teach anymore, worked as a security personnel at a school. He was then blamed for an incendiary, and was fired for security lapse. He was a shattered man, who deeply loved his daughter. Nick was a Roman Catholic and did once strongly believe in God. But now he was far away from all that he knew.
“When I knew that there is nothing more to life and that I was incapable to even feed my family, I felt worthless. When my daughter left for her studies, I decided to end my life...
.... Then I thought I could just read the Bible on my daughter’s shelf. I took the little book out and started reading. I found a pamphlet was in the next page. It said ‘I stand for LIFE’. It changed my perspective on life! Is my life so precious? “
The thought poked Nick so much that he knew what he had to do. He called me immediately and thanked me for saving his life! I then contacted my friend, Edward who lives in Chennai to call Nick and visit him. Edward visited the man and comforted him, adding hope into the life of Nick.
I could not unravel all that happened. I will tell you why. We had created a pamphlet 5 years back which said “I Stand for Life; STOP ABORTION”. We had decided to go on a campaign trip to the South of India. We also visited Chennai which was more than 2000 kms (around 1278miles) away from Lucknow. It was astounding how a piece of paper which was created 5 years back, was saved within a Bible, and could save the life of a wretch of a man! It was meant to save an unborn life, but now it is even saving adult life! All that happened was a miracle! I am faint with these thoughts.
Why did I have to be at home that day? If I was at office, I probably would not have even heard the ring.
Why would I ever call back an unknown number? I don’t remember when the last time was, I returned an unknown missed call!
Why did I have a new phone? Did not my fondness to fiddle with my new phone play a role in calling back?
Why did I mop the Study first? I never do that....
I’m still recovering…