Monday, March 9, 2009

The real life experiences captured during Seva compiled as "Chinna Katha-Live" (small stories) :Chinna Katha 'Live' series.Scroll down for the stories

Chinna Katha 'Live' No. 9 ----- Feb 20,2009

The last posting on 26/11 and our Seva

In a city, where the Shelf Life of Compassion is very short....or

the story of an unfortunate woman still waiting tobe operated

for the blast wounds of 26/11 in her leg.


The world around is almost back to normal.

Shifting focus to Pub attacks and the like.

Poor 26/11 victims now lost the limelight,
resultant eyeballs and media coverage.
May be in this fast moving city,

the Shelf life of Compassion is very short.

Now 26/11 is no more the hot topic

in the local trains or lunch time gossips.

Not even some hyper columnists of journalistic activism

deign to make even a passing remark on 26/11.

It is now Passe. Very TRP-unfriendly for Channels.

And that is when the real trauma begins.

When the social side is showing up.

Like Shabira Khan, a blast victim of 26/11

whom ChemburSeva team met

soon after the attack,in the hospital.

For poor Shabira, life can't get more cruel.

Her husband, a dock labourer met with

accident six months ago and got partially immobilised.

When she was struggling to make both ends meet,

another disaster squarely struck her on 26/11.

As she was standing in front of her house,

a blast ripped through a nearby taxi and

she was thrown off.(one of the 26/11 events).

Got badly injured all over.

Her son nearby,also injured,

rushed her to the hospital.

In a few days ChemburSeva team

arrived at the scene,to console and help.

Days passed by and her leg was getting worse.

After umpteen tests and procedures,

the family shifted her to another hospital

for quicker and better treatment -

according to the son.

ChemburSeva helped the family to buy

outside medicines prescribed by the docs

and regularly visited even in the other hospital.

Her school going children were getting

frustrated as the mother,the main anchor

was absent for more than 3 months.

The ration stock depleted and

they had to borrow on day to day basis for provisions.

ChemburSeva,on hearing about this new agony,

started supply of monthly ration.

Even the second hospital couldn't do much.

And her leg is facing the danger of amputation

unless urgently attended to.

Everytime we meet her, she is in tears

and desperately pleads for some urgent action

or she might lose her leg.

And her hope and Prayers impel

us to work dedicatedly on her 'Save the Leg" project.

The press carried her story twice.

But nothing much happened.

Now the family is fed up

with the intelligentia and seek

plain results for their efforts.

ChemburSeva team is now on toes,

silently trying to get better medical facility

on emergency basis in any of the

good hospitals in the city,

before it is too late.

One of the downsides of being poor is-

in crisis,even the resources within their reach

will not be made available,due to faulty systems and apathy.

So it is not Resource Crunch that kills poor.

It is really the Compassion Crunch that does.

As Shabira is wondering whether

she is a victim of terrorism or apathy,

the world around her is busy

with new arrivals in crisis zone-

Great potential for Eyeballs harvest.

In the days to come,

the great leveller is going to be "Terrorism"(sic),

if we go by the daily reports all over.

From flashy Five Stars to Railway platforms,

there may be no corridors where

we can rest assured of safety.

Some meeting point of both rich and poor

feeling equally unsafe!!

But more disturbing is the fact

that our Compassion Quotient (CQ)

is going deep down, while the society

is bending backwards to boost the IQ.

In an attack on us, may be our IQ can help us to know

the precise brand of the weapon used and its features.

But only the CQ of the onlooker can help us

reach the nearest hospital before it is too late.

Love is the only antidote to all Violence.

Spread Love.

The complicated mind always seeks

complex solutions.

Leaving simple effective ones like -

Love All. Serve All.

With that, certainly

some Shabiras can be saved.




Chinna Katha ‘Live’ 8 - Jan 30,2009

Om Sairam

26/11 is a tragic chapter in Indian History.
Not only for the gruesome killings

by misguided youth of a neighbouring nation.
But for what it revealed in its wake.

That a person could be indoctrinated enough
to move out of Reward-Punishment ecosystem
and get self-propelled to wreak havoc.
May be Kasab was not promised

any monetary reward for killing
nor threatened with any penalty if he doesn't.
He was probably made to believe that
he was doing it for the sake of God(sic).
Even laying down life for that cause is ok for him.
This brings out a fierce negative determination
that puts together an organised effort to destroy.
So focussed. With deep study of systems.
Latest gadgets.Skill training.Mapping. Recce.
Not giving up till dropped dead etc.

And the current system of the society
is a poor match for this determined evil force.

And that did it in.

See the intensity of their determination.
How can any sloppy system liquidate this

misguided but determined force.
And de-doctrinate them to see reason.
Unless it acts with more determination.

So the time has come for the good ones to unite and
act with more determination than the evil forces.

It is a battle of good vs evil.

Which is not new.
Even holocaust seemed endless at some point.
Eventually good would prevail over the evil.
But not without our doing our bit.

The spiritually inclined ones have to show the way
as they are broadbands of the society.
Their bandwidth is more than the rest.
They can be outside the domain of reward-punishment
and act in the name of God selflessly.
Without seeking personal rewards.
Whereas for the others, we have to
show the reward, if done
and punishment, if not done.
Terrorists of today act outside the scope of this.
Hence we have to counter them with
more determination in that space only.

So let us buck up.
Leave behind our selfish interests.
Petty politics.Endless debates.
And Invoke the divine vibes through Sadhana
and empower ourselves to face the devil.

At the thought level, when the atmosphere is
charged with divine vibrations due to sadhana of many,
negative thoughts cannot sprout in any.
Simply put, all negative Indoctrinations will fail.
The same reason why in the presence of a Sadguru
negative thoughts fail to rise
even in the mind of the worst criminal
as we see in the long spiritual history of India.

So we go with more determination to do more Sadhana
and invoke all the divine forces to counter the evil.
As Baba says -let us
"Follow the Master, Face the Devil,
Fight till the end and Finish the game."

And here we go.
With our next
"Chinna Katha"Live" 8.
Our Seva bytes with another 26/11 terror victim.

Malti Devi Gupta,68 yrs old from a village near Patna,
was the typical village woman
pre occupied with n number of household chores
invented by her along the daylong operation,though
many could be avoided or done in more time saving manner.
But in villages who wants to save time anyway?
The work keeps them fit mentally and physically.
Like in most Indian villages,the nextgen of her household
migrated to the cities leaving behind the old
back home to fend for themselves.

As our Villains Kasab & Co were finetuning
their evil design to strike,

at another corner in Mumbai
our Maltidevi's son was planning to get his
mother to the city and show her

that he made it atlast
despite all the odds as a Garage mechanic.
Earning enough to keep his family happy.
Expecting that the mother would be overjoyed
seeing his remarkable achievement.
For the poor in India,becoming self-sufficient
itself is a cause for celebration.
Wealth building is a far cry.

Maltidevi landed in Mumbai as planned.
On the last day of her trip,the fateful,historic 26/11,
she was taken around by her son to the temples of
Mahalaxmi,Siddhi Vinayak etc and brought
to the CST station for the return journey.

The mother-son duo were in animated conversation.

Just as he was giving some money(Rs.2000) to the mother

as his token of love,
precisely at that time only

Kasab chose the very same Platform

as venue of his evil mission.
In the first sweep, one single bullet pierced
the son and he fell down at the feet of the mother.
As the mother bent to lift her son,
her back was hit by bullets and
as she probably turned,the front also received more.
That rendered her both legs and one hand and back
bullet ridden with blood gushing out.

As destiny would have it, the son died
leaving his wife and two little daughters of 5 yrs and 2yrs
while his mother of 68 yrs escaped with
brutal injuries all over.

All in a jiffy. .

And Malti devi landed in the hospital with multiple injuries.

Her daughter and another son were summoned to help
and they had to leave their families and pitch in.
For the first time in the city for a tragedy like this.
They had no clue as to what was happening.

In a strange city with strangers around.
Before the sister landed,the body of the brother was cremated.
Malti devi's pain was unbearable.

Both physically and mentally.
And her surviving son and daughter were

at loss not knowing the next step.

It was precisely at that time ChemburSeva volunteers landed there.
Consoled the family. And assured all assistance.
Listed out all their requirements which bothered them too much.
From the rent of their temporary accomodation nearby,
to all the medicines and food etc,

we underwrote. And delivered.

Leaving only the physical pain of Maltidevi tobe focussed.

Our beats were regular.
The daughter was desperate to go back
to see her children left in the custody of relatives.
There were many calls to us in a week
with only sobbing on the other end

and we wouldn't make out anything

spoken intermittantly,to be honest.

Nevertheless we would lend sympathetic ears

chanting 'sairam' internally.

On their pestering, we took up with the doctor

who informed that Maltidevi requires multiple

surgeries and as they started off with one,

they encountered a heart problem.

Hence it would take a long time to stabilise things

but the family didn't understand that

and become very desperate to go back.

We explained to the family the predicament of the docs.

For Malti devi,already considerable time passed by.

And it was Pain and pain all over.
The back,the right leg, the left leg
and the right hand all having bullet injuries.
In that old age.

We kept praying and consoling them.
They would heave a sigh of relief
on seeing us entering the ward
and we would feel guilty
that we were not able to hasten the process of healing.
We kept assuring that we would airlift her to Patna
the moment doctors clear her for the trip.

In the meantime the two little grand daughters
of Malti devi who lost their father (her son)
visited her in the hospital and it was
so sad to see the repurcussions in the family.

Days passed by and we kept up our promise

of meeting them during our beats

and attending to their many small needs.

At last Maltidevi was cleared to be shifted to Patna
bringing a dose of temporary relief.
Money was arranged for their ticket
and a foldable wheel chair.
On 22 Jan 09,atlast she was discharged and left for Patna.

The family is still in touch with us
and expressed their gratitude to Baba
for being with them during the crisis.
And mentioned that our Love acted as a balm
in those moments of pain.

And they got relegated back to their poverty
with which they felt more at home

than the new found prosperity(?)in this hostile city

which allowed a misguided maniac

to jaywalk and mow down her son

who was boasting like a child to the mother

of how he accomplished as a Garage mechanic.

While the whole world's intelligentia is debating what
constitutes the proof of attack,
the very embodiment of the proof,Ms.Malti devi
is still lying in the bed 45 min drive from Patna,

pondering over her fate and the loss of her son

who really made it big in the streets of Mumbai

and only got a raw deal at the end

before he could become a sort of Slumdog millionnaire.

Poverty, the long time loyalist of India

is very film-friendly and gives various angles for camera.

May be Malti devi is one such.

And the world moves on.

With the left over, after every terror attack....

Let us unite with more determination

to invoke the divine.



Seva wing of Chembur Sai Samithi

N.B: After posting of the above mail, we helped Maltidevi to go back to her native place for further follow up treatment as advised by the Mumbai hospital doctors. She telephoned from there after some days and is reportedly improving. She is still in touch with us.


Chinna Katha ‘Live’ No. 7 Oct 08

Sri Sathya Sai Vruddha Seva – 2008 – 3rd Year Celebrations

16 Senior Citizens from all over Mumbai, strangers to the host family, housed in a devotees house alongwith the family and served and entertained with Spiritual programmes for a week....for the third Year in a row - ChemburSeva


While the media-psyched world

is looking for Party ops

to celebrate at the drop of a hat,

dedicating 'days' to all and sundries,

here's one more-

Come Oct First and it's 'World Elders Day'.

But rest assured.

Neither the media will play it up

nor the society will pay heed.

Many Elders are anyway at receiving end-

after having given so much.

And their nextgen is floundering.

It's as though they dont know

what to do with the "Elders"

who stopped adding to family GDP.

And hence do not make economic sense.

The society silently files stories of abuse

of helpless seniors by their own folks.

From Victims of Indifference to Violent acts

it's big range- broad spectrum..

Yes. Indifference is a killer model

practiced by many educated elite.

Who bundle the old parents into a seperate room,

get food served on time (as you water the plants)and fix a TV,

but never speak a word for days.

Not even smile. No semblance of Love.

And silence the conscience

saying that they are well fed and given shelter.What more?

While the old ones die for being reckoned

as ones with emotions and loved.

Spoken to at par with others.

(Press says -India's whopping 77 million elderly continue to live an existence of insecurity, injustice and abuse. 48.7% of all abuse cases imply neglect of an elderly person, abandonment, physical, financial or emotional abuse)

ChemburSeva volunteers regularly visit

Old Age homes and hear many

horror stories of Abuse by their own children.

And discovered that the

Opposite of 'Love' is not 'hatred'.But Indifference.

Because,in hatred there is a tacit cognisance of the other.

But in indifference,the 'other' doesn't get

even that negative 'privilege' of recognition.

They are rendered identityless abruptly

and that affects their mental health,over time.

It's interesting that we dont find

such'mentally unhealthy'Seniors in Slums!

May be their frequent quarrel and patch up

sustain their identity.That indifference can't rob away.

Moral of the story-

If you cant love,atleast mock quarrel!

But never ignore and be indifferent.

Just empathise for a moment.

Of being dumped in a room with a TV and

fed well on time by your own folks.

But no one smiles at you for days and speak to you even

a couple of meaningful sentences treating you at par with them.

No fights. But Plain indifference.

You dont live. But just exist.

Slowly the feeling of being "unwanted" takes over.

Despair and Depression follow.

This is "Suushma Hinsa" - Subtle violence. Slow death.

We hear that many practice this subtle violence

and get away from the clutches of their conscience.

If in doubt still, read this true life story of a

poor mother who is languishing in an old age home now.

(You can join us to serve her on 14 Sep during our visit to the home)

Parvati Amma(name changed) was blissfully unaware

that she was fast becoming one of the disposables,

not more valuable than the

old newspaper pile under the desk,

which had utility value some day but

now only wait tobe disposed off on an appropriate day

in the household of her own son.

She had no clue that in this society,

even the milch cows meet their logical end

(you know where)after they go dry.

But a few a good samaritans still hang around

with their self funded "Go-Shaalaa"projects for these dry cows

which no Venture capitalists would finance

nor PE companies would partake of the equity that gives no 'return'.

But,for these discarded mothers there are no "Maa Shaalas"

to keep them free till their end with dignity like the Go-Shaalas..

And the day of disposal for Parvathi Amma also came.

May be she has increasingly become a burden.

With her frequent cough and failing health

adding to the monthly medical bill, the son

felt that she needs to be disposed off without

much noise in neighbourhood.

The son came out with an out-of-the box idea(may be learnt in workplace.

These days they teach in office all such stuff having emptied all 'inside the box'!).

She was persuaded to go for "Theerth" to holy places

with a group organised by a travel agency

associated with an old age home

with a specific instruction that on the return

she should be put in the old age home

saying that son will come and take later.

And then do the vanishing trick.

So that she is struck there for ever.

Advance was paid to the old age home

for monthly dues.

And "Operation Mom disposal"

went on schedule as planned.

The unfortunate mom landed where

she was aimed at by the unfaithful son.

She was dumbstruck,on learning that

it was a ploy to get rid of her.

Wailed over days,wanting to go back. But no takers.

When ChemburSeva volunteers met and consoled her

she was completely shattered.

But slowly she interacted with other inmates

and found many birds of same (broken) feather.

Driven away from the very nests they built

for the ones who did this treacherous act.

Now she has become numb.

The only way she could respond.

Like many others over there.

During our visits we keep hearing

one complaint constantly from many-

"Its OK.They dumped us here.But

why dont they atleast phone us once in a way and speak?"

Probably the sons are waiting for some scheme

"Dial-a-mom and win a gold coin*-(*Conditions apply)"

from their cellphone companies.

No hope till then.

(Oh! God save these "Schemy" guys!)

In order to drive home the point that we can still

afford to keep our seniors in good humour,love and respect,

a couple of years back a small experiment

was launched in Chembur.

For the last two years during Oct (World Elders day -Oct 1)

10-15 senior citizens(all communities) from all over the city

who were in dire need of some outing and a change were

gathered and housed with a family for a week

in Chembur-Chheda nagar.

Absolutely free boarding and lodging,Free pick-up-and-drop.

Under the name- "Sri Sathya Sai Vruddha Seva Yagna".

(No Yagna with fire etc.Its fireless but loveful,low key seva)

The condition was that these seniors should not be known

to the host family earlier as the theme is

to send message across that if strangers can be loved

and taken care of ,why not one's own folks.

All inmates lived like family members

and shared and eaten from same kitchen.

An ambience was created, charged with divine love

for the whole week and they were entertained

with many events including Sai Bhajans,Abhangs,Yoga,

Counselling by professionals,Bharat Natyam,music concert,

Sharing of experiences etc.

And they were taken for an outing one day to

various places of interest in the city.

Also free medical check up done by doctors

called home and medicines given to each one.

The medical file was carried by them for follow-up.

All these were done by volunteers who pitched in

and showered love on these seniors.

On the last day the younger ones did

'Paadha Pooja' of these elders in the conventional style.

Paadha Pooja of Elders -

Sri Sathya Sai Vruddha Seva Yagna

First 'Sri Sathya Sai Vruddha Seva Yagna I'

was conducted in Oct 06 and second one in Oct 07.

Sri Sathya Sai Vruddha Seva Yagna-Reiki session

The third "Sri Sathya Sai Vruddha Seva Yagna-2008

began on Oct 1,2008(World Elders Day)

ChemburSeva visits old age homes

every second Sunday for Seva-

Medical camp,Interaction, attending to small needs,

dressing up bedridden, free phone service to connect

to relatives, "Be-a-Sai-relative'to the ones without relatives etc.

Contact ChemburSeva-9821482711 for participation.

Yes. The Golden Age of Sri Sathya Sai is on.

Come. Taste the divine Love transforming the world.

Time is running out.

We need to Serve others before we need the service of others.



Today, we are making an effort to reveal the strength and great spiritual power latent in the ancient Rishis. These elderly people reflect those great ideals. Hence, we should not neglect them. Every thought that emanates from these elders is noble and most valuable....Hence, we must nourish and nurture these valuable assets and take good care of them. -----Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the "Bheema Ratha Shanthi" celebrations


Chinna Katha ‘Live’ No.6 Oct 08


Anish a kidnapped kid reunited with Parents


It was precisely when

'Wall Street' turned 'Wail Street'.

Producing tear jerkers on hourly basis

with stories of century old institutions collapsing

thanks to the super whiz kids

at their speculative worst.

Spreading shockwaves all around.

But downtown Jhansi(India)had a different crisis

brewing unnoticed. Without media hype.

Precisely on 25th Sep 08.

When little Anish,the 11 year old son of

a hand cart puller 'Chunnu'of Nagara area

got allegedly abducted in daylight

near the Shipri market.(as per the child's version)

Master Anish after release, in the station with relatives

Before the child could gather what's on,

the abducter whisked him away,pushed

in a train and threatened to throw him

out if he raised noise.

Left to cry in silence and fear,that too without food,

Master Anish, the young resident of Jhansi

landed in Mumbai Station

escorted by the kidnapper.

The street smartness never die

in some real cute kids.

After a long wait for the right moment,

Anish could find one, when the

characteristic crowd of Mumbai

jostled the twosome around in the station.

Shaking his hands off, Anish

ran and hid himself from the kidnapper.

And later,once the spurt of courage

vanished leaving him high and dry,

the typical baby refrain started --

"Mummy ke paas Jaaneka".

A lady spotted him crying and promptly

handed over to the police.

The logical next step

found him in one of the Govt 'Homes'

for the kids, where we attempt to do some 'Seva'.

As our team was trying to figure

out the next best candidate for

the "Operation Re-union" under

our scheme- "Mummy-ke-Paas-Janeka',

Master Anish 's story melted our hearts.

He was crying nonstop, unable

to digest the fact that he had

been kidnapped and landed

here in a strange place.

Praying for Swami'g grace

we swung into action.

Normally we counsel the children

and cajole them to talk as permitted by authorities.

Some kids are able to recollect

the phone no.of friends/relatives.

If not, then next best bet is to

help them recollect the name

of the teacher and the school.

If that also is not possible,as

many dont go to school,

we piece together the map

of their village,nearby towns etc

as the child gives the

coordinates in piecemeal.

And then our 'Operation Re-union' begins.

Anish could piece together from memory

the mobile of his relative and that clicked.

It was on 28 Sep 08,we could connect.

The parents had no clue where the child could be.

The child left home to go to a relative's place

nearby and never reached there.

They searched all over and filed a police complaint.

They never even imagined that

Anish could have been kidnapped

and taken to Mumbai all the way from Jhansi.

Anish spoke to his heart's content

through our cell.

When the voice of the mother

is heard by the child

even if its only on phone,

half the distress melts away.

And same is the case with the mother.

For the father,the joy of finding the child

should have vanished fast

when the next step threatened him.

The need to find money to fetch Anish back.

He realised that their only economic asset-the old hand cart

couldn't carry this unexpected expense on its head.

We could sense this and reassured

that we would foot the entire expenses

of the "Operation Reunion", including

to and fro ticketing and other misc exp.

An emergency meeting of relatives

was called in Anish household,

And it was decided to send the mother,

one brother and a smart relative who can guide.

Against ChemburSeva's Promise to pay,

the local money lender was approached for a
temporary overdraft of Rs.1500/-(for coming to Mumbai)

at a fancy interest (as told by the brother).

There is a lesson here to be learnt.
The Rural folks get into debt trap like this only.
For sudden emergencies there is no system
to give loan even on high interest.
Anish's dad can get a crop loan
or a business loan from Banks.
But for retrieving a kidnapped kid like Anish

there is no "Kid Retrieval Loan"
or even a marriage loan or medical emergency loan.
Such emergencies force them to resort
to loans at astronomical interest rates
with local lenders who fleece them.

The threesome ventured out for the first time to

Mumbai and arrived on 29th Sep.

They had no clue about the next step

except calling us to announce their arrival.

ChemburSeva team rushed to the station

to take charge and guide them through the process.

After a day's paper work and the associate rigmarole,

the child was restored .

We could see Anish out atlast

and reunite with his mother and brother

in a historic moment tobe cherished for ever.

That is the moment of truth
when Mummy-ke-paas-Janeka materialised.

Million Thanks to our dear SaiMa!

We just embarked upon the project

without any clue, armed only with a

zeal to help these children crying


And the rest is (small) history as they say!

Anish showing Baba's photograph given by us

to him for protection in future

We got Anish a fresh set of dress

and the grin on his face looked as though

he wouldn't mind being kidnapped once again

if everytime it ends like this!

Anish is the sixth kid we could reunite

with the Parents under our

"Mummy-ke-paas-jaaneka" scheme.

Sounds a poor score though!

May be our Sadhana needs tobe intensified.

Enough to deserve more divine grace.

To get better success rate.

And we shall try hard.

There are many Anishes waiting tobe rescued.

But not lucky enough to remember

the telephone numbers of near and dear.

Nor able to tell the address clearly.

ChemburSeva is presently working on

many such cases with little or negligible inputs

and sketchy addresses.

We sent off Anish with his mom and brother
at 6 pm on Oct 1,2008 and paid for their tickets back home.

A poor kids cry "Mummy-ke-paas-Janeka" was heard by
our dear Lord and the rest happened as He willed.

Yes. The Golden Age of Sri Sathya Sai is on.

Come.Get inspired by divine Love that tranmutes.

Time is running out.

We need to Serve others before we need the service of others.



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