It was a small fishing and
farming village where I was born. My forefathers had traveled
from India to work on the farms of the only British Colony on
the northern coast of South America. In the course of time the
village was settled by Muslims, Hindus and others who had converted
There was peace and relative
prosperity. People of various religions cooperated with one another,
tolerating the multitude of beliefs that had become normal in
such a diverse society. My parents were Hindus, but we had many
Muslim and Christian friends. During religious holidays we would
all visit the various churches, noting more similarities than
differences in beliefs.
At an early age I started attending
the Christian churches as well as my own Hindu temple. Later
on I became a Christian and, though I still visited the Hindu
temple, most of my religious activities centered around the small
Christian church at the far end of the village. My father, a
liberal Hindu, encouraged my church-going activities and even
accompanied me on a number of occasions. And so it was that I
was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran denomination.
Village life was generally
peaceful and quiet in those days. Everyone knew one another and
the daily routine continued in a set pattern. On many an evening
the older men would gather in a common area, talk about crops
and farming or discuss the weather and fishing.
Then there were times when
the younger boys would sit and listen to the elders recalling
stories of their youth. We would sit by a wood fire, fanned by
the trade winds of the Atlantic, totally entranced by the tales
of guardian angels, friendly ghosts and unseen influences that
had made their presence felt. I grew up believing as Shakespeare
did that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Village life revolved around
sowing and reaping, between the dry season and the wet season
with little boys growing up to be young men and, sooner or later,
the young men marrying the young women. At that time high school
was not mandatory, but was considered a privilege and an honor.
Some of us were fortunate enough
to attend high school in the city while others went to work on
the farms with parents and relatives. My dad had only a fourth
grade education but believed so strongly that he should educate
his children. Thus, I was one of the fortunate ones, and the
first in my family, to attend high school.
I have always felt a guiding
hand in the affairs of my life. Even my earliest memories reflected
a wonderful world with friendly beings who were willing to help
me. It was as if an angel sat on my shoulder and whispered to
me when I wasn't sure which way to go or what to do.
It was during my second year
of high school that an incident occurred which was to have a
major effect on my entire life. To attend high school in those
days, one had to pay certain tuition fees. Because of some family
financial problems, my fees were not paid in time and I was asked
to leave school.
When I returned home and told
my dad what had happened, I could see the sadness in his eyes
and hear it in his voice. He had worked hard to earn the money
for my school fees and now there was confusion and embarrassment.
My dad, a simple farmer, always
seemed to listen to his own inner voice. After a moment of silence,
he looked at me again and said, "There is a man of importance
who lives in the city, not too far from your school. I hear that
he is very kind and that he helps many people. He is also a pastor
of a Lutheran church and, so, may be inclined to help us, especially
since you attend Lutheran services every week. We will talk to
him about this problem and then we'll see what can be done."
Next morning, bright and early,
my dad and I set out on the long trip to the city. We caught
the bus at 5:30 am, reached the ferry at 7:00 and finally, around
9:00 am, arrived in the city. We asked directions and eventually
ended up at the man's home.
I was only twelve or thirteen,
but I vividly remember feeling a sense of excitement as if something
extraordinary were about to happen. My dad rang the doorbell
and waited nervously. I could tell that he was worried and anxious.
What if this man couldn't or
wouldn't help us and we were forced to return to the village
without any hope? I'd never be able to finish high school and
my future would be spent working on the farm as did my father
and his father before him. These thoughts crossed my mind as
the door opened and a maid wearing a starched, white uniform
asked our business.
My father told her that we
were there to speak to the master of the house and that we'd
be very grateful for a few moments of his time. "Do you
have an appointment?" she asked. When my dad said that he
did not realize that an appointment was necessary, the maid replied,
"The master is very busy. You'll have to make an appointment
and return another day. He just can't see everyone who turns
My heart fell as those ominous
words echoed through my entire being. I glanced at my dad, but
he held his head high and said, "We'll wait." Before
the maid could say another word, we heard footsteps and a regal
looking man came through the door. The maid held the door open
for him as he looked at us with kind, but questioning, eyes.
"I was just leaving,"
he said, "but I do have a few moments. What can I do for
"We need your help, sir,"
my father answered.
"Come with me. Let's sit
in my office and you can tell me what you need."
We followed him up the stairs
into his office. He motioned for us to sit while he remained
behind the giant desk that occupied one corner of the room. My
father introduced himself and explained why we were there. The
man listened intently and took some notes. He asked a few questions
and then said to us, "Go home and don't worry anymore about
this. I know the principal of the school and will take care of
this whole business of fees. I'll also make sure that it never
happens again... ."
He didn't finish the sentence
because there was a loud bang on the door and it immediately
flew open. A little girl, pedaling furiously on a tricycle rushed
into the room. She could not have been more than five or six
The man smiled and said, "That's
my daughter, Mardai." She turned and headed out the door,
running over my foot with her tricycle in the process. She looked
around, smiled, said "Sorry," and was gone.
As I sat there, a strange feeling
came over me and a still, small voice whispered in my ear "You'll
marry her one day." I quickly regained my composure as my
dad thanked the good man for his help and we left. And that is
how I met the girl who, years later, was to become my wife. It
was as if my guardian angel orchestrated the entire affair so
that I could get a preview of coming events.
The problems at the high school
were resolved just as Mardai's father had promised. The years
went by and every once in a while, I'd think about the time my
dad and I went to visit him in the city.
It appeared so unlikely that
I would ever see them again. They were from the city and socialized
with the highest levels of society, while I was from a small
country village of fishermen and farmers. "East is East
and West is West and never the twain shall meet... ." But
the angels of God looked down on this country boy and smiled.
Finally, I graduated from high
school and the world seemed to be full of opportunities for a
young man starting out to seek his fortune. And then word came
that the church at the outskirts of the village would be expanded
and a very famous pastor would temporarily stay in the parsonage
there until the expansion plans were accomplished.
Imagine my surprise when I
found out that the new pastor was the very one my dad and I had
visited years earlier. I discreetly inquired as to whether his
family would be staying there with him, but was disappointed
to learn that they would visit only on weekends. I was told that
he had only one child, the daughter whom I had first seen on
Then one day I saw her again.
This time she was not a little girl riding a tricycle, but a
young lady with all her dreams and hopes shining brightly. Again,
that strange other-worldly feeling came over me as I looked at
her. Again, the voice whispered in my heart and soul, "She
is the one you'll marry. She will be your wife and help you do
the things you came here to do." The angels seemed to have
a way with words. It seemed so ridiculous, and yet, the prospect
felt so right.
The time came for me to leave
the country in order to further my education. With the help of
Mardai's father, I was able to enter an American university with
a full scholarship.
University life was very different
from life in the little village. In time I graduated with honors
and went on to graduate school. I had my share of girlfriends,
but all through the years, every once in a while, I would think
of Mardai. I even wrote poems about her and dreamed of seeing
Then one day I received a letter
from her dad. He said that the family had relocated to Canada
to start a new life, leaving all the political problems and civil
unrest behind. He mentioned that they would be spending the summer
with relatives in New York City and that he'd like me to visit
and have dinner with them, if possible.
The threads of time weave strange
patterns in the fabric of life and so it was, through strange
coincidences and synchronicities that I found myself in New York
City. By this time, I was working for a Fortune 500 company and
my future seemed bright. All I could say was the angels of love
and mercy had smiled upon me, again.
Soon after, there was another
relocation as the pastor moved his family to a small town in
Pennsylvania. I moved from the city to a town across the river
in New Jersey and would visit Mardai and her family every once
in a while. The more I visited, the better friends we became.
Some things seemed to be destined.
They make no sense otherwise. If we try to reason them out further,
they only serve to confuse. Thus it was that Mardai and I were
brought together across oceans and continents and time.
No longer the little girl,
she had grown into a beautiful, charming young woman. The words
of the Angel of Love, finally, were fulfilled. Mardai and I became
engaged and, a year later, we were married. She was only nineteen
and I was all of twenty-six.
Our marriage was one of those
special unions that seemed to have been made possible with the
help of other-dimensional friends. A few years later, our first
child, Malika was adopted followed by her brother, Jonathan,
four years later.
Mardai encouraged me to write
and publish When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat.
(To download a FREE copy, click
here.) She always believed in me, even during those times
when I didn't believe in myself. Sometimes I thought that an
angel of love didn't bring her to me, but rather that she, herself,
was the Angel of Love.
though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind."
-William Wordsworth (from
Intimations of Immortality)
We spent many happy years together.
She stayed by my side through all my trials and tribulations,
never complaining, always encouraging and always having a kind
word for others. But the Angel of Love did not tell me what the
rest of the story would be like.
One day, unexpectedly, Mardai
was diagnosed with cancer. She fought a valiant battle. We struggled
day in and day out to save her life. She had the finest doctors
and nurses and everyone who knew her provided the greatest comfort
and support possible. But her stay with me on Earth had come
to an end. On one strange, sad, summer's day, she left me and
our children to continue her angelic work on other, perhaps,
brighter shores. She was only in her thirties.
It's been a few years since
she has been gone, but sometimes it just feels like yesterday.
Since then, I've written Morning Has Been All Night Coming,
which is the sequel to When You Can Walk on Water, Take
the Boat, and have completed the third book in the series,
Journey in the Fields of Forever. Every once in
a while, I still share my thoughts with her.
Today, Malika, our daughter,
is a wonderful young lady who has graduated from college. She
reminds me so much of the charm and beauty, the courage and spiritual
strength of her mom. And Jonathan attends college and is a wonderful
young man his mother would have been proud of.
And I? I continue writing and
sharing whatever little I've learned in this journey of life.
I've added to the list of my books, The Power Pause --3
minutes, 3-steps to real success and personal happiness.On
quiet evenings, as I sit on my porch feeling the wind blow through
my hair, I look up to the skies and see the twinkling stars far,
far away. If I let my mind wander, I could almost hear Mardai
singing a song of joy and love.
Perhaps, once upon a time,
there walked on this earth an angel of love named Mardai. Perhaps,
she had intended to stay with me only for a little while before
going back to join her other angel friends. And yet, I cannot
help but feel that the ties that bind us span eternity itself
- that no one or nothing can come between us and the ones who