The Lenten season is on. Time for reconciliation, period of receiving God's grace through one's own act of charity, forgiveness and penance. Charity is in giving until it hurts. Forgiveness is in begging pardon for one's own acts of revenge, anger, sinfulness, and it is equally in terms of coming forward to forgive others even before one asks for it. This is a time of penance that should help one take control of emotions and feelings that can endanger anyone's life, dignity or name.
There is that element of eeriness floating in the Lenten air. A sense of deprivation, partaking in the sadness of the Master who wants to die a culprit's death, and a sense of loneliness that is pronounced in longer hours of prayer and silence.
Almost every day I walk to some of the streets in Howrah and I see women and children handling filthy water that is home to every disease one can think of, and see children of Muslim brethren working in the household cloth industry with no thought of education or access to health and other services. I know many of their houses and the roads that lead to their homes go under water exposing these people to more diseases. What is dignity to them? Grace is supposed to fill upon grace. But here, saving grace is yet to come.
I return back tired, almost deadly, and sleep off wondering if there will be a better tomorrow. Can the turn of every Lent bring in the joy of Easter?