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by Sree Raj
It happened almost 20 years ago in a Backwater town in Kerala, where I was staying in a hotel during my work related travel.
I used to explore bookstalls, news stores, however small or big or old or new it might be, to find ways to build up my reading habits.
It was an old book stall in the middle of the busy market area. The shopkeepers looked quite indifferent and insensitive to the curiosity of a variety of readers and buyers overlooking, except for making sure they serviced every buyer.
One cute little old blue covered dictionary invited my attention. This was obviously one single piece available there but was not at all getting anybody else's attention, as it appeared in a casual manner on top of the neatly arranged newspapers and periodicals in front of the shop keeper. It was different and less popular from what I used to see in other bookstalls. I paid 50 rupees and took it with me, because it seemed to contain quite large number of words explained quite comprehensively. I thought this would serve my purpose during my travel.
Somehow, I treasured this little piece and took it to my hotel with due care, curious to know and read it. I heard reading a dictionary itself can really be fun and enlightening! I reached my room, took a bath and came out wearing my bath towel and saw the dictionary lying on the study table. I had an idea to inaugurate the use of this dictionary. I decided to open the dictionary at a random page and see the third word from the top on the right page of the dictionary... just to know if something could turn out... which could point me to a more meaningful life...
But before actually doing it, I prayed, prayed and prayed and asked God to give me the most 'significant' word. My intention was to ask God, requesting him to be my guide and point me towards the most meaningful paths in my life.... I expected words like education, self, read, travel, but would not have been surprised to see disappointing negative words like culprit, betray, cruel and was even prepared to see words like stupid, idiot, empty and the like!
And I opened it ... and the word spelt G-O-D... GOD!!!
I couldn't believe it and as I looked at it again and again... I sprang off my feet, jumped all over the hotel room praising GOD for showing me the most significant and meaningful word? in my life... or in anybody's life for that matter!
I lost that dictionary during my travel but managed to get another copy, that was again lost but managed to get a third one from the streets of Mumbai, and I have it with me for last several years... close to my heart... and close to GOD...
And its page no.209 still shows the third word as G O D...
I took this experience as one of the most powerful and reassuring experiences in my life? where God could not escape talking to me directly...
Thanks for reading. Please let me know your comments.
Want to know more about the dictionary?
It is a Singapore edition of HARRAP's Mini English Dictionary - ISBN 0-245-54587-5 published by Intellectual Publishing Co. Seems out of print... but it has its editions from other publishers available... and hopefully contains God at the same place!
27 Aug 2011
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