Friday, May 08, 2009


Nearly 50 years ago my father was transferred to Chennai.  He was born, studied and worked in a small town all along. As he stepped into the city as a young man he was surely intimidated and needed some social support.  Fortunately for him he had his relatives who had probably given him the much needed connectivity.  He scanned and settled in a small bachelors accommodation.  I was just around 10 months when my mother decided to join him.  Well she did not seem to have many relatives in the city and while my father was more or less leading a life of a 'married bachelor', he family arranged accommodation for my my mom and me in a pentecostal church that was started by a man who from the same town as my mother.

Within a few months the members of this system found a house for us nearby and our little family came together under one single roof.  My Dad was engaged in his work and my mom was busy making her social connections.  The Pentecostal system was what she relied on completely.  And so we went to this system also known as the 'church', sang songs, prayed, got baptized and our identity in the city was being defined.

Years went by I grew in the system and the system grew into me.  The definition of it being a 'church' got stronger and stronger.

Meanwhile as the economy got stronger the blurring of lines between small towns and cities happened.  Travel and communication got a lot better and these systems had to grapple with a pie that was getting smaller by the day.  The drawing boards came out and the sheer survival instincts of these 'churches' forced them to make inroads into each others memberships and the weak ones withered away.

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