Psalm 118: 17-18: ‘I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. The LORD has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.’
January 2004 – December 2013, Mumbai
In the first week of January 2004, I left home for Mumbai with Rs. 10,000 in hand that I received from mortgaging our agricultural land. A friend from my locality who already had lived in Mumbai at that time took me there. I took the same trunk that I used in SABC with me to Mumbai. And I carried the Bible also with me.
We, four — all from Manipur – rented a room in a Transit camp in Telli Galli,in Andheri East. I enrolled for a one-year computer hardware and networking course at Jetking Infotrain which was located in Irla, Vile Parle. I discontinued the course abruptly after three months, because I could not pay the fees.
In Mumbai, every breath that you take costs money. And if you don’t have money, you can’t survive in Mumbai.
Looking back, as long as the Bible was with me, I was not utterly forsaken. But I gradually stopped reading the Bible – the Word of God by this time. I was focused more on money and survival than God and the Bible. Very important lesson I learned: You don’t love God more than His Word. If you don’t read and hear His Word – the Bible – regularly, sooner than later you will forget God. And very soon, you will forget yourself.
Though the name of Jesus never departed from my tongue, I soon forgot God, and slowly and gradually, I forgot myself.
After coming to Mumbai, the first job I did was as a courier boy for a courier company. I used to deliver letters, parcels in Andheri East areas riding on a bicycle. The first salary I got as a courier boy was Rs. 1500 a month. And I worked in that job for three months.
And then I worked in a Pizza Hut restaurant in Andheri East as a dough maker. And I worked there for four months.
When you drift away from God and the Bible, you do all kinds of things. And God hates hypocrites, and I was one of them.