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.
And then in mid-December 2004, I joined Giltedge Infotech which was located then in Saki Naka, Andheri East as a business transcriptionist. My life of working in the night shift began from there. And I had no time for God and the Bible. Indeed I got stuck in this wheel of work rut. And I worked at Giltedge Infotech for 5 months.
And then in April 2005, I joined RealTeam Systems (or DNC Data Systems, back then) located in Belapur (Navi Mumbai) as Trainee Editor. I used to travel from Andheri to Belapur (Navi Mumbai) by local train. And I worked night shift, and it took a huge toll on my health. And I never bothered myself to pause and think over my health, because I was running after money.
And I was running after money, because if I could get hold of it, I would be happy ever after, and I was going to be saved. And I will never be worried thereafter. That’s the promise the world offers. I was believing in that sweet-sounding promise. And unfortunately the whole world is running after this sweet-sounding lie.
I have learned this the hard way: Money can buy only temporary happiness. Money cannot save you. Happiness and peace only come from God. And money can never replace the place of God in the universe. Put God first in all your dealings.
I left RealTeam Systems in early 2009. And I joined again Giltedge Infotech, and relocated to Mira Road in December 2009.
While working at RealTeam Systems, I used to stay in the company’s rented room in Kharghar (Navi Mumbai). When I left RTS, I also left the mid-sized trunk that I used while at SABC (Bangalore), and in which was the Bible which was gifted to me by one Brother Simeon P of Madurai during my first year BTH. And in the same trunk, the diaries addressed to God as ‘Dear Dad’. In those days, I used to write on weekends (Saturdays & Sundays) those ‘Dear Dad’ diaries.
When I relocated to Mira Road, I left the trunk which was marked in red with 332, (my admission number at JNV Khumbong, Imphal West), in which was my most prized gift – the Bible, the ‘Dear Dad’ diaries, and many other books in that Kharghar house. Just as a note: I continued to write the ‘Dear Dad’ diaries until about 2015.
Looking back, from the day I left the Bible in the trunk in that Kharghar house, my life began downhill paths. Truth be told, I was already on a downhill path even before then. But this time, it was more visible before my eyes.
I left Giltedge Infotech in March 2010. At that time, I stayed in a rented room in Eden Rose, Beverly Park in Mira Road.
It is pertinent to mention here how I started this website: singjupost.com. In those days, on weekends I used to watch YouTube videos, I accidentally came across Steve Job’s commencement speech that was given at Stanford in 2005. After watching the video, I wanted to read the transcript of that speech. And then immediately I searched on Google for the transcript of that speech. At that time there was only one transcript available which was poorly done.
At that point in time, the idea of starting a transcripts website was born but I had no money for the project. And moreover I was in a neck-deep credit card debt. (So I had to delay 3 years, and in September 2013, singjupost.com was born on the web.)
After leaving Giltedge Infotech, I had no intention of joining another company. Needless to mention, in those days, I had two websites running which were loss making. And my savings got depleted sooner than I had thought. So I began to ‘misuse’ my credit card and defaulted the payments on several counts.
I was without work for several months, and in mid 2011 I joined Seeking Alpha as freelancer (Business Transcription) through a friend. After that, I got a little breather, and that didn’t solve all my problems. I was already in a huge debt. Looking back, one main reason for my precarious situation that I was in, at that time, was: I was a YES man to all people. Sometimes you have to say NO, even to your father and mother. Life is not all YES. But to God, in Him it’s all YES, and I didn’t do it.
The thing worst thing about credit card is its interest: compound interest. And as I could not pay all the debt in one go, the interest got compounded, and accumulated over time and before I realized I was surrounded by interest on all sides. And I got no way out of it.
Even though my financial situation improved a bit, but the debt was too big for me to pay off. And I got stuck in this vicious cycle of paying credit card debt. In those days, I started having panic attacks, and was even hospitalized four times in a month. And soon I became hypertensive, and began on a journey of taking medications daily in late 2012.
And I decided: God left me forever. Looking back now I realize: God never left me; I left God.
While still in Mumbai, on September 18, 2013, I launched this website: singjupost.com on the web. And due to family problems back at home, on December 13, 2013 I returned to my native village in Imphal.
December 13, 2013 – Till date – Imphal, Manipur
I returned back home to my native village (Khongman) in Imphal. And I got married with my wife Premi on February 6, 2015.
And I was without God. And when you are without God, you will have so many options for gods. Though the name of Jesus never departed from my tongue, I was doing all kinds of things which were against the commandments of God of the Bible. My actions were not in congruent with my beliefs. Slowly and eventually, I was at the nadir of my life.
Since the day I left the Bible in the Kharghar house (Navi Mumbai), my life became a chaos. O, that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!
But I thought God completely left me. Whatever the promises and prophetic word that was given to me while I was in Bangalore turned into some vain words to my ears.
But looking back, now I realize God never left me; I left God. Despite my utter disobedience, in His mercy, we were graced with a girl child into our lives on February 26, 2018.
On one Sunday in 2019, my wife brought home a pocket-sized Gideon Bible after visiting one of their teaching staffs in RIMS hospital. And I started reading the Bible (It was only the New Testament) despite its small font size. By this time my eyes were already poor, but I managed to read the Bible with difficulty.
Slowly, the Word began to speak. I wanted to read more. So I ordered a big font Bible from Amazon in early 2020. While reading one day, I came across few verses from the book of Jeremiah.
“Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” – Jeremiah 3:22
‘Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.”‘ – Jeremiah 15:19
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, I began my journey of repentance.
In the month of May 2021, suddenly I was bedridden for two weeks. I could not get up from my bed. Even on bed, I could not sit properly: I had lower back pain. But it was not the right time to fall sick or ill in any way , because the coronavirus pandemic was raging and wreaking havoc across the world — and is still ongoing — and doctors were not available to see patients because of fear of contracting the virus.
I thought I was strong. But at that point, I came to realize the futility of trusting in my own strength. Our strength diminishes as we age, and our body dies each day. It’s this hard truth that we don’t want to swallow at any point in time.
But anyhow I was taking medications for back pain, and it didn’t do much to make me get up from bed and walk. I was taking those medications for the prescribed duration. And I didn’t get up from my bed. And I was still bedridden.
As some friends suggested, I did oil massaging on the affected part of my back, and my wife helped me with the massaging for about a month.
While in bed, all I could do was to read the Bible which is usually kept on my pillow side. In those days of helplessness, the Spirit of the Lord stirred up my spirit to share with the world what God has done for me from beginning to till this day.
And as I was crippled in bed, I could not move or write anything, let alone even sitting before computer. And so I pleaded and prayed to God: ‘Lord, now I cannot write or share with the world all that You have done for me in my life, for I am crippled in bed.‘
Till this day, I have delayed my writing and sharing as I could not sit before my computer. Now that I am able to sit for some time on a stretch, I am able to write and share my testimony with the world before God, as I promised the Lord.
Thank you Father, the Maker of heaven and earth, for enabling me to write and share all the works of Your hand in my life before the world. Thank you Lord Jesus for showing me the Way and being the Great Light that You are in my life. And thank you Holy Spirit for bringing me into remembrance of all the things that happened in my life and those that I have completely forgotten. And I leave the rest in Your Hand, O Lord. For Your Glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
And I pray as the psalmist of Old prayed:
‘Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.’
And I pray:
‘O Lord, I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
Seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments.’
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