By Manuwant Choudhary
Bachcha Singh is not a big man...he is simply a private security guard at the Christ Church near Patna's Gandhi maidan, established in 1852 its the oldest Church in Patna with ties to the Church of England.
Its located on the eastern side of Patna's Gandhi maidan and you can see its steeple rise high above the giant hoardings, it looks pristine amongst the unplanned, haphazard urban landscape we call `Smart'.
So I felt like visiting Jesus but wasn't sure about its timings.
The guard Bachcha Singh informed that prayers are held on Sundays from 7 am to 12 noon.
I told him I wasn't a Christian so could I visit and this led to him talking about religion, morals and his own life.
It was so different from what the country's `chowkidaar' and the RSS preach.
Bachcha Singh, "Sir, people come here to pray because they want `Shanti' (peace) and all religions are the same in that sense. There is no difference."
"But to have peace you also need to keep a few things in mind".
I asked him what, "Life is like a candle...today is gone...it will never come back and your life on this earth is only getting shorter..so what do you want to do with your life of what remains?"
"Two things once they leave never come back, one is life itself (Praan) and the other is a promise. Don't make a promise but if you do then give your life for it."
He went on, "But what I have just told you is not the easy path....your nearest ones can get in the way. Too much of friendships and too much enmity are both dangerous."
I asked him like what, "You may have decided to spend your life with your wife but what happens when she fights with you if you don't give her money. The India today has changed. Before I could educate my younger brothers and my wife would support me, now she will say why don't you save money for your own children?"
"Sir, more people get killed in the villages than on the border, for land and even smaller disputes."
He then told me about how he became a security guard,
"I wanted to join the army..selection ho bhee jaata..but my father refused to pay Rs.4,000 bribe money....Had he paid that then like so many jawans I would have retired and would be getting a pension."
"Now I earn Rs.6,500 a month and I have children to educate and a daughter to marry."
His face then lit up.
"But sir, I am standing at this church and I know God looks after me...because even with me being so poor I managed to get my daughter married. The first family I approached they agreed. The expenses for marriage is high...some I had saved others my former officers where I worked they helped me out. For me this is a miracle."
He then spoke about the middle path....almost like Buddha...its not good to create enemies..its better to walk in the middle.....
Just then a loaded cart sped out of the Church gate and Bachcha Singh had to shout, "Hey, you stop..what are you trying to steal !"