Love sees what eyes cannot: Victoria & Abdul

7 01 2020
Victoria and Abdul

Those who say that love is blind ignore its power to see what naked eyes cannot. “Victoria and Abdul,” a film of rare artistry based on the true life story of queen Victoria’s blind love for a poor Indian servant, Abdul Karim who, in his turn, saw in her royal heart, a thirst for warmth and affection unquenched by the fawning, kowtowing mass of royal maids and servants.

It was a story of love at first sight. “I think the tall one is terribly handsome,” the queen quipped to a concierge the day after the tall and handsome Abdul and his shorter companion were ushered into her presence to present her with a gift of a gold coin from India.

Things moved quickly as the queen requested that he become her personal attendant much to the consternation of the uppity, scheming, gossipy and crafty royal household.

Consternation turned to anger when the queen made him part of the royal household, appointing him as her personal “munshi” or teacher, and took him in her travels, to banquets, to operas, and even allowed him assist her with the boxes of government papers.  

Anger turned apoplectic when the queen offered him the knighthood and palace gossip spindles furiously wove tapestries of rumors that the queen was unhinged and in love with the munshi.

But the tapestries were shredded into heaps of jumbled rags, when the queen excitedly ordered Abdul to bring his wife to England after learning that he was married. When she arrived, the queen took great pleasure meeting and entertaining her. She even sent her personal physician to assist Abdul and his wife with their difficulty in having children.

What could have drawn the most powerful woman in the world to this lowly Indian prison officer?

Love sees what the naked eyes cannot. Abdul enchanted the queen. While others treated her with great fear and difference, he on the other hand treated her like a person, unafraid; he looked at her, and talked to her like a son would talk to his mother.

Surprised, perhaps even relieved, Queen Victoria responded like a mother and loved him like a son and even more.

Abdul was devoted to Queen Victoria in life and even more in death. After her death, he returned to India and had a life-size stature of her erected at the precincts of the TajMahal, where he would go daily to pray and meditate on the life this great woman.  He wore on his breast a gold locket with her face on it, that she gave him with great devotion even though his Muslim religion forbade graven images.

Abdul actions should is hardly surprising, it is an action born out of gratitude to one who loved him more than a son, in spite of his low birth. The most powerful and feared woman in the world, revered by kings and princes yet stoops to his love and elevating him to her equal.

In many respects his actions repudiates those who disparage devotion to loved ones after their death. Catholics, for example have been knocked around for their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, whom they regard as their mother. Yet it is a most natural human reaction. Gratitude comes naturally to those favored by majesty.

When Abdul stooped down and kissed the foot of the queen Victoria at the garden party in one of the early scenes of the movie, he wasn’t in effect worshipping her as one would worship God. Rather, he was reacting in the expected way as anyone would, overwhelmed with gratitude, standing in the someone would react who feels that for some unknown reasons he is the chosen recipient of majestic benevolence despite his low status; a servant love by a queen; a lowly Indian prison officer adored by the Empress of India.

True, it might have been a desperate love between a scheming Indian taking advantage of a bored, desperate and tired old queen whose husband had died many years ago, yet there is no denying its beauty and charm.

Mary was a simple village girl, unaccustomed to the pump and pageantry,  wielded no earthly power while she was on earth–except of course the power of a loving mother whose son is Jesus, King of the universe and on this account, she is far superior to the queen of England.

And from this motherhood draws all her authority, power and grace Christians call her mother because her blessed womb gave them their savior.

Her powers are undiminished by death, but have everlasting potency now that she is heaven body and soul next to her son, Jesus Christ.

Queen Victoria on the other hand was aware that death would end all her powers and render her incapable of protecting Abdul. Thus at the twilight of her life, she implored Abdul to flee England, because “the vultures are already circling” Abdul insisted and remained with her till the end, and faced the spiteful fury of her son, Edward, who dealt mercilessly with him, even before the dust had settled over his mother’s grave. Yet he counted it all as gain, for having been loved by such a mighty one is greater than the suffering endured by the hatred of the world put together, and saw his life as defined by the short span spent by her side.

Many thanks to the casts and director of this movie, and the eagle eyed journalist who uncovered the delightful story, so nearly scrubbed off the annals history by those whose ox were gored by it. 

Chinwuba Iyizoba





A powerful proof of forgiveness, boy hugs officer who killed his brother

12 10 2019

A powerful proof of forgiveness, boy hugs officer who killed his brother.

“I forgive you, I love you, ” he said.

Watch this video of true forgiveness.

It was the last thing anyone was expecting.

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger had just been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting a black man, Botham Jean, in his own apartment.
Jean’s younger brother Brandt Jean was on the witness stand Wednesday, giving a victim-impact statement, when he turned to the judge and made a most unusual request.
“I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?” he asked.
What happened next stunned both the courtroom and the nation. Jean stepped off the witness stand and stepped over to Guyger. The two hugged for nearly a minute.
“I forgive you. And I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you,” Jean told Guyger. “I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you.”(source CNN)

Video of Amber Guyger, former cop being sentenced to 10 yrs for killing a man.





Why Tears Flowed as 20yro Josh Daniel Sang For his True Friend

6 05 2019

by Chinwuba Iyizoba

josh daniel

As fire consumes a forest, as flames set a mountain ablaze, so does yearning devour a heart for a friend, a true friend. Judges and audience shed rivers of tears as 20 yr old Josh Daniel sang for his best friend who died at 18 at the 2015 X Factor audition.

The song was Labrinth’s “Jealous” and when Simon Crowell, one of the judges, asked him why he picked the song, he said that it meant a lot to him for a different reason and a shadows fleeted briefly across his handsome face as he paused to recollect himself before saying, “I lost my best friend a couple of years ago, and I interpret the lyrics in a completely different way. The lyrics say that I am jealous that you are happy without me, and I kind of see it in the sense that I am jealous that he moved on to a better place (Heaven) without me.”

As Josh began singing, the air trembled with emotions and his pain, like an arrow, pieced hearts, and tears ran like river down the faces of all as though they felt the searing wound in his heart, wounds that the past years hadn’t heal. His death shattered his heart but this song put it together again, he died, yet lives in his heart, and alone on that stage, he was with him as he sang for him.

judge

When he finished the hall erupted, a standing prolonged ovation. As silence returned, a speechless female judge who wasn’t ugly at all tried to say something but faltered and with tears streaking down her face said, “Wow! That was the most captivated I have been in the whole audition, and I believed every word you said and …I kind of want to hug you.”

Josh readily accepted and she gave him a bear hug before a cheering audience. The video has been seen by more than 200million people and it is still breaking hearts.

No one will choose to live if he has no friends says Aristotle.

True friendship is something probably unknown to many people. Who wouldn’t want to have such a friend?  We all crave it, we all desire it, yet the harsh truth is that it isn’t easy to get.

Finding a true friend is harder than finding blue diamond in the dump heap of today’s ephemeral social-media friends. A true friend loves another, not because of what he can provide, but because of who he is. He helps the other to develop, to go further, to become good.

A true friend differs from a pleasure friend as silver differs from tin foil.  Pleasure friendship ends when pleasure ends, but true friends are forever.  Pleasure is perhaps the weakest of all glues that hold people together, and if that is all there is, it prevents true friendship. Little wonder sex friendships don’t last, they often crash on the jagged rock of selfishness, shattering in a million pieces leaving nothing but bitter memories.  Josh and his friend shared a clean fulfilled-love that transcended death. Sex had nothing to do with it; it would have brought misery.

They might have fought, or driven each other crazy at times, yet their love was true and unbreakable. They might have faced and conquered dragons, or gambled and lost their last buck, yet all they had they shared.

We can all have true friends but only a few since it takes time and a lot of work to build such friendships. Is a great Cathedral built in a day? Is a great song written in one sitting? Yet with constant work, day by day, the Cathedral will stand, and the song will delight million in generations to come.

Chinwuba Iyizoba

 

 








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