Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Whistler in the Wind: a powerful story that still continues.


The Whistler in the Wind,
A
kshay Rajkumar.
India: Ten Letter Word, 2014.
304 pp.
It was this cover and title together that caught my attention. I hadn't heard of The Whistler in the Wind until that moment. I had no clue what it was about. All I knew was that I had found it listed under the 'Christian' category on Amazon, and that the title was intriguing enough for me to wonder what it was all about. A glance through the blurb, however, rang a bell. 

It turned out, this was a biography of a well-known and respected man of God from my hometown. He was once a Brahmin who had been challenged to read the Bible. He had gone into it with a strong desire to disprove the claims of his Christian friend. But what happened instead was a slow and amazing transformation in the life of Rajkumar Ramachandran. 

This book has been written for people who are mostly familiar with Dr. Ramachandran. For someone like me, who has heard sermons by him for many years, The Whistler in the Wind satisfies a curiosity about a convert who is passionate for the Lord, and who can quote any verse from the Bible. How did a man brought up in another belief system, and who belonged to a normal and happy family, come to desire God and find Him? How has God used him since the conversion? 

Dr. Ramachandran: father
Akshay Rajkumar, Dr. Ramachandran's son, lays it all out there for the reader. He begins with a miracle mid-way through Dr. Ramachandran's career as an evangelist. From there Akshay Rajkumar takes us back and forth, weaving through his father's history as the reader is drawn further into the immense faith and journey of this man and his family. We learn of the man he was back in his college days, his marriage to the love of his life, his family, his hopes and dreams, his conversion that leads him all over the world, into incredible supernatural instances that time and time again show the power of the true, living God working constantly and tirelessly in a world that is blinded by darkness.

It is an incredible read, made all the more pleasurable in the lyrical tone and quality it takes on. Akshay Rajkumar has written this biography in the third person, and has served up a literary piece. He switches between timelines so easily and effortlessly. He drops little of cliff-hanger gems --questions here and there -- and gives the reader time to ponder over them before coming back to them with an end, an answer. 

Akshay Rajkumar: son
Perhaps my favourite chapter is the one titled "One More Thing". This is the chapter about Dr. Ramachandran's conversion, and it isn't a superficial telling. It goes deep into the evangelist's mind, sorting through his fears and doubts and bewilderment. All his questions are laid bare. And then the answers, bit by bit, surely and truly and clearly, come to light. For a person seeking to understand about the living God that the Christians serve, this chapter is the best introduction. He voices questions that are common to the reasoning individual. But he also understands, unlike many today, that there is an unseen force, that there is a God. And that is a huge hurdle to be crossed that he did not have to deal with before his questioning began.

This is an honest book. It reveals the pain and suffering that comes from being an evangelist who has barely any time for his family. The writer is frank about what his father's popularity did to him and his mother. But, he acknowledges that he too is on a journey of his own; he too had to come to terms with understanding who God was as a Person, and not just as the God his father served faithfully and unwaveringly. Akshay Rajkumar is a theologian in his own right now, and his ministry is through the written word.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading Christian biographies, who has heard of 'Jesus' but doesn't understand the 'why' of it all, and to those who want to rejoice in the amazingness of the living God. 

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