Sunday, January 22, 2006

Alive like never before..

A few months ago I was invited to go on a business trip to Mumbay, India. It was the most impressive trip that I had in years. Yesterday, a blogfriend asked me about this trip and my feelings about it. I’d like to share my answer to her question with you because it evoked a lot of emotions again. You might know better than me that India is a country of contradictions between the majority living in extreme poverty and the ultra rich happy few. It’s also a country of beautiful and wonderful people as I’ve experienced.

One night we were invited by the Dutch ambassador to have diner in one of Bollywoods best restaurants named “Khyber”. We had diner being surrounded by various famous film-stars and well known locals. We quickly forgot about world’s misery and had a great time.

When we left the restaurant we were guided towards the bus when all of a sudden a litte beggar girl dressed in rags appeared in front of me. She had to be about five or six years old and had the most beautiful big brown eyes that laughed at me like little shining stars. The policemen yelled at her to get lost but I couldn’t resist to kneel down and look her straight into her almost hypnotizing eyes.

I asked her her name and she started to jabber words to me that I couldn’t understand. I opend my hands to her and she put her’s in mine. We then looked eachother in the eyes as if we were talking without words. All of a sudden she pulled back her hands and gave me a heartwarming hug that seemed to last forever. At that time I felt a feeling of compassion I have never felt before. It felt like both of us were at the centre of the universe. As tears rolled down my eyes, she all of a sudden stopped embracing me, looked me straight into my blurry eyes for a while and laughed at me with the same intensity as she did before.

In a split second she then dissapeared jumping across the street like a puppet on a string. I suddenly realized I wasn’t alone in this world and looked up at the rest of the group to find everyone crying. The ride back to the hotel was a quiet one with people snuffling and passing handkerchiefs. I looked out the window somewhat confused and watched Mumbay pass by, wondering what happened back there. I felt humble and man I felt alive. Alive like I have never felt before…



..thank you for your thoughts..

27 comments:

Vijay said...

Wonderful Blog Sir. It was really touching description that you provided of the little street urchin you met while in India. We need more like you to discover the ground realities in India. I have book marked your blog. Good luck.

Please visit my blog :
http://india-IT-pulse.blogspot.com

Progressive Traditionalist said...

That is a wonderful and heart-warming story. Thank you for sharing it.

madcapmum said...

It often occurs to me, when we're in the middle of something wonderful, that there's plenty of misery happening at the same time, probably not that far from where I am. It's hard to maintain the balance between really enjoying what's at hand, and being mindful of the needs of others, without losing the depth of either.

That was a beautiful story.

Lenren said...

Beautiful story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lisa said...

Dimitri, your beautiful story brought tears to my eyes. Those kinds of moments are really special. Thanks for sharing.

Vee said...

I'm jealous that you were able to go to India and I wasn't. It's been 5 years since my last visit. Also more jealous of the fact that you dined surrounded by celebs. I might have fainted had I been in a similar situation esp. since I drool over many of the Indian celeb males. (lol)

On another note, it's wonderful how you interacted with that little girl. Not many people stop, actually stop and look at what's before them. That hug must've been one of the best you've ever received. It's a way of life in India...to be surrounded by so much affluence on the one hand and then just turn around and find extreme poverty. But I like how people still go about their lives accepting those circumstances. (not that many of the poor have much of a choice). Having lived there for two years (after I got married), I miss India at times. It's a completely different environment. Anyway, pack me in your suitcase the next time you're heading there? hehehehe

Blogger formerly known as JBlue said...

DA, I loved that story! What an incredible experience.

DareDevil said...

wow I respect your skill in writing, i like that, thanks :)

Gary said...

Nicely written Dimitri.

It sounds like one of those moments where "I becomes we". It's those moments that lead to great lives - lives where the pain and suffering is shared with humanity ... and the hope and compassion.

Fouad said...

I envied you there for a moment Dimitri... thank you for sharing this moment with us.

Fouad

MARYBETH said...

Hi DA,
Reading your experience brought Mother Theresa's famous quote to my mind.

"There are No Great Acts
Only small Acts done with Great Love."

We miss so many opportunities with the rush and flurry of our lives; but, you didnt miss this one.
N a m a s t e,
MB

Granny said...

Beautiful Dmitri.

Nerdine said...

this story actually reminds me of two different experiences of my own. One was about 11 years ago in a museum here in Oslo. I was reading some text in the museum (I remember the exact spot I was standing...) when a little girl came up to me. She could have been about 6 years old. She looked at me, I believe she saw my soul, and without a word she gave me the best hug ever. I can't remember we said a word, we just understood each other. I have no idea who she was, and I don't know where she went - I didn't see her leave.

The other incident was also here in Oslo and happened about a year ago in the winter. I was walking home from the meditation centre in deep thoughts. Suddenly there is a woman in front at me and she looks at me and asks for some money. She's a drug addict, but I'll never forget those eyes. I'm absolutely certain that if there are something called angels out there, she was one. A lost one trying to find her way home. I gave her some money, and a hug. We both had tears in our eyes after. I can never forget either of them...

Lindsay Lobe said...

Hi DA

Lovely story.

My eldest daughter Vanessa attended a wedding in India and was fascinated by the experience, as the celebration was so elaborate, contrasting with so much hardship just around the corner.

Kathleen Callon said...

Wonderful...

DA said...

Dear friends,

Thank you all for your kind words. You make sharing experiences a valluable and wonderful experience of itself. Thx again, I'll be visiting you!

Warm regards,
DA

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Sounds like you had such a magnificant experience, and your telling it made it even more special for everyone.

Beautiful, rich and heartwarming story.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Sounds like you had such a magnificant experience, and your telling it made it even more special for everyone.

Beautiful, rich and heartwarming story.

Lesley said...

A beautiful story!

Mother Damnable said...

Thanks for sharing Dimitri,

I thought you were a wonderful person and although you saw an angel, I believe she saw that quality in you :>)

Stacey said...

This was such a beautiful post. It has always been my dream to visit India. I have been fascinated for years by the culture and people. I have been all over Europe...someday soon I truly hope to get to India.

The compassion in this post was heartwarming. Nice blog you have. :)

voixdange said...

What a beautiful post. It spoke to me on two levels. first of all I was married to an Indian for 8 years and have two sons from the marriage, so india is very close to my heart. Secondly i work with children in the inner city of Chicago, there is nothing like it really. . .

Callooh said...

Gandhi once said "Be the change you wish to see in the world" - I have it on my fridge on it change the world is brighter than the other words - when you come closer you get to see how to do it.
experiences like yours are precious and should be treasured always - the connection with another like that is wonderful and illustrates who we are and where we come from makes no difference. I once had a similar experience with a homeless man on a cold street in Toronto - I can still see his eyes.
thank you for sharing this

JEFM said...

Sweet Dimitri.

Beautiful post...

Jon

DA said...

Dear Blogfriends, thanks again for your kind comments and sharing of personal experiences. DA

Wildside Musing said...

Beautiful... I am touched by your kindness... Not necessarily that you had a kind thought, but took time to act upon it.

(Found you by way of Madcapmum)

hansbr said...

Dimitri,

HEEL ERG ONDER DE INDRUK WAT ER ALLEMAAL TE VINDEN IS OP JOUW SITE

HEEL VEEL LIEFS

HANS BRASSERIE BOVEN