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..