Some vignettes, if you will, from the past few weeks:
It is a Monday. Achen and I are sitting in the waiting room at an eye hospital. Maggie has been having trouble with one of her eyes, and she is currently in another room waiting for the doctor, who is supposed to arrive at 9AM. Without warning, he walks in through the exterior glass double doors, self-assured and well-dressed. It’s 8:57—he’s EARLY, I think. This guy has got to be good. He enters his small office, and through the cracked door, I can see that he is praying. I notice a painting of Krishna on the wall—he’s Hindu. A few moments pass, the doctor finishes his prayer, and he strides into Maggie’s room. I know she is in good hands.
It is a Tuesday—bath time, to be precise. I turn on the faucet to fill my bucket with water and…nothing. No water. What to do. I know there is a well outside but have never had to draw water from it. There’s a first time for everything, I think. I walk to the well, bucket in hand. I peer down to the bottom and am greeted by the earthy smell of cold, wet stone. Hand over hand, I pull the rope until I am rewarded with a bucket of clear, cool water. It takes two of the well buckets to fill my larger bucket. Mission accomplished, I walk back to my room, mentally reciting Jack and Jill.
It is a Friday. I am at Sanila Teacher’s house, still psychologically recovering from a rough day at school. We have just finished tea and are now waiting for the neighbors to arrive for her weekly prayer meeting. She tells me she has been hosting it at her home for the past ten years. There is a knock—the door opens—several people stream in. A little boy and I simultaneously spot each other; he looks about four. I smile at him. He makes a beeline for me with an outstretched hand, which I shake. Surprised at the brazenness that isn’t typical of his age, I think that’s sweet. He doesn’t let go of my hand. Instead, he curls up next to me, his head on my shoulder, holding my hand all the while. Throughout the prayer, he sporadically whispers to me; my English-only ears have no idea what he’s saying (or what anyone else is saying, for that matter). He holds my cheek in his little hand, smiling at me with adoration. I am overwhelmed by these pure, simple, unexpected acts of love from one so small, a stranger.
"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” -Jawaharlal Nehru