Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

finding kindness…

on June 22, 2008

or should I say, kindness found me!

It has been an eventful week. losing my religion. and finding it again. in a strange city amongst strangers.

Among other events this week such as wedding anniversary and Abhi’s oral surgery was a sudden trip to New York City. This visit was brought about by a visa interview for an upcoming conference in Slovenia.

The last time I wrote, I spoke about a week-long silent retreat. This week, I really got to go into the world!! Being in NYC. It cannot be expressed in words. The sheer number of people, noise, happenings. It was actually sort of fun to watch from a window as if you were watching traffic. You just don’t want to be *in* it! Venturing out in the morning for a muffin and coffee and trying to find a peaceful place to eat it…I ended up coming back to the hotel with a splitting headache. and settling into a couch at the corner of the lobby to savor my chocolate banana nut muffin. Okay life started looking up after my stomach had been satisfied. Still, what I felt was-thank god I don’t live here!

The visa interview went well. People seemed kind everywhere. But also busy. after the interview, I found my way to an indian restaurant I had visited a year ago-‘curry in a hurry’. yummy food. reminds you of a mess. You choose what you want, and then you take it upstairs to this modest dining room to savor the meal of the day. I had the most delicious palak paneer and black-eyed peas dish with naan. thinking gratefully that not everything was bad in NYC. Just this meal was worth the trip!

The server in the dining room smiled at me kindly. Maybe he picked up on how much I was enjoying my food. An indian reunited with the authentic tastes of her homeland. Did I mention that they were also playing videos of bollywood songs! After I was done, I got up to put away my dishes. He motioned to me, to leave it as it was. and he said: ‘we have rice pudding, you should try it’. rice pudding or kheer. My heart jumped with joy. is this for real! there was a line for the kheer. guess what this guy does: cuts through the line, fills a plate full of kheer and puts in on my table!!!

I don’t think I have had a happier moment. I dove into the kheer. it was pure bliss. My mom’s voice rang in my ears-‘shubbu, payasam venuma?’ meaning do you want kheer?. I was the only one at home who ate it with real gusto. and as I’m finishing up, my stomach about to burst, somewhat teary eyed, this guy comes back to ask me if I want more :).

what can I say? real kindness from the heart. it touches a person like nothing else does. I was smiling rest of the day. I still am :).

Here is to the kindness that abides in us all,

Love, S. 


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