Today I feel a loss of words I want to write so much but I am unable to! Everyday I see people who inspire me. Ordinary people, who bear their burdens, who have lesser than I do, but also have something more that is sweet in its humanness. The woman who did my pedicure yesterday, migrated from Darjeeling India where there are mountains and tea and cold weather and people speak a different language, to here, chennai which is coffee drinking, very hot and people speak Tamil. It was her acceptance that struck me- this is how things are – and the something else she brought to her work, a sort of gentle attention to detail. You can do anything well, with care, that’s what I learn.
Like Mary, who gives me a massage every other day, for Rupees 120, which is the equivalent of 2 $. She comes at 11.00am, after having worked in three houses, since 6.30am. She tells me she hasn’t eaten anything because she is fasting for her youngest son to get married, and will only eat after finishing her work and prayer, at around 2.00pm. And yet her massage is perfect, the pressure, the gentleness, and mainly the attention.
I love the cd of carefully chosen Tamil songs that our driver Chandran has made, that makes you want to drive forever. When he plays with Anji on the beach, I wonder if he plays like that, has the time to, with his 2 year old daughter. Our driver in Mumbai whom Anji calls Abbu, tells me that he still hasn’t seen his sister’s kids, who are 5 and 3, because there hasn’t been any time. When he picks up Anji, his face lights up, the way we have never seen.
I love the way the vegetable vendor chooses the chikkus for us. 40 rupees he says, which is less than a dollar.
Perhaps it is because I’m visiting that I can be a witness. I can hear the different sounds in the morning, of crows, and cars and dogs coexisting and not get annoyed at being woken up, or see the cluttered dining table with fruits and snacks, and medicines and glasses and mosquito vaporizers and not feel the need to clean up. I can simply be. And in being there is this space in which it seems obvious that my problems aren’t much. Here people deal with much more, with a smiling face and a brave front.
And that I have so much. So much to be grateful for.
With love, S.