Thursday, October 16th, 2008 - Gujarat, India
It was a stopover in Paris with Air France that gave me time to reflect “I’m going to India” and although I maintained some reservations about the place (mainly it’s the lack of efficiency, cleanliness, orderliness) the land of Dharma has this magnetic pull. I guess it’s the sweetness of the people that makes it so attractive. There is a calm about them and a patience that offers us westerners a learning lesson. And it’s those smiles that are easy to conjure up and eases the abrasive nature of westerners. Our Guru, Srila Prabhupada, taught us about acquiring a relationship with God. Rasas or relationships although fleeting and temporary in this world often have strong bearings on our lives. If in “this world” relationships are wholesome and full then it is with greater ease that we can execute our obligations in this world while cultivating our “other worldly” relationships with the Supreme.
What I see and experience with visits to India is that relationships are highly valued and more grounded than in the west. It’s not perfect in India but it’s ahead of the west in the department of people bonding.
As our aircraft soars above the state of Gujarat, based on the geo-vision screen in front of me, I mentioned to the sikh gentleman next to me that we are on top of Gujarat. The Punjabi man said,”yes, Gujaratis are busy but quiet people – at peace with themselves.”
I couldn’t disagree. “They all seem to be fond of Krishna,” I thought.
(A few footsteps at the airport).