Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chalo Berlin! (Let’s go to Berlin!)

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“I have told Guruji that we would be about 100+ people from YES!+ coming to Berlin.” I remember the day when Bawa told me these lines with a big bright smile on his face. Berlin??!! Yes! Berlin in Germany! This was for the 30th year anniversary celebrations of the Art of Living and the World Culture Festival. The Olympic Stadium had been booked for this grand ensemble. Only GOD (Pun intended) knows why on all earth he had selected such a venue! I was like…Kyun yaar, India mein jagah ki kami hai kya? (Is there lack of space in India?). Bawa had also mentioned about the month long Euro trip after the event which was too irresistible. I mean it. And what about the money, honey? Roughly about 2 lac rupees! Plus some thousands…Come on…you go there so far and you just can’t return empty handed….right? Would be so stupid!

Can you imagine, the moment I heard that number, my mind was already on its way doing all mathematics with the money I had in my RDs, FDs, shares etc. But it would not sum up to it. In short if I squeeze every penny from what I have plus what I had saved, I will comfortably make it and probably a little surplus too.


Saying YES to this trip took some time but once I did, arranging for the money was the biggest challenge! But as every salaried class person, there were many other hurdles for which I needed money. The next few days…the song – Apna sapna (my dream)…money money…was running in my mind. Thoughts of taking different workshops, courses, gambling in share market, take a loan etc bombarded my head for quite a long time… I mean days altogether. I was not ready to risk anything. The anxiety and confusion rose to such an extent that I decided not to go and watch the event via webcast. Big deal! And what about the trip? I had already visited some of the places which were in the plan. So it was not all that bad either…I consoled myself. :’(


My appraisal had just got over couple of months back. Thoughts like – “Oh! I should have asked for an onsite trip that time itself. Probably they would have agreed.”, “Should I go and ask now?” etc were bombarding my head every now and then. All this was happening just before and during the Manavathe season.
It was another regular Friday afternoon in office. I was in no mood to work. What’s new in that..? , you might ask. More importantly, now what has this to do with Berlin? It does!


That Friday evening, my manager called me and said – “We have planned travel for you to Germany for 3 months. You will have to leave in a month or so…” I coolly replied – “Ok” and came back to my seat and immediately browsed through the calendar to check the dates. Taking passport, visa factors into account, I might leave by May end. Thereafter 3 months, so June, July and August. Wait a second! July?! Will I be there? For a minute (or little more) I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, feel grateful…I was absolutely stunned! Tears brimmed in my eyes and a drop trickled down from the right eye…


That’s the month…and July 2nd, 3rd… the dates for the World Culture Festival which I badly wanted to witness. Can it get better? In the last 4.5 years in the Art of Living, I have heard many a times that Guruji takes care. I have experienced it many times but then…this small mind has the tendency to get into its own ideas and complications galore.


Guruji had charted out a plan already and here I was… doing all circus to be there and finally when I gave it up, he offered it to me on a platter. As I was driving back home that evening, i was thinking what have I done to deserve this? The answer was – Nothing! I had done nothing to deserve this. Probably this is what is called GRACE.
- Suman Ramaswamy

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