Vanquished, this time by love

Sanjeev Trikha 

On a pleasure trip to a country that ruled over us for centuries, has its hands stained with the blood of our revered martyrs, the mind subtly sails into ingrained negativity. The currency conversion charts at the airport added fuel to the flames of negativity when the currency of my country was found placed almost at the bottom, with British pound proudly at the top. The charts bruised my pocket and my pride. Jostling with such negativity and rage, the compulsions, fascinations and other attractions which might have lured Indians settled there to prefer that country kept my cerebral churning busy. 

The first sight of Heathrow Airport put some soothing balm on my sulking mind as I found our airport at New Delhi far superior! With such fragile pride, we moved towards immigration counters, where we were greeted with courteous smiles. The cooperative attitude, from the taxi operator to the hotel staff oozed the warmth of hospitality in the chilly weather conditions in London. The spotless roads, disciplined movement of traffic, suitably studded with the sheen of courteous behaviour, was trying to pierce through the wall of my negativity. I tried to superficially ignore all such stuff.

Taking a ride in the London Eye, I casually patted the cheeks of an infant in the lap of his British parents. The couple responded to my gestures and motivated the child to reciprocate the love. In a couple of minutes, the child became very friendly with me. The love reciprocated by him was beyond my expectations. My making faces generated bursts of laughter from that tiny soul. The instant connect established with that family through that little one moved so swiftly that the child showed eagerness to be in my arms. Throughout the ride, he kept playing with me and his parents also, instead of enjoying the view, were more keen to witness our bonding. When the ride was over, I tried to shift the kid to his parents, but he refused to budge. We spent some more time together. He hugged me like he had known me for long. Ultimately we separated with the exchange of contact numbers and the promise to be in touch. 

The negativity stood completely washed by the love and warmth showered by everyone, from immigration officials to taxi drivers to hotel staff, and finally, that little angel.

We returned, many times richer with the treasure of love that was not even required to be declared at the customs. Once again, we stood robbed by the British, but this time of the negativity that brewed within me. Once again, they ruled over us, but this time, conquering our hearts. 

I searched the reason for the love the child felt for me. Was it some connection of previous birth? Was he deprived of such intimate love there? I finally got the answer in the song: ‘Ik ehsaas hai, rooh se mehsoos karo, Pyar ko pyar hi rehane do koi naam na do.’

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