I offer my obeisance to you Rev. Sri. Sri. Om Swamiji 🙏☕️Wishing you much love, peace and good health and please enjoy a great cup of coffee today😊. Jai Sri Hari🕉🙏

It’s such a delight to see when we get autographed / signatured by the great icons who inspire us, motivate us, and also somewhere deep down we do link our inner transformation following certain amount of discipline and values  having touched by wonderful souls in our lives. Our faith and trust in that personality who we look upto manifolds beautifully in our day to day life inspite of the big or small odds.

I would like to share my experience here when I got a beautiful signature on my Teacup from a beautiful personality . A place that had everything to offer and I had made a special mention of this place earlier here.

Like any other amazing day early morning at 4.30 am the birds started singing their sweet notes and hearing their sound my two little kitties Zeus and Gaia quickly made it on the ledge of the bedroom window to catch their glimpse and comfortably got glued to all that their senses could catch. I too joined them with my fresh lemon and honey water in greeting and acknowledging the breathtaking surroundings of  mountains, to the lush green trees, the fresh flowers  and the peeping orangish tinge of the rising sun. It was a pure treat to the rested eyes and heart. A routine so beautifully unique for us each day. Mornings are just like new beginnings!

Getting into the living room greeting every wall that smiled with my paintings , putting on light spiritual music of which both the kitties had also got used to and then quickly got ready for my morning walk. Before stepping out Zeus and Gaia would get little pampered with their favourite treats and one could feel their joy in their flowy bushy tails and curious eyes.

The new place was simply amazing. The delight of fresh moist air was very exciting and as I walked quickly on the sloping lane outside of my apartment which lead to a turn towards the park, I could see one elderly lady around 80 years of age , a bit on the heavier side taking baby steps towards her apartment which was just at the end of the same lane where I stayed  hardly two-three mins away. She was falling short of breath as the pathway was a bit on a height if one was to head back and she kept holding onto the walls , pause  a bit , catch up on her breath and then take few more steps.

Out of concern for her I slowed down my pace, we exchanged smiles and greeted each other. From her looks and attire I could make out she was a Punjabi and since I am a Punjabi too I thought best to speak in our mother tongue and that would also make her feel comfortable .

I knew she was a bit in pain so to boost and cheer her I  stood on a side and said, “ It’s so good to see you walking early in the morning, and I am glad to see you taking all the efforts. Great spirit!”

“Oh yes, but my knees don’t seem to support me, I try to move around a bit because of my high blood pressure and I am growing old too” she opened up rather laughingly.

“You seem to be new in this place , how long have you been here now?” she politely asked me.

“Been two weeks now”, I smiled as I lend her a helping hand while she tried to take support of the wall to walk further.

Seemed that she found some relief in me  and now smilingly started narrating short incidents of what made her and her husband decide to move to Ashiana.

“I can’t travel anymore to visit my kids abroad, high time they come and meet us. As long as two years down the line I used to visit them every year,  but my health suffered with that long travelling to States” she sounded a bit stressed as if missing her children but posed strongly.

”But why don’t  you and Uncleji join your kids abroad. It would be comfortable for you both to now stay with your children” I mentioned. 
“ You know once you are therefor few days all looks good, each one stays in their room, have a busy life and you get hold of different corners of the house and pass your time . Isolation kills us more there being with all so best to be on our own here and lead a peaceful life . Atleast all the staff and the community here , their care and concern keeps us alive” she was purely honest in her feelings. 

Its so true as its truly not easy for many of our elders who have been raised in an environment which has been  so close knit a community full of warmth and care to move to a setup abroad where the whole system calls for a big shift both mentally and physically . An age where considering their point of view needs to be catered with kindness and compassion , after all they have come a long way and deserve that respect and quality time if children could give them. 

“ Good to see you as our new neighbour,atleast you took out sometime for me” she smiled.  I shall hopefully get to see you more often now”.

“Let me hold your hand and leave you to your place “ and she willingly held on to me , we chit chatted a bit and finally reached her apartment which was on the ground floor.

“Just come in please and have some chai ( tea) with me. I will be too happy if you would, she insisted. You are new our neighbour now, please consider this your place too” she was extremely warm in her attitude. All this while she kept holding my hand. It was very touching. She so reminded me of my granny.  People during those days (of our elders) were always traditionally hospitable and large hearted in their nature.

“Auntyji it’s been a pleasure meeting you, and thank you for asking me over for a cup of chai, but I need to rush for a quick walk and head back home as my cook would be there in some time. But I promise you I would come soon and have a good tea at your place soon” I hugged her warmly and left for my long walk.

It felt so nice that the day began with so much of warmth.

Days flew by and we would bump into each other almost every second day, sometimes in the mornings or evenings, or at the club house where Aunty Ji along with her husband would go and have their meals for she did not cook nor had the energy to do chores at her place. But natural as the couple was quite old and ailing too. The club canteen team was very cooperative and provided and prepared food according to the taste of the senior citizens there.

A retirement home is quite an apt place to be , I felt.

One morning she saw me from the porch area of her flat and waved at me. I asked her to come for a walk and she slowly walked out and joined me.

“ I shall only walk for a bit” she said laughingly.

“Don’t worry I shall walk you back to your place” I held on to her hand tightly.

“ Today please have tea with me, earlier you promised and never showed up. I make real good tea” she was very insistent this time.

But as luck would have it I was expecting delivery of my dining table and had to be present at home , so I politely made her understand the situation.

“ I will visit you in the morning tomorrow and spend good time with you and have your hand made chai” I said and waved goodbye to her and rushed back to my apartment.

It was a tiring evening getting the dining set and other furniture pieces set up in the living room . So after a quick dinner I retired to bed.

The next morning I skipped my walk and stood  in the balcony ( I was on the third floor) of my living room allowing the quietness of the space to sink in, but that day there was something  being strangely felt. Some days are a bit different I guess and makes one feel the same.

I suddenly noticed an ambulance go past , stood ahead in our lane . Couple of other neighbours  came out curious and of concern too ,  as to who had taken ill suddenly .

I myself  stood still up there watching but did not have the courage to go down  near to the ambulance , though I knew most of the people who had gathered there .

I quickly went in and got my mobile and called up the help desk at the office reception .

“Security ,why is this ambulance here? Who is taken ill all of a sudden?” I asked rather concerned and worried.

“ Ma’am early morning at around 4 am Auntyji ( name kept anonymous) suddenly collapsed and within no time she breathed her last, the ambulance is here to take her body to the hospital, to ascertain the cause of her death” the security personnel slowly answered.

“Wha…a..t”…. I just could not believe my ears…

Aunty was perfectly alright and cheerful till last evening. Moreover I had promised to join over a cup of tea today at her place ! Tears rolled down from my eyes….

She did wait long for me to join her for chai , isn’t it ….

Alas! Time’s unpredictability of nature carries with it so many heartfelt emotions that only needs to be spent well, and I so wished I could have had that good  cup of tea made by dear Auntyji . Rest in peace sweet loving Soul you were simply a bundle of joy and your love and smile has left a sweet and pure lasting effect on me.

Even today after couple of years while having my tea I still cherish her words “come and have chai with me”.

Aah! What is Love?  It’s  the aroma we infuse in our cup of tea ( our pure warm feelings )  that leaves so much of a lingering and lasting effect on our senses. Within it is the essence of energy of the one who offers to serve and the one who accepts and acknowledges . A  decoction of nectar of the hearts ever flowing.

We do get an opportunity of a signature mark on every cup of tea ( our deeds) each day as to how we enjoy it, whom we enjoy it with and acknowledge all of it with immense humility.

Would like to share some wise and deep words by Rumi..

This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture…

still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight . . .

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Even though I could not taste the chai made by Auntyji she still left a humble Signature mark on my Cup and brewed it with her love filled presence.

May we all wholeheartedly keep sipping Grace from our signature cup of our hearty beverage that never tires of over flowing 🙏🌿☕️

May there be love, may there be kindness, may there be peace in your life my OS family🙏🕉

Love and Peace🙏

Siddhika Umesh

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