Six years ago, we moved into a home with few suitcases, five cats and eyes full of dreams. We purchased an empty space and turned it into the most beautiful home where we could plant our dreams, and build an incredible life. The home was created with the intention of rescuing and homing stray and injured cats. In last 6 years over 150 cats have passed through our home and found loving families all over the world. We spent a huge part of the earnings in rescue work. And oh boy! Did it make us happy!

The house gave us so much love. We traveled. We worked and we rescued more and more cats. This home allowed us to live our dream life. I worked on some mega projects, started writing my book, my husband set up his own company – all these beautiful things happened to us while we were showered with unconditional love of the cats.

The neem tree in the garden was planted to keep the flies away. The Gazebo was adorned with lovely lights so that every Eid and Diwali we could light up our lives. The cozy living room has seen many friends pour their hearts out because they felt so comfortable. My cat Cherry when she passed over was buried in the backyard. This was home. This is where I grew roots after years of floating around.

And then things crumbled. Initially we thought we could sustain the life – the mortgage, the rescue work, the big cars and the lifestyle. But it became apparent that my husband was not going to find another job, or my work was not going to roll in the middle of COVID.  It all unfolded like a chapter of a mystery novel. Month after month all we got were rejections. I saw my brilliant husband slowly wither away. He barely spoke. He would get ready every morning and wear his office clothes and sit in front of the computer creating training material and proposals in hope of landing work. Two years on, he is still at his desk every morning.

And then it dawned on me one day – maybe this was all a lesson. All this never belonged to me. It was mine to use while it served a purpose. Maybe our work was done here. Why should we remain attached to a big house or a car? What is it that is holding us back? It was a light bulb moment after attending The Art of Devotion course. I needed to let go of the control and think out of the box. I am an Indian national married to a Lebanese man. Our options of picking a country are pretty limited due to my husband’s nationality.

One morning I came up with an idea of moving to Bangkok. We loved the city. Cost of living was half of Dubai. We could survive on our remaining savings. And we had some great friends there. It could actually work. My husband was game and so we began doing research on how we could live there. After a month of digging, we realized there was no way to move without a work permit in this pandemic. I started doing visualization that Sadhaviji taught in The Art of Devotion workshop.  I would place all my problems at the foot of Krishna. I would then ask him to decide where we should go. And if we are meant to leave Dubai then find a way for us to enter Bangkok. This went on for few days and then suddenly an old client called to check on me. Upon hearing my plight, he offered to do our visa under his company. In no time I was connected to his HR director who bent a few rules to commence my paperwork. And just like that………. a door opened.

A huge piece of the puzzle still remains. The house is not yet sold. With each passing day we dig deeper into our savings. Being at the peak of summer does not help either. Sales are stagnant and people are traveling due to open airports here. Each day I pray that hopefully someone will fall in love with the beautiful gulmohor blooming in my garden or hear the music in the chirping birds on my roof. But after 40 days of no offer, I lost hope today.

As my husband sleeps, I am sitting at my desk at 2 am sobbing and praying to Swamiji for a miracle before we run out of options. I know he can hear me. I am feeling emotional and dejected. I just can’t see the road ahead for once. I am so lost, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I am tired of waiting for things to happen. I am tired of holding the fort. I guess I am tired of being optimistic about change.

Life always comes full circle I believe. I came to this country with nothing in my hands and made the one-way journey from Bombay. Now once again it’s time to pack up and start all over again a new life from D to B! Grateful that we are able to embrace this new chapter. 

Sometimes to move forward one must go backwards. One must have faith that all will be well. And never lose hope. Believe that Shri Hari will keep opening doors. My mother’s blessing will hold me through. 

And then it’s only onward and upward!

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Shivani Adalja

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