RYS 200, 300, 500 in Rishikesh
Strolling along the Ganga-road from Ram Jhula to Laxman Jhula yesterday, I suddenly heard someone calling my name. Somewhat surprised I spun around to see a little boy running up behind me and I recognized him as Ganesh, the oldest son of the poor woman I wrote about in the By the river Ganga-post. He caught his breath and asked me where I was going? I said I was going home and he asked if he could come with me to see my house? I said he was most welcome to, as long as he could find his way back home again. All the way to my guest house, he spoke non-stop about his mother, father, money, mother’s boyfriend and the brother who died…the world of his, letting me get a glimpse of a life so different from my own. In his hand he held a plastic bag of still unopened toys and as we reached the ashram land close to my guest house, he took out one of them and handed over to me: ”I give you gift – when you have baby you give to baby – okay?”, he said seriously and handed over a plastic tiger. I solemnly promised to do so and then I bought him a soda, which he initially insisted on paying for with the little money he had received begging from other people. I didn’t let him, of course.
As we came home he awed at my simple room: ”Wow… you’re room is so beautiful!” he gasped and I looked around in confused disbelief. My room is anything but beautiful… it’s okay at the most… but that gave me a clear hint of what his house probably looks like and maybe it would be wise of me to be more appreciative of what I have? Maybe there is beauty which I don’t see, because I am blinded by my expectations of what beauty should look like? While sitting on my bed with a cookie and a mug of soda, Ganesh kept pointing at my things, asking how much this or that had cost? Then he went over to my laptop and said: ”This is nice… you give me this?” and when that didn’t work he pointed at my iPhone, then my iPod… hoping that would work better (it didn’t). But it wasn’t scheming… just innocent asking. At the age of ten, he has evidently already understood the importance of asking and receiving and I give him all credit for trying.
After a while he took up my notebook and began to draw pictures for me. His little face was tense with concentration and I noticed how short and skinny he was for being ten. If his spirit has a name it should be ”intensity”. Before he left he smoothed out the blanket, making it meticulously flat and arranged the pens he had used into a perfect line and as we went out into the hall he even corrected my neighbors row of shoes.
This morning my phone rang. Still sleepy I picked it up, just to hear Ganesh’s excited voice at the other end: ”Jenny! You are at your house? How long? I am coming! Okay, bye.” Click. I looked at my phone and realized that I can now probably count on having a frequent visitor… It is obvious that when asking the universe for visits from a dark eyed man, then one should clearly specify age and circumstance as well! ;) But I take it as a good omen somehow… Nothing here in Rishikesh happens by accident.
The biggest blessings I experience, the moments that feel most authentic and precious aren’t experienced during asanas or meditation, but through the meetings with people. I am not worried about Ganesh. The fire in his eyes, the stubbornness in his walk and the ability to ask for what he wants; whether a cookie or an iPhone, reveals a strong spirit who can go anywhere and do anything… as long as he puts his mind to it. I hope that in 20 years I will still be here in Rishikesh and see what has become of him…
Naturopath & Asana Teacher