Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home." - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

I've been through some harrowing experiences ever since I came to Chile one month ago. I've learnt what a terramotto (big earthquake) really is. I've managed to stay sane if not brave, through an almost continual flow of aftershocks. I've been on the streets running away, God knows where, from a tsunami alert with no idea of where I was going nor any knowledge of the local language.I can't sleep and my nerves are jangled. I suppose the predominant feeling at this time should be one of fear. But surprisingly it isn't so. What I feel so much all the time is gratefulness.

Nothing can be taken for granted. Even a glass of clean drinking water or a simple thing like hot water in the taps or gas to cook your food, or even for a slice of bread.I've been grateful for a bathroom, even though nine other people were using it and the flushing system of the WC wasn't working. Not a very long time back,this would have been reason enough to throw a mammoth fit. I would get upset over things which seem so trivial to me today.

I'm being brief here about the difficult situation I'm facing. Creature comforts and luxury of home life in India enlarge the discomfort in a foreign land especially when the place is shaken by natural disasters and one spends a day and night on the streets.Yes,I came here as a creature a bit too fastidious. Well, I admit I'm not a saint yet but though life in Chile is not exactly honky-dory, I've learnt to appreciate the little things of life and feel grateful for the small acts of kindness I encounter every day. I've experienced what it means when we speak about the presence of God and his grace. Yes,I'm grateful.

"No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night." -Elie Wiesel



  1. "I suppose the predominant feeling at this time should be one of fear. But surprisingly it isn't so. What I feel so much all the time is gratefulness" most appreciative of your words & determination Khushi - in fact the word Khushi says it all. Along with deep sympathy, kind thoughts & prayers, can share a few notes :
    As a small kid I was narrated a story by my grandmother - It seems once Mother Yashoda challenged the young Krishna - if He was actually providing for each being. To prove her point, it seems she put a cockroach in a match box. Later that evening, she was surprised to find the cockroach eating a grain if rice - where did it come from! It’s said that young Krishna replied "Ma - when you were angry at me - a grain of rice from your forehead (tilak) dropped into the match box." The Lord is always there within - am trying to internalise this notion as well!

    Came across 2 books in recent past :

    Notes to Myself – My struggle to become a person by Hugh Prather.

    Letters to Sam: A Grandfather's Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life by Daniel Gottlieb

  2. Wow.. Harrowing experiences indeed and does make you long for the security and familiarity of home.. Hope things get smoother and better soon!!

  3. Thanks Raj and Prerna. I didn't have internet over the weekend so am a bit late in replying.

    I appreciate what you have shared with me Raj. Yes, truly the Lord is within.I will not be able to get the books here as they don't have novels in English. I looked around in Santiago too. No Luck.

    Prerna, one does always miss home. Things have been a bit better with longer gaps between tremors that seem to be losing intensity. I've been provided hospitality at a lovely Chilean home where I spend my mornings. It helps to have people around and I have recovered much mentally and emotionally too. My back and knees are also getting better. Talk about "streams in the desert" or "silver linings" I've encountered both...:)Hugs.