Stay Open

In retrospect, I thought it would be a sweet anecdotal moment to share. I was leaving Dharmsala for NY, via Delhi on September 9th. When I arrived at the airport, I was told the flight was cancelled. Unable to accept this fact, I tried very hard to convince the representative of Spice Jet to find me another flight, as though I was the single most important person in the world and my return journey was going to impact the future of humanity. But all flights that day were full, and I was booked on the next day's flight and politely sent away. 

This unexpected change, threw off my entire return journey, from the hotel I had booked in Delhi to my 20 hour flight back to NY. Disappointed and feeling defeated, I found a cab and drove all the way back up the hill to the guest house, where just 2 hours earlier, I had said the most emotional goodbye to the owners and staff. Back in my room, I sat on my bed like a schoolgirl in detention. I stared out the window thinking about this annoying but also curious occurrence. I couldn't quite accept that it was just another flight cancellation. It felt like I was being held back. 

In any case, I tried my best to accept it and make the new bookings, pay a few hundred dollars of fines and change flight reservations with a peaceful mind - thank you Mo for reminding me of infinite possibilities and probabilities. 

The next morning, more than ready to leave, I drove to the airport and noticed a crowd of people waiting with offerings. I went to the Spice Jet counter, checked-in and before turning around to leave, I asked the nice gentleman who was sticking tags on my bag, why there were so many people gathered at the entrance. He responded: "The Dalai Lama is about to arrive. Actually, he will be on your flight, and you will be sitting a few rows behind him. Enjoy your flight mam." 

Oh. I took my boarding pass and quietly slithered away. My mind was a blob of silence. 

At the gate, the lady who had sent me away into disappointment and defeat the day before, was checking my boarding pass. Smiling, she looked up at my bewildered face and said: "...you never know what is going to happen...do you?" Life, had just lovingly slapped me in the face. 

And indeed, the Dalai Lama arrived with his entourage, and I found myself boarding with them. And as if all of this wasn't enough to shoot the entire collection of preconceived ideas and habitual psycho-physical responses of my 'self' into the stratosphere, the pilot of this tiny propeller plane, was a beautiful young Indian woman.

Moments later, at 30,000 feet, I was laughing with HH Dalai Lama, as he held my hand and I floated in his warmth. My mind, quiet and open, like a sponge of awe. I witnessed myself as the silliest and happiest child in the universe.

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Anahita MoghaddamComment