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the Love Alchemy

Much of what we experience in life has the Lord’s touch to it even if we do not realize it or acknowledge it. Only in moments of introspection, it occurs to us that but for His Will, nothing really works. All that is required of us is a moment of connection with Him. And then magic happens!

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During my one year in a leading bank in the Middle East (it is West Asia if India is the base), there had been many occasions when I had to go to the country’s Government Relations Cell (GRC) which is a part of the Human Resource Department for processing my wife's or my documents like residence card, visa, etc. Well, my experience with the GRC can be described as anything but pleasant. Though I have worked in different banks in a couple of countries, nothing prepared me for the lackadaisical behaviour of the manager handling this particular cell of the bank.

This gentleman appeared to treat most expatriates (I am Indian) with disdain and a blatant lack of respect. We were convinced that he was callous towards those with the ‘expatriate’ tag. He would almost always manage to look through us whenever any of us had to go to him for getting our documents processed. It became a ritual for foreign citizens like us to stand for quite some time by his desk, hoping that the ‘nearness’ would force him to glance our way.

Well, we were, at times, successful in getting his attention after much waiting, but what ensued after that was pretty dissatisfying because, through his words and gestures, we were reminded that he had little regard for us. And yes, it didn’t surprise us in the slightest.

Now, here is what happened a few weeks ago when I had to meet him regarding our exit visas; I was understandably 'pre-irritated'. Just thinking of the time I would have to spend in his harrowing company was enough to spoil my mood. Dreading that I would have to undergo his 'regular treatment' yet again, I virtually dragged myself to his office that morning. When I reached his cabin, he was on a phone call. The waiting game had to be played once more.

While my patience was being tested, I happened to recollect a talk given by a student of Bhagavan Baba in Radio Sai the previous day. He narrated an incident where his father had once asked him to get his passbook updated at the local post office when the person at the counter was quite rude and uncooperative. The student remembered Bhagavan's beautiful words to see Him in every being. He told himself to see Swami in that postal employee and prayed fervently to the Lord to help him. Quite unexpectedly, the employee was polite and his job was done the same day. (The student explained that he was actually prepared to wait for a week!)

This remarkable experience set me thinking. I said to myself, “I will see Swami in the manager I am about to meet and see how it goes.” I must admit though that my previous visits warned me to prepare myself for another round of patronising behaviour. Thankfully, my belief in Bhagavan got the better of me. With renewed resolve I decided to treat the manager as if he was Swami and filled my heart with love. I also prayed earnestly to Swami to dispel any negative thoughts that I may have had of the manager.

While I had this little session in my mind, the manager had completed the call after which I entered his cabin and wished him. He gladly wished me back. I immediately knew Swami was at work! More surprises followed, he even offered me a seat. Now, he had never done that in the past one year! I then went on to explain to him that I was there to request him to arrange exit visas for myself and my wife. He asked me for some papers which I handed over to him.

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He went through them and asked me for one more document. The entire conversation so far had been very friendly till I realized that I had not brought that particular piece of paper he had asked of me. With some trepidation as to how he would react, I told him that I did not bring along that one document.

His reaction to this was something I could not have imagined even in the wildest of my dreams. The manager continued to be polite to me and said, "No problem, bring that paper on Saturday and we will get you the visa. It will take just one day. Do not worry".

Since this was my first conscious attempt to see Swami in a person whom I had so far seen as a displeasing person, I had somehow forgotten about my resolve to see him as Swami during our conversation, but obviously He had not. It took a couple of minutes before it dawned on me that the entire experience had only 'Swami' written all over it. He had, as always, stood by me and converted what could have otherwise been an irksome interaction into a good-natured and positive meeting.

When I think of it again, I’m reassured that it isn’t a complicated, long-drawn-out conversation we need to have with Swami. On the contrary, we need just a small moment of complete faith and a sincere prayer to set things right for us. We need to believe in the power of His Love that we too can radiate if we seek to attune ourselves to Him constantly. The power of God and the power of Love are synonymous. If there is nothing impossible for God, so it is for pure Love too.

~ Mr. S. Sivakumar

Illustrations: Ms. Vidya, Kuwait

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Vol 6 Issue 12 - DECEMBER 2008
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