“ I love India … I love you … Thank you, thank you so much.” Mary was murmuring in her sleep when Todd softly shook her shoulder to wake her. She opened her eyes and gave him a sweet, innocent smile.
It was the same smile that had attracted Todd towards Mary the first time; the smile that has gone missing from their life for last nine months. She was then diagnosed with some abnormalities in her blood. Things have not been the same; she has been in and out of the hospital many times.
Slowly she said to Todd, “Look out for Indians, the Indians from India. I will be one soon.”
“What rubbish are you talking about, we are Americans; how can we be Indians?” sitting up on the bed Todd replied with slight agitation.
“I am not talking about you- I am telling you what was in my dream today. Todd, somebody told me that in my next life I would be born as an Indian. I am so happy; I would be fortunate if this dream comes true. The dream itself gives me the strength. I am not scared of death anymore.” Few drops trickled down her eyes. She wiped her cheeks and continued, “Now, I don’t consider death as bad. It’s true that death is like switching the carriages in a moving train.”
Todd moved closer to her, took her hands in his and said, “stop talking about life and death, you will be fine and please save this smile. It gives me the strength. Okay tell me, why being an Indian makes you so happy?”
Mary said with pride, “I love Indians because of their simplicity, their ability to love others without conditions or limits. I am intrigued about the great scriptures like The Gita, The Guru Granth Saheb and some others, the names of which I don’t even know. Do you know that Guru Granth Saheb is the book of worship for Sikhs? This book specially talks about- respect for women. I want to learn all about Indian cultural and traditions.”
Todd hadn’t seen such child-like excitement and happiness in Mary for years. “She seemed to be rejuvenated by the thought of being an Indian.” He thought to himself.
Mary continued, “India is the land of Gandhi, who fought the biggest standing army of the world by virtue of truth and non-violence. Following Gandhian Principles, King Jr. fought the curse of inequality in America. Gandhi was a World leader. I want to play in his soil, Todd.”
She stopped and took a sip from the glass of water on the side table and said, “I want to be on that land because that taught the power of yoga and meditation to the whole world.” She looked at her husband and asked, “Will this dream of mine ever come true?”
Todd took a deep breath and said, “Mary, you don’t have to wait for the next life to do all this. You can do as much learning as you want … starting now. And once you have recovered we will travel the land of Gandhi and other great things that you just talked about.” He hugged her, “Your dream will come true, my dear and that’s a gentleman’s promise.” And they both smiled.
“I love India … I love you … Thank you, thank you so much.” Mary reiterated but this time it was not in her dreams.
Four months have passed since Mary and Todd had this conversation. Mary is recovering well. In two weeks, she is going to have a Bone Marrow Transplant. She looks happy and cheerful. Now, she has something to look forward to; she is already planning her visit to India.
This is the magical role of India and Indians in 21st century. People of other cultures get inspired from us. They aspire to be like us – the true Indians who are advancing but are still attached to their roots. People want to be Indians because of our love and respect we have for our motherland, our culture and our traditions.
Jai Hind, Jai Bharat