My new mindset

At this point of the trip my heart is filled with love, but at the same time, I am scared. In these past few weeks I have been trying to get a new understanding of what the word ‘Love’ means and Seva Café was essential for this. That night I finally understood what ‘Love all Serve all’ meant and how it felt to follow it. We got there early that evening and helped clean up the tables and windows. After spending some time talking and laughing together, we headed inside the air-conditioned room (yes!) and we held each other’s hands, forming a circle with the other guests and the manager of the café.  Connected all as one, we presented ourselves telling our name and favorite food. Sadly, I did not know most of the Indian foods that people were saying. We then sat at the big table at the center of the room and food was served. How tasty! The tomato and cheese sandwiches that they prepared for us were above delicious. They were so good that I lost count of how many I ate. Pasta and rice were than served and were equally delicious. How did I have so much space in my stomach?! I was and still am so shocked. And dinner was not over yet. Last but not least, the desert was served and by just seeing it, my mouth opened and I drooled in my fantasy world. It was Oreo ice cream, my favorite. How did they know?

After us Niswarthians ate, it was time for our friends from ESI, who were so kind that they served us, to have dinner. I was high on love after dinner, as everything was prepared with great love, and I wanted to serve them, even though not told to do so. I would do that all over again by how amazing it felt. I went around the table with Allison, serving the rice, pasta, yogurt, and water, and their smiles will forever stay in my heart. Telling this story just reminded me of something that Jayesh Bhai said the other day: “Service to others is service to yourself”. So true! Someone’s happiness is my happiness.

This is why I am scared. I am soon leaving India and returning home, where the culture and the atmosphere are completely different. In my city and at Andover, most people are self-centered and egotists, at least compared to the people we have met here in Ahmedabad. I was just like them and I am afraid of re-adapting that mindset. In these past few weeks I have learned how to love and share with everyone, and I can’t wait to bring this back home and to PA. But I really hope that my family and friends won’t pressure me to return to my previous mindset. So this is a shout out to them, if they are reading this. Do not tell me to now worry about others outside of my family or circle of close friends. And do not tell that I am too young to do certain things. I CAN.