Sunday, May 19, 2013

Almost Lost in Jaipur!

I remembered the fears I felt when I thought I was lost. I left my ‘kids’ and boss in the comfortable restaurant as I listened to the tug in my heart to go to church. It was Sunday. I told God that I wanted to attend mass in Jaipur. I did not want to miss my Sunday worship.

It was 2012. I flew to Delhi to meet my boss and my students to attend a fashion conference as well as chaperoning them during their study tour. It has always been my dream to visit India one day and I did it! God did it for me ;)

I thought of the movie Taken and a myriad of terrible stories of kidnappings and human traffickings. The last thing I needed from a trip is to have an adventure backfiring on me. Yet, I couldn’t stop myself from boarding the auto-rickshaws or Auto as the locals call it and directed the driver to take me to church.
The church was peaceful and quiet and it was decorated with an Indian style. I could picture baby Jesus dancing in a kurta with a garland of yellow flowers flopping around on his neck. Wouldn’t it be an amazing sight?

Although I was clad in a white Indian-like tunic (I bought it in Bali) and an elephant printed cashmere shawl around my neck, I stood out like a soya bean amongst the black beans. I could see one or two Caucasian women but I was the only Asian woman in the church. I felt alone but yet not alone. The feeling was indescribable because I felt at home as God was with me. You are at home wherever God is. It did not matter that I had different coloured skin but what mattered was that God made all of us in His image.

I had to leave right away after mass ended as it was going to be dark soon. There were not many cabs around. I took my chances of hailing an Auto. I showed him the map and he said okay although my heart was questioning whether he really comprehended what I said. I was staying at a hotel that was not in the city centre and plus, I am hopeless in directions. In this part of India, you have to bargain the price before you hop on and let them take you. So I bargained and my courage said yes to follow him.

Unfortunately, the driver drove me round and round and took me to some quiet alleys that I did not recognize at all. I was frightened but I tried my best not to let it show. I told God…hey, I went to please God protect me and bring me safely back to my hotel. He made many stops and asked around. I could tell he was lost. He said he knew the directions but clearly he did not. I tried talking to him but I could not make out what he was trying to say. Perhaps he was just trying to make some money. I prayed hard in my heart.

I didn't get a nice pic of an Auto but here's a glimpse of it behind the sweet smiling kids who came begging for money.

It didn't help that my hair was blowing in all directions. The sand from the desert was making my eyes watery. I looked like a damsel in distress being driven on the ride of her life minus the knights, prince charming and cruel villain. I sincerely hoped the ride did not end up with meeting a nasty baddie. My heart stopped every time he pulled his Auto to the roadside. I encountered a guy along the many stops that the driver made. I could not recall what he said exactly but he spoke better English and assured me that he gave correct directions to the driver. 

Soon after, I did manage to reach my hotel. God proved again that He is good and He is faithful. As I stepped down and saw the familiar faces of my students getting ready for an evening out, my heart smiled. Thank God.

India has touched me in many ways and there are many more occasions that God has showed me that He is there with me all along. I need not fear as long as I seek Him first. Despite the crazy news and poverty that you might see everywhere in India, it is an enriching place with many faces of God around you if you look closely and discover that God is indeed speaking to you through His creations.


I will definitely visit India again.
Namaste J

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