Of Gita, Gardening and Gratitude
Last week, I took a quick three day trip to my favorite city. I went to attend the wedding reception of one of my favorite people. No matter how many days I have in this city, it is never enough. Some day I fantasize about settling there, because I see it as my spiritual home town.I have wonderful memories here, growing up, going to school and then college and subsequently working here.
In spite of booking tickets fairly in advance, our tickets were not confirmed until the day we left. Universe conspired, I am sure. So no sooner did Vidur’s exams get over, we packed and were ready to go!
The funny thing was — whenever I take part in a week-long or month-long blogging activity, travel somehow intervenes. For instance, during the A to Z Challenge in April 2013, I was away for more than half the month. I planned, wrote and scheduled some of the posts in advance, but managed to write the others thanks to the encouragement of my family, my best friend and fellow bloggers. This time it was the Write Tribe Festival of Words – 2 and since I knew the prompts ahead of time, I wrote the first four days’ posts and scheduled them. I am indebted to all of you – and filled with gratitude – for keeping this blog lively with your visits and comments. (and your patience – I WILL get to making replying a habit, soon!)
What a fabulous trip it was! More good times for me to cherish.
“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.” — Eileen Caddy
The highlight of my trip, however, was the privilege of meeting my friend Gita Sharma. I featured her my post “Inspiring stories – A social entrepreneur” (and won a prize for it, by the way!)
Often we meet people online that we yearn to meet in person. I consider myself truly blessed to have my wishes come true more often than I dare to dream. And then, as I said, Universe conspired to give me a really good time and an unexpected trip materialized. I was going to attend the wedding reception of my dear Vishnu. Three days of absolute fun.
I connected with Gita online just a few months ago. We kept in touch over the phone and via emails. She delighted me with her warmth, sending me photos of her beautiful garden that I am about to share with you. But first, let me reintroduce her.
Gita is an outstanding woman with achievements that some of us can only dream of. She has the ideas and the commitment, drive & capacity to conceive and implement ideas into products that benefit countless people. She is one of the break through innovators of the country as creator of the first indigenous genetically engineered vaccine in India: Hepatitis B and Interferon, a drug for cancer. After a career with prestigious top level positions in companies that reads like the who’s who of the pharmaceutical industry, Gita took voluntary retirement from her high pressure, high profile job in 2010 to focus on her dream – to reach the common man with her work.
She currently heads Research and Development and enables genetics based tests at a family owned enterprise whose mission is to make diagnostics affordable and provide value added medical care to the underprivileged and the poor. Outside her lab, Gita’s enjoys gardening, cooking, reading and time with family and friends. She has pledged to donate all her organs after her death and the remaining biological material to medical research.
So,back to the present.
When I informed Gita I’d be in town, she instantly sent me an email that made me cry. Besides her lovely invitation to her place to stay, offering transport when we were in town she sent me a list of nine possible menu choices with suggestions. I was overwhelmed with love. And meeting her was nothing short of absolute magic.
After a fabulous gourmet meal, we strolled around her beautiful garden, tended lovingly by her. We were joined by her close friend and together, enjoyed coffee, conversation and cozy companionship.
“Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.” — Joseph Wood Krutch
Here is a glimpse into her fabulous garden.
I’ll share more photos over the next few weeks!
Have a lovely week ahead, friends!