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Sharing - a great kindness in India

I have never really thought about 'sharing' as a topic within my thoughts, it's not because I don’t do it, but I do it without thinking, without consciousness. My mother taught me well, along with please and thank yous. However with that, I never really saw the power of sharing until my recent trip to India.

It occurred to me on a road trip I was taking on my final two days, (the place where I was staying had allowed the use of there driver to take me up to Delhi for my flight home, a 9 hour journey, the driving in India is not something you would want to tackle if you don't live there). Anyway, I had procured some pastries for breakfast on my overnight stay, but got them takeaway, ensuring I got two of each for the driver and I. It was his reaction that got me thinking about it. He was pleased, not so much for the pastry, but to have been considered, to be sharing together something as we took our journey. With my friends that reaction does not happen, we expect to share with them, it’s the rules of friendship.

There was a profound connection in those moments as we shared food, I guess that is why so many religions have sharing of food as a ceremony or ritual.

A moment of sharing can be an extremely unique moment, in the right time and space between two people. You need to have no words in a moment of sharing, it just is what it is.

So I passed through Pushkar on my travels, it is a place where travellers go to entrench themselves in the spirituality of the place, devout Hindu pilgrimage place with many temples. I had 4 hours to get a feel for the place. I walked all around the Ghat, which was the lake, if that's what you could call it, in the middle of the town. I was not overly familiar with the rituals or the history, I just thought I'd go and just be there for a while. I decided to walk all around the lake a concreted area that had different levels, two of the sides were particularly busy, as I walked around the to the quieter side, there was a European looking man who also seemed to be soaking up the ambiance. We sat on the steps apart from each other aware of each other presence. Then, the temple doors opens and out came a sea of men who came down to the lake and took of their turbans and robes and started washing them, then working together to dry them off. The whole experience was one that I had felt fortunate to have stumbled across. The man left and a little while after so did I. As I walked the man had spotted me and came up to talk to me, he highlighted how fortunate we had been and we talked the length of the street, I never asked his name and he never asked mine but his final words to me were, I will always remember you for being able to share that moment. It was a wonderful and soulful experience.

What I learnt from this trip is sharing can happen intentionally and unintentionally, it can invoke the strongest of soul connections and the simplest. It can be kindness and it can be necessary. It is so underestimated and expected in life. Mostly it made me mindful of sharing, and the power it has. When you have no need to own, you will share what you have with the world.

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