A Matter of Pespective

Interesting experience at Mumbai airport yesterday.

I walk up to the immigration counter, smile at the officer, wish him good evening and hand him my passport. He doesn’t respond or acknowledge . He then asks me when I entered the country last, I respond, one month after a slight pause wondering if I should have told him the date instead.

All of this conversation is in Hindi of course. He asks me what my profession is. I respond, business. He then says, “You have too much emotions in your face, how can you do business? People who are successful in business don’t show emotions on on their face”

He looks at my face for some kind of a response. I simply smile at him.

After stamping the exit stamp on my passport, he hands me back my passport, looks into my eyes again and says, ” You will not be a good business person, you are not capable of it” He pauses again looking at my face for a response or reaction I assume.

Not sure if there was a particular manner in which I was supposed to respond. I smile, take my passport, say thank you again and walk away.

This is playing in my mind, when I walk to the customs declaration counter to declare my photography equipment. I was expecting a similar attitude from this officer too I guess, so I was a little guarded. And it took me by surprise, when he smiled and he struck a conversation with me about my photography, what my speciality was in this field. I then showed him images from a recent shoot. He also gave a Rasgulla, an Indian sweet, while he helped me fill the forms.

As I was leaving he said, “I want you to read a book, I am sure it will help you immensely in your photography and work, you will take amazing pics. The name of the book is ‘The Diamond Cutter’ by Geshe Michael Roach. You will love the book ! Once you read it I want you to write to me about your experience and also share the learning with others”

I remember to note down his email address before I thank him and walk away.

Not sure what was in it for me, but it was really interesting to observe such contrasting experiences within minutes of each other.

Typically I would have just forgotten or written this off and random things that happen in our life. Something is different this time.

For now I have downloaded the book on my Kindle, and I intend to read it.The rest will fall into place.

This was no coincidence, just synchronicity !

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