Birthdays and anniversaries inevitably invite reflection; it is an optimal time to look back to see how the landscape has shifted, the difference this relation has made in our lives and to look forward to what we can or must do in the years to come to add value.
Exactly a year ago when a friend called to inform me that there were two places vacant on a pilgrimage tour leaving Kuwait, I instantly jumped at the idea, but when I attended the first acquaintance meeting with the group held in Ahmadi, I was reluctant to confirm our attendance. This was a group, a total of 59 travelers, comprising of Goans, Mangolearns, Keralites and two priests, of whom I personally knew only four. I could bet on the last coin in my purse this trip was not only going to be boring but torturous.
On our way back from Ahmadi to Kuwait City, my wife and I after a heated debate, in which I always lose, decided to opt out of the tour. But God works in strange ways. By the time we reached our apartment we agreed to join the tour knowing well what lay ahead for us.
Interestingly, our perception was wrong and this article is exactly an acknowledgment that there are things known and things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
The pilgrimage tour was exceptional and awesome. It was a mixture of fun, laughter, adventure and spiritual knowledge. I have been to many tours in my lifetime and mostly once it is over we tend to remember the participants for a while, or at most, keep in touch over emails for a limited period of time. With this group it was different. For the past 12 months after the tour ended, we not only kept in touch over emails and Whatsapp, we did gatherings on various occasions.
Although there are a few persons who are the binding threads in our group, there is no formal executive committee. Nonetheless, should a need arise everyone works overtime without any monetary benefits and with a commitment to give in whatever way possible. Gifted with untapped talents this unfragmented cluster consists of musicians, spiritual teachers, dancers, orators, singers, humor potentials and cooks that can put Masterchefs to shame.
So what enables this group to click and stay together? Difficult to say, since it is a combination of many things; my own analysis is these were disciplined people that came together, with no expectations from each other, unconditional love and support and, most of all, knew how to laugh at simple things in life, sometimes even at themselves.
There were few who could not make it to this first anniversary celebration but while congratulating each member of the group on this milestone, I would like to ask them to keep up the amazing connectivity and the desire and commitment to cross the next 10 year milestone.
Agnello A. S. Fernandes