Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra
Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Missed Call

Missed Call

4 mins 328 4 mins 328

I was in Cardiff, Wales for a short visit recently in October. I like this place and had visited several times. Stay at Hilton, a comfortable place of course. I manage my morning breakfast choosing some of the vegetarian items in addition to fruits. Lunch is offered at my office. The only problem is with Dinner. I invited one of my old students at the Hotel. She is a SAP professional who works at Bristol and Cardiff. She informed me that she will come to the hotel at about 7.00 PM.

I returned from the office at 5.00 PM. Weather is entirely different here in comparison to India. Looking for some vegetarian India food, came out to Queen Street nearby. It was very difficult for me to find out a suitable place as a stranger. Suddenly, I saw a place titled "Aatma". English word Soul is the synonym of Hindi, Sanskrit Aatma. Inside the cafe, I saw European in Indian Dress and was greeted in the Hindu way. The food was Satvik but spicy. I had enjoyed my meal listing to Indian devotional music and paid 10 pounds for the same. I was impressed!

During office hours, I was talking to Miss Bethany regarding life in the countryside in Cardiff. I came to know that how people are self-centered. They don't go to church regularly except special occasions like marriage. There is no need to visit your neighbors. And in India, we stop all our work on Sunday for prayer service. What has happened to us? We have almost given up and these people have accepted our food, cloth and culture.

Thinking about this place, people and culture, I returned to the hotel. Completely Temperature controlled place. I tried to relax and I don't know exactly when I got into deep sleep. I about 8.00 PM, I woke up and suddenly I saw my mobile phone for time, there were 8 missed calls from Karishma Neog, my ex-student whom I assured that we will meet about an hour ago. She came. She was on time. I forgot about my commitment. Sorry Karishma, I called her back and requested her to come again. She said I have already placed my order for dinner. Next time, maybe next year. Phone got disconnected from the other side. I try to find someone known in an unknown land. I could find one, we planned but could not execute!

The next day, Again at Aatma, I was informed that today there will be free feast and Kirtan at Ty Krishna Cymru Emlyn House, Bute St, Cardiff . Aatma cafe is closed due to this. I booked a dragon taxi and to reach this I spent 10 pounds. A lady opened the door and greeted with Jai Shree Krishna. I replied too. It was a residential area and from outside all other residences look the same. Inside, it was developed like a temple, British swami (Grihastha) was delivering a lecture on Geeta. After this, there was Kirtan (Dance & Chant) Hare Rama Hare Krishna. But I was waiting for the feast and time came for this too.

I rushed towards Pangat (Seating arrangement towards feast) A wise lady, well dressed like Hindu Sanyasin called me and informed me that you will have to pay a donation towards the feast. I was thinking it is free prasadam. I accepted to offer a donation after the feast. I was offered with other Big Burger and French Fries! I took one and finished fast. I wanted to leave now to avoid any sort of payment towards this feast. The lady asked for donations again. I told her, I don't carry cash. I have a card only. Immediately they bought a card machine for payment. I unwillingly paid 10 pounds. But still, it was not enough, Dragon booking again, I have to spend 10 more pounds. The free feast costs 30 pounds. I was awake calculating free meals in Cardiff! Now, I understand, why these people have left their own and accepted ours.


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