Normally for a birthday party we make it as colorful as possible. For this birthday of my daughter, I decided to go to a place which is devoid of the dazzle of colors reflected by light. Darkness for us humans is all about sadness and fear. We dread to venture into the darkness. Almost all crimes happen in the dark. Probably that’s the reason darkness is considered inauspicious.
Yes, still I chose to visit The Black World India. As the name suggests, it was a world where no light could enter to bring out the colors that we are so used to. This is a theme based restaurant where we are treated with an experience in the dark.
I paid the charges upfront and we were asked to keep all electronics in the locker to avoid we trying to steal in light. Mukeshji (a blind person) escorted us into the restaurant which was completely closed to any source of light. One of my daughters friend said she is afraid of darkness, to which Mukeshji said "what is there to fear about darkness?" I realised, for Mukeshji every moment is dark and so they dont fear it. He, comforted her with his assurance of being there.
Mukeshji, made us hold each other’s shoulder and got us into the restaurant dining room and made us sit on the Dining chairs one by one with utmost care without bumping into anything. He gave us hand sanitiser and wet tissues for us to clean our hands. By this time our brains had started to make sense of the dark world. Trying to identify the location we are sitting in, Mukeshji's position with our auditory senses. One experience to be mentioned is that the hand sanitiser liquid was sprayed into our hands without any spillage by Mukeshji. I felt, our brains had started coordinating with his and placing our hands in the right direction and in the right spot.
Time for serving the starters and we were required to identify them. Mukeshji did an excellent job of placing the starter plate on our dining table at the right place. As it is said, when one of our sensory organs fail our brain starts putting in extra intelligence into the others. The smell of the freshly made starters made all of us excited to figure out what was it. Some of us said its Aloo tikki and some said it was Samosa. We used our sense of touch to get to the plate and pick up each of the item and fed it to our taste buds to do the job of identifying. I must say, we relished the food much more as we didn’t have any distraction from our eyes. Yes, this sensory organ causes the most distraction allowing us to lose focus on any single thing. I didn’t do bad in identifying the starters.
Between the starters and main course serving there was some delay causing us to have an idle brain. This time though my brain started analysing this world of darkness rather than become a devil's workshop. For me darkness was making me keep my eyes shut and slowly making me feel sleepy. Seems my brain is programmed to go to sleep in the world of darkness. So for me to sleep, I enter into the world of darkness by switching of all sources of light by keeping my eyelids shut. I wonder how does it work for Mukeshji?
During this break my daughter’s friends started playing music using the dining table. What was interesting was the fact that they could teach my daughter to play the same when one of the most important sensory organs of sight was disabled. Human brains start to adapt very soon.
Main course served with rice and two vegetables and a spoon. As we take pride in having food with spoon rather than our fingers, I followed the same. Soon I realised that I was making my brain work without two sensory organs and I could miss having the entire rice and curry. Decided to use the sensory organ of touch and used my fingers to have the rice and dal. The Vedas said it right to use ones fingers to have food and gain from the sensory experience. It helps your body to respond to the needs of having the right food and have better digestion.
Finally had the dessert which again my taste bud failed to recognise but my daughters friend helped me understand it. So, I need to taste more food items rather than being choosy of what I will eat.
After finishing with our dining, Mukeshji ushered us back into the area of light. A statement from Mukeshji hit me hard at that moment. He said, "Welcome back to your world". I realised that nature has created two worlds, one with light and another without. For Mukeshji, he has only one world in which he lives and survives all the struggles of life along with people like me from the other world. In the world of darkness what matters is the quality of human being rather than the quality of what the human looks like or what brand of materialistic possession s/he wears!
I was humbled with the experience of dining in The Dark World. This is an experience worth the money and time I spent with Mukeshji. He taught me many a thing without actually giving any classroom lectures! God Bless all those people living in the Dark world!!