Unspoken Wisdom – a small Story From India

Batel and her husband Alon are two young architects who live now in the south of India. They are responsible for the urban Eco-planning of a town.  Alon sent me this lovely human experience:

“We live in a nice and inviting house surrounded by a forest, owned by a European woman who lives in India for quite a while. She, very kindly, opened her home for us and now we live together. Seetha is our local maid and she takes care of all of the house work. Since we are now part of the house she also takes care of us and of our baby. All the maids here are called “Ammas” which in Tamil (the local spoken language in Tamil Nadu) means ‘mother’ since they are ‘the mothers of the houses’.
Seetha is a very warmhearted woman. In one of her free days she sent her son to lead us to her nearby village and she hosted us so warmly for breakfast in her small house (25 square meters) that she is so proud of. All of the neighbors popped in to see the foreigners with their 9 months old baby. This is Seetha.

On our landlord’s birthday, we brought her a nice flat vase, as a gift. It’s a flat vase used by Indian people to put flowers in every morning.  On the morning of her birthday we filled the vase with water and flowers and put it on the main table, as a surprise. When our landlord noticed the new vase she thanked us for the nice present and for our attention. In her very gentle way she mentioned that it will encourage her to find the energy to make use of the present and to put in fresh flowers every day, as she felt it adds so much to beauty to her home. “Don’t trouble yourself please,” I quickly said, jumping at the opportunity to do more for her, “I will take it upon myself.  It will be my responsibility to put in fresh flowers every morning.”

Since then, I have made time every morning for a small walk in the forest, to collect flowers for the vase and to organize it as nicely as I can. Very soon I realized that the vase serves as a reflection of my inner being. When I’m happy and full of energy I put more into the decorations and when I’m down the vase looks a bit less pretty. I realized that it is not a matter of the time that I have but rather a matter of expression of my inner feelings.
One day I didn’t feel so well and I didn’t put so much into the decoration. I organized a few flowers and went on with my other business. In the afternoon, like in a fairytale, I noticed that more flowers had been added and that the vase is organized more nicely. To be honest, it made me happy. “Our present created something,” I thought to myself,”Even the landlord enrolls to my commitment.”

A few days later I had some minor argument with the landlord and that morning I neglected my daily commitment. The vase was left empty. When I came back at noon, as you surely can guess, the vase was full with fresh flowers, beautifully organized.

At that same moment Seetha passed by, we made quick eye contact and then she moved on. I could swear that I saw a glimpse of a smile in her eyes.

And so the vase remains glowing with fresh flowers, the connections between the people of the house remain friendly and warm, and I’m so glad that there is an ‘Amma’ in the house who brings such unspoken wisdom to correct deviations in one’s commitments and promises….”

Fireworks (43)
Shuka, Thursday, November 26, 2009


This is Seetha with the vase

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