The Heart Knows

There is no instinct like that of the heart.- Lord Byron.

I am a spontaneous girl, a in-the-moment kind of a person. But there are times when schedules and rules take precedence, and the follow-your-heart kind of girl decides to take the brain’s advice. True story. Happens to all of us, right? Certain situations just demand to be dealt with using your brain and following all the rules because we are conditioned for them.

But every once in a while, we get a chance to break free, an option to follow our heart and do something for someone that creates magic! I’m going to tell you about one such incident that made me a firm believer of the fact that:
Heart is the place where all your passion comes from. So whenever
you listen to your heart’s calling, the results are perfect – be in in
your career, your personal life, your relationships or your dreams.

This is a story of how I followed my heart and it turned out to a brilliant thing because it gave me a friend for life. This was when I was staying in a PG in Gurgaon, DLF Phase-1. I had just shifted there and for almost a week, the room next to mine was unoccupied. Then one day I got back from work in the evening and was just about to plonk on my bed, when something scared the hell out of me.

I head a knock.
On my bathroom door.
From the inside of the bathroom.

I think I froze in horror for a moment. Someone was inside my bathroom! My mother’s single-girl-living-in-Gurgaon nightmares were coming true! 

My feet felt mush. I just sat there, eyes wide, staring at the bathroom door. Was I dreaming? Was I about to get killed? The knocking got stronger, and just as I found my voice to shout, I heard someone say “Hi?” 
It was girl’s voice with a strange accent. 
“I’m new here.” The voice said. Knock Knock.

Oh okay, my brain jolted back to work, and I remembered that the room next door and mine shared the bathroom. Hey, don’t laugh! Like I said, I was only a week-old at this new house and the other room was unoccupied. Until now. Phew.

Cautiously, because I was still a little shocked, I opened my side of the door and saw a blond, blue eyed and at least 5 feet 7 inches tall girl. 
I blinked. 
This was exactly the stuff all horror movies are made of. Why did I open the damn door, I said to myself. Obviously this foreigner in my bathroom (okay, okay, SHARED bathroom) wasn’t real and now I would be killed slash cursed slash something equally terrible, right? 
Thankfully, wrong. 

“Hi”. She said with a wide smile. 
“Hi, yourself!” I said. “You scared me.” 
“Oh.” She said, the entire situation becoming clear to her now. “Sorry? I didn’t think this through.” 
“Well, obviously.” 
“Great introduction, though.” She said with a guilty shrug and I laughed. She laughed with me. The first of many of our laughs together.

She was from Germany and her name was Jelka (pronounced as Yelka). She was in India for 3 months as an Intern to a textile and design school, and her student exchange program cell had set her up in this PG, with a shared bathroom. In our common defense, the rooms were AMAZING and the shared bathroom was big, with a tub and all that jazz. Within half an hour of meeting, Jelka hopped to her room and back (through the bathroom, yes you guessed it right.) and brought a bag of German chocolates and I opened a packet of Indian spicy Bhujia – and we became instant friends. 

The next few days proved taxing for Jelka as she caught a nasty stomach infection. She then stuck to cooking the food of her choice in our PG kitchen, and I tried my best to keep her happy because she looked a bit worn out the just one week in India without friends and family.

The next week was Dussehra, and I was going home for 4 days. Dussehra in Kota (Rajasthan) is famous! It is a 10 day long celebration that attracts people from all over the country to be a part of it. And as a kid who grew up watching the good old Ram-Leela at Kota Dussehra, attending Ghazal nights with the like of Guhlam Ali (in Kota, true story!) and never missing a chance to ride in the really giant Giant Wheel – It was my personal tradition to go back home every year for Dussehra. This year was no different. To say I was excited, would be the understatement of the year.

Kota’s Dussehra Mela – see the crowd to believe how great it is.

Kota’s Dussehra celebration: View from the top (from the giant wheel, actually)

So it was finally the day I was supposed to leave, and my train was to leave from New Delhi station in the evening. I was completely overwhelmed with the last minute packing when Jelka walked in my room, looking pretty upset.

She told me that her sister, who she was very close to, has had an accident and had her arm in a plaster now. She couldn’t go before her term was over, obviously, and it was anyway too expensive, and I could see it was killing her. To top it off and make it worse, she would be all alone in Delhi because all her Indian friends, including me, were leaving for some place or the other for the long weekend. On a whim, I asked her if she would like to come to Kota. It’s not a touristy place, unlike, like 90% of Rajasthan -I told her, but it is going to beautiful during this time. She instantly nodded her head in an over-eager YES!!!PLEASE!! way. 

I looked at her, folding my clothes neatly and re-packing them (I had just stuffed the duffel bag) and I thought to myself – Oh Boy, this is gonna be tough.

You see, I had a confirmed ticket but there was no way I could take her along with me on that one ticket now, could I? And it might surprize some of you, but because Kota is one of the main stations in the Western Central Railways (mainly to Mumbai and ahead), getting a reservation to and from Kota is practically impossible. And during the festival season, you chances of meeting an alien singing Baby Doll are higher than getting a reservation for Kota. I’m not even exaggerating here, you can check. 

Kota’s famous and picturesque Thermal Power Plant along side the river Chambal.

I explained this to her, feeling slightly guilty. Why the hell did I invite her when I knew it wasn’t going to be possible? I was an idiot. (Nothing much has changed, but that’s a different story.)

“Oh.” She said. “Okay. No problem. I’ll be fine here.” She attempted a smile that broke my heart and offered her hand for me to hold, a a gesture of understanding. This is when I saw the tattoo on her arm.

Follow your heart: some deep wisdom in ink, right here!

It worked in mysterious ways, reading her tattoo and watching the sadness in her eyes. In one moment, I decided to follow my heart, and I did. 

I sent her to Kota on my ticket – it was a window ticket that said Female, 23 Years, so it worked. She protested of course, but I told her I will come tomorrow and finally she agreed. I called my parents and though they were a little surprised at first, listening to e saying “Hello mom dad, I’m not coming tonight – instead of me, I’m sending my German friend. She will stay with us. She eats mashed potatoes and steamed spinach but don’t worry, she’ll teach you how to cook them. I will come tomorrow. Love you!” But they came around after a long explanation session.

Jelka posing at one of the ancient cave temples in Kota, with the thermal plant in the background.

I stayed alone at the PG that day, missing out the grand Dussehra opening-event and breaking my tradition, and I missed all the celebrations and my family a lot that night – but it felt right.  

The next day, I went to the railway station by starting at 6am from Gurgaon, standing in a mile long line to get an emergency ticket to any train available to my city, got one for an afternoon train, and reached home the next day late evening. I will not lie, it was a horrible time. Standing at Hazrat Nizzamuddin Railway Station for almost an hour in the ticket line, and traveling in not so comfortable chair-car coach that had no space to keep my 3 huge bags stuffed with laundry to be done by mom at home, for 7 hours.

But – I survived. 

Jelka came to the station along with my dad and sister to pick me up. When she hugged me at the station, she had tears in her eyes. Thank you Adi, she whispered in my ears. She was wearing a new Bhandhni kurta so I guessed my mom had already taken her to a shopping trip. I smiled. (And hoped she got me something too!)

Jelka spent 3 days with me in Kota, 4 with my family and it was here that we became friends for life. She loved Kota, and she adored my family. She found beauty in plain, regular things that made me see them in a new light. 

The monkey statue at a temple in Kota
A real monkey that fascinated Jelka

It is the one incident that taught me the value of trusting my heart, and doing something special for someone else. Because, what is this life if not for bringing joy and happiness to someone who needs it more than you? I am glad I did what I did back then, because even if we were just a week old friends at the moment, and we both felt apprehensive – our hearts knew better. 

Our hearts knew we were on a journey to become friends. 

It is not always about boyfriends or The One, our friends are also a part of our soul. And this one gesture gave me a best friend for life and it made me happy. Jelka is still my friend, and if I had to explain our friendship in one word, it would be – Magic.

That’s a friend form the neighborhood, me in pink, Jelka the obvious non-Indian, my mom and my sister, by the river Chambal. Good times (weight wise, for me. Also otherwise. I love this pic)

And if everything goes according to plan, I will be spending ten days of bliss with her in Germany this July. She is getting married (yes, to the same boyfriend who was about to come to India the week we cemented our friendship) and she wants me as one of her bridesmaids. How cool is that, right? I can’t wait to wear the mint green gown she has chosen for me. See? This is what happens when you give your heart a chance – because the heart knows what’s important.

Here’s a completely mesmerized Jelka at Kota’s beautiful Kishor Sagar Lake and Jag Mandir right in the middle of the lake.

So tell me, when was the last time you heard what your heart was telling you and struck a dil ki deal? When was the last time you ditched logic and made a #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal and felt extremely happy about it?

While I try and shed some weight to fit into that gorgeous gown in Germany, you go ahead and follow your heart, make someone feel special and create magic.

I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal

Post Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar

Author of 2 books. TEDx Speaker. Travel Writer. Blogger. Addicted to Travel & Books. Digital Media Strategist. Social Media Girl. Army Wife. Mom. Curious. Crazy.

2 thoughts on “The Heart Knows

    Madhu Saxena

    (May 11, 2015 - 12:34 pm)

    Superb !!!! How heartfelt is it ! Love this ….
    It has a pictorial effect that catches my heart .
    Send it to Kota Tourism Deptt…..They eill adore it

    Madhu Saxena

    (May 11, 2015 - 12:40 pm)

    How heartfelt is it !!!! Superb !!! Love this….
    It has a pictorial power that catches heart .
    Send it to kota Tourism Department . They will adore. . ..

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