We were on a stroll through the city, when it began to pour.
It was around 7:30 p.m.
Suraj pointed at a well-lit juice bar and said, “Let’s wait there until the rain stops.”
The juice bar was a cosy little space stocked with a variety of fresh fruits – oranges, grapes, musk melons, apples, mangoes, pineapples, watermelons, and more.
Two plump men sat together inside and chatted away. From their body language, I guessed one was the owner of the place and another his friend.
Their gaze was fixed on the road.
Apart from watching the rain, it seemed like they were waiting for someone.
Suraj said, “Looks like they are waiting for a customer to walk in and ask for juice.”
I smiled when he said this, thinking it was meant to be humorous!
But what we heard next confirmed his statement was true.
“Business was good until the rains began,” said the man who I assumed was the owner, “The summer was harsh and customers came in throughout the day. But it’s not been too good the last few days.”
His friend nodded empathetically and said, “We’re all in the same boat, aren’t we? Nothing is guaranteed in life.”
“Yes. But, you know what? I never worry,” said the owner, “Ask me why.”
“Why?” said his friend in a lazy tone of voice.
The owner replied, “When I was ten years old, my grandmother and I were walking in the fields late one night. She pointed at the star-studded sky and said – Son, promise me, no matter where life takes you, you shall trust that you will be cared for by a force much bigger than you. Your only job is to do your best with what you have. The rest is up to God. Don’t stop taking action. Don’t stop trusting. Can you do that for me?”
His friend didn’t comment.
“And to be honest, I do receive everything I need,” he went on, not bothered by his friend’s lukewarm response “I may not get as much as I would like today. Or even tomorrow. But eventually, I do get exactly how much I need. I continue to do my work and thereafter surrender my efforts to the greater force.”
“Well, good for you,” said the friend, sounding neutral.
The owner laughed, got up, and walked towards the counter.
He opened a crate of fresh mangoes and began to arrange them.
He picked up each mango with loving attention and held it softly for a couple of seconds, before placing it down.
It felt like he was in love with the fruits and with his work – never mind if there were customers or no customers!
After arranging the mangoes, he looked at the clock and said to his friend, “Looks like work is done for the day. I will wind up. Would you like me to drop you home?”
“Yes, please,” replied his friend, who was busy checking his phone now.
Suddenly, a young man dressed in party wear, rushed into the shop, partly drenched and breathless.
“Sir, are you closing? Please, can I have some juice,” he said, “Takeaway please.”
“Oh, sure,” said the owner, “Which one would you like?”
“Five of watermelon, ten of mango, six of grapes, two of musk melon, three of apple, and seven of pineapple,” he read from a sheet and handed over the list to the owner.
The owner looked astounded and mumbled, “Yes. Yes, of course.”
His friend looked even more astounded and put his phone away!
Suraj and I also looked at each other and smiled. After what we had just heard, we felt happy for the owner!
The owner said to his friend, “Can you help me?”
The friend said, “Right away,” and got off his chair hurriedly.
He had seemed so lazy all this while. But now he seemed to have received a sudden burst of energy and began working ardently alongside his friend.
33 cups of juice were packed and ready for takeaway in a span of fifteen minutes!
The man paid the owner and dashed out of the store.
The owner held the money between his palms, looked up, and closed his eyes.
I guessed he must have expressed gratitude to his grandmother and to the Universe!
The happenings of the evening left my tummy hungry for juice and my soul hungry for more time in this happy place!
Suraj and I ordered some juice too. We were the last customers of the day!
It stopped raining by the time we finished our juice.
I was happy to pay for the refreshing juice made by a person who dearly loved and cared for his fruits and his work.
As he handed us our bill, I whispered silently to his soul, “Happy to have crossed paths with you, Sir. May you be abundant always!”
This evening reinforced my personal belief that we must do our work without attachment to the outcome, and that everything we need (and more) will be provided to us along the wa
Very often, the best things happen when we least expect them.
Or when we don’t care if they do happen or not!