the sky over the gatineau hills.

the sky over the gatineau hills.
graham law.

the sky over the hills.

the sky over the hills.
graham law.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Silence and the Bomb.

One of my more lucrative side-businesses in the early days of my business in India was changing U.S. dollars on the black market. It was, of course, just a little bit illegal.

Many customers paid me in the foreign currency and I would get a premium for that when on my buying trips to Delhi and Jaipur. On one memorable occasion, during a busy day in Delhi, I suddenly realized I had lost my shoulder-bag. Having also been in the gold and silver jewellery market that day in Chandni-Chowk, the bag not only held thousands of dollars and about one-hundred thousand rupees in it, without bank receipts, it was full of gems and jewellery. A lot of the money, by the way, wasn't mine. And, oh yeah, my passport too. Basically, I was screwed, spectacularly screwed.

In my mind, there was no doubt I'd left the bag in the last scooter-rickshaw I had been in. But, trying to find it was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, and I knew it. I tried, of course. Eventually, however, close to tears, I retreated to my room at the Gandhi Guest House, sat down on the bed and put my head in my hands. Perhaps as a last resort or out of desperation, I just decided to be still, to be silent. It wasn't meditation exactly. I was just sitting, and I kept on sitting for quite a while, until a thought occured to me. I recalled briefly being at the 'Western Union' office in the 'Imperial Hotel.'

My very next thought was that I had had my bag after that. Nevertheless, I slid off my bed, with next to no hope, and shuffled listlessly down the street to the hotel. As I walked into the 'Western Union' office, there was a large crowd around a bag, my bag, all staring down at it. I knew they thought it might have been a bomb, although in that case you gotta wonder why they were all crowding around it. I also knew the police would be there any minute. I wove my way through the crowd, grabbed the bag and quickly left the building.

I was totally elated, completely relieved, thanked the creative intelligence, my lucky stars and any deity I could think of for that thought, which came from out of silence. 

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