And yes love exists in the real world; more vivid, stronger and brighter than the love written or sung about. In this day and age where economics and material gains seem to be the dominant motivators for many, I witnessed pure and unconditional love that is the raison-de-existance for one man.
Early morning, as I was finishing my prayers, a gentleman walked into the sanctum sanctorum. He sat down on a side and offered his prayers post which he started to offer flowers to the deity. After offering just one orange marigold, he gave the entire basket of flowers to me and in sweet Gujarati asked me to offer the flowers to the Lord. I was stunned and shocked; all devotees pride themselves in making their own offerings! Did he not want the blessings for himself?
Out of respect, I started offering the flowers one by one . Two yellow marigolds later the gentleman started speaking to me again. "I am a Jain and so don't know how these flowers should be offered. My wife is a great Shiva devotee and it is for her that I am offering these flowers. She is no more, she is with her Shiva now. But for her love I would like to continue to come to the temple as long as I can and offer these flowers."
My hands stopped midway and I was just looking at the beautiful soul. No words came to me, and no expression seemed fitting to acknowledge the lesson he had just imparted. Sending a sweet smile my way, the man slowly got up, bowed and walked away.
I finished offering the flowers but kept sitting for a while thereafter. The slightest of movement would have destroyed the sanctity of the moment. The words kept coming back to me as I sat alone and let myself be. My eyes drifted to the lamp. It's light had a new glow to it. My senses became alert to the aura around me. It felt happier and more harmonious. My mind smiled at what I had just witnessed. The day had just begun; and yes it seems that today is most definitely a new day. It's a new start of a renewed belief.