Stories from my travel
On the day of my birthday, I was on a Nile Cruise in Egypt. Coming from Aswan the ship had docked in Luxor. As planned, we set out to explore Luxor with our local Egyptian guide and went to some sightseeing places. Later during the day he took us to an ancient looking little town, Thebes, with narrow alleys and scattered little huts on the mountains. It was hot and humid and I just wanted to go to nice place for lunch but instead our guide took us to a shop.
It was typical souvenir shop, though it was different because all the items were made out of lime stone found only in Luxor. There were various items related to Ancient Egypt - God/ Goddess/ symbols/ candle holders/ pyramids/ pyramids as candle holders etc. I remember it to be a vast shop and I was in one corner of the shop looking through the beautiful craving on the lime stone. I was aloof and in no hurry, just examining the various items. But I could not help wondering that there were no other tourist excluding us (me and my family).
Then suddenly out of nowhere. All the lights were out though it was midday it got totally dark inside. I presume, they even closed the doors and windows to block any light from coming in. I was too shocked by sudden darkness that I did not scream. I froze.
In the next instant around 10-12 of the shop guys (the salesmen and workers) including our guide were holding candles. They carried the candles in various candleholders and some within ‘pyramid like' structure from which light glowed. I saw ghost like huge figures, with their shadows looming behind, walking towards me. So many thoughts rushed through my mind but I could not bring myself to scream or move from there. I stood still. But there was this trance like feeling from the candle light and glow and I wondering - was I going to be taken into my past life or was future about to be revealed.
Then it happened, in thick middle eastern accent and not so pleasing voices they started singing out aloud ‘Happy Birthday to you’. They sang once then twice. I was in complete shock from the darkness then loud noise to comprehend that it was just a birthday surprise organized by the guide alongwith the shop guys. I freaked out than being happy at that moment. Then I realized that they just meant good and wanted to surprise me. But I was not prepared for it.
Absolute strangers (some shop sales men, workers and a guide) in some remote village in a peculiar shop wanted to make my day special! The universe sometimes has weird ways to surprise and spring on you. I reconciled with myself that I must have had some Karamic connection left from my previous lifetime with that place and those people.
We had an unopened cake pack in the car, which I cut and gave to all the guys around. We purchased a few souvenirs before leaving. And I thanked the Shop Manager for the special customer service, who beamed a huge smile. As for me, this was by far the most unforgettable (I don’t know whether its memorable) birthday celebration experience.