It was hot, dusty and noisy. Tuks tuks motored past, children ran past me laughing, animals wandered freely and horns blared constantly.
I was in Delhi, browsing a stall selling scarves on one of the main streets looking like something straight out of Eay, Pray, Love. Baggy trousers, tanned skin, wrist full of cotton bracelets in all colours, sun-bleached hair and not a care in the world.
I’d been in India for nearly a month and had a couple of days left in Delhi before flying out. I was used to the hustle and bustle and the way that everyone either stared at you or tried to scam you. I’d learnt how to say “no” forcefully, which was the only way to stop people trying to take advantage.
I was eyeing up a pink scarf, running the soft fabric between my fingers when an elderly gentleman approached me. He had the biggest white beard and eyebrows I’d ever seen and a loud voice.
“Hello there!” He boomed.
I looked around, wondering who he was talking to.
“Oh!” It was me. “Hello.”
“You have a very interesting aura. I can see it.”
“Really.” I was sceptical. A month of people trying to trick me, in some very inventive ways, had left its mark. “I’m not interested thanks.”
“What do you mean?”
“Whatever you’re selling, I’m not interested. Thank you.”
“How RUDE! Why do you presume I’m selling something? I’m VERY offended. How dare you.”
Oh god. I was mortified. How very presumptuous of me. I hate upsetting people.
“Oh I’m so very sorry.”
“Do not worry girl. Come, let me talk to you about your aura. Come with me.” He grabbed me by the hand and tried to lead me away.
“Where are we going?”
“Oh, just next door into the cafe.” I felt so bad I followed him. Also, I’d never had anyone read my aura before. I was intrigued.
We sat down at a small table and he started writing things down on paper. He asked me a load of questions and then showed me the things he’d written down; all the answers on the paper were right. I was hooked.
He told me stuff about my aura and then summed me up; I’m sincere and have a good heart but lack concentration and my head is full of butterflies.
Yes! Spot on.
He continued. He leaned in. I leaned in. He was going to tell me the secret of how I could sort my ‘insane’ brain out.
“How?” I was almost holding my breath. What was the answer?
I’d have to pay.
Of course. Surprise surprise. Part of me was intrigued as to what he was going to say, but I sure as hell wasn’t prepared to pay for it, and I sure as hell felt angry that my gut feeling was right and he had the audacity to call ME rude.
I stood up. “I told you I wasn’t interested in whatever you were selling, and you had the cheek to be offended. How dare YOU.” I walked out the cafe without a second glance.
Of course, everything he said can probably be attributed to a woman travelling in her 30’s on her own around India; there’s normally a reason, a life shift, that’s triggered it that’s going to make people feel out of sorts and a bit scattered. And of course if someone tells us we’re sincere and have a good heart, who’s going to argue with that?
I’m quite happy how I am anyway, butterflies and all.