April 15 2015. Indian consulate. Nose in a book for about an hour – I turned to my left, and noted the adorable Indian girl about 6 years old sitting with the same scowl on her face that I undoubtedly had on mine from waiting to deal with the Indian bureaucracy. (I was there on company business, and she there with her parents.) “So how ya doing?” I asked. I guess I have not spoken to a young child in a while, as a more appropriate greeting would have been more along the lines of, “How are you today?”, but the Bronx in me blurted out. “I am fine”, was her perfunctory reply. To which my charming, “That’s good.”, was initially met with silence. Then she said, “Look!”, and held up a small Pluto doll. “Pretty cool!”, I was now hitting stride . She went on to explain how Pluto can do flips (which she demonstrated by tossing it in the air), eat mosquitoes (thankfully no demo), and is quite sneaky as she slipped Pluto behind her back. Her parents asked her a few times to quiet down, and asked me if she was either boring or bothering me. To which I replied, “Not at all. She is quite entertaining’”. As she and her parents were leaving, she asked my name, and I learned her name was Akaja. When I finally got called to go on the consulate line, and sort through the documents, I was annoyed as heck to learn I needed to come back at 4 pm to get my stamped documents. So later at 4:30pm with the requisite scowl on my face, and no idea how much longer I’d have to wait for my stamped documents. “John!” I heard from behind. When I turned my head there was Akaja with a big smile, Pluto in her hand, and her parents by her side. They too were summoned back to the Indian consulate for whatever reason. And Akaja went right into demonstrating how Pluto could swing on the ropes separating the lines at the consulate. Despite what turned out to be a 5-hour chaotic wait at the consulate, I helped a young child smile that day, and got a few chuckles for myself. I’d call that a very good day.
Founder John Rossini in Bali
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