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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Universal Language

#TravelTales #Meenakshi #ThePowerfulCurveDuring this trip, I happened to visit temples during the auspicious Tamil month. So I was greeted with long queues at most of the temples. Meeankshi temple at Madurai was no different. 

I saw him not allowing people to enter in the queue. Well the discussion was happening in Tamil and hence, obviously I was clueless. He was the security guard appointed by the temple to manage the queue. Must be in his 50s.

I went and tried to join the queue. He didn’t allow me and said something in high pitch in Tamil. I stood there in front of him. Just smiling smile emoticon

I asked in broken English – yes, that is the trick to communicate when you do not share the same language – do not use sentences but only few words. I asked “Darshanam…. Queue?” – to which he replied something in Tamil and I understood only one word – ticket.

So I realized I had to buy a ticket. Because I didn’t have a ticket, he was not allowing me to enter the queue. Fair enough. Considering there are so many people who come to visit and try to join the queue without a ticket, it must be routine for him to talk in high pitch.

I asked – “Ticket…. Counter?” to which he said something in Tamil and pointed in a certain direction. I smiled smile emoticon I said “Thank you” and moved to the counter to buy a ticket.

I returned with a ticket, went to him, stood in front of him and showed my ticket. I smiled again. He smiled back and allowed me to join the queue.

Once in queue, well it was a long wait. Then I saw the queue got divided into two. I guess the original queue was getting longer and hence he started diverting people in a separate queue. I was moving in the queue and was wondering I will go the original queue or the diverted one as diverted queue seems shorter one to go to sanctum sanctorum.

By the time my turn came, seems the diverted queue was almost filled up. However, the old gentleman quickly pushed me to the diverted queue and then immediately blocked the queue behind me. Rest of the people after me went to the original queue.

When he was passing by, I smiled and asked him by pointing at my queue “Darshanam…30 minutes?” (Will it take 30 minutes for darshanam if I stand in this queue?)

To which, he smiling replied something in Tamil. He pointed at my queue and said 10 minutes and pointing at the another queue, said 30 minutes.

He passed by a couple of times and each time he smiled at me.

I got favor from him without paying anything. Well, it costed me smile and being gentle with him.

Smile is the universal language. Especially if you are at an unknown place or do not know the language, smile can do wonder smile emoticon

If you haven’t realized the power of smiling face and politeness, try it next time when you travel! You will be positively surprised!

As they say, smile is a curve which can set things straight :)

smile emoticon

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