me…near park…
you go here. Okay?
said Lucky , maybe in her first conversation in English over a phone.

Okay, Lucky. You wait for me.
I come to you.

Chai, chai (Yes, Yes in Thai)’

And I started to ride around the park trying to spot my friend Lucky and her husband Pravee. In case you’re wondering, Sunny is my Thai name which this lovely couple gave me, since it was difficult for them to pronounce my real name!
After a five minute search, we spotted each other. I crossed the road and went to see them. There was such excitement in our spirit to be meeting each other again. But we did not have a common language to communicate in!
Like overjoyed kids we opened our hearts and smiled ear to ear as we greeted each other.

We put my bicycle at the back of their pick-up truck. I went inside and sat on the rear seat.
What a joyride it was for the next three hours !
We managed to communicate using different aids. Sign language, English- Thai translator, exaggerated expressions and of course, unbridled laughter when we would fail to understand a word of what the other person was saying.

There was a childlike innocence in their demeanor. Lucky had a book called, ‘Working conversation to perfect your English -Thai Edition’ which she routinely referred to for asking questions.
The excitement and enthusiasm this couple shared despite the language barrier was adorable to witness.

After an intimate tour of Bangkok, they dropped me back home. They had a long conversation with a chatty watchman which had the word ‘India India’ in almost every other sentence. They would point at me lovingly all throughout their talk.

Okay Sunny, Goodbye.
See you India’

Yes, In India, you stay my home Okay?’

‘Okay Okay!’

They left shortly afterwards. I waved them goodbye till they were beyond sight.

I had met this couple by accident at a bicycle rally in South Thailand. And we had exchanged our contacts.
They had so much love in their heart that they wanted to see me again just to show me around. They didn’t speak English and communication was an issue.
But their alacrity to make a new friend was so sincere that nothing could come in the way.

They gave so much love and energy that I came to believe, I was Sunny !
I would happily identify myself with that name.

Beyond names,
beyond languages,
beyond all barriers,
Is the language of the heart.
Once you communicate from there,
You will find a deep connection no matter what.
My cheeks hurt by smiling so much all throughout the day in their company.

With a new name,
new friends,
And with the promise of keeping an childlike heart,
I assure myself,
To carry the spirit of friendship on and on.