A couple of minutes must have passed. He got up to move towards the end of the hall where he usually spends his time after every prayer. But this time, he made a brief stop at where I was sitting.
I was still looking down. I could see his feet approaching, but thought he would walk past by me. He didn’t. He stood there. Extended his hand for a shake and told me something in Arabic. Smiling. I was a little stunned to reply. One because I wasn’t sure how to respond; the other, I couldn’t converse in Arabic. But I kind of made out that he was telling me to leave all my worries to Allah. Even then, I was not sure if that’s what he meant.
Getting out from there I had to know what it was that he just told me. I couldn’t go back to ask him as that would require me to speak in Arabic; assuming he couldn’t speak English himself. So I asked someone I knew to find out. It turned out that what I managed to comprehend was what he had actually said.
I smiled within. It made me wonder what had given him the impression that I was troubled. May be my expression. I wasn’t really worrying about the things happening in life. But definitely a thought about what I was reading was scrolling through me at the time.
From Shantaram, the following passage was what that had brought about the seemingly grave expression on to my face:
At first, when we truly love someone, our greatest fear is that the loved one will stop loving us. What we should fear and dread, of course, is that we won’t stop loving them, even after they’re dead and gone.