In 2009, I had taken a short sabbatical and visited South Africa to learn wildlife film-making. This was the first time I had been out of county for so long. I was excited because I knew that I am going to meet many students from different countries and befriend most of them.
We were a batch of 10; all from different countries. One of the first friends I made was Anaïs Claessens from the land of chocolates—Belgium.
She was quite friendly and we became good friends eventually. I still remember her smile; the whole batch was behind her, I guess. She was a heartthrob of the class and an extremely intelligent and swift student. She told me stories from land, her country. And in return, I told her about India. She also told about the cars her father had, her farm and her horse. I was so damn excited as all this is a luxury in India; that only a handful can possess.
Time passed by, we had to depart. We’re not in touch other than on Facebook. Neither she nor I have the resources to visit each other’s country. But a hope is still living inside our hearts. I had eaten Belgian chocolates but I had never met anyone from Belgium before.
Anaïs has made a deep imprint on my heart. Her kindness, politeness, compassion, smile and sweetness stills run in my mind. I pray to God that we meet as soon as possible to share her sweetness; my country needs it more than ever.