Though i had time on my side, but anxiety always denies one any luxury with the watch. Soon upon arriving at Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok, I hurried to the Cambodian Angkor Air desk. It was open since the next flight was just about two hours away. No other customer at the counter did sooth my anxiousness a little. Then there was this pleasant young lady on the other side of the counter and I produced my ticket.

What does it mean; your name, I asked that quiet little lady almost quizzically. She was very composed as if ready to receive my question. ‘Girl with a pure heart’ she spoke in an even tone. Her plane face with a very benign smile not giving vent to her emotions. I was a stranger, after all who had approached her at the Airline counter for my boarding pass.

You been to Angkor ever, I asked. Her negative response did not surprise me much. ‘Your are born blessed with such a pure heart, you need not’, I told her. Such people need no pilgrimage. In the same breath I requested if I could take a picture of hers. Whilst I indicated to her to leave her desk and come to one side, she again very politely told me ‘ I cannot leave my post of duty. You might like to take my picture while I sit down here itself’. Her disarming ways left me without a choice. I aimed and shot. Showed her the photograph, collected my boarding pass and left.

Just prior to leaving her counter I did ask her what to do in case of a trouble while boarding because of a similar experience, where-in fortunately, I could take corrective action in time. Little Nichamon reassured me that my Indian airline by which I had arrived at Bangkok and her airline the Cambodian Angkor Air have an understanding and the passengers transiting for Siem Reap would not be required to  obtain a Visa and go through immigration. A written sheet of paper to that effect helped relieve my anxiety. All settled, I went to the boarding gate.

Nichamon was there at the boarding gate on the required time and bade me and others a very dignified bye. Everyone thanked her and boarded.

Pure heart. Can anyone be with a truly pure heart in this wickedly world, I was constantly asking myself while in the plane? Nichmon was not leaving me, and my mind. Pure heart. Does one really exist?  Why don’t I have a pure heart? Just why? My pet question – why?

As I was mulling over this thought, I raced back to my school; the primary school time. There was this episode from the life story of Guru Ravi Dass (1450 -1530 CE). He had a pure heart else how could he take a pure gold bangle out from the water in his leather working vessel. It means those stalking this earth can indeed have a pure heart. Only one has to cleanse himself so much from sins. No sin. And you have a pure heart. No malice towards none, and you have a pure heart. That simple. Very simple.

We landed at Siem Reap and went through the same paces of immigration; though much tougher this time.  Lots of people cursing the tardy Khmers for long queues with over an hour taken for immigration clearance. But there I was, with Nichamon. I wasn’t leaving her. I wanted to have a pure heart like Nichamon. Why can I not have one? Why? My quest continues till today.

In our philosophy there is a simple saying – not to harbour any ill-feeling towards anyone through thoughts. words or action  – manasa, vacha, karmana. Meaning thereby that if you follow this, your heart becomes pure. You become a Nichmon. And draw out a pure Gold bangle from your glass of water once you arrive there. You do a Nichamon; a Guru Ravi Dass.

And the Holy books also state that once you own a pure heart, there may be no need for pilgrimage. Your own heart, a pure heart is the pilgrimage. Let me try, Nichoman. Let me.



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