Like the fabled Dick Wittington who visited London expecting her streets to be paved with gold, I too, many decades ago, entered the city of Bombay, now Mumbai, expecting to set up a business from scratch and become a millionaire overnight. But those same streets, gold-less and cold, cruelly taunted me day in and day out as I walked them, selling my ideas and product from house to house, flat to flat, and quite often office to office.
Then, often depressed and disappointed with no sale done, I’d find a tiny lane in Nepean Sea Road or Juhu leading me to a beach, and there tiredly plonking my cheap briefcase onto the sands, I’d sit and watch the sea.
This was something I did time and again, seeking solace and comfort from the stillness that the bouncing waves offered.
For many years, I’ve read Psalm 23 and reflected on the second verse, “He leadeth me by the still waters,” and for many years I’ve imagined a placid lake or a gently flowing stream and the peace and calm that those still waters offer. But today, as I thought about those early days, sitting tired and worn on the beach, getting solace from the waves, I see another scene unfolding — disciples on a boat in a tempestuous sea. The waves are high, and the boat rocks like a handkerchief in a washing machine. I see them terrified.