As I walked the streets of Mumbai back to the office, a restaurant menu caught my attention. First on this list was the Persian sweets. More importantly, they offered the beverage of the century, Sosyo.
It had been decades since I last saw someone offering the soda that was a highlight when I was young. The flavours were an acquired taste. While it had been around since the early 1920s, it was only available in a few states in western and northern India. For the uninitiated, Sosyo is an unusual drink. The mix of grape, apple cider, and secret ingredients does not work for most palates. On the other hand, for some, it is the perfect bubbly refresher.
Although my walk in Mumbai has faded, the memories of that small restaurant remain. As I reflect with a bit of nostalgia, I realise there are two storylines emerging. The first is the business transaction connected with acquiring and consuming sweets and sodas. From hidden restaurants in India to Charlies with shaved iced sodas in Singapore, to egg-cream sodas in New Jersey, I replayed the scenes in my heart. The discovery followed by my order and payment, and the joy that followed.
The second story is found in the memories. Each involves those who shared the journey with me. Their smiles, laughter, and joy still infuse me with love. These memories were a gift. Friendship was offered and accepted without a trace of a business deal. We shared a child-like ability to be fully in the moment, freely sharing, and living out what is now an amazing memory.
Life reminds me that Divinity is found in one of these stories. An old reminder: “If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal.” (Romans 4.14)
Alternatively, love, relationship, and hope offered as an unconditional gift to all.