Two years ago Anupam and Theresa went out on their first date. The restaurant they'd originally planned to go to was closed, as were a couple of others they checked with. Serendipity directed them to the doorstep of a restaurant where Anupam had once volunteered -- Karma Kitchen
. By the end of their meal, in a profound context of pay-it-forward generosity, Theresa was elevated -- and moved to tears when a volunteer gifted her a small "Smile" keychain with a note that said, "We can do no great things; only small things with great love." Sure enough, a second date followed, and many more. :)
Today, they came again, at the grand reopening of Karma Kitchen in Berkeley. Unbeknownst to Teresa, Anupam had already been in touch with the coordinators to ask if they would assist him with a very special surprise. He didn't have to ask twice :) Conspiracies of love are what Karma Kitchen thrives on. When they were seated at their strategically positioned table, the unsuspecting Teresa excused herself to visit the restroom. Anupam delved into his pocket to pull out two precious items that were covertly handed off to the servers: A little velvet jewelry box ---- and -- the wooden keychain from two years ago that Teresa had kept on her dresser and treasured ever since receiving it. "If you could bring it out before the meal that would be perfect." he said. It was the final countdown to --- Proposal Time!
In the kitchen a flutter of excitement ensued, amidst ohs and ahs as backend volunteers opened the box and caught sight of a beautiful ring. Together they prepared a one-of-a-kind platter for it. The ring was attached to the special keychain and placed on a bright bed of flower petals nestled into a copper dessert goblet balanced on a serving tray decorated with Gerbera daisies and a smile card :) Then, as all the volunteers silently filed to the front, Kara -- their server, carried over the special delivery!
Needless to say, Theresa was totally and fantastically surprised.
As the entire restaurant cheered, Anupam got on bended knee to propose: Will You Marry Me? (She said yes. :))
Love magnetically spread through the entire space. It says a lot about a couple who met in a space of generosity and chose to make a life commitment in that same spirit.
A volunteer sang a beautiful song, as random strangers wrote blessings for the soon-to-be couple. Red roses were gifted to other couples in the restaurant. And there were big smiles all around.
Particularly Theresa, who was naturally quite taken by Anupam's grand surprise.
As Ram Dass once said, "The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it's in the being." It felt like a privilege to be together for this special moment.
May we all keep loving, and spreading that love to all living beings. Congratulations, Anupam
Thank you all! Special thanks to Rishi
for capturing these magical moments, and thank you ALL for making Karma Kitchen
all that it is -- particularly the volunteer crew who served so selflessly.