11 August 2007 — Amritapuri
According to linguists, there are 6,912 languages spoken in the world today. Amma only speaks one of these—Malayalam. And while Malayalam is spoken by an estimated 48 million people, the 6.5 billion other people in the world pretty much have no choice but to rely on a translator when they speak to Amma. However the other day during darshan in Amritapuri, one devotee volunteering at AIMS Hospital may have found a loophole.
Amma had called a group of people working in AIMS’ software-development department to her side to discus a project. The majority of them were amongst the 48 million mentioned above. However, one, a young man named Nikhil, was not. His first language is Hindi; his second, English. One brahmachari who speaks both Malayalam and Hindi saw Nikhil standing in the back of the hall and called him to come join the others in his department near Amma. Once at Amma’s side Nikhil began speaking with Amma with the help of the translator, asking her questions about his seva and personal matters.
After sometime, the young man confessed to his translator, “Actually, even though I know it is not possible, I would like to keep speaking to Amma for another five or six hours.”
At this point Amma paused from her darshan and turned to the two. “What is it?” Amma asked. “Don’t you know he doesn’t understand Malayalam? You’re supposed to translate.”
“He says he would like to talk to Amma for another five or six hours,” the brahmachari said.
Amma then feigned a look of shock and said with a smile that with so many people coming to see Amma for one person to speak to her for so long was not really possible.
“He knows that, Amma,” the brahmachari said. “But it is a desire of his, and he just wanted to express it to Amma.”
But then Nikhil spoke up, “Amma might not be able to speak to me for that long here, but she could in my dreams. Will you do that for me, Amma?”
Smiling at Nikhil’s innocence, Amma said that, yes, she would come.
Nikhil then got up from Amma’s side, making room for another devotee. But after a few steps, he stopped, turned around and said, “Amma, but in my dreams please speak in Hindi! Don’t bring a translator.”