Tag Archives: 1893

Promise at 9

When I was told the story of the amazing speech by Swami Vivekananda at Chicago Conference of 1893, I had wanted to visit that hall, feel that moment. I have heard that speech but the wish to visit the hall was buried somewhere deep in my heart. Finally it was time to fulfil that wish. I went to The Art Institute of Chicago. Its a huge museum. I was unable to control my excitement. While booking ticket at the reception, I mentioned the Chicago Conference of 1893. The person at the counter realized my excitement and immediately mentioned Swami Vivekananda. He gave me directions to the hall. It is called the Fullerton hall. The hall was at the opposite end of the museum from the entrance I was at. I walked quickly at the other end. A huge image of Swami Vivekananda is placed there along with the immortal address of ‘Sisters and brothers of America’. One can enter the hall if it is not booked. I requested the museum person to let me enter the hall, as it was not booked that day. She accompanied me inside the hall. Once I entered, I was the 9 year old girl. My heart was beating so fast, I could imagine the sound of the applause in that hall. The museum person understood my condition, smiled and suggested I can walk the steps till the stage.

The Hall

The drive named after Swami Vivekananda

The museum has many beautiful artifacts from different parts of the world. Everyone in the museum knew about that conference. When I came out of the entrance near the hall, the street is named after Swami Vivekananda. It felt so great to see Swamiji has the same admiration here as in India. When we are kids, the heart makes certain wishes, which may not be fulfilled at that time. As we grow up, those wishes get buried somewhere underneath the daily grind. I just came to know, one of the ways to revive the child within is to fulfil those wishes. When one does that, one feels the happiness filled with innocence that the heart of child has. Let us look back into our childhood, find those wishes, fulfill them and revive the child within ourselves.

Chicago Traveler

Buckingham Fountain

There are certain stories which are so motivating that they become promises. The story of Swami Vivekananda addressing the Chicago religious conference of 1893 holds a special position in my heart. I was 9 or 10 years old, going through a stage fright when mother told me this story. That was the first lesson in public speaking. I was so inspired that I made a promise to myself, I would visit that stage one day. Years passed, I completed my education and started working. There were many times I passed through Chicago, once my flight got cancelled and I spent a night in Chicago. I began to wonder why I always have long stop overs in Chicago. It took me a while to realize, it was the promise of that 9 year old me.

Downtown

Garden

Finally last Friday, I visited Chicago. That auditorium is part of The Art Institute of Chicago. By the time I checked in to the Hotel, it was almost time for the Museum to close, so I wandered around. The downtown presents an amazing combination of History as well as modernization. The heat of the summer is cooled by the Buckingham Fountain. It is surrounded by sprawling gardens. One can easily spend hours roaming around it. There are ice cream and juice shops nearby to sit and talk. But I started walking towards the cloud gate. Although it was Friday, the streets were crowded with tourists. I passed through the Art Institute which was about to close. The Cloud Gate was another beautiful sight, everyone wanted to see their reflection. It is very entertaining to see people coming up with unique poses for their photos. A walk in Gardens, Cloud Gate and Buckingham Fountain. That was my first day as Chicago traveler.

Cloud Gate