How I Found Myself In the Eyes of a Little Orphan

How I Found Myself In the Eyes of a Little Orphan - Arvind Devalia

My life was transformed in the blink of an eye a few years ago. Nothing was ever the same for me from that moment.

It happened during a visit to an orphanage in South India in April 2000. I can still vividly remember the day as I have relived it so many times since then.

I was then going through a number of major life changes back home in the UK and this trip to India was to prove to be a major life changing event.

I spent a month at Nirvana School in Pondicherry, South India, simply being amongst the school children and the local people. It proved to be a most fulfilling time and ultimately paved the way for a new career in life coaching.

A friend back in London had donated some money to feed sweets to orphans, and so I ended up in this orphanage in Pondicherry within a Catholic-run hospital.

We took large Indian sweets called ladoo and were taken by the sister in charge to visit six orphan kids who were watching TV on what seemed like a massive sofa.

They instantly jumped up and gave us their rapt attention. The sister who accompanied us simply handed over the ladoo whilst in my western naivety, I searched around for bowls and spoons!

I almost felt foolish as the kids looked at us with grateful eyes. I was convinced that they were mocking me and my western garb. I was wearing far too many clothes for the steamy weather and I probably looked quite strange to them in my western trainers and sunhat.

Soon the ladoos were gone and the sister explained how two of the kids were brother and sister, and how they had been found abandoned outside the hospital main entrance a couple of years before. Instinctively, I picked up the little girl and placed her on a chair and began playing with her. She gurgled and her mischievous eyes seemed to twinkle with delight.

At that moment, time seemed to come to a standstill. Nothing else mattered except this little girl and I was lost in her presence. After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a few seconds, I instinctively looked up. And there, right in front of me was the catholic sister, looking back at me with sheer joy and love on her face.

Our eyes locked and melted together into an ocean of compassion. The look in the sister’s all-knowing eyes reassured me that it was okay to feel what I was feeling, and also that it was safe and perfectly okay to be openly loving and kind.

In those few moments, I learned what it meant to be human. I learned what it felt like to truly show compassion, love and kindness.

That was probably my first ever experience of unconditional love towards a total stranger. That little, innocent, helpless, orphan girl had captured my heart just like that.

As tears streamed from my eyes, I knew then that I had found my calling and my path. My journey of contribution and service began in those few amazing moments of bliss, love and joy.

Life was never the same for me again after that. Looking back to that magical day in April 2000, everything else pales into insignificance as I returned back to London and underwent major life changes all within a very short time.

Two years later, I came across the concept of life coaching and realized that it was just what I had been searching for as a vehicle for helping others. Two self-help books followed—my books became a real labour of love as I poured my heart and soul my writing during those blissful days amongst the roses. I realized that through my coaching, I could only reach so many people, but through my writing I could change many lives.

I believe that any life can be transformed just like mine—in the blink of an eye.

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Arvind Devalia

Arvind Devalia is a coach, speaker, blogger and author of best-selling book "Get the Life you Love". Arvind is on a one man mission to transform the world and help others do the same. His main blog is at

7 Responses

  1. Sandy Waters says:

    Awesome story!!! This is what life’s all about……helping others!

  2. Sam Shelley says:

    Wonderful story, thanks for sharing. I know I lived in separation for a long time, when I saw how all things are connected I then realized the mind was creating the division. Without the mind getting in the way I see the beauty in life.

    • Arvind Devalia says:

      Sam, thanks for reading and for your kind feedback.

      Our minds create the divisions amongst us and it is our hearts that’ll ultimately heal our differences. The future for humanity is bright:-)

  3. This is a moving tale, Arvind. Isn’t it amazing how we walk around with these bodies, seemingly disconnected from others? When we realize just how pure the connection between us is, as you have found, how can we not serve that? How can we not spread that?

    • Arvind Devalia says:

      Vironika, indeed how can we not serve that!?

      Our lives and being are so connected. This gives me great hope for humanity, knowing that the best is yet to come for us:-)

      • Cindy Orosz says:

        I have had moments where I have felt that pure love and joy. It was so great for me to read this. My heart has so much love to give. I become so distracted that I don’t know when and how to turn it off.
        Thank you.

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