Busy roads, choking air and thousands of people wandering the streets, tired after a tedious day at work.
Children and homeless toddlers are scattered between sidewalks and begging mothers.
Sunset brings with it the advent of Pesach, the Holiday of Freedom.
I arrive at Bombay's elegant Trident hotel in the heart of the prevailing stench outside.
This is the first year that we have the option to conduct a strictly kosher Seder at the prestigious hotel, thus there were more than 150 people at the seder.
I'm trying to relax from the heat outside, but inside everything looks completely different! I am encompassed by grace and elegance.
I breathe the fresh air and walk off toward the hall, alongside the Rebbe's junior Shlucha, my niece Moussi, age three. She comes in wishing all a Chag Sameach, leaves me and runs to enjoy the beautiful new place.
Gradually they came, people from different places, each of a different color, dress and language.
There was the Jew who called today and said that he suddenly remembered that tonight was Pesach eve; there were tourists, students, businessmen, and families with children.
My older sister suddenly emerged from the side, I looked at her, she smiled at everyone in a sort of absolute calm and full of love as if she hadn't been here for three days made, working hard to coordinate this major undertaking.
She lit the candles with her daughter; the women all stood in front of the candles and said the brocho. I saw some women watching her with such admiration; I was one of them…
I came here with my family, mother, father brother and sister. We came to celebrate Yom Tov, to see, experience and feel with our big sister, husband and daughter.
Everybody was seated. When it became quiet Chanoch began explaining with Layki and Moussi full partners in the Seder. Crowds of people sat around all excited to do everything together as if they were used to.
Everything was so beautiful and orderly..
As we sat, my family and I watched the uplifting singing of "Dayeinu," which united all the participants.
We looked at the boy, who came from Belgium with his family to India, who sang "Echod mi yodea" to the applause of the women.
We looked at you and we did nothing more than that .. We were so excited .. And yes, we discovered that we did cry together.
The grand finale, the proverbial cherry on the cake, was the dance to "Leshana haba'a b'Yerushalayim."
It was so beautiful. I thought that only the Rebbe can take care of all those Jews who sat there together like brothers.
Only the Rebbe could give a young couple such enormous power to bravely withstand challenges.
It is only with the Rebbe that a Seder could be held in this dark place where two young Shluchim, Gabi and Rivky HY"D lost their lives along with four precious souls.
And they stood there, Laiky and Chanoch, the young Rabbi and Rebbetzin, and greeted everyone with a big smile as if to say I am here just for you!
And I wondered where they get so much strength and patience for everyone who was there.
I saw people excited, the Seder making an indelible impression on them.
I recalled that an American Jewish soldier in Afghanistan who sent an email, writing that Bombay is the closest Jewish spot near him, and you helped him.
I thought about a local Jewish woman married to a gentile, you worried to feed her children Kosher for Passover food from Israel, and you welcomed her the day before the Yom Tov, patiently and with a big smile
I thought of all those people who were with you a few days before the holiday and you hosted them as family.
Then I realized, I realized that there is someone, tuned in to take care of those people scattered around the world, and he sends you, his Shluchim, his smile, full of confidence.
So I was there. I was, I saw, I experienced and was inspired ... Today when I go back I'm just asking that we shouldn't have to travel so far to be together with the family.
I hope that today they will come with us to Eretz Yisroel on Heavenly clouds, and march together soon with the true and complete Redemption.
And when you, Chanoch, Laiky and sweet little Moussi, will stand there, I'm sure the Rebbe will wave his hand, directing his eyes to you, look at you with pride and smile, as if to say: I'm here for you!
Before posting this blog, Shturem spoke with the Shluchim, who wish to thank Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, for his support and help throughout the year, especially for Mivtza Pesach.
Pesach this year was sponsored by the "Machteshim Agan –India Company" ".
Special thanks to Tmimim Avraham Zelig Gechtman and Moshe Raskin, for their dedication to the success of Mivtza Pesach.