The first time I went to Chabad Mumbai, Rivki and Gabi were not in Mumbai. There were two people running the place for them. I remember someone saying how wonderful it was there, the response was "you should see what it's like when Rivki and Gabi are here."

I went back to Chabad Mumbai only recently. My Mum had come to visit me, and before she left, she said "go tomorrow for Friday night dinner at Chabad." I was alone again, and I thought why not. I walked in the door and Rivki came out of the kitchen and gave me the biggest smile and welcomed me in. Then in walked Gabi with Moshe in his arms and they started greeting everyone "Shabbat Shalom", Moshe shaking everyone's hand (very cute).

Not many people give and give, not expecting anything back.

I had two weeks till my sister was arriving, and was thinking of going somewhere instead of staying in Mumbai. That didn't happen. I ended up spending all my days in Chabad, reading and using the internet, and eating the most delicious food. I went to the market with Rivki on quite a few occasions. We took Moshe to the park. We spent hours talking. I am very grateful to have met them.

I was expecting to remain friends with her, for a long time. I'm not religious and she didn't judge me. It felt like home. One Friday evening a young Israeli and his friend came and ate, once Gabi started to talk about religion, they got up and left (probably not realizing there was more food on its way). This made me angry, I thought it was disrespectful. After a few days I plucked up the courage to say something to Rivki and she said, "This is their home, they can do whatever they like, as long as they do no harm to Moshe or break the Sabbath rules while here." I told her that she was amazing, not many people give and give not expecting anything back.

I feel awkward with religious Jewish men, but I felt at ease talking to Gabi. I had a study session with Gabi he seemed to know exactly what book contained the answer to my question.

They were selfless and always made time for whoever walked through the door. I am saddened by the events that have occurred, I know they have touched the lives of many people.

I would like Rivki was a new friend. She didn't judge. And I was looking forward to having her in my life. to give my condolences to their families. Rivki told me a lot about her family and I know she loved them very much. I have had quite a few friends die and I asked Rifki why G‑d would allow such tragedies to occur. She told me "when you have faith, you believe that G‑d puts challenges in front of you, and tests your faith, sometimes you may not understand why things happen but that does not mean you should lose faith, sometimes it takes years to figure out what you learned from the situation. G‑d gave us free will to choose right from wrong. There are many poor people in the world and not so many rich people, G‑d is giving those with money an opportunity to do a Mitzvah, by helping those less fortunate."

I'm not religious but I am a believer and this situation will not make me lose faith in G‑d, although right now, I really do not understand.

Rivki was a new friend and I was looking forward to having her in my life. I'm in total shock. The Mumbai House was one of the only places I've felt at home since leaving home.

There are no words which can express my sorrow. They were an asset to the Jewish community, leading by example and showing people like me how beautiful Judaism can be. They were my new friends and I am going to miss all the conversations that will never take place! I however am very grateful to have spent as much time as I did with them.

I hope that the family and community will come together. Also that someone else from Chabad will come to Mumbai, it is needed by the local community and travellers like me and business men. What Rivki and Gabi did was important for everyone who walked through that door!

I didn't mean for this to be so long and could probably write a lot more. Thank you for reading this and please tell the families that their children were very special people, and they should be proud of what they achieved in such a short time.

With Much Love

Corinne Marlen