Not being familiar with the customs and rituals of a place of worship, and a religion different from one’s own, often inhibits one from visiting such places. But when our friends Laxmichand and Vandana told us that they were visiting the
Gurudwara (Sikh place of worship)
in St. Peters, Mo, we decided to go, too.
We dressed for the occasion (heads have to be covered in the gurudwara)
though of course some of our expressions might have left a lot to be desired….
We crossed the Missouri river, which seemed to be at an alarmingly high level.
When we reached there (about 45 min drive), I was very impressed by the beauty of the building:
Here we are...
The minarets were beautiful lotus buds!
Of course I could not avoid a little birding, especially when an I-know-you-from-India
sat in front of the minarets, with water dripping from its wing
We sat meditatively through the calm, peaceful ritual of worship (having missed much of it...we reached at 1.10 pm and the "kIrtan" came to an end at 1.30pm). The text of the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy book) that was chosen was displayed on CCTV's, with transliteration and a very good translation too, so that everyone could follow. I feel that every religion can be followed to the path of Godhead or self-realization or mOkshA; one can call it whatever one wants. Less and less do I understand the discord between humans in the name of religion. It is true, though, that extremists often take over the manifestations and rituals of a religion...but they are the ones we have to wage war against, not the peaceful followers of any belief system.
After this, we adjourned to the dining hall, where a lot of excellent food (called "langar") had been both brought, and prepared on the spot, by Sewaks (volunteers). "Swallow" was, indeed, the operative word that afternoon.
Here's the kitchen:
Here we are, sitting cross-legged on the floor, eating and enjoying a wide variety of excellent dishes:
That's Kabir, the Fatnanis' son, playing with K1 and K2.
There are 3 generations of Fatnanis....grandfather, father, and son, and D and K2, for Father's Day:
(There are 3 mothers and 2 daughters, too!)
We also visited Aarti and Mallik, at their beautiful home:
Prema, Aarti's mother, introduced us to a hilarious video about Google:
You want the video? Here it is!
Here’s a closing shot of that Barn Swallow….