Today, in the grocery store we met this Indian couple.
After exchanging names, first thing she asked is if we have gone to the nearby temple.
It has been six years,or may be longer, I have not gone to any temple.
Only idol I had in the house was a Lord Ganesh statuette, a wedding gift from a colleague, while working in Punjab.
But, then I had a Quran, given by a Middle Eastern neighbor… and also a Geeta booklet from some ISKON monks who caught hold of me in the University…
In San Diego, where I lived for three years, the house was near Mission San Diego, the oldest church of California. I used to visit there every other day..watching rare rain from the long and dark corridors..greeting the priest..and changing the stale flowers from the Mary statue…making fresh bouquets from the garden flowers…In fact, the Mission is my most cherishable place in San Diego..it was a very sad moment for me to bid it good-bye..the day before leaving the city, amidst all the frenzy of packing, I went there and spent many hours, basking in its serenity..reflecting on the meaningful times..
Any way…while departing San Diego for the current city of Irvine…I had made up my mind...rest of my life should go in healthcare and environment research…religious stuffs have no place...During the endless trips to the donation box, I left those scriptures….
Hope, nobody asks me if I have visited this and that temple…rather ask me, if I have been to this or that hiking trail...and what I have noticed..
I would proudly say ‘Yes’... and sadly narrate how trees are dying, water bodies are depleting and animals are declining....and how we might curb it my exercising moderation in our consumption..