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In Guru's Presence Again

I walk down to bow to my guru which we call to matha tekh and then I sit down for a while and observe and it’s just such...

It’s Monday 15th June and I have been waiting for this day for so long, it’s the date when all places of worship will re-open for private prayer. Being a Sikh my place of worship is the Gurdwara, my savior and my one place where I feel at peace.

Lockdown started back in March and I remember feeling the sadness of hearing those words from the Government that places of worship are closed to the congregation. I knew that the prayers would continue but what would be tough is knowing I can’t just get in my car and drive to any Gurdwara or pop in before or after work. This was a really sad time for me and my family. My father, the skipping Sikh who became a real international icon in this time through skipping for the NHS, used to go to the Gurdwara and pick up the rubbish. He is 73 and my mum 69 and I knew this would affect them. The Gurdwara is not just a place for prayer but it’s also a place for the congregation to come together and serve and eat together.

This day for me was the best day of my life, I woke up, had a shower, did my prayers, and got into my Punjabi suit and drove down to the Gurdwara. Just pulling up outside and seeing the Nishan sahib, the golden dome at the dome and my community walking in with their heads covered, social distancing and with smiles on their faces made my face light up!

I couldn’t believe it, this time has come where I can walk in and pray and say thank you to God for looking after us, to pray for those families who have suffered pain through covid through losing family members and to do an ardaas (final prayer) for everyone’s sarbat da bhalla (well being of all).

I park my car and am full of so much excitement. I get out and am walking so fast leaving my parents behind because I can’t wait to go up the stairs and walk inside. What I loved was the way people were being so patient, wearing face masks, not getting too close to the person in front. As soon as you walk in, you wash your hands after taking your shoes off, you ensure your head is covered with your own chunni/ scarf. You see this open space, no crowds and I just feel this sense of all over calmness, because I can hear the prayers upstairs. I walk up the stairs and then I enter the main darbar and this is where I felt so amazed at seeing the signs again of social distancing, markers on the floor, so people are aware to keep their distance. It was lovely, just so beautiful. I felt so relieved because I was back in my home, this is my special place and I felt united with my congregation. There is no prashad (holy food) or langar being served for the congregation where normally there would be, so the kitchen is not open but that’s ok, because to be honest we come to pray and that’s all I wanted to do. I felt content, happy and so grateful. I walk down to bow to my guru which we call to matha tekh and then I sit down for a while and observe and it’s just such a nice feeling of a glow in my heart. When I felt ready to leave, I got up, thanked God and headed back to my car with a final thank you and a prayer for all. My last thoughts as I left was 'God please get us through this difficult time soon so all faiths can be united with their communities to pray together'. May God wish everyone good health and happiness.  

Whatever happens in one’s life happens as Waheguru: the One God wants it to be. Doing truthful deeds and accepting His Hukum (command) makes one content. Remembering that He is the only Truthful One, serve Him and let one’s all honest deeds come to fruition.

~Written by Min Kaur,  a freelance journalist, henna artist who has a strong passion of telling stories from local communities and giving those from the BAME community a voice. She loves arts and culture.

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