The Temple Within

I stared out of the window, fields shot by as the car bounced from narrow street onto ever narrowing lanes. I hated temples, always have. The only thing I liked about familial visits to temples is the feel of the stone floor. Cool, rugged in the shade, burnt, scalding under the sun; I often wondered if this amorphous yet persevering nature was why stones were worshiped.

Through high school and college, I’d always wormed, squirmed and fought my way out of temple trips.  Coming from a family that barely ever visited temples and actively encouraged me to abandon our sacred threads, my rebellion and agnosticism was welcomed into the fold.

But this trip was different, very different. I had to come, no questions asked. We were to go our ancestral temple in Mangudi ergo middle of fucking nowhere village. All the cajoling, blackmailing and begging had brought me to this nauseous seat in the back of the still bouncing Scorpio.

Cackling overstuffed relatives, mind-numbing familial puns and never ending stories of bumbling relatives flooded through my ears as I fervently hoped and prayed to be back in my calm, controlled Emergency Room.

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Eve

(c) Manchester City Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Manchester City Galleries; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

From far below, from the shade

Up into the leaves she gazed

Sunlight dazzling down, shone

Chequering across her face

Red globes of fire burnt,

With swathes of green, embers

Calling her, the breath of the wind

Reaching fingers, branching bent

From far above, from the shade

Down into the world I gazed

My light dazzling down shone

A sense of awe on my very face

Perfect, beautiful, plentiful, below

Meandering blue, green, brown swirls lay

My breath whistling between and around,

Something amiss amidst I found

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