"What is disaster pornography? Africans define it as the Western media’s habit of blacking out Africa’s stock markets, cell phones, heart surgeries, soaring literacy and increasing democratization, while gleefully parading its genocides, armed conflicts, child soldiers, foreign debts, hunger, disease and backwardness."
A writing exercise in 15 minutes.
Life in the corners.
The Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara is a nondescript brick building. The bottom floor is under construction, and there are many more pairs of shoes on the shelves than there are people inside.
Kaldeep’s husband is the guru for the Sikh community that visits this temple. But Kaldeep, as his wife, also maintains responsibility for the gurdwara, and for the maintenance of the Sikh community that visits the place.
Her kitchen is large and industrial-looking. She cooks for 250 people in this space, full of large bags of rice and potatoes. She’s joined by 14 other women who help her hand press chapatis – all of this in preparation for the gurdwara’s free meal to the community on Sundays, the day of their services.
Kaldeep and her husband moved from their home in the Indian state of Punjab to lead the puja – prayer – at this gurdwara. She’s left behind two children, a son and a daughter, but one of her sons came with. He’s six feet tall, she says, and she wants him to get married soon.
If the bottom floor is marked by bright, pale wood and dust, the upstairs is all rosy pink and soft light, slanting in through gauzy curtains. Here, upstairs, is where their copy of the Sikh holy book sleeps. This is also where Kaldeep spends the night, in a little room off of a smaller room made for daily worshippers.
Not many people come every day to pray, Kaldeep says with a smile. She herself does not. A few times a week, children come to learn how to sing prayers from her husband, but for right now the temple is empty. A chandelier hangs heavy and glittering in the low light of the stairwell, as Kaldeep leads the way out to the ground floor.
Finish what you start.
Know your intentions.
Eid mubarak to everyone !
"Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed."