A little away from the main street there is a Hindu temple adjacent to a side walk. My folks entered the temple and I followed them rather mechanically.
The priest of the temple was chanting mantras, sitting in front of the main deity. There were well-lit brass lamps of all sizes and heaps of flowers, even as there was a steady flow of devotees with caste marks on their foreheads. As usual, I was standing in a corner with my eyes half-closed. The priest would stop his mantras for a while at regular intervals to enable the devotees to sing their favorite devotional songs. It went on for a couple of hours and just when I thought it was time to leave, I saw devotees standing in front of the main deity, waiting for their turn to receive a small bunch of flowers and kumkum from the priestâ€¦ and soon after, there was a pleasant surprise. All the devotees were offered a sumptuous meal; a feast rather.
When all the devotees left, my folks were discussing some â€˜importantâ€™ matters with the priest. â€œSure, Iâ€™ll be there right on timeâ€, the priest assured them. It was to conduct a religious function [rituals] at our house, the next day. As arranged, he visited our house and performed the function to our satisfaction.
You might be wondering why this chap [thatâ€™s me!] is narrating an event which happens every day in India. There you are! Believe me or not, all these took place in a big city in North Americaâ€¦ Vancouver, to be precise.