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I have seen many places, but none like thee ! Oh the peace, calm and serenity I feel. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever laid my eyes on. Truly magnificent and unlike any splendor in all it’s golden glory. Shining like the glint in each human eye present here. The recital of prayers and chants leave me speechless. Mesmerized by the environment around me and heart warmed and humbled by eating and volunteering with dishes at the langar or free kitchen that is committed to serve free food to anyone who comes through its doors . I was overcome with emotions.

Yukio Mishima, a Japanese author & poet once said “When the Golden Temple reflected the evening sun or shone in the moon, it was the light of the water (in the pond before it) that made the entire structure look as if it were mysteriously floating along and flapping its wings. The strong bonds of the temple’s form were loosened by the reflection of the quivering water, and at such moments the Golden Temple seemed to be constructed of materials like wind and water and flame that are commonly in motion.”

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My grandfather had always wished for us to visit the golden temple at least once in our lifespan. I can now imagine why he’d want this of us. It’s a lost part of our roots , where we came from and where he came from. Perhaps he wanted us to know or just feel what it may have been like for him growing up as a Punjabi Sikh man or what his life was like before he converted to Christianity just so that he could marry the love of his life. The right thing I thought I could do , I did… I prayed for the souls of his ancestors and for him.

He was a great man, one I looked up to, one that I respected and loved. We never had many conversations because we spoke different languages. But there came a point where we met each other halfway and understood each other without saying much. My grandfather was in the navy, he was a tough and the memories I have of him are standing tall above the crowd, his chest out, the pride in his long strides and the briskness in his walk. Our morning jogs during my summer vacation from boarding school is something i will shamefully never forget and how I’d be on my 1st lap he’d be on his 4th . My grandfather , an incredible man who told incredible war stories is how he’s remembered by the others in the family.

A memory of him was revived from a rustic pensive forgotten by simply being at the golden temple surrounded by its glorious gold and marble walkways .This place feels like home, these people feel like mine, this state feels like a part of me belongs. My Grandfather and Grandmother taught me two life lessons: 1- Never judge or discriminate a person based on caste, class, sex or circumstances and 2-  All Gods are one . I was happy to find the symbol while travelling in Punjab that means the latter.

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It is said as IK ONKAR meaning “One Constant” or “One God”

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View more pictures from my travels in Punjab CLICK HERE !

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