Thursday, 18 May 2006

Love Thy Neighbour

I know that the people of the Gurdwara directly opposite where I live are very very nice. I know this because of the decorum of their en masse worship on a Sunday morning.

Normally on a Sunday morning I worship my own deities, namely my duvet, pillows and pyjamas. The worship takes place in my bed and involves a lot of sleeping. To sleep I need quiet and quiet I get.

In fact I’m often surprised when I emerge at 2pm and fling open the front room curtains to a sea of cars and people and a hive of activity over at the Temple. They’ve been there since mid morning and have managed to drive into and make neat and tidy parking formations (of almost breathtaking beauty – really) on the graveled car park in complete none-sleep-worship-shattering-silence. I’ve not heard a single car door slam, I’ve not heard a single beep from one of those automatic locks, there has not been a hint of the sound of an accidentally activated alarm or the crunch of any gravel. To top this off they’ve managed to usher their well behaved children into the temple and retain them there so that their activity does not disturb the other occupants of the road. They make great neighbours.

Which is why I was only too happy to return a jolly ‘Hello’ (or at least that’s what I think he said) to the elderly Sikh gentleman who I encountered the other morning walking along the other side of the road. I’d have guessed his age was somewhere around 80. He looked like he was wearing pyjamas and had a long grey beard and a twinkle in his eye. I was feeling a little glum on this particular morning but he wasn’t having any of that...

Sikh Man : ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ

Me : (Mary Poppins type sing song voice) Morning !

Sikh Man : ਹਾਂ ਜੀ

Me : Yes, very well thank you. Are you?

Sikh Man : ਨਹੀਂ ਜੀ

At this point the man began to smile at me and he raised a hand. I began to wave back then realised there was a house behind me and that he may have been directing his attention to it's inhabitants visible in the window so I turned right round myself to check. There was no one at the window. The man started to laugh, his eyes sparkling. His laughter was contagious and I started giggling too.

Me : Byeeeee (waving enthusiastically)

Sikh Man : ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ

We both stood there laughing at each other for a few seconds. Then we parted ways.

1 comment:

dormerportal said...

Maybe he was laughing because he was only visible to you - maybe he had nipped across from the dormer portal to brighten your day, maybe he had come to buy newspaper for the dormer portal alternate reality cat to read, through it's bottom