Here is Chapter three, Sunday Satsangh
On this one day I am requested to stand here: still, quiet, and overlook proceedings. From morning till evening, I am asked to accept offerings and listen to supplicant pleas. It is not a task I abhor, and as I am asked, so I acquiesce.
Today I take my place quietly, shrouded in sequined splendour, bejewelled and crowned; and look over all that lies before me. The floors are yet to be swept, covered in a light layer of dust – a combination of roadway particles and building sand. Tables and altars stand empty, lamps as yet unlit. Tiny insects make their homes in-between painted toes and gilded picture frames.
There is silence yet, the early morning sounds of barrels being filled to alternate grumbles and bits of song, no longer audible in the emptiness of this hall. The tiny ginger and white Tom-cat yawns and stretches his way across the floor, slinking off through the door to his morning hunt.
Soon they will come: faces alight with purpose, each to his or her own task. They will bumble in one after the other, pay respects to me and begin their preparations. Feet will scurry from one task to the next, rushing the arms of their perceived enemy: time. I laugh at this, for they request me to be here on this day every week, but count the hours from their arrival to their exit, meeting and leaving me where I have been asked to stand.
They will prepare this hall for their oblations, and then fill the air with pounding drums and earnest songs. For a few moments their hearts will overflow with love for me and their faces, voices and limbs will reflect this. For a few moments they will forget the hour and the pressing necessities of their lives and remember only me. In these moments they will long to reach me, they will lay themselves bare before me and ask only to be accepted, only to be loved. In these moments they will truly understand the reason for their lives. It is for these moments alone that I stand upon this pedestal each week.
For now, the air is still. The floor is yet to be swept, the altars yet to become laden with offerings. No plea fills the spaces of this sombre hall. The door is closed. I wait.