I have been going to the San Jose Gurudwara for a decade. Yep, let’s let that sink in. That also means I have been in Bay Area for that long. Hmm! In two years, I will have lived longer in Mountain View, than any other place, in my life. Now that’s going to be a milestone. But while we are at it – where did the last ten years go?
Let’s see, I got married, lost a parent, became a parent, sold a house, and bought two, switched countless roles/jobs, traveled the world, made a lot of new friends, lost two, and got back in touch with many. And grew up to be wife, daughter and a mother amidst all of it.
The San Jose Gurudwara is a special place for me, even though I am not Sikh. It is the only place in entire Bay Area where I find peace. The absence of an idol in a Gurudwara is very reassuring to me. The gurbani is always melodious, the khara prasad always tastes the same, and the people are always joyous. There is something very consistent about Gurudwaras all over the world. There is just one rule – cover your head. So simple to follow.
I have fond memories of the several trips I have made to the San Jose Gurudwara. The first, with my Dad and Mom. They both loved it and I am glad it is one of the places that I have enjoyed with both of them together. I have grieved the loss of several relatives at the Gurudwara. It is the only thing I could do being so far away from my family. It always made me feel better.
We brought Tara to the Gurudwara on Dec 26th, 2014, a month after she was born. It was her first trip this far. She did so well. Then we came again with Dadu and Dadi when Tara turned six months, and they were about to leave for Delhi. The bougainvillea in the Gurudwara were being planted that day. They are in full bloom now and have grown up quite a lot. Just like Tara.
We also came on Tara’s 1st birthday, and have been coming back every year since. She can be seen walking and running around in the photos from that first birthday trip. Wearing her little blue coat, with a little clip in her hair. We took several photos of her on the green grass outside the main hall. It was a beautiful sunny day.
We came back with my Mom a few times, whenever she came to visit. And then we went with Dadu and Tara on her second birthday, when Agam was on crutches.
There was also this one time when we came to the Gurudwara on Jan 1st and as soon as we drove up the road, we heard a gun shot. As we got close to the parking lot we were informed that someone had just shot themselves in the same parking lot a few seconds ago. I can still not understand why someone would pick Jan 1 and not Dec 31st to die. I mean might as well end the year that way, instead of starting a new one with a tragedy.
Another vivid memory comes to mind of the one time I came with Agam, while I was pregnant with Tara. I saw a crippled child sitting next to me. His grandmother was trying to make him walk up to Guru Granth Sahib. It was painful to watch, and I could not shake off that pain for several weeks. I think I wrote a post on that eventually.
Over the last decade, the Gurudwara has been a constant in my life. I have very few constants. So I value what I can keep. Even Shiva’s where we held our wedding reception, is now closed 🙂
Anyways, it’s not the place, but the memories we make with other people in that place that make it special. So this weekend we shared the Gurudwara with Tara’s best friend and her family. Watching the girls play in the open gardens was a delight.
As we were walking past the old hall, the one I visited with my parents, I sensed my Dad around the corner, watching Tara from far. He would have loved to spend time with her. She has his energy and swiftness. And she is also very kind, just like he was. Perhaps he had come to wish her a Happy 4th Birthday!
I hope I keep going back to the Gurudwara for as long as I can. And may we all make even more memories there 🙂