Since the 13th of June I am back in Southall, where I started when I came to the UK in February 2000. But this time I am not lodging in the Park Avenue Gurdwara. I have a ‘humble abode’ positioned strategically halfway between the Park Avenue and the Havelock Road Singh Sabha Gurdwaré, and within walking distance of the Oswald Road (Ramgharia), the Guru Granth, the Nanak Darbar and the Guru Amar Das Gurdwaré.
Southall is no paradise, but I can live here almost like the life I lived in Amritsar. I do not have to plan Gurdwara visits, I can just get up and go, and as the Park Avenue Gurdwara is next to the railway station it is easy to visit the Gurdwara on the way out or on my return.
In Amritsar I could see Harmandr Sahib from the roof of the house I lived in, here I can see the ‘golden dome’ of the Havelock Road Gurdwara from my window. Like in Amritsar there is a lot of human noise, but not much traffic or airplane noise (until the 3rd runway comes on stream).
Last Sunday I walked to Havelock Road Gurdwara and arrived in time for the start of the Ásá dí Vár. One of the sevadars asked me to do chaur seva, and I sat with the Guru Granth Sahib, listening to and partly singing along with the Vár in Rág Ása.
There was not a lot of sangat in the diván, but a steady trickle of people came in to pay their respect to our Eternal Teacher. The Rágí Singhs (where are the Rágí Kaurs ?) were doing a good job, not just singing nicely, they gave the impression that they believed in what they were doing.
And I was filled with feelings of love and peace, love for all and at peace with all. That is no mean achievement, as my life is in some turmoil at the moment. It was not through my efforts that I felt love and peace, it was the Gurbání and the Sangat that brought this about.
What I am trying to tell you is that I thoroughly enjoyed myself, leaving Havelock Road after having too much breakfast, and ready to tackle whatever life throws at me.
If you know what Gurdwáré are about, if you are familiar with Gurbání and its teachings, Gurdwáré can be great places to be in. It helps if you are an elderly male (greybeard) wearing a traditional outfit.
Those that know me are aware of the fact that I am often critical of the management of the Hounslow Singh Sabha Ltd. But I do acknowledge that Mr Sohi and friends do run their enterprise in a professional manner. Of course not much is done to help youngster who are on the path, nothing is done to teach One God, One Granth, One Panth and One Rehat Maryada.