Thursday, April 9, 2009
Baha'i Lotus Temple
A few days ago, I had lunch with an extraordinary women in New Delhi. Her name is Leila Kabir, and Indian woman who's father was Humayun Kabir (check out his wiki page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humayun_Kabir) and is married to a man runngin for president of INdia in the upcoming election. At 70 years old, Leila is still a spunky human rights activist who speaks her mind, and never lets anything get in her way. We had lunch at a country club in New Delhi. With the blazing 100 degree heat, my family and I were all wearing shorts. But unfortunately, at the restaurant where we dined there, there was a dress code stating that, "all adults must where pants!!" We all managed to smuggle my dad in, each of us blocking the view of the pesky workers. We joked an laughed, and enjoyed amazing food, not a dull moment.
Near by is the Baha'i Lotus temple, an amazing temple celebrating the Baha'i religion. As we pulled up to the building in our taxi, myself in the middle between my mom and brother; jumping from my unseat-belted seat at every lump or hole in the road, our jaws dropped at the sight. Thousands of spectacular Indian saris, moving together in a rich flowing river of color. Yellows, pinks, orange and blue. All melded together, seeming to be one cohesive organism, snaking its way towards the entrance. My mom took one look at the breathtaking line and said, "There is no way we are waiting in that line." I mumbled in agreement, thousands of people, all lined up to get into this temple. My brother was persistent though. He insisted that we at least get out of the taxi and investigate. I reluctantly agreed, not having very high expectations for this place. My dad was overenthusiastic, as he leapt out of the small car, a silly grin on his face.
His enthusiasm was contagious and quickly caught on. And by the time we reached the mass, my family and I realized that the whole line was moving at walking pace, hardly a line at all, more of a march. This was the second time that day where our clothes seemed to be our downfall. About half way, we were required to take our shoes off. It was still a good 10 minute walk to go, and I was not looking forward to walking barefoot on the concrete walkway, made burning by the suns heat. My mom would not let us leave our shoes. She was adamant upon that pint, that we must take them with us for we should never see them again if we left them. So we all stuffed our shoes in the day pack, my dad's being just to big to fit, and he had to smuggle them in, holding them behind his back the whole time.
Inside, it was spectacular. Looking up at the ceiling, it seemed that I was being lifted upward. The architecture created the illusion of being pulled toward the sky. The walls were marble along with the floor and the pews. I picture is worth a thousand words, but sorry, no cameras aloud inside.
Baha'i Lotus Temple; the little dots you can barely see on the bottom of the building are people