Gurudwara Charade

I wake up in the morning; fresh skinned and vibrant,

Sundays – a day where the soul brightens.

I come before God and sing lovely hymns,

And meet long-lost friends to exchange some grins.

With each passing day, I look forward,

Sunday mornings – I am Cindy Crawford!

With hot cups of tea and ghee filled bread,

And old ladies with constant aches;

Why are you so late today?

Why is your lipstick so dark and fray?

Are you here to impress a boy?

Why are you so damn coy?

Cover your head, you imprudent snob –

You’ve used dirty hands to chop!

No, no, no, go away – 

Be a good girl; go up and pray.

I line up to bow in front of God,

Wait, your dress is way too short!

With a hasty jerk I get up to preen,

Did anybody see my inner seams?

With red flushed cheeks I proceed to sit,

Perhaps if I do chor, my sins will acquit.

I pick up the beautiful white sahib,

And start to fan Guruji, rid of all pride.

As tears start to flow from my beaded eyes,

WAIT STOP.

You’re doing it all wrong – she cries!

 I look up, and sigh. 

Why come to temple to be scolded if I try?

Since when did going to temple

Become so temperamental?

Who imposed such rules, 

parochial schools?

Who told you 

That just because I didn’t know

The direction in which the chor should sway

Or to wash my hands before langar’s lay

That just because my dress was too short

And my face contoured,

Who told you

I did not love?

Who told you 

That I deserved to be shooed away;

not even like a dog who’s told to “stay”?

No, no, no, YOU hear what I have to say –

I come to temple, with a heart to pray.

And then you tell me to go away,

That I wasn’t allowed to do sewa my way?

Funny how you wonder;

where are all the youth today?

We tried – but you chased us away

We wanted to learn

but you made it seem like we were just

Alone.

So, please, keep your Gurudwara charade,

Where all you think we do is fashion parade.

I rather sit at home, and contemplate,

read Gurbani and reflect instead.

At least, I know that Guruji

will never judge me nor forsake me

for my mistakes.

– Anonymous, Sikh

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