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January 2017, vol 12 no 4

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Kala Ramesh

Temple Ponds and Lotus Pads

Temple visits were a must in my childhood. My mother used to go around the whole temple twelve, eighteen, or even 108 times, and I followed her faithfully for as many rounds as I could. That's her evening walk I used to tell people, feeling very wise. When it rained, the mud floors held puddles with the temple carvings reflected in them.

I loved sitting on the steps of the temple pond, my legs dangling in the water, watching frogs on lotus pads waiting to catch the dragonflies that flitted in and out of my vision. Losing sight of the flying insects, I searched frantically to spot them again, a game that kept me occupied until mother called that it was time to leave.

It has been ages since I visited a temple to pray. The crowds and the commercialization of faith . . . things have changed so much now.

in the midst
of this raging sea . . .
your voice

Note: published in Angelee Deodhar (Editor), Journeys: An Anthology of International Haibun, 2014)