City Monument – Moti Bagh Gurudwara, South Delhi
A refuge in Sikhism.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Peace is softly settling about each person. This is how it appears to be during ordinary afternoons at this historic gurudwara in South Delhi—a site sanctified by the visit of Guru Gobind Singhji sometime in the early 18th century.
Here, in this Sikh temple in Moti Bagh, is a retreat from the heinous hubbub in the modern metropolis.
At this very moment, a handful of devotees are sitting cross-legged on the carpeted floor, listening sedately to three elderly singers. Their soothing voices are harmoniously intertwined with the sounds of the tabla and harmonium they so skillfully wield. The world of Delhi may seem far away. But now the roar of an elevated metro train just outside the temple jolts sensibilities of worshippers for a few seconds. Before peace can again be restored.
The granthi perched by the palki is slowly fanning the holy book of the Gurus, pausing briefly now and then for fleeting seconds before starting again.
Meanwhile, the harsh daylight entering the prayer hall gets muffled as it streams through the beautiful red curtains, but is still intense enough to remind the supplicants of the unyielding world outside.
The kirtan gradually winds down. The gurudwara folds into a kind of restful quietude. But now one can clearly hear the traffic roar of the Ring Road. That disturbance recedes almost instantly as the three gentlemen restart the devotional music.
Finding peace and solace