An oasis of calm and relative quiet
in the midst of the noisy streets
of Old Delhi is the Sikh Temple
on the main drag, Chandni Chowk.
All who enter must cover heads,
remove shoes, wash hands/feet
rituals of respect of the temple
for devotee and outlander alike.
During worship times in the main hall
an essential part of the Sikh faith
is the kitchen offering free vegetarian food
to all, from any religion, caste, or class.
Volunteers from the temple cook rice
and dal in pots larger than most stoves,
brew tea in tubs, and serve the guests
who all sit in dignity on the floor.
The agnostic outlander finds a divinity
in this sharing of simple food, and hopes
his Sikh hosts will respect his embrace
of this warm and rich part of their faith.
About the contributor: Kim Peter Kovac has work appearing or forthcoming in print and on-line in journals from Australia, India, Ireland, Dubai (UAE), England, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, and the USA, including The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Elsewhere Lit, Frogpond, and Mudlark. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.