Thursday, December 28, 2006

A religious awakening

I mean that literally.

In summer, my bedroom window here is normally closed, since the a/c is on. In winter, it's left open, to let the cool night breezes waft in, while one is snug underneath a razai. At 5:30am, a lone bass drone wafts in on the breeze -- "Om bhurbhuvahaswaha tasaviturvarenyam ..." The Gayatri Mantra, one of the holiest of Hindu mantras. Obviously, one of the neighbors performing his morning puja. I turn over. Then, shortly after six, a nearby loudspeaker cranks up, as a throaty muzzein sends forth the azan the call to prayer across the still dark sky. Within seconds, more distant mosques follow, and for ten minutes the air is full of the cadances of Qu'ranic chant, proclaiming that God is great, that Mohammed is his prophet and reminding the faithful that prayer is better than sleep.

For some reason, there seem to be more azans afloat, so to speak, this morning. Ah yes, it's the jummah, Friday.

In India, religion is, quite literally, in the air.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful reflection -- quite poetic. Thanks for making my night!

Waldie's World said...

when we were in dar es salaam i loved waking up to the sound of prayer from the surrounding mosques. there is something about starting your day with the jolt of prayer that i found very comforting, even if the prayer was calling those to a religion that was not my own.