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“The Girl with the Hindu Heart” · Global Voices

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"The Girl with the Hindu Heart" · Global Voices

Image of a clay lamp via Canvas.

This story has been reprinted post to Facebook Shivani Ramlochan at night Diwali with the kind permission of the author. She is currently in the UK as part of Bocas Lit Fest UK tour.

Today I am a girl with a Hindu heart, far from home.

It’s not so much Christian fanatics who offend me if they call me a “demon.” I understand enough the transubstantiation of Jesus Christ to know that the bones and blood offered in the mouth of men are evidence of a hungry God who wants to enter into us. And when I love that desert breeze of Nazareth, your heart of apostate and holiness jumps out of your chest with the desire to be consumed.

I reject Hindu fanatics. Those who blame their hands stained henna reproach that there are wrong ways to pray, to share, to speak, to sing, to speak, to burn. No, they say contemptuously, it’s not called that, don’t you know anything? Didn’t you learn this at school? Your temple, your pundit (do you have one at all?) would be ashamed. Which Indian are you?

Wild Indian.

I don’t neglect order. I am not a violent opponent of correctness in the art of prayer. If you know a better way gods show me. But don’t scold me. I’m not a shamed child, accustomed to reprimands from outside authorities religious. In my countryside, my wobbly pronunciation of Hinduism that I don’t understand from the PDF document on how to do puja Lakshmi that I downloaded from the Internet, like many of you, there is faith. I believe in places where I sing with my uncertain, trembling voice our generous four-armed Mother.

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You won’t get to samsara faster if you know how to write it in Sanskrit. All of us, cut off from the subcontinent, prospering in the Caribbean, are compiling our own prayer atlas. We have what we have, what we brought from overseas. We have what we have done here, also in farmland and sugar, in Fire and hibiscus.

When I pray to Lakshmi, I pray with an open heart. Even now, in the Atlantic from Las Lomas, Trinidad, where my family holds the puja, which I usually do cross-legged, leaning over Murtis and from incense, like swollen rotis, I hear your prayers. I can’t translate them in a way that will satisfy the purists, but that doesn’t matter to the One who, I hope, will listen to them with all his heart. So I pray here in Shepherd’s Bush, prostrate in front of the glowing laptop screen, no deed, no sandalwoodwhich the Correctly between the eyebrows, without a flame Artie burning in the house to bless it. I have what I have, like many daughters and sons of Lakshami in the diaspora, far from their homeland, when they do not have a community, materials, clothes, sweets, coconut oil.

I have a heart. And he is for her.

I wish all of you, every fanatic and sweet pretender, every always henna-painted devotee, Diwali blessed with four hands, blessing after blessing after blessing after blessing. Goddess knows I was once a pretender too. I told others that they spoke wrong, went the wrong way in this world, and how pernicious was my thinking, how poor was my vision of everything that the human heart can contain. If all locations puja if tomorrow they were empty, if every river bed was drowned in a clay void and it would not be possible to make a candlestick, how would you pray that day? What materials imported from India, now lost due to an environmental disaster, would you be able to handle? Oh, if you have a decorative candle, light it. If all you have in your musty apartment is a printed image O orange, stick it on the wall and let it guide you through the darkness, let it light up the night.

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You. Just like you, devotees of the Goddess. You are filled with everything you need for proper prayer. Get on your knees. Dance with your skirts. Raise your adorned hands to the light. Lakshmi will never ask you to apologize for the prosperity of your joy. Look at her smile, expensive white murti, chalk drawing on the floor in the apartment, twitter gif, liquid gold.

She is here for you tonight. She is here for all of us. Open your two trembling hands to her four trusting hands. Let her pour her love into her amazing and wonderful life.

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Pioli ‘pulls’ Leao by the ears and says the Portuguese ‘must make a dash’

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“If you think about Rafael from two years ago, he has made tremendous progress. He’s missing a few things, but he’s smart and approachable. I can give him all the ideas he wants, but his talent must be left free. should improve his heading, given his physique,” he concluded.

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