You are each other’s temple

The beautiful act of devotion

On the way to breakfast—is there anything more wonderful than a kopitiam repast of hot local coffee, served black, and toasted white bread with butter and kaya?—I observe a man getting out of his car as I am parking mine. He’s fully dressed in office gear, severe necktie and a formidable belt. He pauses in front of a Hindu temple. Tall trees and shrubs surround the temple offering shade and a tranquil touch of green. This salaryman is bookended by an Audi and a Toyota. He lowers his head and clasps his hands together. I stand still and bear witness, not praying exactly, but finding a moment of reverence and serenity in this man’s devotion.

Then he finishes his silent prayers and walks away purposefully, ready to start his day. The spell is broken.

I too walk away, wishing not to delay breaking my fast any further, but I can’t help but think about my best friend. She is flying to India today. In a few days’ time, she will be signing a document with her boyfriend and they will be man and wife. He is a Hindu; she’s not, so this is a secular ceremony. They are in love, deeply and simply, with years of passion and arguments and laughter behind them and many more such years ahead also, and they are so blessed to have found each other.

My best friend had told me some days ago about how they went shopping for her engagement ring together, and their wedding bands too. Some of our other friends may bemoan the lack of a romantic proposal, every girl’s dream surely, but who needs romance these days? Such a fleeting conceit. They are together, these two, and they are making a commitment to be together for the rest of their lives.

The rest of their lives: what ring or proposal could match that? This is an act of devotion, just like the salaryman praying in front of the temple this morning. They will be each other’s temple and their days will pass in devotion and learning and caring for each other. May they have love and happiness always. May you too.

4 Responses

  1. Christy May 29, 2014 / 4:34 pm

    This is so lovely, and I agree; each and every couple is unique in their own identity and should not be subject to judgment by others on their standard of romance. Others may yearn for that romantic proposal; because they dreamt of it since they were little girls, or simply because their friends were all swept away by their boyfriends in their own amazing tales of how their proposal took place, and it is not a problem either, because it is their own desire and what they want. There are also those who found romance in simply other ways; and are not to be measured by the common standards; after all, who defines the common standards anyway? Just because majority makes up the crowd, doesn’t make that a right.

    I am sure your friend is content with her own path to romance, and we do not know their story; so as long as they are fulfilled in their own ways, there is no need to be subjected to the general practice.

    She sounds like a lovely person and I am sure she is on the right path to her own happiness with her other half. I wish her a happy and blissful marriage too, and you’re a great friend; for this is indeed a heart-warming post :-)

    • Kenny Mah May 30, 2014 / 9:30 am

      “…each and every couple is unique in their own identity and should not be subject to judgment by others on their standard of romance.”

      That is so very true, my friend. Oh the stories I could tell about my bestie (and also myself, come to think of it). We all have to walk our own paths into discovering happiness. What I’ve realised it’s that it isn’t about finding The Right Person so much as we ourselves growing up and being ready for a shared life with another.

      Thanks for your well wishes to my friend and her hubby; you have a beautiful and blessed Friday and weekend ahead, dear!

  2. ciki May 30, 2014 / 12:16 pm

    And YOU too.. my dear:)

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