Before the Thanksgiving holidays here in the USA I finally had the chance to visit the Phoenix, Arizona Gurdwara and Sangat, to celebrate the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev ji. One of my old school friends Guru Dev Kaur suggested that I come for a visit to see the new Gurdwara which the Sangat has been building with love and devotion for many years. She has been involved with the building and I think is an Architect now.
This was to be a father and son weekend trip. Me and my 4 year old son, Narayan Singh, had our weekend getaway to meet the Guru and visit with friends :) One of Narayan’s good friends (Sat Darshan Kaur) now lives there in Phoenix so he was really excited to see her again. I stayed with her parents (my friends, Kirpal Singh and Narsingh Kaur) and had a relaxing Saturday afternoon just lying in a hammock; Drinking exotic teas with Kirpal, who never drinks less than a whole pot at a sitting. It was nice to just get away. I think one needs to get out of their normal day to day environment from time to time to relax. Otherwise you get stuck in your daily patterns and may not really get a chance to relax.
At their house they have some unusual chickens in the back yard for pets. It was amusing watching them run around and peck at everything to eat. Narsingh’s younger daughter (1.5 years old?) would chase after one of the baby chickens and eventually catch it, and have big smile on her face. It was one of those do nothing good days just relaxing, while Narayan and Sat Darshan Kaur ran all over the place having fun.
The next morning (Sunday), me and Kirpal played a few games of tennis and then rushed back to get ready for Gurdwara. I was excited to finally see the new Gurdwara. I have been to Phoenix many times over the years but for some reason or the other was never there on Sunday to participate at Gurdwara.
We arrived and it was great seeing the Gurdwara in person with all it’s beauty. This is a unique sangat because it is one of the few areas that I know where there are many western born Sikhs and Sikhs from Punjabi background who are together in the same community.
At the Gurdwara we sat and listened to the Kirtan enjoying the melodies and Gurbani. This was a large and special Gurdwara celebration so there were some stories told about Guru Nanak and awards given to leaders of the community. I was caught by surprised when they honored me with a Saropa for my work with SikhNet.
After Gurdwara the whole Sangat gathered for a large group picture which I was assigned to take. It was so nice to have this visit and talk some of the Sangat. The Gurdwara was very long and Narayan tired so I didn’t get as much time to talk with people….and our flight home was just a while away. Overall it was a nice visit and good time spent with my son. I am busy a lot with work so it is good to have quality time to spend with my son.
Here are some pictures from that weekend. You can read this SikhNet article about the Phoenix Gurdwara here if you are interested.