It is now over a year since I wrote about my first visit to a Hindu temple. Since then I have been attending regularly with my family. I now feel accepted by the Indian Hindus, and one incident more than anything else brought this home to me.
A new mandir has been constructed in our city, and will soon hold rituals to consecrate the deities and the building. This is a very important event, which we are looking forward to very much. One of the people I meet there regularly asked me if I had been given a personal invitation. I told him no, but I had seen the public invitation on the noticeboard. He called over our pundit (priest), and asked whether I could be given an invitation. Pundit ji said “of course not”, then quickly smiled and gave me an envelope with the personal invitation for me and my family
Now he is comfortable enough to joke about me being accepted, I have absolutely no doubt that my family and I have been! I am very privileged to be at the opening of the magnificent new building. This purpose-build mandir will show the presence of Hinduism to everyone in the city. I have great affection for the old building, which is I believe had previously been a club, but at times it was limiting, with some people having to listen through the doors of the prayer hall during well-attended events.