SHRI SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR
I was so excited when Andy announced our latest outing, it was somewhere that I have wanted to visit for years. Yes, Neasden home town of Twiggy and Gerry Anderson. With three Temples of national importance in one area. As our chairman pointed out Wembley stadium is the temple to all English football fans. Then there are the twin temples to consumerism Ikea and Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The most important and the one we had come to see and photograph was the Hindu Temple.
A pity that only four members turned up. I'm not sure what excuse our members have got, it was a working day. Perhaps others decided that travelling to the other side of the world was too much for one day, others will say that their passport had expired. Their Urdu was non existent or their Hindi was rusty. In fact it was only the other side of London, about an hour by car and the helpers in the Temple spoke better English than me and were very welcoming and helpful.
The other two were Andy Brett and David Lund, two Andys and two Daves. Brett, Lund, Laing and Wilcox, sounds like a dodgy firm of Solicitors.
As there was no photography inside the temple Dave and myself took our pictures before meeting up with the other Dave and Andy and their respective wives. and going into the temple. We were asked to put our shoes on shelves in a cubby hole, we then went around admiring the carvings and the amazing interior before ascending up to were the Arti ceremony takes place. Asked to sit on the floor while the ceremony took place Andy managed to upset the Gods by pointing his feet at the statue of the Gods, trying to sit cross legged he began to wish that he had taken up the Yoga classes that his wife bought him for his birthday.
After watching the ceremony which included the waving about of lighted candles, not sure about health & safety, perhaps their was someone with a bucket around the corner out of sight. Still candles are lit every day in english churches without problem.
After a further look around the Temple we made our way to the exit, picking up our shoes on the way out. I'm not sure but I seem to remember our Chairman wearing a scruffy pair of black slip ons when we entered the building but he walked out wearing a new pair of trainers.
We made our way back to the car park myself, Andy & Dave decided to eat in the restaurant while Dave made for home preferring Lin's culinary delights.
After being seated we decided on the buffet but not before I managed to stop Dave from asking if he could have Beef & Ale pie.
After the meal I left the other Dave and Andy to take their pictures of the Temple. While I stocked up on supplies in the supermarket.
Where's that lot from Upminster Camera Club, they were supposed to be here taking my picture, now I have got to take a selfie