Texas Ain’t What It Used To Be
The usual impression of Texas is of cowboys and aliens, of oil, of dry desert and cactus plants. But coming for a landing on Flight 8111 on Air Canada, on the flat airfield revealed something else. It’s monsoon like out here; the clouds are thick and rain is dense. Going down the tarmac I came upon white, black and Hispanic employees. Once being met by Anish and Ganesh, two young men from our community here, we drove down a series of highways to reach the Krishna temple on West Street.
We saw no horses or cowboys with hats. Images of what you might see from an old Clint Eastwood movie are totally dispelled. We are in Houston today.
I caught up on sleep in a nice apartment assigned to myself and three others yet to come from Canada. I then took the opportunity to chant japa on my beads in a large cavernous room, the future site of the actual temple. I could envision in the months to come a space full of deities, of pujari priests and of music and sounds sublime. There will be a softness to cover the current hard concrete in the way of drapes and colours. It will be a space for the spirit, defying the mundane. It will transform gorgeously.
Rain persisted while I insisted, and not being perturbed. I kept pacing in this space which will soon see the finest incense bellowing in the air. So I paced in the joy, knowing that this will be a new destination point for pilgrimage.
In stepping out off the property I could see that Houston is definitely not a place for getting on your saddle, but rather it’s about getting in your car. Not everybody is up for a steak dinner, in fact, in Houston, like many cities in North America, vegetarianism is on the rise. And as far as pedestrians are concerned, I don’t see a whole lot of them, but at least through automation, people will be drawn to a temple that will be magnifique, as it is already challenging the square boxed architecture of the neighbourhood with its towering domes.