Vestiges of images from an Indonesian morning…

September 2006

I wake up. Don’t know what made me open my eyes. I am in an unfamiliar room. An airconditioner was humming and the air was crisp about me. The soft covers were not mine. Nor is the bed, so big I had no problem lying this way and that. Neither my feet nor my head reached the edge of the mattress.

For a moment, a wave of panic welled up. However, the sight of my hand-carry luggage quickly assuaged my fear. I had flown over to Medan last evening to take care of some family business. I’m in a hotel room now. In Dharma Deli Hotel.

The sky outside my window was iron-grey — brought to me by the city smog. And anyway, it was still early dawn. I saw lights twinkling from windows of the hotel’s neighboring buildings.

Then a low sound permeated the stillness. A comforting sound I haven’t heard for many years. It is a crier, calling the faithful Moslems to pray. I scanned the clusters of buildings I could see through my window and I was not disappointed. I glimpsed the a cresent rising above a dome-shaped roof. A mosque. And somewhere there, the crier was calling, calling his brethren to pray.

I am not a Moslem. But there was something about the crier’s chants that twinged at my heart. I knelt down and prayed to my God. I felt that Divinity was close by.

For three mornings, I woke up to the crier’s chant and knelt. For three days, I felt at peace. 

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