For as long I as can remember, my mom always had these religious books at the shrine in our home. Every morning, she seats in front of the small shrine, tucked inside a closet, and quietly reads the sanskrit texts within as she serves food to the idols inside the shrine. In Hinduism, books, prayers and traditions are passed down generation to generation from mother to daughter. Both of my grandmothers gave these books to my mom to remember the faith when we left our home to immigrate to America. Back in Bangladesh, my family and I always visited temples everyday Saturday. It was a communal experience with hundreds of Bengali Hindus coming together to celebrate the celebrate the faith that gave us hope in a world of turmoil. In America, this has slowly eroded. Over the years, work and a lack of time have made it difficult for us to go to temples and join the Hindu community here. However, these books have allowed to continue to practice our religion even when we have little time or resources to pray extravagantly. They represent a part of our life in Bangladesh that we have brought to the country I now call home. Over the years, my views of my religion have changed. I have become estranged and rarely go with my parents when they visit temples for prayer services. However, looking at these books always remind me of all those years I spent back in Bangladesh with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
– Prangon Ghose