‘Mumbai a city where people never seem to have five minutes to spare’
A monk who spent his childhood in Mumbai talks about why he returned to the city from Sri Lanka after completing his monastic studies.mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2018 12:35 IST
The Reverend Lanka Ananda Thero, 37, has no memory of the day he was brought to Mumbai from Sri Lanka as a three-year-old, by his high priest. But the city has become the place he serves.
“I really like Mumbai, because I have childhood memories of going to school here and living in Dadar. So, after I completed my monastic studies in Sri Lanka, I decided to return… that felt like a better option than serving in a new country.”
Another reason he came back, in 2003, was to carry forward the legacy of his high priest, the Venerable K Ananda Maha Thero.
“He died when I was studying in Lanka,” he says. “Now, my cousin and I care for the three temples that were in his charge. She is the caretaker, and I am the monk.”
Lanka officiates at weddings and events, in fluent Marathi. He offers counsel to the community.
The temples are at Worli, Parel and Andheri, so Lanka has had a front-row seat to Mumbai’s rapid and dramatic change.
“In 25 years, I have seen this go from a city with time and space for leisure, to a city where people never seem to have five minutes to spare,” he says. “You learn to be really patient, as a monk. You learn to give. But there is less and less respect for those things here now.”
(This story is part of a series Moving Images that celebrates the city of Mumbai through its people.)
First Published: Aug 24, 2018 12:32 IST