This is the “lost” chapter between chapter 18 and 19.
I layed in bed with my eyes closed thinking about the baker. A man kind enough to share bread with a stranger, or the way his smile lit his face up after praying, how peaceful and calm he was. It put me in disbelief of what is said about Muslims. If they were about violence and their reputation was so bad, then how is it that just by watching a man pray I felt peace?. I was so stunned with the urge to learn more so I got on my bike and rushed over to him. I knocked on the door but the imam had answered it. I asked where the baker who was here earlier was and he replied with “may I ask who you are”.
“I’m Pi, I met him today and had some questions I wanted to ask ” I said. The imam put his head down immediately as if he was upset about something. I asked if he’d be home anytime soon and that’s when he told me what happened. “He was having sharp pains in his chest and collapsed to the ground. “He’s in the hospital” he said. Even though I had just met him, I couldn’t help but feel sad and discomforted. As I was about to leave the imam put his hand on my shoulder and said calmly ” pray for his health”.
I walked towards my bike to leave and thought “Pray”. I don’t know how to pray like Muslims. While riding my bike back, regretting not asking when I had the chance,
I felt as if I lost an opportunity to learn something that could change my life, a chance to understand Muslim religion.
I started to hear my father yelling “It’s time to wake up! Let’s go Pi”.
I open my eyes only to realize it was all a dream. I got up tired but filled with joy that it was all a dream and rushed over to the bakery “maybe this was all a sign from God” I thought.
When I got there he was really busy so I decided to wait because I didn’t want to take the chance of something happening.
The customers left so I got up and said hi to the baker. “I need to pray but I will serve you right after” he said with a smile on his face. I watched him again while he prayed. Yes it was like an exercise and I wondered how they don’t get tired, but it looked so beautiful.
“What can I get for you” he said when he’s done.
“I’m not here for the bread, I want to know about your religion “. He smiled the biggest smile I had ever seen. “I close the bakery in two hours, would you like to come back after ?”.
I smiled, nodded my head and got on my bike and left. It’s left like the two hours weren’t going by and I was so interested in knowing about Islam, I had questions that I needed answers to.
What is so special about Islam that can make one so happy after praying is the question that I really wanted an answer to. I’ve learned and practiced Hinduism and Christianity and knew a little about Muslims but everything I knew seemed wrong once I met a man so kind.