A fine layer of dust covered everything in the office. The toy company next door has left so we took over the place and knocked down the walls over the weekend. Phase one complete. Next, the whole building. Of course nobody bothered to tell us to cover up all our desks with plastic. WTF? After a few minutes of typing, everyone started complaining about how our delicate editorial fingers are feeling like those of construction workers. Our eyes have been watery, our noses itchy, and throats dry. The more sensitive ones in the office opted to wear suffocating facemasks like we had SARS. But dust mites were already at home in my nose and wrecking havoc. I felt like shit. Someone would have to pay. Heads must roll. It was going to be a matter of days before it kickstarted everyone’s allergies and editorial would've been a hot mess. But the Universe is merciful. Out of the blue, an agnihotra (a Vedic healing ritual) was to be held on Thursday at the home of an Indian lady from my Vedanta class. The lady of the house burned cow dung with ghee and grains of non-broken rice in a copper vessel. We fixed our eyes on the flickering flame until it died down and breathed in the fragrant, healing smoke. And we all got a piece of foil with holy ash. I ingested some right away. Sickness HEALED. I sniffed a bit of it as well. Sinuses CLEARED. Energized. Harih Om. Our munificent company refused to buy us breathable air in the office. So we all decided to pitch in and our fierce Deputy Editor went and bought an air purifier. It now sits right next to our Arts Editor’s territory, whose name means purifier in Sanskrit. Coincidence? I think not. Friday was Guru Purnima, the full moon night sacred to sages. I had decided to go to the Chinmayananda ashram to pay respects to my guru, since he chose me. I left a little earlier on our Friday deadline day and some in the office thought I had a mystery date with a certain model. As the only yellow fellow in the ashram, I was immune to what might have been an awkward social situation. Since I’m not part of their community, I wasn’t duty-bound to play catch up with everyone and check out their kids. I did check out the saris though. Exempt from playing church club, I devoted myself to what I went there for. The droning chants got me into meditative mode right away. As I gazed upon the photograph of my Guru, he said, “Bitch, please. Shut the hell up.” And my mind went completely quiet. Which felt fabulous. I know I shouldn’t have consumed cow after Hindu rituals (oh well, I’m not orthodox), but we went for Japanese-Korean barbecue afterwards. No, not with the Indians—with my other friends. I did not have a single drop of alcohol, but with my slate wiped clean, I felt free, like I was five again. In my sheer giddiness, I probably terrorized people sitting around us with my emotional high.