Dated – November, 2012
There was a book I was reading. Can’t remember the name. I think the author was Tharoor. Somewhere, he talks about his brief period of atheism. The kind that “comes with the discovery of rationality and goes with an acknowledgement of its limitations”. And in those two lines, he summed up my faith in God and disbelief in religions. His lines summed up that one moment when logic fails; when you turn away and close your eyes in a silent prayer, and think no one is watching.
We are not rational. No one is. I think that when someone walks away or dies, it physically hurts where the heart is. Logic says that’s just an organ that pumps blood. But its never a stomach ache or a headache you know. I think ma’s assuring hand on my head every other minute when I have a temperature, cures me. Not the crocin, but her touch. I think love makes you look better. It really does. Not skin care products or other paraphernalia. But good old twinkle-in-your-eyes smile-for-no-reason love. I think that sometimes when you do close your eyes and have that conversation with God, I don’t know if someone listens or not. But strange as it is, sometimes things do get better. Like I said, there are limitations to rationality.
That brief period of atheism; I remember it too. Growing up in a God fearing extremely religious family, atheism is akin to sin. I used to question everything. You know how kids are. Why is the sky blue? Why do you pray to objects with no life? Why are there different Gods? And so on. Patience is a virtue that if parents were not blessed with, I don’t think children like me would have survived beyond their teens.
As we grow up, we define our own rules. Create our own beliefs. I did too. I don’t believe in the god of wars, annihilation and rapes. I don’t think there is a divine soul watching over the world; a world which is capable of all this. Some days back read about a daughter getting raped by a father and brother. If someone was watching over all of us, the tales would’ve been different. But I do have faith. Not in a statue or in any holy script. I don’t know who listens when I pray for those five minutes every day. But I believe that when I do pray, it makes me feel better in spite of all that is going wrong around us. Every time. There is nothing rational about that. Maybe God is just your belief that you will get through your darkest days. Your conscience when you go wrong. That small voice in your head that sometimes tells you what to do. When ma said I will find my own religion, maybe this is what she meant.