Let us pray
That may our souls become as pure as
the world sees it to be.
Let us pray
That may our souls become as pure as
the world sees it to be.
The festivities continued. I find myself lurking in the nooks and crannies of the recently constructed temporary bazaars, covered in vibrant layers of cloth, translucent enough for the painful bright light to pass through and tint the floors with various hues.
The smell of sweet paan curls into my nostrils, I feel the warmth of the steam let off by a huge utensil, into which a thick layer of condensed milk and chai leaves are stirred vigorously by a bony old man, with skin like tissues.
There’s a vendor, exhausted from attempting to hypnotize his foreign customers with wooden toys he bought off a young boy on the street. ‘Specially carved by the greatest of our sculptors in Rajasthan’ he says.
Truth is, they were made in a Chinese factory.
I walk towards the food counter, and all I see is a menu full of bland sandwiches and ‘Lays’.
I walk further away from the stall and find myself going towards the Lucky Draw counter.
‘Ah medam! You’ve won a beautiful doll!’
It’s a blonde, blue eyed, pink dressed barbie with ‘Amy’ written on it.
Disgusted, I give the gift to the young girl standing eagerly in the corner, in her only brightly coloured purple dress, the fire in her eyes when she grabs the doll does not comfort me.
A women shrieks ‘it’s the perfect gift for her, So modern!’
It’s some wonky strappy dress made of the worst material I’ve ever seen.
I walk further away from this fare, or bazaar, or whatever you’d like to call it.
I walk up to the beaming, gloating fat man standing at the entrance of the bazaar with gold rings on his fingers and a stupid foreign flag pin on his silk buttoned shirt.
‘They’ve done it again haven’t they. Stripped off all our cultural pride.
I walked further and further away from my reality, searching for escape amidst my lost location. Mentally frantic and anxious, physically resisting the urge to run and shout, simply unable to find the missing puzzles of my soul. And I found the edge, the edge of infinite wonder. I stood at that edge and all I could see beyond me was a million shades of blue. A blend of the salty Kochi sea into the evening Indian sky. Unable to be more conscious of my surroundings, I slumped onto the ground and let my feet dangle at the edge of the boulder. My kimono drenched in saltwater and my jeans stuffed with sand while I could feel parts of my face and body being stung by the drying saltwater that I had jumped into. I tried to look beyond the sea and beyond every edge of the sea that waved in front of me. I could find nothing. I became restless and I kept looking but there was no edge. There was only the edge of the boulder, into an infinite pool of depth and danger. And I released my breath, my heart throbbing slowly as if I reached a climax and as if I fell on the ground I was pushed towards. I found a few curious faces appearing by my side to figure out why I was so overcome with emotions that my face was drenched with tears. It wasn’t the tears that would make the back of your head throb with pain and your nose clog with red veins clawing towards your pupil. It was tears of exhaustion after discovery. Tears of an end I long waited to discover. An end that explained the chaos of my mind, the restlessness of my brain and the dissatisfaction of my soul. An end quite contradictory to its purpose. An end only to lead me to a million new pathways. My hands pushed themselves on the rock and I got up, my feet leading me back towards where I ran away from. Striding to my reality with a light heart and a replenished soul.
I’ve been meaning to find out the true origin of my commitment, why did I decide to bring faith into my life? Why am I not convinced by athiest debaters and scientologists? How did I become a believer?
There comes a time when you start questioning everything, actually, questioning begins from a really young age. When my mother told me to pray, she said, ask for whatever you want, anything and everything. I remember secretly wishing for a candyland and the largest dairy milk in the world, I remember asking for endless toys and chocolates, and I remember, always finding what I wanted the very next day, or perhaps finding it after some time, or maybe not getting it at all.
Since my upbringing, my family was very keen on making me understand my faith, they wanted me to know why I follow my faith, why I read this and say this. The truth is, I didn’t realize that my faith never made me do something merely out of tradition or culture.
This however, took me a long time to understand, understand my faith. Because I was entangled in a culture oriented society that our faith had become a mere category of being part of this culture, because often, I dealt with people of different faiths, asking me to do things that I was never exposed to, I dealt with people of my city, who disagreed with practices that I thought were morally correct, but they didn’t.
Because I was blind to the fine line between culture and faith, because it had camouflaged so easily that my culture was followed as a flawless practice. And it was then, that I started to find flaws, that I thought were a part of my faith.
You see, it was never faith that disturbed me, it was the cultural interpretation of faith from different diversities that forced my mind into this dimension of ignorance and constant questioning. Ignorance, only because I was vulnerable to it. I still am. I am vulnerable to intolerance and ignorance and arrogance and pride. (But these qualities may not be in a person questioning faith, it was simply my state)
But this is what my faith taught me, it taught me the true meaning of my existence, and to believe, you require strong conviction. I believe in the Almighty, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the most Wise, the most Just. I do not believe that I am merely a creature that developed from dust. I do not believe in theories.
Because the tides of righteousness have pulled the ocean of my brain towards a calm and serene shore. My heart feels more content with the truth of life. That I need to understand when the value of Materialism began and when Faith was forgotten.
That the world is merely an illusion, and we need to prevent ourselves from being sucked into it’s gold painted treasures.
I apologize for never being able to please you.
Actually, I don’t.
But no, I am not completely against you.
Because I am a part of you.
But this is why sometimes, I feel that we can never be alike.
You taught me the difference between Fantasies and Reality.
A Fantasy, that one day the world will make Peace,
The Reality, you will never stop having enemies.
You’ve made me realize who is in Power,
The media, spying on us from tall towers.
You love them sometimes, and at other times you loathe
Their attitude towards your beliefs and the word Hope.
You have turned me into a Rebellious Teen,
Trying to understand what Open Minded means
To drown my beliefs, and accept your ideology
Of What is Freedom, What is Equality.
How much can I say?
Will it change your perspective, definitely, Nay.
But I Thank you, dear Society
For helping me understand,
Your levels of Superiority, and
Where I Stand.
I write some, I think some more, and I question a lot. It's very chill, trust me.
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