Saturday, April 21, 2012

in the name of GOD

A friend the other day commented, "Jesus was a bastard. If you believe the Bible, then he is born outside wedlock." He knew, I was a Christian, and I might feel offended, but then the big mouth didn't shut up. I didn't feel, I had to defend Jesus's stature and he could easily do without me, as much as with me, on that issue about parentage and and no-one else did feel the need to defend, far less even pursue, the conversation was stubbed by silence.

Driving back home, I felt that the comment my friend made, topped among the worst I heard in a long time, inconsiderate and ill-informed. I could have easily rallied back or the other Christian in the group and name a dozen Hindu Gods or God's generally, who are just as much as a bastard, that Christ is. And it could have made the others more uncomfortable, phew !

They are called God's for no-reason, they have a different world than ours and things happen differently there. If all they did, was live like you and me, the average screw, then they would not be the GODS. God's have the heaven and all God's could do wonders (correct me if, I am wrong), from raising the dead to transforming ones shape, to the tiniest weeniest magic. Now when it is about them that we are speaking the immaculate conception doesn't seem much a wonder considering the prowess they have with creating from void.

People never realizes the thin borders surrounding religion, which shouldn't be crossed, lines beyond which, if the topic is not intellectual in nature with a proper argument, could be outright offensive to even silent indifferent folks believing in a certain God. I hope I wouldn't be wrong in saying every religion talks about the state of affairs after the breath ceases, and prescribes a way of life, to get there to the state and it is popularly based on how you spend your time while in the skin of man. And it is not nuclear science that the prescribed "way of life" can easily be led by each individual without burdening the other's way of life. But, then that is seldom practiced.

But then, for the masses, religion is not just a way of life, to lead on to the other world, if there ever be one. Religion is the show of strength in numbers and the devotees fighting the war for the Gods. If ever there be, a question as to , the most popular, or the supreme; I feel Gods for sure are better equipped than us, with all the powers and divine conceptions. Starting from the ancient times, from the time the concept of God existed in human minds and it varied, the fight for the spread of religion was also on. The fighters were promised the happiest 'state of affairs' after death; but then wouldn't the great one be contradicting himself if that is true.

Every religious book would for sure have a line about loving one another and then how could the same one, give an exception clause like the laws of the land, which starts with "Notwithstanding anything contained in any other....." The same God, talks about peace and its virtues and then with fingers pointed at the words in the fine print, bending them to suit their desires, they justify all the acts done in the progress of religion. If this be true, then that God is the biggest fallacy, for he was never a God ever, he wasn't the creator and he isn't the one who governs you after you are dead.

But being true, the religious riots of late is not even about the supremacy of the god, but rather revenge. If the Gujarath Chief Minister, could quote Newton's third law in reply to the press while asked about the 2002 Gujarat Riots, then that is all revenge and nothing done in the God's service, who preaches about love.

Religion brings in a feeling of belonging to the individual, and he finds security in the numbers. He have people to talk to about his ideas of God and many a time have them so drastically change that they end up believing fidayeen is the easiest way to be right beside God. After the true believers for sure there are the cowards who commits the murder and rape, for he believes in not just serving the God, but himself as well.

If only, men were a little more wise instead of being brave and loyal, a lot of blood shed, would have been avoided. If only people practiced what religion preached, rather than try show their strength in numbers or clout, many a history darkened with blood stains could have been different. If only, people like my friend, restrained their mouth from making inappropriate religious comments, many a mosque / church / synagogue or any temple of worship, as Rand would have said, would still be standing.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Watching my grandfather sit on his chair and pass time, bored and yet helpless, waiting for the needles on clock to come to a certain hour, for the arrival of some people, is a scene in my house on almost all days. He sits waiting for us to come back home, to share with him the events of the day and make his life eventful. It is the poor old mans wait to share the life of the young, to make his life have a tiny shade of color. But then, the figure waiting is not given the whole time once we are home, for we have our own jobs to finish at home as well.

His marriage, lasted 58 years, before grandma died and now he is left to live in memories alone. He some times talks about their marriage, when around 25, a friend found a suitable proposal for him and after many a formality he got married. Sharing life ever since then and being there to watch each others back, till an year ago,there wasn't a world, without her, for him. She was his, through the smiles and the pain and its been a union, from as far his old memory could easily recollect.

Grandma was on bed with arthritis, moving with the aid of a walker or if the weather was good, with a walking stick, for more than a decade and it was his tireless devotion, which made her walk at least that much. A loving dedicated husband,and a good father, but with the old age and its toll, there is so little a world for him to exist in now.

A peaceful existence with family and news and events and being involved for 85 years and finally to a big silence now. Grand mom was the talker, the one who had a 100 questions to ask or share and grandpa the listener. Now with the speaker gone, there is no sound for this old man to listen to throughout the day and he doesn't fancy listening to the new FM stations as well.

I can close my eyes and easily recollect my childhood spend with him. He always had the time, to answer my questions and always had some work with me involved in it. He held my hand while crossing the road, waited for me in the railway station, solved my queries about farm animals, taught me the roads, bought me a hundred rubber balls, is now just confined to his easy chair and the walk to the church and grave every morning.

I was filled with shame, for no reason, while I was making him evening tea the other day. The tea turned out to be horrible, yet he had it with no complaint, asking me about a friend of mine. I asked him "what do you want to do? Start a small farm and spend time the agrarian way? travel a bit and go through places, you have once been to? See the changes time have brought in? Live in different cities and meet new people?" He smiles at me and says, "I am just happy like this, sitting with you."

I look at him and I can in a way feel myself as a kid all over again, sitting in wait for him, for my adventures to begin. Being a kid, I wasn't left to venture out myself, but then with him around, the world had a new bigger dimension. The huge pond near the temple, the small tea shop near the main road, which served 'chaai' and 'pazham porri' (Banana fry and I hope Melange doesn't find my translation ridiculous), the lake on the left side of the Edapalli Railway Station, every place I went to, near the home I lived as a child, was holding his hand. And now he sits, waiting for me to share my life with his. Waiting for the rubber balls, with what I could brighten and bounce his days.

I take him out to meet his younger sister living about 50 miles away and he sits in the front seat, like a child, fascinated or maybe struck by the change that has struck and the pace with which change is marching on relentlessly. He tells me many a tale about some of the places, we pass by, places he have lived, places he been to, places which had his friends, most of whom, who doesn't remain any longer. While we drive back, he looks at me and tells, "since you were there, the day had wings."
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