It was just the last weekend that I visited my hometown, Mangalore. It was a very unplanned visit and since it was a long weekend reaching the bus stand in Bangalore (Majestic) was a challenge in itself. I had to leave my place one hour prior just to ensure I do not miss the bus. It was an utter confusion since, I initially thought of travelling via a city bus but eventually had to drop the plan and take an auto mainly due to the lack of time. Once in Auto, it was the bargain I had to focus on and after I assured myself that it was not atleast a lose lose situation (because win win situation with the drivers here is next to impossible) I got into it.
Next hassle to follow was the traffic. It felt as if all the people in Bangalore are travelling to the same place as I was. Just to convince myself that I have put in all the efforts to reach on time, I began pleading to the driver and make it fast. It was all so messy, so noisy, so annoying and disturbing that I did not even bother to listen to what was the driver was trying to say. After a while, I finally got exhausted listening to my own voice and chose to keep quiet. It did not take long time for me to relax because I could see many in the traffic who had lots of luggage and I was assured that am not the only one.
Next to me in a motorcycle were two people who shared the same fate as mine. The pillion rider was a girl who was continuously murmuring something to herself. I suddenly realized how foolish I would have looked all these while and blushed. Its only when we neared a temple I learnt that she was actually praying. I found it funny and thought of a prayer I could chant, but as usual I was blank because I hardly know any.
Exhausted and panting I reached my bus. To my surprise , I noticed that the girl on the motorcycle was seated adjacent to me. Stragely enough, a smile lit up on my face looking at her and a question lurked in my head if she did remember to thank God as her prayers were answered. Once the journey began, I put on my I-pod preferring to listen to music rather than hear the noise of the traffic. The sonorous drone of the rain outside as well helped me relax. I again looked at the girl praying (the act of touching her forehead and chin, practiced this thrice) and wondered what is actually bothering her that she is disturbing God the Almighty so many times. Then I noticed that she did so because she saw a small temple outside the window. Thinking lots of stuffs wanted and unwanted and cursing everyone I could for making it impossible for me to have dinner I fell asleep with the soothing music still playing in my ears.
It was when I began feeling the temperature increase that I woke up to check what went wrong. Realizing that the bus had come to a halt, I adjusted myself in the seat and put off the music. I was far too hungry to go find a reason now and exclaimed “ Oh! God, not again”. It was with a lightning speed that the image of that girl came into my mind when I said God and I turned back to check and again strangely felt good to see her safe in her seat. Yet again, the bus moved, journey continued and so did her chanting. Her prayers seemed endless throughout the journey whether it was that the bus stops for some time or we passing through another temple.
I wondered throughout the journey what was it that forced her to remember God every moment simply because I could not relate to it. Immediately, there were images of lots of people I knew that began flashing, who followed this habit of praying every time they saw a God's image. I am not very pious,In fact not even close to claiming am regular in prayers. I never questioned the existence of God, but somehow never managed to make praying a habit. Praying for me till date is a conversation between me and God. Strangely, I realized that I talk to him in English off late. Its a normal conversation I have with him as with any of my friends. I remember one of my friend looking at me as if I do not belong to the human clan when I told her one day “Chill man! God will understand. Do not worry”
My Dad has turned religious very late in his life which he himself accepts and has the opinion that I will learn the reason myself over the period. As for my Mom, I recollect she always told me that God is more of a positive force. He is someone we rely on when we feel things are all out for our control. She always believed that we humans always were programmed in a way that depending on an external force which felt is superior to us is a must. God, she believed is a guiding light, something that made us believe in ourselves, something which according to her helped us focus on our work than bother about the results and during times of agony or loss is a source on which we could blame things on. I must say, I did try this blaming thing in lots of instances and strangely enough it did help me relax.
Like every one else my opinions are based on my experiences. I do not know if I am right or wrong but to confess, I have mostly questioned him than accept things the way they are. God would agree that I am quiet a rebellious child of his.
We all who believe in his existence or something that we feel he is just a force binding everything together or someone who thinks they have to pray purely because they do not want to go to hell once dead ;) I believe should question ourselves.
Spending thousands on a pooja or helping a needy would make him happy?
Does killing people and fellow humans in his name ensure that we are getting a ticket to heaven?
Will deserting our parents when they are old help us justify our action if we ever are to meet him?
Does recalling him only to ask him for blessings every time satisfy him?
Is there any explanation for quotas in college or work based on ones religion and caste where innocent suffer?
Did God really create all these religion for us to fight amongst ourselves and prove our bravery?
Will forcing another to convert or to pray regularly avoid all the troubles in his or her life?
Whom are the believers of honour killing where the victim's family doesn't even shed a tear really honour?
We would all get many more points if we think. All these complications are created by us alone. Solution lies within us for all the problem that persists but we still choose to blame him for silliest of the silly things. I do not really know if the girl in the bus had any serious problem but she was an indirect reason for me to think of him and our foolishness for so long at that point of time when most of the people in the world were sleeping. I chose to thank her for making me think of him and prayed to him to take care of her issue, if any.... Again, I put on the music and began listening to one of my favourite tracks and in no time lost myself in the world of music... :)