Friday, June 13, 2008

Another confusion


I am elated. This excitement has certainly eluded me for some time. I am going to a temple tomorrow. The last time I found myself kneeling in front of an idol in a temple was on the first day of my 12th board examinations.

The excitement does not emerge from any sudden awakened spirituality within me. On the contrary, it reflects my adventurous inclination towards the atheist culture. I have never been ‘spiritual’ as followers of most religions define it. But I have always been compliant to the family customs which warranted reasonable admiration towards faith and religion.

Although all of my family members are strong believers of faith and religion, I find myself very neutral in these areas. I don’t recall myself ever praying to god thanking him/her of whatever he/she has given me in life. Till the time I was with family and participated in the festivals, I always prayed for ‘more’, when I was asked to pray.

When my family members went abroad for work, they advised me lit incense sticks and pray to god everyday. I have been practising this almost regularly, but with no faith.

In one of the winter mornings during the later years of my schooling days, I was coming back from somewhere. It was foggy and I was driving @ 70kmph on a flyover. Suddenly my bike drifted towards one of the sides of the bridge. I had lost control of the bike because of the speed. Somehow I managed to steer away the direction of the bike back to the main road but was confronted by an enormous truck a meter or two away from the bike. I closed my eyes and twisted the handle of the bike towards the other side of the bridge. After around 10 seconds when I opened my eyes, I found myself riding the bike safely on the bridge. I had left the truck far back. I could not believe my luck.
This was something which made me worship god for a few more years.

I really suffer with immense guilt and fear when I confess that I am an atheist. Guilt because I know I can follow the customs and traditions without creating a fuss and without being overtly philosophical about it. The fear comes from the dilemma that god may exist and all religious ideals might actually be true and that I would waste all my energies in not believing.

I know I am a non – believer but I am not very open about it (even to myself).

Meanwhile the trip to this famous temple may turn the tides either ways. This trip may buy me a fresh lease of faith for some more time by waking any dormant believer within…. or not… But I am certainly looking forward to this trip.

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