When times go dark and things go wrong
I turn instinctively for guidance.
And who better to guide me than my maker?
Not knowing where the heavens exist,
I turn – wisely, mind you – to my inner voice
And begin to mourn about what doesn’t mourn.
“There is God in each of us,” the wise man said.
But if you do not believe in yourself
Does it mean that you do not believe in God too?
“There is God in every being around us,” the sage chanted.
But if you feel that the world is against you
Does it mean that God, too, is cruel?
I am not sacrilegious but why can I not be a believer?
Is it because of my upbringing in science?
But then, is science against God?
Science is man’s creation; man is God’s creation,
So science is God’s creation too, is it not?
Why would He create something that would destroy Him?
I am not sacrilegious, but why can’t I be a believer?
I have many friends, but I seek only one – God:
The ultimate friend, the first friend, the only friend.
But where do I find Him?
“Search within you,” said the priest confidently.
I obeyed him. What did I find?
Murky shadows of doubt and aimlessness
That follow a famished aura of pessimism.
To conquer the dark I need the light,
But how to find the light amidst the dark?
“Ask your soul,” sang the choir.
Ask my soul I did. And what did it answer?
That I was aimless and a sceptic,
That defeat was proliferating in me.
Please – I do not need my questions as my answers
To increase my befuddlement in this mad game.
Which path do I take at this fork?
And which in the one after that, and the one after that?
“Ask your elders,” piped the book.
And ask my elders I did. And what did they answer with?
“Ask not what is not expected of you.
Live by the rules, make no new rules.
Ask us not what is unimportant
For we care not for answers for what is needless.”
I still travelled the endless foliage
In search of the scorching desert –
I was ready to do anything to find answers.
And lo! And behold! God really came,
Came to help me, His son, out of the shadows.
I was saved – all those years spent in abandon
Were not for nothing – the time had come.
And He spoke to me like a Father would;
His voice was as raw as a lion’s roar
Yet as melodious as a koel’s croon.
“I know of what you seek, but forgive me, son,
You will know of it better than I do now.
Forgive me for my seeming aloofness
But I love you too much to help you.”
And He disappeared.
I was filled with volcanic rage.
Tears streamed down my scarred, dry cheeks,
My hollow, dead bones echoed with indignation:
I was deprived of my birthright.
I looked at myself in the mirror –
My eyes were erupting with blood redder than crimson;
My face was fuming with wrath untold, unsaid;
My body was shaking with furious shock –
I looked at myself and realised I was afraid of myself.
I had allowed myself to become a monster,
A many-faced, sans-heart monster.
I turned away, tears of fury now turned to those of grief.
Maybe there is no love in this world,
Maybe there is no friendship,
Maybe some questions were made to have no answers.
Or were they?
Religion is, in the simplest of terms, subtle.
Wise men have defined it in different ways,
Each more distant that the other.
While one called it the destiny of every true human being,
Another crudely called it the last refuge of a coward.
I, like most others, think of it as a dilemma.
Something borrowed from Sudhanva Shetty