Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not Really God!

The temple bell's pealing sound made sure everyone in the periphery became a little aware of God. The chant of the evening prayer rose in the sky to make everyone think of the Almighty and just for that second thank him. Those far away from the temple looked up in a sign of a quick prayer, those close enough to see the temple made rapid hand movements from forehead to throat paying their obeisance to God.Those inside the temple, by chance, their eyes closed as they think of the chores they needed to do on their way back home.

As dusk begins to settle, the pink sky creeps over the tall dome of the temple, the pointed top spearing through the sky, gold glinting in the last rays of the day. The temple is dimly lit with oil lamps and appears soothing opposed to the harsh electric lights on the street. The vendors outside the temple are now in their last routine of the day, wrapping up flowers, leaves and garlands. Dipping them in water, in a hope they would look fresh the next morning. The bright, clashing colours of 'haldi' & 'kumkum' heaped along the temple walk are covered with paper and polythene. Heaps of coconuts picked up in strain were being stashed, tomorrow God would eat some, others would await their turn.

I walk in, slowly; ponderously, to meet God. As I approach the lane leading to the temple stairs the few vendors who have their goods unpacked called out, wondering if I want any gifts for God. I ignore, can't spend good money on God. Have little of it. Some people believe if they invest in God today, he will return it with compound interest tomorrow. I don't believe in gambling, hence I never invest in stock markets, lotteries, God and short term monetary schemes.

As I enter the temple, the scent of joss sticks ensnares my senses, the hazy smoke swirling inside, curls around my head to hypnotise me. The cool tiles under my feet begin the soothing, acupressure that today's slipper and shoe-swathed feet often miss. I bend down and touch the little tortoise, its smooth back and accurate design instantly capturing my mind, not allowing me to think of anything beyond the temple. I raise my hand and ring the bell, announcing to God - I have arrived. The echoing sound takes over my ears as the ringing refuses to leave my ears. I am in a place where the temple has conspired to keep the outside world in its place - outside.

I look into God's eyes. I do not close my eyes or lower my head, its a stone, I am higher - a human. His eyes blaze, with diamonds catching the rays from the oil lamps at the perfect angle, in a way mine can't. It becomes difficult to stare, like it is difficult to look at the sun, for the light is too bright, hence I close my eyes. As we cannot shake hands, I fold them in a formal 'namaste' my neck and back erect. And we begin to talk. About life, people and the world. He seems in a good mood at this time generally, when there is no one. He is a stone and hence, patiently hears what I say... and gives some response. He never responds when there are hordes of other people. As we finish our dialogue, I say good bye and walk out.

To an onlooker I may seem like a devotee, someone who believes in this way of praying that I do as a code of conduct. But I know what happens, its all science. The science of lighting, the fragrance, the art, the beauty, the expensive rocks and ... that sense of talking to someone whom I really don't want to, daring the stone to respond if he can!

Sometimes I hallucinate he responds and keep going back to prove it was just that - Hallucination.. not really God!


  1. very nice...though why negative??? why not just believe..good writing..very captivating!!!!

  2. ya feel the same way sometimes....i tend to dream a lot when i pray dunno if anyone listens to me...

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  4. I feel the expressing it has never been easy..Gr8 writing!! Keep it up!!! :)