Wednesday, October 31, 2007 make sense

Nazeer rushes upstairs to the cafeteria, whispering 'Got a message from a friend. There's been a bomb blast in Majestic area.' He returns in 10 minutes. 'Nothing's on tv. Must be a rumour'.

She looks worried as I tell this to her after she puts Tejas to sleep. 'Never trust him. Not any muslims. He might be a good friend of yours but Muslims are Muslims. Tomorrow he'll give you a bag and tell you to keep it in the careful'.

She has a terrible mistrust of that community. Maybe If I'd been a kashmiri pundit who was driven out of the homeland by islamic terrorism, like her, I too would've developed that rage.

Reading through Annie zaidi's post about her experiences of growing up as a Muslim, I reflect on my views..... and there's a blur--a greyness. I'm not sure--whether to trust or dump the whole community.'Urban, middle-class double-standards' said a friend, long ago. Maybe. I've had muslim friends who were just everyday people--untouched by the stupidity of their religious fanaticism. 'That's on the surface. Deep down they're brought up as jehadis'

Mom hesitates once before asserting, 'When will you get your son's ears pierced?'

I've already told her but still.... 'No Mom. I have no faith in those rituals.'

'Are you not a hindu?'

'No,' I feel sick with this argument.

'You're a member of this family, this community. You need to follow these, just as you observe festivals and pujas...'

'I follow a spiritual path, but have I ever insisted that you too follow it, or Meditate? You shouldn't impose your faith in rituals on others. I want to stay away from dogma, as much as possible...'

Mom argues. I counter-argue. Tejas looks up at both of us briefly before returning to his toys.

'What's the issue?' says archana. 'What'll go wrong if you allow your mom to follow a simple ritual, for her satisfaction?'

You never escape religion. Or maybe religion is a facade. The issue is more about deeper, hidden insecurities, fears and barbarism--finding an outlet through religion. If not religion, it comes out through language, gender, race, caste, social status.....

Day to day life...I forget that I was born in a particular religion, in a particular caste, speaking one language, belonging to one community--my struggles, fears and triumphs have nothing to do with any of these. Yet these shadows are there, always lurking behind the back, ready to pounce upon you and remind you where you belong to.

Like, 'When will Archana learn our language?'

She doesn't need to. She can manage with Hindi and English. No communication problems.

'No. She must learn and speak Kannada...'

Bull shit!!!


  1. Vishwa, my dear friend, this is one of the most powerful, rational, and significant blog posts I have ever read. Thank you.

  2. Vishwa, I am in sync with you.

    A well expressed post.

  3. It is nice to see you standing up to what you believe in. Footsteps in the sand of time are not made by sitting down.

    Many times a ritual is followed so that others do not think ill about us. The process of trying to please someone about a ritual or custom has to stop someday and the entire revolution begins with individuals.

  4. Nick....I'm glad that what is scribbled here(at times, without much forethought) touches someone unexpectedly. Your observations are definetly an inspiration for me to dig deeper and give expression to forgotton moments.

    Thanks Karan.

    Anon...Agree with you. And true, footsteps are left only by those willing to walk. There's a rebel hidden within us all(along with a laidback, orthodox bum). Let the rebels wake up and usher in a new dawn.

  5. hi, i so much agree with you. Being a woman i have had many arguments with my mom about rituals, society, etc. But it is upto us to outgrow these dogmas, not get pressurized and implement New Age thinking. Divine Love.

  6. Seema...Come to think of it, it's entirely upto us to outgrow obsolete practices(as you said), but many times we give up and let things happen. Maybe we're not strong enough to resist or we'd rather not hurt someone we love.

    Or there's a threshold-- you allow things but only upto a point, beyond that, it's your decision, no matter what.

    And this threshold point goes further and further as we grow in strength and wisdom.....