The modern world has no space for archaic concept like God,’ she told me. She was just a traveller like me who travelled to places in search of something: something neither of us knew. I just nodded. Then she asked me if I had any understanding of God. I looked at my mobile phone and told her that I didn’t even have an understanding of the way my mobile functioned so I didn’t think I was in a state of explaining what was God. She wasn’t amused. She told me that it was a serious question, when millions of people had been killed in the name of God. ‘It was time’, she said, ‘we, as a society, as an educated society, should get rid of such superstition and come together as a society to help each other and not harm each other in name of something without any logic, whatsoever. No good as ever come from God or his followers.’ I, again, nodded because I had nothing to say.
She hadn’t told me anything new. I have been hearing similar discussions all around. Her thoughts were genuine and similar to a belief shared by many all over the world. Wasn’t it time to keep superstitions aside and pave way of future filled with human prosperity? How long would we remain like an ostrich and be blind to things from past without any logical explanation? What was God- a fictitious entity that made everything? What was religion- group of people who followed that fictitious entity? Laughable, indeed…
But, it isn’t a laughing matter at my home. I come from a devout Brahmin family where God is an indispensable part of life. Growing up in such household, I heard about God like he or she or it was part of our family. I read our religious scripture-the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana. They all didn’t make much sense because at the same time I was reading Plato, Socrates and Aristotle and the rational being in me was growing. They might have been good stories but nevertheless a fiction without logic. I grew up thinking God was a concept made my humans to hide their flaws and hide behind this fiction by saying that it was God’s will. But, like life does, it started showing me something I never thought existed and it was beyond all logic and rationality.
The first incident was my mother’s cancer. It was the first time I heard my father’s weak voice and it wasn’t a comfortable moment. I had been like any other youngster those days: I spend all my money on liquor and travel and saved nothing. Suddenly, I realized I had to stand up to the occasion and get my mother through the treatment and it was a real problem because my father didn’t have enough money. I caught the first train I could and all my way found myself amidst concoction of thoughts, at end of my wits and by the end I experienced a silence: a silence I hadn’t known existed before. In that silence, I looked at my mother waiting for me. The details are unnecessary; in two weeks she was operated at the best hospital in Calcutta and the doctors said she was extremely lucky. Somehow, I had known it before the doctor said. Of course, it wasn’t God’s doing. Couple of coincidences had helped me.
Life came back to track. Everything came back to normal. Then, one day, the land shook and shook my life. It was an earthquake and we weren’t very far from it when it struck. In those few seconds we found ourselves hurled into a situation with no precedence. Once again, I had to stand up to occasion and once again I wasn’t prepared.
My father, my mother, my brother, my sister in law, my niece and me- all in front of me, hoping that I would take care and I acted that I would. I had absolutely nothing to help them and I couldn’t even tell them that I couldn’t: I was their last hope and they only had hoped to live with. Once again, the same concocted thoughts, end of wits and then the silence. In that silence, I for some reason I don’t know, I looked up and asked for help. Few coincidences followed and the smiles came back in my family.
Now, life is all normal but I have started seeing up once in a while. Once in a while, I go back to that moment of silence that came to me when all doors were closed. I still don’t go to temples or pray but I know I am being protected by some unknown entity. I don’t read scriptures but I feel the hand on my shoulders. I don’t know if I believe God, I understand or I know it but I know there is some entity beyond the limits of my logic and rationality and it brings some nice coincidences in my life. I don’t ask it for anything but when no answer is to be found it helps me rephrase the question in it’s own irrational way.
I don’t tell people about it much because I had found it through my own coincidences and I wouldn’t have believed it if anyone else had said it. It is neither an invention nor a discovery. It is just something that is there at the deepest of silence and now I prefer meeting it once in a while. I don’t even have a name for it. It is just something that keeps my smile eternal like a cool breeze does to me on a hot day. It might defy all logic but then honestly, does our life really follow rule of logic?