Thursday, October 23, 2008

Its Raining!!! Its Pouring!!!

Finally the monsoon has hit Chennai. The climate is so confusing this year . One moment it will be as hot as the Sahara and the next it’s raining so heavily that even Cherapunji will look at Chennai and go ‘Wow!!’
I didn’t sleep properly at all last night with all the lightning and thunder. I sleep beside the window and the curtain was drawn a little bit. Whenever the lightning struck, I felt like I was at a premiere of a movie where all the photographers were taking my pictures except that I was in my night clothes and lying down.
Whenever it rains and there is lightning and thunder, it reminds me of this one night in school hostel almost 6 yrs ago. Ours was a circular dormitory with the middle bit open , similar to the nalukettu houses in kerala, with windows around it. All of us had gone to sleep except for a few and at around 11 pm the current went off. It was raining like crazy with lightning and thunder. Kavitha was sitting on the top bunk and was reading the Bhagvad Gita when the current went off.
Let me introduce Rajani to you guys, who had this problem that whenever the current went off, even if she’s in deep sleep, would get up and hyperventilate. So what we used to do was keep an emergency lamp on charge next to her so that even if the current goes off, the lamp would switch on. On this particular night, it was not kept next to her and as usual she got up, started hyperventilating and also started calling to her friend ‘Renu’ (loudly & repeatedly) who was not even a hostelite, which was very strange. This was the first time. Kavitha in the dark, somehow found the lamp and went to Rajani’s bed and switched it on and Rajani immediately quietened and went back to sleep.
In the mean time, there was Nosheen who’s sleeping on a metal bed next to me, was shitting bricks because her uncle’s house had caught fire when lightning struck a metal bed, though I don’t how true that story is, and she kept trying to wake me up since I was the closest but I was sleeping like a log and dint hear a single thing. Kavitha told Nosheen to grow up and go to sleep. After that the dorm is completely quiet, no thunder or lightening.
Suddenly a girl’s voice starts singing ‘Hallelujah … Hallelujah…’ (similar to the hymn in the Mr. Bean episode where he goes to the church). Nosheen is nearly in tears and Kavitha shouts ‘Who’s singing??’ No reply and no sound. After some time, the singing starts again. Then the singing stops and Nosheen feels a hand tugging on her arm and pulling her. She screams and mind you I’m sleeping right next to her and slept, in Nosheen’s words , like I was dead. It was another girl, Nisha, asking Nosheen to come and sleep on her bed since she’s scared. Nosheen went and slept on Nisha’s bed and the rest of the night was peaceful.
The next day we are all up discussing about the previous night’s incident. I got an earful from Nosheen and she told me that I’ll be the last person on earth that she would call or ask for help , if anything happens to her. No one knew who the mystery singer was. We were talking about ghosts and stuff like that. Kavitha went around asking everyone and she didn’t find the singer. Everyone in school was discussing about this incident and the mysterious singer. Finally in the evening, Nisha finally admits that it was her singing. She dint want to admit it in the night or morning of fear of getting shouted by Kavitha or Nosheen. Oh boy!! She was so wrong. She got it even more from them. All in all we had a good hearty laugh.
I have told this anecdote to people whenever it rains and it’s still so funny each time. All in all I love the rainy season. I love the smell of wet earth. I love to sit in the balcony, drink hot coffee and read a good book with light romantic music in the background on a rainy day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Religion and Blind Faith

There is so much of talk about religion and faith everywhere. India shows that it is truly secular with the attacks on churches, bombed temples and blasts at mosques. All in the name of religion and faith in the God almighty.
If everyone needs a tangible evidence in the concept of God I would suggest the Sun to take the place. It’s better than praying to human figures and animals. The sun plays a lot more role in our lives than any other figures. Come on what if the Sun decides not to rise or changes its path, then what will happen to everyone??
Every day I see my neighbor, an old man doing his Surya Namaskara (worship of the sun) in his balcony. It’s fascinating to see him to pray to the sun which ultimately is the one thing that is close to the God that all of us have chalked up and been fed to us from generations to generations. Even I look at the sun and realize how insignificant we all are compared to it. The world will go on with or without us but not without the sun. As we look into the past we realized that our ancestors used to pray to the Sun, which makes a lot of sense because it brings light into the world. I find it so ridiculous that people pray and look up to other human beings who has done a miracle which is nothing in comparison to the sun. I sometimes feel that people have taken the whole concept of religion and God a way too far. The religious institutions are making people believe something which is not there and people, even educated ones, blindly believe it. They say all your sins will be washed off if you donate cash to the institution, so in retrospect to say that a rich man can commit murder and his sins will be forgiven if he donates money. I mean isn’t this what they are propagating? Look at all the religious channels and all those preachers and swamis? People flocking up to them thinking that they are an extension of God and can do miracles. If that is what they claim to be then no one should ever be sick.
Blind faith fascinates me. How can people belief stuff without questioning it? I was brought up to believe that God is a nice person but (there’s always a but) he’ll punish you if you do something wrong. So at a young age I was made to love and fear God at the same time. As I grew up realized that it was so wrong. I’m not propagating that I’m an atheist. I do believe in the concept of God. I don’t believe in religion. I came across the following while browsing online.

‘I love God. It’s his fan club that makes me nervous.’

This is so true. I mean look at the religious fanatics out there. Even terrorists are an extension of this. I can’t believe that the same species can be so brilliant and dumb at the same time. I mean isn’t God the one who tells us to love thy neighbor. I never came across the part about bomb thy neighbor and get brownie points from me. It scares to see where we are heading and how this is going to affect the future generation.