Walk the talk – Temple tales


“I am an Atheist”. He said.” I do not believe in organised, ritualistic religion or God “.

I believe temples are the biggest wealth hoarders  and should be termed as business houses if not anything else and for that matter even the churches , mosques, gurudwaras and all other so-called places of worship. Can we use RTI  to question all these people who are amassing wealth in the name of religion?

I can not believe in anything that doesn’t exist like ‘ God”  if super powers are what we are talking of then I can a name a whole pantheon of superheroes who are more real to us than some non entity that lives in an abyss . I would rather  respect Nature for that matter.

Long ago before this whole class division etc happened people simply revered the nature around them then some men  devised this concept of heaven and hell to  put fear in masses and used it as  instrument of power. People use it because it is comfort beyond compare for those who do not have faith in their own abilities and a sure shot way to richness and power. Those modern-day worries have made people use religion as a crutch and that is the reason they blindly follow those babas, gurus, yada yada to the highest degree of stupidity.”

I decided to listen. It is a wonderful thing to do. A lost art too. “I would rather believe in Good than God ” I said.

“We live in an increasingly gender-neutral, technological world then how can we believe in a sham like religion.”  Except for the temples of Khajuraho I detest them all. Noisy, their air dripping of communal ism  and class/gender differences. I hate the priest who fleeces the zombies who visit these places ..zombies for they are bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli.

” The “God” sits there smeared with various things,  adorned with finest jewels and watches this crap or in some other religions He is conveniently formless. All that milk which is poured on the shivlinga can feed hundreds of malnutritioned kids.  Wonder if God knows that. I find this whole Abishekam and shringaram rituals pathetic. Such waste, and to think people pay hefty sum to be a part of this, to watch God bathe. Yikes!

People do not have faith in themselves , they do not have love for themselves and their fellow being , animals, trees , things that sustain life but they would draw blood and commit the most atrocious things like child sacrifice for a belief they can’t even explain properly. They are like those terrorists, fundamentalist who have blinkers on and one agenda – their supremacy.

I was impressed at the use of vocabulary.

“Losing an illusion is better than finding a truth”- Ludwig Borne

God loves you and he needs money.

“What made you talk about this suddenly?” I asked.

“I refused to enter the temple where granny had taken me and that brought hell right on earth at the doorstep of the temple. He laughed. “I  was lectured on how I would burn in hell for offending Him. Ah, well , who cares.All that fasting had made her irritable and in my opinion she needed food than God at that time. The best thing to do was listen and text to bro for a fake call which came promptly to my rescue.” lol It was my turn to laugh.

“Also I watch our house help pray religiously for her husbands long life and well being and in returns she gets beaten up, abused sexually, emotionally, mentally by  that drunkard day in and day out and I say to myself surely her God is deaf and pro rich and pro men , someone who can  listen only when some seth or sethani is playing raunchy bhajans based on latest film songs  by a loud speaker and offering him a big notton ki gaddi. This poor woman’s tear streaked voiced drowsed by pain and sorrow doesn’t reach his ears.  It makes me sick. ”

“I don’t see any relevance of these grand structures. Mosques, temples ,churches , I love the architectural, cultural or historical aspect  but beyond that, nothing.  It is a height of conceit to clothe some non existent God in human form and  ascribe to them our petty vanities and jealousies. Rituals, beliefs in Horo(horrors)copes, gems, stones, astrology, numerology anything that gives people that illusory hope and a name in His good books is lapped up whatever the cost may be. Sad isn’t it that we have no compassion for living but we can go to any length for some abstract thing/ person or an ambigu­ous con­cept that is not well-defined?”

“True, I hear ya”, I said munching the roasted chana( good choice, when thinking) .

“Religion is the root of all the mess in this world and the most racist, sexist , discriminatory vice of the society and the viral root cause of all evil in this world. Society will rot if this doesn’t end. Religion is a refuge ground for all the unscrupulous people, politicians,business men with number do ka paisa, criminals and many such others. I don’t think I need their company. It is a tool for gender inequality mainly oppression of women. I am perplexed at  how even eman­ci­pated women pre­fer to stay within their reli­gious faiths and strug­gle against oppres­sion, and not choos­ing to dis­card religion? Glad you discarded it long back. ” He heaved a sigh of relief.

I told him about an article from Guardian ,” Religions do a good job of training people to be obedient and loyal to the authorities and women in particular are raised to be both devout and submissive. Religions are sticky: they are hard to abandon and that is doubly true for women, given that subordination and unshakable fidelity are their chief duties.” { LINK }

Fanaticism is at t he core of all religion. A man kills100+in Oslo & is termed as “Gunman” “attacker” “Assailant” by media but If he were Muslim he would have been declared a Terrorist. Somehow the word terrorist is conveniently associated with Islam but I feel everyone who has deep-set ideas and beliefs that are rooted with age-old dogmas, rituals, religious norms has a potential terrorist trait.

“I never believed in religion. I cringe at the fact when someone says “Hindu child” “christian child” so on and so forth. I never took mine to a temple to force religion on them.  I encouraged to ask Why? and take their own stand in life, to choose what is right and acceptable to them. Today it seems I made the right choice by taking a conscious decision of not to indoc­tri­nate my boys and fill their impressionable minds with my aesthetic beliefs.

I remember a huge debate that rocked our home when my FIL decided to build a temple in his ancestral village and a room at Badri Kedar . The question which we raised was “whose temple is it anyway, yours or God’s”? It was funny to me but to the family it struck like a bolt of thunder. It also sparked another fire when I asked how a family can fast for seven days, chant bhajans in praise of the goddess, light a lamp twice a day and abuse , insult the DIL of the house ? Does the Devi grant permission for that? The question evokes responses which the Goddess  herself is still wondering about  but her devotees have forgotten conveniently.

I detest the gaudy display of wealth in these places of worship where we see the names of  people who have given “DAAN(offerings)” . It looks so crude. Is this some “name to fame”  kind of show? Something to brag about for generations to come. Birla Mandir is one such example. Poor God has been left sitting quietly on his pedestal. It is not something new, it began from the times of kings.

“People can go through an entire lifetime without questioning”, I said ,’  It’s impossible for me to believe in any of the anthropomorphic gods, because they are simply ridiculous. They are obviously the fantasy-projections of scientifically ignorant minds.”  I winked at him and said, ” may be we can believe in “Hoobanog”. “What’s that ? ” He gave me sharp look. Well Don’t ask , it is beyond explanation, a kinetic energy that I believe runs the entire show of the universe .” He laughed . ” you just coined a new term. ya well, we need to label our beliefs.”

Jokes apart I am good without God. I said as we neared the gate of our building.  I am in awe of the universe itself, and very grateful to be a part of it. That is enough..When will we grow up and be cured of this illness of  our unfounded belief  in religion and face the real tragedies and pleasures of life?

“How is your writing going? Any new assignments which will pay?” He asked suddenly.

“Huh? No, not so lucky I guess. ” I replied.

” Hey why don’t you become a priestess? It would be damn cool.. ” Tiku – the high priestess of Delhi. She has the divine power . ”

I laughed out loud ” ya,sure and trust me I will have no shortage of wealth. ”

“Absolutely, that’s the point. All you need is a few strings of rudraksha, some rings with colorful gems, a robe ( the Osho maroon is cool), a crystal ball and such other stuff plus a swanky office in posh south Delhi. How cool is that !”

“We are such fools.Adam and eve must be crazy to sow the seeds of human race”, He smiled. “Were they” whites” ? ” How come then we have so many colored people?” ” Something went wrong”?

The sun was setting behind the high-rise shopping mall across our balcony and I wasn’t in a mood to indulge in another discussion.

” Our obsession with white skin must be the by-product of that. Did anyone commit any sin to get brown, yellow, black skin?”

I  decided to enter my sound cave by putting in the ear plugs. He hugged and got busy with the laptop. That God for small mercies.. oooooops :p

Thoughts mentioned are personal and I do not wish to offend any religion, belief  or viewpoint. 

Is God Deaf or Are We Insensitive ?


I saw the tent come up in the park next to my home and knew that it was going to be yet another night of religious cacophony. ( we had undergone this nerveshattering experience just a few days back during a visit to my mom’s place).

My fears were confirmed when the mike check started at ear shattering volume. The dog which was trying to rest after a hot day raised his head and gave a look of disapproval but decided to catch some nap before the show really began.

Within half an hour someone started shrieking out devotional mata ki bhete ( devotional songs for the Devi Durga) and rest of the Gods. The irritation was taking a toll on me and I mumbled some cuss words to sooth my fraying nerves.

I always ask

IS GOD DEAF ?

or

Is it that we have become utterly insensitive to our surroundings?

Is it that Gods are more alert at night and screaming your devotional  breaking the peaceful reviver of night  will bring them closer to God’s love and mercy?

With temper rising like a river in flood I began my monologue ,cursing all insensitive people who organised such events and those who participated in them. The boys were not perturbed . The headphones were properly glued to the ears.

Why should I get tortured alone I thought so the headphones were confiscated.

My husband seemed not interested in talking about the issue. religious sentiments run high in this family and it was a touchy topic raised by an atheist . Even worse.

He told me either to ziplock my mouth or be bold enough to report.

I knew the reason for the  challenge . The ” respectable ” family which was organizing the function are thick with my In laws and any controversy would make me an ” Out law”  and this was certainly not a desirable reason to be labeled so I decided to remain silent.

The police turns a deaf ear  or if at all has to make their presence felt on some one’s complain, they come, watch, eat and go with a mild warning.

“samjha karo ji ” Try to understand.

Religious zealots will be looking for my head if I say more.

The blaring loudspeaker churned out some of the most torturous music I had heard in recent times  with  comments like ” munde ki ma nu bulao” ( call the groom’s mother” ) and so on with a little introduction and a chorus from the mentioned family members. Making matters worse.

For music lovers like us , it was plain and simple case of cold-blooded murder of music.

The decibel levels  leave you grimacing and the murder of melody makes your soul wanting to escape your earthly body to some quieter abode.

” the singers, composers and lyricists must be turning in their graves  ” I said in a hurtful tone and my elder one nodded in agreement.

“Those who are by any chance still alive  will go to the graves tonight. May they rest in peace.” . He said.

RIP ?

( wishful thinking)

There is a law against the use of loudspeakers after 11 I think but when it is a matter of religion no one dares to voice their anger. I came to know that someone from the nearby flats had complained and even told the  family head to cut down the noise but he was told that it was just a matter of few hours and an auspicious occasion so he should ” please” bear with them.

The RWA seemed helpless and the tone-deaf crowd kept singing and clapping and dancing in unison till late.

There is a community hall in  the locality and that should be used as rule for such events but the tent still stands with pride in the park and aromatic aromas of food is coming out from there. Guess its going to be a permanent fixture till the wedding is over.

To make matters worse, the devotional bit ended by 10 and then began the filmi music ranging from old songs of Kishore Da to the recent ones of Himesh and then the out of tune rendering of Aaj jane ki zid nakaro that made my temples throb.

The female singers sang as if under a diabolic possession.

Desperate attempts to block the noise failed completely so I immersed myself in the blog world while my hubby slept with a pillow on his ears.

Like a hopeless ,  helpless sponge my entire being soaked up the noisy screeching and shouting that went on in the name of music and devotion for Gods .

That also set me thinking on this whole business of pleasing Gods. I shall write about it in the next post.

No one cares and everyone blares is the quote of the day.