Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Being religious is uncool?

My Uncle and Aunt are long time Swadhyayis. They go on this “Bhavferi” to visit homes of Indian families and to give them information on Swadhyaya and to enlist new people to join this mission. They look like your typical short sweet smiling Indian Aunty Uncle. This time they visited couples in the 30-40 age group, Mami said that she saw one thing common everywhere, huge houses, both the husband-wife pair with professional qualifications and stressful jobs and an impatience towards everything. At a few houses, they weren’t even invited inside and were standing out on the doorstep on the cold dreary day. Mami thinks that the nicer people are in apartments and smaller homes. The bigger the home; the snobbier the attitude, and intolerance towards other people. I had written a similar blog post on this long back. I would like to think that if four older desis had turned up on my doorstep, I would at least have done the courtesy of inviting them inside; especially when you can very well tell that they are decent people.

Anyways that brings me to my next question – we have a huge group of friends and while most of them do the occasional Satyanarayan pooja and what not, no one does anything related to religion on a regular basis. Culture is limited to the Diwali parties and the Ganapati parties and dressing up and potluck dinners. Cultural events are tweaked for convenience and pampering of oneself. I am sure this is not the universal truth and it so happens that all my friends (and me) are like that. I don’t claim to be an expert on our Indian religious verses and scriptures but of late I have developed a healthy curiosity to know more about everything that has been written – I like reciting prayers for my baby at bedtime and she loves it too and demands prayers every night. I do think that we all try to do the best we can given our job pressures and family demands so it’s just an indication of changing times I guess. As my Aai tells me, even in India, with nuclear families on the rise, very few families actually make all the sweets and chatpata snacks for Diwali and mostly everyone buys it from the various stores who provide authentic snacks and mithais.

While attending a U2 concert is extremely cool, going to a Gnyaneshwari discussion is considered very boring. Why is that, I ask? Can you not do both? Do we have to fit into one kind of an image or the other? I would love for my baby to grow up with her belly button pierced and a fit body and wear the most awesomest coolest clothes and then sit down and recite the entire Ramraksha in one go and to be able to talk about India’s history, culture and religion with ease. I would like to be that too!! Yes Yes I want to have my belly button pierced one day – post babies and when my tummy is flat like an iron board :) Anyways I am rambling and rambling…………what I feel at the end of the day is – this life is so precious, there are so many things in life of which we are completely ignorant of, instead of wasting this valuable time that we have, why don’t we all try to learn something new, read something new, help someone new and when we look back at our life ten, twenty, fifty, seventy years from now, be insanely proud of how we have lived it?

Now I need to practice what I preach so I will stop here and work :)

1 comment:

  1. what a coincidence that I am thinking about religion too, though slightly differently.
    I am even less into religion than most of your friends, going by the things you mentioned. But its mostly because the everytime I have turned towards religion, I have seen irrational, biased and sometimes misogynist stuff that put me off...my own thoughts are half baked so won't take up space here but its not about being uncool, its more about practicing only if it makes sense :-)I don't want to believe in things that come between me and my God...
    I know I am not making any sense so I will stop and come back when I am more coherent.