Leaning on Faith

I don’t believe in God. I don’t think rituals and ceremonies make anything happen. What I do believe is that there must be something bigger than you, me- bigger than all of us. The things we are taught and the things we teach- lighting a lamp, saying a prayer, respecting an idol or many idols, fasting…who knows if any of that is actually speaking to something or someone bigger than us?  Of course, none of this means that I will ridicule your beliefs.

It is our faith that gives existence to this benevolent, life-giving and life-changing thing.

Since moving here, I light a lamp every evening in front of two tiny idols of Ganesha and Lakshmi- not because I believe that they once existed, but because my mother, my grandmother, grandfather, my aunts and uncles- all of them believe it. As a dancer, spirituality (or some form of it) comes to me only in Bharatnatayam, but today, like so many other awful days, I needed something else.

Today, I prayed for the first time since coming here. I don’t do that very often and it’s something my family never forced on me. The only time I did get shouted at was when I ridiculed it. I see now why that’s an important lesson in growing up.

It’s been a day of a jolting reality check- a reminder that the most important things are not under our control.  My uncle survived a heart attack today. While my family in Bangalore is handling it, I can’t do very much from here.

I wish I could have been there, just to help in any way I can, even if it was staying with my grandparents and telling them that everything will be ok and there’s no need to worry. I cried, made phone calls, and finally resorted to some sort of lame consolation over Whatsapp to tell my (not-so) baby cousins that I’m there for them.

To get over my helplessness, I prayed for my uncle to get better, for my family to stay strong. I prayed for their health and safety. I prayed not knowing if anyone was listening and that’s when I heard the bell ring from the church nearby.

For this moment, I’ll take that as a sign of faith that the Universe heard me.

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4 thoughts on “Leaning on Faith

  1. It’s funny how when we are backed into a corner some form of faith seems to bubble up and sustain us through the hard times…

    I’m sorry you had to go through that and hope your uncle is doing much better now. Take care!

    Like

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