I Say ‘What!?’ When You Say ‘God!’

by | Sep 22, 2018

I have started talking to strangers. Why do we call them strangers in the first place?
We know so much about them already, their sex, how they look, what they are wearing, how they move. Isn’t this information enough to have a conversation with someone? What holds us back? A simple answer can be, I don’t want to have a
conversation, and that’s fine too. But then, why do we have conversations?

A conversation is an exchange of information between two or more people. You sure can converse in your mind but that is just an exchange of information with yourself, or rather telling yourself what you know already!
Other reasons for not having a conversation can be because of heavy usage of mobile phones, where everything is a click away. It’s gotten easy to access information and receive things at convenience. The wait makes us fidget.

Why are we lacking patience?
Is an increase in lack of patience in human beings directly proportional to the increase in convenience?

Well, of course, only a fool shall say no to this or maybe you’ll call me a fool. In that case, we can have a conversation. The availability of information at ease is second hand, third hand. Multiple hands are involved in it before we read it and rely on it, placing it at a higher priority to having a conversation and exchanging information. We’re lying to ourselves and believing Google more than a person we might meet on the road. I’m sure there are trust factors, seeing the number of cases related to thugs and false sales etc. but we’ve just stopped interacting.

Often I meet people while traveling and only recently, I’ve started having meaningful conversations. Curiosity builds as we speak to someone, depending on what they say or maybe just how they look.

A similar encounter took place at a railway station when the man next to me had some great content to share. I had initiated the conversation because I had a query but he had put in much efforts to keep it going. I’m mentioning this because something kept pulling me back as the conversation kept building. Like how something goes inside me when it comes to commitments, that it’s too much to give out.

The train arrived, we entered and he sat near me, continuing to talk. Up till now, he had been telling me to be aware of pickpockets and snatchers, even though I’m one of those who hide their precious stuff at the deep end of the bag and has their mind only on not getting mugged. We spoke a lot about my life. I was just waiting for him to take a break so I could also know about him. I needed some information to trust him and continue the conversation further.

This person was extremely curious and interesting, and I was enjoying the information he passed. His answers and assumptions were calculated and it comes with experience. He was seeking knowledge and living in the present. Any and every information was useful to him. A number of times, he had joined the dots looking back. He told me that he could relate to me in numerous ways, and that he was ready to explore what comes forward, make the best use of opportunities and be wherever destiny takes him. Every perspective was of value for that man. He spoke about his wife, told me how they give each other freedom in life and it binds them together.

He told me about God, how he believes in him, giving all the reasons and rationales to prove it, and said that there are multiple forms of God. Apparently, they’re present in 33 layers. I confronted for not being a believer and to have minimal knowledge on the topic but I didn’t have a rational point to follow. There wasn’t a good answer if he asked “Why don’t you believe in God?”.

He gave me a logic, explaining about many different spots and their behaviors in our country. He explained how formation of ice is prayed to, how the natural hot springs come up, and how many other original places occurred. All these stories led to the respective god or goddess. He knew the science behind it but the reality was shadowed by the tales made around it.

Our parents often express perspectives while we’re growing up. We even tend to connect to them until we reach the stage of making sense of things. The decision is ours here onward. Not all of us worship figures. That idea wasn’t convincing enough to me and I have been channelizing my energy in different ways. I still remember going to the temple every Tuesday with my mother, until 10 years back. Never was I given a valid reason to do it. My definition of going to a temple involved putting a coin in the donation box, ringing the bell as hard as I could and running around.

Here, this man to me was a mere stranger. I had a choice to pay no attention and ignore his existence. Every word coming out of him was now making me feel off. It was hard for me to believe and store the information, in one ear and out the other. Despite the conscious behavior, there was something inviting about the conversation. It built curiosity as we moved ahead in the dialogue. I’m indifferent to one’s beliefs but the idea of imposing them troubles me. Weirdly, there wasn’t a point where he tried to impose direction.

Realizing the situation and how one has its own way of channelizing energy, gave me a different view towards it. Opportunities to interact come our way all the time. It is upon us to deal mindfully and make something of it. The result is always uncertain but being positive is the way to go.

Half Half None

Half Half None

The following blog has been co-written by co-fellows Daraab Saleem Abbasi and...

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