Am I Pious?

Amidst all the controversies surrounding the portrayal of religion and religious beliefs in the Indian cinema, I witnessed a moment of epiphany. I realized I don’t really know how to distinctly define the term “religion”. My concept of religion has (almost) got nothing to do with the teachings I received in my childhood. All religions are based on belief (not necessarily on faith. And both are two different things). We are not born into a religion. We are made to adopt a certain set of beliefs which our parents were handed down from the older generations. The problem occurs when you start considering yourself the custodian of those beliefs.

I have been frequently asked if I am “pious”. I asked someone what he exactly meant and how would I really come to know if I’m at all pious. His answer was pretty amusing: “if you offer all your prayers and recite the Holy Book and wear naqab, you are a pious lady”. If that’s THE definition then maybe I’m not pious.  But if you tell me that striving to be upright, generous, righteous, God- fearing makes one pious then I can claim to be “pious”. For religion, according to me, teaches us a way of life that keeps the society in harmony. The saints and prophets of all religion teach us how to lead the life of an ideal human. Unfortunately, we embrace only those teachings which benefit us (and which can be moulded to suit our needs), while we are willingly oblivious to those that can aid to control the unleashed demons within us.

People belonging to the very same community may have different opinions about God. In fact, there are so many sects in one community itself. How do you know which sect is righteous? How do you know your God prefers your sect over the others? How do you know your practices are correct and that you are doing them right? How do you even know that you’re worshipping the correct God? One may grasp to any religious handle to leverage himself into a better way of life because ultimately all religions teach you the basic principles of humanity. “Living life right is being religious”. As George Carlin rightly says, “Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”

Religion has become our identity. We can take lives or even give it up for our religion. For me, being a moral person with or without faith in God is better than those “religious” people performing evil practices in the name of God (who, apparently, came down and personally told them to do so). It’s your religion. You are not answerable to anyone. Maybe we should all try to live and let live. The world would become so much of a better place to live in than to just survive.

Of all of the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny of religion is the worst ~ Thomas Paine

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I keep wondering if Time actually has the capability of healing wounds. I feel we are giving undue importance to Time. It is We who ”grow” out of the pain. We are underestimating our ability to overcome grief. Time is merely a silent audience that walks with you without much participation in your activities. Not that I am challenging Time, but I have my doubts in it’s actual role in healing wounds.

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Just when everything ‘appeared’ to be fine,

Just when I ‘thought’ I was moving on,

Just when the memories ‘seemed’ to fade away,

Just when I ‘decided’ to stop searching for you amidst the crowd,

Just when my heart sank with the ‘realization’ that you were gone,

I thought I heard your voice out of nowhere.

Was it a mere hallucination?

Or were you actually trying to rush through the crowd;

Hurt, bruised, pain stricken, calling out my name,

And suddenly you fall on your knees; gasping for breath.

Once again I feel your corporeal presence,

I bend down and look straight into those eyes which used to boast of fake promises,

But this time, something is missing…

While I lingered yet, a tide of darkness flowed on swiftly…

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There is a difference between ‘giving up’ and ‘moving on’

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When you talk to someone you hardly know in the beginning,
And eventually find out everything about them,
They’re not so much of a stranger anymore,
But now the one you’ve gotten so close to.
You can’t help, but let your guard down
And let them in because you got attached to them.
Soon enough, they mean a whole lot more to you
Than ever thought they would.
Then it all falls apart. Everything feels like it’s going to hell.
Pointless fights, arguing about nothing that will matter later on,
But you still do carry on.
Pretty soon, you two grow distant from each other.
As time goes by, less and less words are exchanged.
You get to the point where it feels like you don’t even know who
you’re with anymore.
Then you move on, and never say a word to
each other ever again, like you two never even met.

The only thing is, we did meet.
We became a part of each other and each other’s lives.
And now look at us,
We’re at the point where we can’t even look each other in the eye.
The only difference between when we first met and now,
Is that I have these feelings for you.
Feelings that don’t really affect me anymore,
But they’re still here.
Feelings that remind me of what we used to be.
Now you’re just a stranger to me again.

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only if words were enough…

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

Prudence says you can never be mine,

But I somehow have this vain hope in Destiny,

Behold! I see you staring at me and you suddenly drop your gaze,

This view has thrown something of an illumination

Upon the darker side of my captivity

still holding on…

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I’m drowning, have no hope to cling onto,
All that i want right now is to be with you.
The emotions are engulfing me completely,
While i’m reaching out my hands shakily,
Expecting you to hold them tight and get me out of here,
But alas! whats the reason for my fear?
I can see you walk away, the distance between us increasing,
The affections, the attachments, all decreasing.
Holding onto my last breath till this day,
While i watch everything fade away.
But my feeble voice hasn’t gone unheard,
For i see you turning back, though the vision is blurred,
There i see that crooked smile on your face,
Guilt, love, sympathy, none of their trace.
And you’re speaking loud enough for me to hear,
“Take care of yourself, dear”

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