Saturday, April 19, 2008

Intrusive Us

To even mildly religious people, the post may sound blasphemous. So please proceed with an open mind.

I have just recovered from a long session of Bhajans and Kirtans carried out at our neighbour's place with the loud speaker turned on to its full volume. And the singers were so hoarse that they sounded like a pride of wild cats fighting. I tried my best to shut the noise off but ultimately gave up and the chaos became a part of the background noise. And I do mind that because otherwise the background noise often comprises of the sweet song of a koel that lives on a mango tree behind our house.

Considering the regular occurance of such events, it surprized me that this was the first time I asked my self why? Why do we shout at the top of our voices to let the rest of the world know that we are praying? Why do we assume that everyone else would want to hear us pray? and Why do we decide that listening to us pray is good for everyone living around us?

More than praying for our peace of mind, we pray to live up to a pious image that we imagine will earn us a good reputation in the society. We don't live for ourselves or even our families. We live for the society. Hypocrisy is the most hazardous disease that this fear of society imposes.

And after all this, do we feel an inch closer to God? I bet not. On the contrary, all this noise is sure to drive God away. When we think of God, the first thing that comes to our mind is peace. But a lot of tuneless loud singers singing devotional songs hardly sounds like "peace".

I resent this intrusion into my private space. I resent that I am being forced to pray in a way that one of my neighbours thinks is right. I resent that I am being denied a right to shut off your voice that echoes around in my brain long after you have stopped singing.

After all this ruckus, I don't feel uplifted at all. I feel resentful and that definitely does not make me a better human being, which I suppose was the intention behind installing the loudspeaker facing outwards in your balcony. Please stop assuming things for me and the rest of your neighbours and leave us with a choice to listen to the koel's song that gives me a doze of instant peace and makes me thank God for the bliss.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Awards - Most Modern Person of March 2008

Who is modern? Being Modern, what does it truly mean? To me it means someone who can defy the world and stick to their principles and can view the world without a bias. Bravery, Self-respect, and Non-judgemental attitude are a few attributes that are essential aspects of a modern human being.

On this blog, I am making a very humble attempt to recognize these undefeatable, courageous forces of humanity that are contributing towards making this world a better place. I am starting out with "The Most Modern Person" award and intend to recognize a new person every month. This may later branch out towards the "Most Modern Woman" and "Most Modern Man" categories if we get enough contenders (the more, the better).

The award for the most modern person of March 2008 goes to Salim. For more information, please refer: Man agrees to buy wife to save her from flesh trade

Some people have expressed that he has sacrificed a lot by accepting a wife who had become a prostitute. I don't agree. You are bound to regret a sacrifice some time in your life. This is not sacrifice. This is a proof of Salim's pure, brave heart that gave him the courage to accept the fact that his wife is suffering for no fault of her own. His care and concern for her prompted him to risk his life and rescue her. By calling this a sacrifice, we are insulting the goodness of his heart and the strength of the love between him and his wife.

Salut to Salim for listening to his heart and following it. He is now one step above the rest of us in humanity.