Stories, photographs and thoughts from a travelling couple taking walks and mapping their routes, while backpacking around India, and parts of the world.
Faith and frenzy go hand in hand in a country like ours. We, as people, feel the need to believe. In a higher power. In a God that is often cruel, but has a ‘plan’.
That’s what we keep saying to ourselves. There is a plan for us. A role in a grander scheme of things. And we have to believe this illusion because not believing it is scarier. Not believing it makes all the bad things around us seem pointless. Like everything is happening for no reason and is actually nothing but a sorry accident. And that idea of truth terrifies us. So we believe. With fervour. With blind faith. With a madness that is always unexplainable, but sometimes understandable.
We are a sea of people. Hungry, not for happiness, but approval.
Approval from that one divine presence. One that we have to please at all costs.
So we do everything it takes to appease this entity. This magical creature. Who is an apparition to some. A daydream to others, but an idol to us.
He sits on our heads and watches our every move so that we don’t err.
But err, we do. We err and pray for instant forgiveness. We hold our ears and break coconuts. And then we err some more.
We wait patiently for our prayers to come true. We watch and do nothing as everything around us burns, self-destructs and disappears. But we keep waiting. For miracles. Every single day.
And when we look back, we don’t see what we lost when we were busy being blinded. But we see stories. Of how our faith actually changed our lives and made us better people.
And we truly believe those stories.
Because it’s these stories of hope and the promise of redemption that make us want to keep hanging on.
Because believing in these stories is easier than believing in ourselves.
After all, we say, we are mere mortals. Helpless at the hand of fate and the mercy of divine power. Faceless devotees of that Omnipresent being.
We are actually just floating along our lives powerlessly like a piece of debris. With no control over anything. With no free will.
But we don’t know this yet. Because in our subconscious battle between faith and free will, it’s faith that wins.
But maybe, that isn’t so bad. Maybe this kind of faith is not all that blind and baffling. While some believe in magic, love and happiness, others believe in God.
But either way, at the end of it all, we are all just hanging on to abstract ideas.
So yes, the truth and the reality may be two different things for us. But till the day we keep believing, we can live unafraid. Reassured.
We live knowing that our actions – our very mortal deeds and human failings – will be evaluated fairly someday.
Not evaluated anytime in this life maybe, but in the afterlife by an all-seeing God who will divide the rights from the wrongs. The goods from the bads. No matter how many masks we wear in our lifetime, we believe, he will see right through us.
So, we hang on dearly to the idea of him.
Sometimes because of love.Sometimes because of fear.
Sometimes because of innocence.
And most times, because we think we have to.
Seeing is not believing for us.
Believing is seeing.
But if we are stripped of all pretense, all our conditioning and all that faith has drilled into us, we are in reality, just lost souls. We believe in the idea called God, but we stopped believing in goodness and humanity. In compassion and tolerance.
We hurt, plunder and kill everyone around us. Destroy everything around us with self-created weapons till it bleeds dry.
And when it’s all done and when we are standing alone.
We don’t even stop to look at the empty shell of rubble and ruins we leave behind.
We just turn our backs on everything and walk away like clean slates. Like nothing ever happened. Because it’s all in the name of God. And God forgives, doesn’t he?