To each, their own.

My friend asked me if I believed in God. I told her I believed in ogd, that I believed in odg, that I believed.

Abstract Painting design. 
Your reality is a reflection of your strongest belief.
Your reality is a reflection of your strongest belief.

Mother was yelling from downstairs for me to go with her to the temple. “Do you want to be blessed at all, Ananya?” she shouted from the landing of the stairwell. I ignored her. I could not answer this question again. The same conversation would follow if I did – as to how disrespectful I was, and that I had to be more God-fearing and that I was being arrogant. After another loud three or four minutes, I heard the door slam, and angry footsteps receding.

A distinctly silent couple of minutes passed, me gently tapping away at my phone, and Tiwi, my little golden puppy, snoring a little as she dozed. I heard the front door opening and closing softly, and the tread of cadenced footsteps. Fara, my best friend, pushed her way through the mess that was my room and plopped down beside me, on a pile of perhaps my oldest set of unwashed clothes. “What really is your problem?” she asked, snatching away my phone. I sighed.

“Where is the problem?” I asked, shrugging, thinking up different ways to get my phone back without getting pinned to the floor by Fara. She shook her head dramatically. “Why won’t you go to the temple? I’m going to go now, too. What’s the big deal?” she demanded. Then, slowly, she asked, her voice laden with doubt, “Are you an atheist?” Amused, I found a way to smile finally. “I’ll tell you a little story, shall I?” I began. Before Fara could tell me that this wasn’t the time for a story, I broke into a hasty monologue.

“Nearly a year ago, I visited a train station. Since then, I have been to our train station every chance I can get. You wanted to know what my obsession was with that place, didn’t you? Let me tell you. As I stood on the platform that humid day, I realized I was losing myself. It was simply unbelievable, the feeling. The sounds were coming from everywhere, loud and soft, pleasant and unpleasant. It was the cacophony of the living. At first, as we entered the place, I was disgusted. It was noisy. We shoved past mobs of people, and by the time we reached our train’s platform, I was drenched in sweat – it was nasty. As we waited for our train, I was getting bored. Boredom does all sorts of things to people, doesn’t it?”

“I looked around me. To my right, there were seemingly hundreds of vendors, bands of men helping tourists carry luggage, and tons of little children weaving their way between the bigger people. To my left, there was the railway line, greasy and black, with weeds and tiny shrubs growing from the gaps between it. I was surrounded by such confusion, that I couldn’t held losing myself within it after a point of time. I was tired, and I was at a loss. That’s when something incredible happened to me. It was…divine.”

“As I succumbed to those noises, they got further from me. I felt like I was sitting in the middle of the world war and meditating. These noises were no longer noises to me, they were sounds. It was then that I experienced…this…godliness for the first time. It was so serene, in the middle of a rather rambunctious battleground. And, Fara, to answer your question, I am no atheist. I encountered divinity; how can I be a non-believer?”

Fara looked at me, befuddled. “Some saint you are,” she muttered finally. Frowning, she then asked me, “What do you believe in, then?” I smiled. Good question. “My ‘God’ needn’t be your God, and my Tiwi’s God needn’t be my God. I found happiness in earth-shattering sounds. It calmed me, and I felt happy. It’s possible to find this happiness anywhere. One can find this sanctity in the quietest place on Earth; they can find solitude simply staring at a perfectly grey rock or swimming in the most chlorinated water. I think to each, their own.”

“As a response to your second very good question – here’s what I believe. I believe in ogd. I believe in odg.” Fara squinted at me in bemusement. I continued. “I believe in bliss, and I believe in my train station. I also believe in my theories, and I believe in Tiwi. I just believe.”


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