Friday, November 30, 2012

God of All Things

There was a book I was reading. Can't remember the name. I think the author was Tharoor. Somewhere, he talks about his brief period of atheism. The kind that "comes with the discovery of rationality and goes with an acknowledgement of its limitations". And in those two lines, he summed up my faith in God and disbelief in religions. His lines summed up that one moment when logic fails; when you turn away and close your eyes in a silent prayer, and think no one is watching.

We are not rational. No one is. I think that when someone walks away or dies, it physically hurts where the heart is. Logic says that's just an organ that pumps blood. But its never a stomach ache or a headache you know. I think ma's assuring hand on my head every other minute when I have a temperature, cures me. Not the crocin, but her touch. I think love makes you look better. It really does. Not skin care products or other paraphernalia. But good old twinkle-in-your-eyes smile-for-no-reason love. I think that sometimes when you do close your eyes and have that conversation with God, I don't know if someone listens or not. But strange as it is, sometimes things do get better. Like I said, there are limitations to rationality.

That brief period of atheism; I remember it too. Growing up in a God fearing extremely religious family, atheism is akin to sin. I used to question everything. You know how kids are. Why is the sky blue? Why do you pray to objects with no life? Why are there different Gods? And so on. Patience is a virtue that if parents were not blessed with, I don't think children like me would have survived beyond their teens.

As we grow up, we define our own rules. Create our own beliefs. I did too. I don't believe in the god of wars, annihilation and rapes. I don't think there is a divine soul watching over the world; a world which is capable of all this. Some days back read about a daughter getting raped by a father and brother. If someone was watching over all of us, the tales would've been different. But I do have faith. Not in a statue or in any holy script. I don't know who listens when I pray for those five minutes every day. But I believe that when I do pray, it makes me feel better in spite of all that is going wrong around us. Every time. There is nothing rational about that. Maybe God is just your belief that you will get through your darkest days. Your conscience when you go wrong. That small voice in your head that sometimes tells you what to do. When ma said I will find my own religion, maybe this is what she meant. 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Step by Step

A day when I woke up at 5. Yes, morning 5. The single most toughest thing is that one step from the bed to a more vertical position. After that, it keeps getting easier. Every step and a part of you wakes up a little more. By the time, it comes down to tying your shoes, you think to yourself - Hell! This is easy! What's the big deal about waking up early anyway! Don't let that thought fool you though. The next morning when the alarm blares, you would hate it just as much. You got to just make it to the tying your shoes bit. 

There is a group called Chennai Runners here. Led by a friend who is a running enthusiast. When you are a newbie, running in packs like wolves makes sense. And, so the waking up at 5 happened today. It was a 6km run (well, call it a feeble jog in my case) with a pattern of 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. On a treadmill, running for 20 minutes at a stretch is accomplished fairly easily. And you think, bleh running on a treadmill..running on the roads. Po-tah-to Po-tay-to! You couldn't be more wrong. 

So, the first four minutes were a breeze. Then, the leader of the pack showed the sign - 5-4-3-2-1 slow down and take a breather. Then the next 4 minutes happened and the next and so on. And my unfit self started to complain. You start slowing down. Thinking that what were you thinking! Cursing myself for being my lazy self for such a long time. Trying to catch my breath. But, the thing about being human is you get to try. You get to do the stuff you think you can't do. So, at the point when you are close to giving up, instead of giving up, you start trying harder. The music beats take over. One step at a time. You see the white line on the side of the road whizzing by, and that's all you think of. You learn to zone out every other thought in your head. It might be killing you on the outside; but in your head, it is a peaceful feeling. The 40 minutes today were well spent. Its a long road ahead, and well, today was a good start.

I finally finished the Starbucks book 'Pour Your Heart Into It'. Howard Schultz has written a gem. I generally avoid the autobiographies, but this one had me hooked. From a coffee beans selling store to selling coffee by the cup to millions, that's how far Mr. Schultz got Starbucks. The man's passion and vision is infectious. Makes you want to build something. Makes you want to be sincere and put 200 percent in whatever it is you are doing. Page after page, he writes from his heart. Of the good days and the bad days. And the great days. Must read is my verdict. While we are talking about books, you should check this out - A library with a brilliant collection; they deliver books at home and the rental charges are minimal. I still like to buy books (its my favourite kind of shopping!) and stock them up. But of late, I have run out of shelves. And the huge collection here keeps me happy! :)

Oh did I mention that we have a travel wall now. I call it the Wander Wall. Pics of all the places that we have been to. Done up in a colourful quirky manner. Makes the living room more livable. And lovable. Almost half way through Saturday now. Going to fix myself a cup of coffee. The weather is still beautiful. Love these lazy weekends with good weather, a book and my partner in crime. Don't know when Chennai became so home-like.