Monday, June 9, 2008

God and I - by Jaishree Misra (from DC)

Reasoning things out for myself helps me

By Jaishree Misra

My relationship with God is an intensely private affair with no particular time or place set aside for it. Although I enjoy some elements of the rituals that have come to surround Hinduism (the faith into which I was born), I do not consider any of those imperative to communion with my God. It would simply not be pragmatic as I live in London, with no temples nearby and with a job that keeps me pinned to an office between certain times of the day.

And so my relationship with God has evolved into what I would describe as "conversations with my conscience".

As a child, I subjected God to regular grilling, questioning why certain things were the way they were. But, over the years, I have slipped into reasoning things out for myself, sometimes making sense of them through the act of writing. I still enjoy visiting temples when I go to my mother’s house in Kerala but more out of a sense of staying in touch with the traditions I spring from, rather than for religious reasons. The only childhood ritual I actively miss is that of the oil lamp being lit at sundown and placed under the tulsi bush in my grandmother’s house in the village. This signalled the end of the day, the time my grandfather came in from the rice fields and my grandmother would start getting the evening meal ready. For us children, in that quieter age before television, it was a time for reading and, if the voltage was too low, a time for dreaming and quiet contemplation.

The writer is a novelist based in London. Her last book was Rani.

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