I was lazing around in a nostalgic mood watching an old Malayalam movie on TV and was a bit surprised when my dad interrupted and told me to get ready, ‘We are going to see an astrologer’. Astrologer? Hmm. My parents and astrologers?… something is awry somewhere. The only relationship my parents had with astrology as such is probably celebrating our piranal based on our birth stars. Apart from that, despite my dad being very interested in spirituality, I have never heard him talk or hint about anything related to astrology. I agreed to it anyway, a bit puzzled, but with kind of an idea where this was going considering the discussions I had with my mom the previous day.
So I was greeted on the door by a very serious looking, but by no means intimidating, old man. First thing he asked me was ‘ഈശ്വരനില് വിശ്വാസമുണ്ടോ?’.. ‘Do you believe in God?’. Hmm. Great question. I told him ‘Kind of’. Uh oh! Wrong answer. He went on into a lengthy discussion into that subject. He started off with the exact same argument that I use to convince people about some of my controversial stand points – “I was like you once, I didn’t believe too much in that either. But then…”. That usually works, but not to me ;). Anyway this got me thinking – where do I exactly stand? Do I really believe in God? Off course I do. I can neither prove God’s existence, nor can anyone prove otherwise. To me there God is something that I probably will not be able to truly understand, but I firmly believe in the existence of a power beyond our thoughts and beyond our science. As an engineer, yes I would have been very happy to find proof or some tangible evidence. But being an engineer also makes it easier for me to understand that not everything can be explained by science.
Having said that my God is not really the same as your God or the astrologers God. What the old guy told me was that God is someone to be feared. Feared? Why? Respected – yes. Feared – no. I see God as a friend, like those imaginary friends that all kids in Hollywood movies seem to have. Someone I can talk to in my mind, someone I can talk to anytime, anywhere, anyplace. I don’t believe you need to go to a temple, a church, a mosque or a synagogue to see God. So what does that make me? I’m sure I’m not an atheist, neither am I am agnostic, but as I once replied to my ex-roommate Bachu – maybe I am a non-religious devotee. And ironically that still makes me a Hindu – even an atheist is a Hindu and I am at least one degree above that, I do believe in God. In that sense I am proud to be a Hindu then. I don’t see the need for religion in my life, but I can understand why it makes sense for a lot of people. And maybe it is needed, a blueprint for life, maybe. But I just fail to understand why religion makes some people fanatic.
Coming back to the astrologer, the main purpose my parents took this unusual step was probably to give hints to me that I’m slowly getting into the ‘wedding years’ bracket. But ironically that didn’t help, because the astrologer told us that it’s best that I get married only after 28. I suddenly love astrology ;)
PS: Disconnected thoughts, but I just felt like writing this :)