Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Endless Faith

As I sit here on my bed, fingers icy cold, nose red and frozen, and shivers running down my spine, I realize that the shivers may also also due to the Christmas carols that I recall every year during this time. The four purple and white candles, burning incessantly, fighting against the chilly breeze; the wax sliding down and forming eerie shapes on the floor; the expanse of red blazers and caps, mufflers, scarves and pompoms visible everywhere. 

The season of Advent begins four weeks before Christmas where everyone in school (actually only all the sisters and Catholics) would begin to wait for the arrival of Jesus and the eradication of evil from the world. Sister Lawrence, our Principal, would read out versus from the Bible, say long prayers and tell us stories about him. But it was always the carols that touched me the most.

There was so much of positivity in them. It's like they believe; they long and yearn for Jesus to come back to them. EVERY year. Or that some miracle will take place and all the pain and suffering will cease to exist in the world. Do we really have that kind of faith in anything anymore? Me? I have a lot of problems getting convinced by anything at all. Even if I do get convinced, the faith doesn’t come into the picture easily; which is quite ironical, because my name, quite blatantly means faith.

I don’t know if I believe in God. I still haven’t decided yet. And I would not like to get into that right now. I’ve had long discussions and debates with a lot of people, and the only conclusion I could draw was that it is a highly personal matter and you cannot question the beliefs of someone. I do not know if I want to believe in him. It’s not that I haven’t tried. But every time I think about it I feel that even this small part of me that does believe in him, believes because all her elders taught her to believe in an imaginary omnipotent being that lives somewhere in the sky and watches over us and will punish us if we do wrong.
It’s okay to tell that to a chid I suppose. But once he grows up, he has the right to choose what to believe in right?

Well I don’t know if this faith is going to get rekindled or is going to be put out forever, but I do appreciate the way people believe in something. Trust something blindly. The hope, the confidence, the conviction is really remarkable. Maybe this hope is what gets them through all the tough times. 

There was this dialogue in Catch 22 which really stuck with me. It goes like this:

There's nothing mysterious about it, He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?” 

Gives you something to think about.

I want to write about school. A lot about school. Which I'm going to do in the next post. I miss school like I never thought was possible.

And yay! Christmas is around the corner. Santa is busy packing the gifts! Are you being a good kid? :)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Christmas Carols! :-) ... I miss school too esp. on certain occasions like x-mas, sports days, children's day, teacher's day, picnics ... looking fwd to ur school posts

  3. Priya said...
    I guess I am sailing in the same boat......but when disaster strikes....the faith really helps......so y not keep the faith even in happy times.....it does no harm but for sure does some good!!! lovely post and some food for thought:)

  4. Its surprising but I am aslo feeling kind of nostalgic around this time . Chritmas used to be fun in US.

  5. Doo, I always thought it was overrated, you know. The whole missing school deal. But it isn't. School was one place I felt I really belonged in.

    Priya di, I agree :) That's why I feel it's better to believe completely in something; instead of hanging somewhere in the middle.

    Meera mami, I can imagine how amazing Christmas would be in the US! No wonder you're nostalgic. I want to see it someday!

  6. I decided to be good for a few days. But then it got boring. Am I still eligible for gifts? :O

  7. Em, LOL! I'm so glad to have a friend like you!

    Remember how Hobbes tells Calvin that Christmas is the most stressful time of the year and Calvin says that's true for him because he HATES being good? :P

    Oh I love winters! :D

  8. Incidentally, just today I read something someone had shared. It's an extreme view, but makes total sense:
    "There is no god and that's the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion died out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again."

    Eagerly awaiting to walk down the memory lane of your school :)

  9. OMG! that's exactly what I was thinking when I wrote that!

  10. Aw, reminds me of my school as well, all with the Christmas celebration and skit, and carol-singing, and stuff :D

    How NOSTALGIC ;)

    Puja :D

  11. Chee, it does make sense :)
    I'm pretty sure I don't believe in religion. Yet. I think :O
    Quoting Richard Dawkins here,
    "Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful!"

  12. Em, we Calvin fans have a similar thought process, don't we? :P

    Puja, yeah the same Nativity play every year. I remember I posed as a fairy once and sang carols swaying from side to side :P
    Those were the days! :)

  13. 'Tis the season to be jolly...fa la la la la, la la la la...Happy Christmas, Astha! :)

  14. Thank you Karishma! By golly, I AM jolly! :D
    Have a Merry Christmas to you too!


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