Monday, July 03, 2006

Born on the 3rd of July

There are those who would love to be born on the fourth of July and then there are those who would detest it, and then again there are those who really don't care.

Two of my colleagues just became proud dads. Sandeep has gone to Mumbai where the baby was delivered. Kausik's little one was born right here in bangalore. Infact when I first called him up to congratulate him I told him that I couldn't picture him as a father. The next day he told all of us with his characteristic sense of humor, "Yeah they are all saying that the baby looks like me. And I'm saying to myself... another smart kid in the family :-)". Well, still can't picture him as a dad. I then inquired about the ceremonies that would follow to compare notes with those followed by Catholics. A little more than a month back my cousin gave birth to a baby girl in the US. She sent me some very cute photos. My sister who migrated to Australia is expecting in Oct-Nov. A lot of babies will be born in different parts of the world. I had also been to Goa recently, for another cousin's child's baptism. Met his little daughter Shania who wears these thick soda glasses. She is so so so so cute. She is just 6 but thinks she is an adult and tries to talk like one. In a group she is real shy but you can have some very intelligent one on one conversations with her. Some of her words echoed more rational than those coming from other kids her age.

On the eve of my return journey riots broke out in Goa as a mosque was damaged. Shops were shut and tension was in the air. The hindu and muslim areas were under high alert. That night for a brief moment I was given charge to rock the little one to sleep. His hands and legs were so tiny as he slept calmly in my arms unaware of the religious tensions around him. I returned safetly to Bangalore only to hear about some bomb blasts that that had rocked the capital.... religious tensions agains. I called up my sister and some friends to apprise myself of the situation. Actually it was to make sure that things were ok with them.

When I look back to that moment when i magically rocked the little chap to sleep in my make shift cradle, I wonder whether after his baptism his faith was sealed. As in, does he now belong to one particular religion. I mean he really didn't choose his religion, his parents did, as their parents would have done for them. But as he grows up his thoughts who be moulded to reflect his religion, by looking and emulating family around him. Slowly it would become a way of life, a way of life that he would get used to, a way of life that he would come to believe is the righteous way and no other. And in his interactions with people of other faiths how would he act. Will he question their faiths, will he question his own. Will his beliefs metamorphise through time... will his religion. So will his religion become his beliefs or will his beliefs become his religion. I wonder.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The last paragraph has a very deep meaning. Good one Alistair.
- Himanshu

Anonymous said...

A thought put across wonderfully...

Goli said...

Nicely put across Alistair... :D... One more thing.. I have tagged you...means you have to post something about yourselt... look at my page you would understand...

amevil said...

Nice one alistair. One of the best from u. The thing is ...

Is Religion ..
* Jus an Identity
* Is it faith in God or Fear of HIM.

Many questions are unanswered yet. So we believe in God because our ancestors did ?? ,... ok .. i guess that'll trigger more thoughts in ur mind .. and we hope to c a new blog soon ;)

Amrit

Mayank Sharma said...

get a peg of beer and you will know all the answers

Etchen said...

Do you have the practice of using God parents for children when they have their baptism-- for non-catholics? This is by far my favorite post of yours. Very sweet and insightful.
I can't even begin to tell you how much the website brightened up my day-you are a very dear fellow!