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My Tryst With Faith

*****A couple of years ago*****

“What’s this?” dad asked, pointing towards a CD lying in my bag.

“Oh that’s some CD nani gave me. She wanted me to learn some of these keertans.” I replied.

“So learn then, what’s the harm? In fact, I’ll give you a book on Sikhism, read it, you should know about your religion.” dad replied.

“All of you will never stop trying, will you? You know I can’t stand that word religion. It’s the worst man-made creation. I mean, what’s the point in creating so many religions when they all speak the same thing? All religion does is to create fanatics who go around killing people in the name of the very god they pray to every morning. Please dad, let’s just call it off here, I really don’t want to have this conversation early in the morning and spoil my mood.” I replied angrily.

“You call them fanatics, aren’t you being one right now?” dad replied back calmly.

I haven’t forgotten this conversation till date. Dad’s last statement had hit me real hard. I had no answer to what he said. I just changed the topic without responding, but somewhere deep down within I knew that what he was saying was true.


How this hatred for religion started is a mystery to me – one that I hope to solve through this post today.

The above incident may give you a feeling that my folks are pretty religious, but the truth is they are not. Probably, that’s the reason why they always wanted me to be close to my religion. When I was a little kid, the trips to the Gurudwara were pretty frequent. But, for me it was nothing more than just a picnic, where I would get nice langar and kada Prasad to eat. My grandparents tried pretty hard to teach me the first few stanzas of the Gurugranth Sahib. They did succeed, but I never really understood any of it or perhaps, never really tried understanding any of it.

Because of my frequent surgeries I had to keep cutting my hair and at the age of six my parents decided to leave my hair permanently short. My uncle however, was never in favor of me keeping my hair short and kept pestering me to grow them back every time I paid him a visit. I used to ignore it at first, but, after a while that started irritating me. I never said anything to him, but, somewhere within me, I always wanted to ask him that by growing my hair and tying a turban, would the guy within me be any different? I know it for a fact that he would never have an answer to my question. But, I guess, sub-consciously after that I started detesting everybody who made religion such a big deal in their lives. Stories of the 84 riots and the partition only strengthened my hatred towards religion as a concept.

I was brought up in a multi-lingual and a multi-cultural society, studied in a school run by the Catholic church and completed my engineering from a college meant for the Muslim minority. Thanks to this, I was pretty well exposed to the huge diversity of our country. I loved celebrating festivals, be it Eid, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, Gurpurab, Lori or Divali, but, ask me to sit in a prayer session and I just wouldn’t. Many of my friends, who are aware of my views on religion, call me a hypocrite and to be honest, I won’t disagree with them. I have always been fascinated with the diversity of our country, but, have always stayed away from the essence of that very diversity.

In another lecture I was giving one of my friends on this subject, I said, “Remove customs and rituals from all religions and they are all one and the same thing. They all teach you how to live your life in the right way, that’s it! As for me, the stuff my parents have taught me since childhood is more than enough for me to judge what’s good and what’s not and if there is anything they haven’t taught me, I am sure life will, in the days to come. God sent us on this planet as a human and our only religion is humanity. Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism etc. are just names we have given to this religion in order to prove one’s supremacy over the other. “
I got a quick reply to this saying, “what the hell do you know about all these religions to say that?” Although I managed to stick to my ground, hearts in hearts I knew that my entire belief was based on assumptions.

My transition started three months ago. I was going through one of my weirdest phases in life. Nothing seemed to be going right. I decided to take a break and go visit my grandparents. When I was there, my grandmother took me to a Gurudwara and for the first time since I can remember, I had no problems with going there. When I looked around, I saw people of all age groups extending a hand in serving the devotees who came there, some helping out in washing the plates and utensils, some in organizing the shoes and others just helping out in whatever way they could. The best part was, they all did this with a smile and without even once bothering whom they were doing this for, and they just did it for the love of it. The only thing that crossed my head was, “there’s got to be something in their belief that makes them do all this so selflessly.”

The second phase of transition came last week when I was in Amritsar to visit the golden temple. While I was leaving, I saw a sight I am going to remember for a long time to come – A sardar, a muslim and a foreigner standing near the sarovar, praying in their own styles. The sight of a sardar standing there with his hands folded, a muslim offering namaz and the foreigner just closing her eyes and asking god for whatever she wished for, made me realize that this world is beautiful only because of this diversity. After all, the rainbow would never have been so beautiful had it had just one color. Thank god this world isn’t made of just one religion called humanity.

*****5 minutes ago*****

As I was giving this post my final touch dad walked in and asked me what I was writing about. I replied saying it’s a post titled ‘My tryst with faith’. I said, “Don’t look so shocked. By the way, once I am done, I need you to give it a proof reading.” His reply came in the form of another lecture on faith and I listened to that patiently for a change. But at the end of it, he said, “You should learn some keertans. In fact, I’ll give you a book on Sikhism, read it, you should know about your religion.” I just burst out laughing.

‘Life comes full circle’ – I had just heard this saying, but today, I witnessed it. I guess there couldn’t be a better way for me to sum up my tryst with faith.

Written by

Tavish is the administrator and founder of Sensible Bakwas. He is a software engineer by profession and a writer by passion. In case you want to get in touch with him, he is an email away at Hope you enjoy your time here. Do leave your feedback in the comment section here.

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30 Responses to "My Tryst With Faith"

  1. Abhiram says:

    As usual, very candid and very captivating…

    1. 🙂 Thanks Abhi. You know your comments mean allot to me… glad u liked it! 🙂

      1. Abhiram says:

        Tavish, the post is so enlightening even though I’ve already read it. It makes me feel that I should keep revisiting it frequently down the line. The writing is also so refreshing.

        1. Tavish Chadha says:

          Hey thanks buddy… feels good to hear that 🙂

  2. Parth J Dave says:

    Woah! What an interesting and lovely post. You’ve handled this topic with such flair and so effortlessly.. Loved reading this post. Keep it up, Tavish bhai!

    1. Thanks allot my dear team mate. All the best to u for the contest 🙂

  3. A very pragmatic and mature post…quite tough subject. Loved it 🙂

    1. Thanks allot team mate. Glad u liked it. All the best for the contest! 🙂

      1. Lark says:

        Superbly illminuatnig data here, thanks!

  4. deepa kashyap says:

    nice write up with a great topic
    too good 🙂
    all the best for contest 🙂

    1. Thanks Deepa! Glad u u liked it! 🙂

  5. Wonderful post, Tavish! Really liked it.. and the reason I like it because the same .. to a very extent.. happened with me too.

    And You penned it very beautifully.. without any of those usual ‘bullshit’ that such topics often drives from many bloggers around.. and I am really thankful to you for writing it in plain, simple yet captivating way.

    best of luck for the Competition.. Do let me know.. if there’s any other way apart from commenting on the post that could be of any help.. I mean.. any voting or something like that.. I would love to do it for the sheer pleasure that this post gave me:)

    1. wow! That was a really flattering compliment Ram. Firstly, a very warm welcome to Sensible bakwas. I am so glad you liked it. Well, thank you so much for offering your help. But, there are judges assigned who will be judging our posts. There’s isn’t a voting system here. But anyways thanks allot for the offer and your wishes. I am touched! 🙂

  6. […] User name: Tavish Topic category: My Tryst With Faith Blog post link: […]

  7. Raj says:

    BRilliant! 🙂

  8. Thank you so much buddy… u r one other guy whose comments really matter to me… well, u know that and u even know why 🙂

  9. Very Well written and absolutely TRUE!!
    All the best!

    1. Tavish Chadha says:

      Thank you Swathi. I am glad you liked it. 🙂

  10. Vishal says:

    Religion should never be enforced. It should be encouraged to follow. Being a part and following a religion is perfectly ok until and unless it stands as barrier in the way of your happiness. Nice writeup without all those fights that usually come up while discussing such sensitive topics. Cheers!!

    1. Tavish Chadha says:

      I agree Vishal. Religion should be followed not enforced. Thanks for the lovely comment. Cheers to u too!! 😛

  11. pallavi says:

    Very nice post, Tavish. knew you would take up this topic 🙂

    1. Tavish Chadha says:

      ahaa so u guys have done a good analysis of our team! Thanks for the compliments… all the best for the finals!

  12. Ayswarya says:

    Very well written Tavish. I agree with you. Albeit I consider all religions or gods as forms of a unit point of energy which inherits in us righteousness and positivity. This positivity gives us confidence in the right deeds and scares us if we think wrong.

    1. Tavish Chadha says:

      Hmmm thats a very interesting thought… thanks for the kind appreciations! 🙂

  13. Anney says:

    When someone feels the touch of love without any grudge, religion takes root in the heart of the recpient! It was great to read. 🙂

    1. Tavish Chadha says:

      You are right. Thanks allot Anney. 🙂

  14. Shahid says:

    Yaar its a very nice post…and what I like most about it is the way you talk about all the religions without much dramebaazi…good..very honest post

    1. Tavish Chadha says:

      hehe i know… usually this sort of a topic has alot of drame bazi… thanks allot buddy! 🙂

  15. And there You GO Tawish!!
    YOU definitely belong to be with ME & always by my side!!
    I meant that cause I share the same probably same attitude in life!
    And perhaps, almost your this post made me read my own thoughts n perception for the word called ‘Religion’!!
    Somehow there are many common points on which i would agree with you without a second thoughts and I even saw the reaction to couple of incident would be same:)
    However, to the best of my thoughts n knowledge, i think there is definitely nothing wrong with u or ur view of point on anything/religion…for I knw you believe in ‘FAITH’ and an aspect on “SERVING”!!
    You are doing a bit of that in everyday in daily delight, i know..& for that kind nature of yours, you are remembered & cherished in life…I appreciate that wholesome nature in you and hence vouch every word U just said some being sound & some being sure!!
    Absolutely the best sweet post!!
    ~Keep the Spark ALive..

    1. Tavish Chadha says:

      wow!! that comment was a post in itself!! hehe thanks Rackana… u really r very very sweet 🙂

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