In this amusing real-life narrative, Pranav V Premanand, 2014 batch alumnus of MACE, shares his experience on how life after college reignited his faith in God. The article has been taken from his personal blog: Blank pages of my notebook
Rediscovery of Faith
I’d say I was born into faith and later grew out of it, though not completely. I believe faith, for the majority, is an inheritance. It’s existence pre-dates our own. In a manner our parents proselytized us. I was born a Hindu and raised a Hindu. It became my reality. I was ‘introduced’ to a lot of dieties, all of whom apparently were very rich coz they had ‘properties’ everywhere Mom and Dad took us for family outings. I was taught to pray to them coz that was what you had to do to make your wishes come true. Of course, I had no reason to doubt any of this… mothers never lie, do they?
It was all well until I was put in a school where I had to stand up and chant a variety of hymns three times a day. The new ‘obligatory’ tag that came with prayer took the feel-good factor out of it. It became more of a chore. By the time I was done with that place I’d been unwittingly de-proselytized. The process was aided by a new awareness that intentionally I’d not been ‘introduced’ to a few ‘other’ Gods whom some of my ‘other’ friends got along well with. Other catalysts were the realizations that miracles were too few to be convincing and that the rhetoric surrounding answered prayers were based on a flimsy premise.
Then came the rebel phase. I took it upon myself, seeing as how it was my constitutional right( Article 19(1)(a) ;P ), to question everything. Meanwhile, God was forgotten. Well, not quite. Break-ups are messy and I wasn’t ready for one. Me and God were just not-talking-to-each-other. I would taunt with status updates like “theist by force of habit” and later I’d try and propose a truce with “atheist who prays occassionally”.
This self-centred state of mind served me well for a few years. I thought I was about ready for the inevitable break-up…. but suddenly Identity cisis struck when I went from being a final year Btech student to a jobless Btech graduate. For a while it felt like the whole world was conspiring against me. It scared me. It felt like my existence was inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. I felt powerless. Occassional prayers started becoming frequent. I started doing the touch-your-forehead-and-touch-your-chest thingy regularly when I passed near temples. I kept telling myself these were nothing major. It didn’t necessarily mean I was deserting my rationalist contemporaries.
But today I found myself taking off my shoes and entering a temple. I prayed with folded hands. I didn’t even stop my hand from reaching for sandal paste and applying it on my forehead. I don’t know what I am anymore. I know I’m far from being ready for a break-up. I’m afraid I’m entertaining thoughts of marriage and settling down. Maybe it’s time to get over my commitment phobia.
To read more articles by the author, visit his blog: Blank pages of my notebook