The Confining Walls Of Our Beliefs

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” I think you should not marry him.” Bonnie said emphatically. I looked at her sadly. She was my last hope. Her opinion being the last sign from which my decision would be based upon. Yes, in days of confusion and indecisions, I too fell in the trap of ” looking for signs ” while contemplating a pertinent problem in want of a solution. Needless to say these signs only led to more confusion and further indecisions.

Bonnie sighed, her face contorted with remembered pain. ” Marriage had not been easy for a Christian woman like me marrying into a family with a different religion.”

We were sitting in her spacious bedroom at that moment but when first I came to her house and was introduced to her in laws I did not sense any tension between them at all. I wondered what she was talking about.

” My father -in-law had beaten my husband black and blue when he insisted on marrying me.” she continued. My eyes widened.

It was unfathomable for me how a grown man can be beaten by his father. But apparently in that country it is quite common.

I met Bonnie when I went for a Sunday mass in a Christian Church in the city. Praying in an empty church has always been my one solace every time my life is caught in a whirlwind. At that time I was in the middle of a milder thunderstorm and like a guardian angel she sat by my side. My face must have been as gloomy as the church interior for she asked, ” What’s bothering you child?” My answer was a quivering sigh. Tears held at bay, brimming at the eyelids where one kind word would send them cascading down my cheeks. She patted my hands and whispered to me that I should meet her after service.

Salty water burst forth like in a broken dam from my eyes when finally I related to her the whole story, sitting in a room at the second floor of the church where she taught Sunday school for children. With a motherly sympathy she told me she will pray for me and my troubles. And she will ponder over the situation and would call me if she has an answer for me. She called after a few days. So there I sat in front of her while she dashed my hopes and dreams over coffee.

Bonnie is a beautiful tall woman from the North. She could easily been an actress or a model in my opinion. She has those perfect cheekbones and soulful light eyes with a curtain of the thickest lashes I’ve ever seen. With her beauty complemented by her tender heart, it was easy to see why her husband fought tooth and nail to keep her. Their relationship endured countless attempts of separation from her husband’s family but without success. They even threatened to disown her husband. But nothing fazed them. Against all odds they wed and are now blessed with three kids.

” I insisted we marry in a Christian church. Afterwards I fought hard to remain Christian. I did not convert. My faith is all I had. It is my choice. The only thing left of my independence . I held on to it.” I could feel the passion she had for her faith very strongly. I wondered If they beat her up for that too. She did not hint on it throughout the conversation but I thought it was more than probable.

” But then came the children.” Pain flitted in her eyes once more.

” Though my husband never asked me to convert, my in-laws of course would never allow my children to be Christians. This is one fight I could never win. I could never get them baptized. That tears at my heart. How will I save them from eternal damnation? I had to sneaked them out of the house when they were babies just so I can take them to the church. To know the Lord.”

She looked intently into my eyes. ” You don’t want that to happen to you.”

I was speechless. I could not answer her. She was right. It will affect the children’s lives most of all. Which belief would the children cling to before they can choose one for themselves? I said goodbye to her with a heavy heart. Still undecided and all the more confused. I walked away dazed with questions in my head . Plunged in deep reflection.

At the heights of love everything seems so carefree, even childlike in its wantonness . So what was I doing in the middle of something so serious, an issue that keeps polarizing nations apart? Whose God is the real God? Or if there is one? And which religion leads to everlasting life? And again if that is even possible? Why should we give up one for another? Why does it keep pulling people apart instead of together? It was all so complicated. Besides the culture barrier, there is religious barriers too. Why do people constantly build walls to keep each other out? Is elitism such an inborn trait? If other religions do not want Christians in their flock, some Christian are not any better in accepting others too. My ardent Christian friends back home gave me stern advice against marrying outside the faith. Frowning at me, I felt the sting of their scorn for beliefs different from theirs. How ironic. Jesus himself right there written in the bible mingled with everybody. He was the coolest dude who does not possess on single elitist bone in his body.

Without an answer to my dilemma I was only left with a conclusion that maybe people do feel safe if they belong to one “CLUB” or the other. And they fear that someone who does not clearly belong to one is dangerous and must be avoided.

©JMKhapra

How I Applied Newton’s Three Laws Of Motion To Improve My Life

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One morning on our way to McDonalds for breakfast we passed by the remnants of demolished car repair shops along the road. It rained the night before, whatever was salvageable in the wreckage now buried in muck. Among the rag pickers scavenging the area were some shop owners sitting dejected and hopeless staring in front of the rubble. With their source of income now wiped away they must be feeling that life has dealt them a bad hand. I thought of the families they have to feed. Of their kids who have to go to school. Of how they will manage now.

” But they knew it is illegal all along.” replied my husband when I told him I felt sorry for them.

Which is true. Sometimes we make decisions to do something even though we know we would be on the wrong track and would try to risk it, crossing our fingers, hoping that just for us the universe will adjust and give us the outcome we hope for. This never works. The universe is governed by its own law. Like the law of gravity, what comes up must come down. Except of course if you are a satellite in space. So if it is illegal you will get caught. And if the clouds are dark it will rain. Continue reading

The Confining Walls Of Our Beliefs

20120912-221358.jpg

” I think you should not marry him,” Bonnie said emphatically. I looked at her sadly. She was my last hope. Her opinion being the final sign from which my decision would be based upon. Yes, in days of confusion and indecisions, I too fell in the trap of ” looking for signs ” while contemplating a pertinent problem in want of a solution. Needless to say, these signs only led to more confusion and further indecisions.

Bonnie sighed, her face contorted with remembered pain. ” Marriage had not been easy for a Christian woman like me marrying into a family with a different religion.”

We were sitting in her spacious bedroom at that moment, but when first I came to her house and was introduced to her in-laws, I did not sense any tension between them at all. I wondered what she was talking about.

” My father-in-law had beaten my husband black and blue when he insisted on marrying me.” she continued. My eyes widened.

It was unfathomable for me how a grown man can be beaten by his father. But apparently, in that country, it is quite common.

I met Bonnie when I went for a Sunday mass in a Christian Church in the city. Praying in an empty church has always been my one solace every time my life is caught in a whirlwind. At that time, I was in the middle of a milder thunderstorm, and like a guardian angel, she sat by my side. My face must have been as gloomy as the church interior for she asked, ” What’s bothering you, child?” My answer was a quivering sigh. Tears held at bay, brimming at the eyelids where one kind word would send them cascading down my cheeks. She patted my hands and whispered to me that I should meet her after service.

Salty water burst forth like in a broken dam from my eyes when finally I related to her the whole story, sitting in a room at the second floor of the church where she taught Sunday school for children. With a motherly sympathy, she told me she will pray for me and my troubles. And she will ponder over the situation and would call me if she has an answer for me. She called after a few days. So there I sat in front of her while she dashed my hopes and dreams over coffee.

Bonnie is a beautiful tall woman from the North. She could easily be an actress or a model, in my opinion. She has those perfect cheekbones and soulful light eyes with a curtain of the thickest lashes I’ve ever seen. With her beauty complemented by her tender heart, it was easy to see why her husband fought tooth and nail to keep her. Their relationship endured countless attempts of separation from her husband’s family but without success. They even threatened to disown her husband. But nothing fazed them. Against all the odds they wed and are now blessed with three kids.

” I insisted we marry in a Christian church. Afterwards, I fought hard to remain Christian. I did not convert. My faith is all I had. It is my choice. The only thing left of my independence. I held on to it.” I could feel the passion she had for her faith very strongly. I wondered If they beat her up for that too. She did not hint on it throughout the conversation, but I thought it was more than probable.

” But then came the children.” Pain flitted in her eyes once more.

” Though my husband never asked me to convert, my in-laws, of course, would never allow my children to be Christians. This is one fight I could never win. I could never get them baptised. That tears at my heart. How will I save them from eternal damnation? I had to sneak them out of the house when they were babies just so I can take them to the church. To know the Lord.”

She looked intently into my eyes. ” You don’t want that to happen to you.”

I was speechless. I could not answer her. She was right. It will affect the children’s lives most of all. Which belief would the children cling to before they can choose one for themselves? I said goodbye to her with a heavy heart. Still undecided and all the more confused. I walked away, dazed with questions in my head. Plunged in deep reflection.

At the heights of love, everything seems so carefree, even childlike in its wantonness. So what was I doing in the middle of something so serious, an issue that keeps polarising nations apart? Whose God is the real God? Or if there is one? And which religion leads to everlasting life? And again if that is even possible? Why should we give up one for another? Why does it keep pulling people apart instead of together? It was all so complicated. Besides the culture barrier, there are religious barriers too. Why do people continually build walls to keep each other out? Is elitism such an inborn trait? If other religions do not want Christians in their flock, some Christians are not any better in accepting others too. My ardent Christian friends back home gave me stern advice against marrying outside the faith. Frowning at me, I felt the sting of their scorn for beliefs different from theirs. How ironic. Jesus himself right there written in the bible mingled with everybody. He was the coolest dude who does not possess on single elitist bone in his body.

Without an answer to my dilemma, I was only left with a conclusion that maybe people do feel safe if they belong to one “CLUB” or the other. And they fear that someone who does not clearly belong to one is dangerous and must be avoided.

©JMKhapra

Self Righteous Rantings

My ears are smarting from your self righteous ranting. Your keyboard is thundering from your passionate pounding. Hurling criticism here and there. But your words fall flat. Resounding with jealousy and insecurity. Broadcasting your own narrow mind. I think you just better shut up.
“Self-righteousness is much like a spiritual egocentricity. It constitutes a secular type of love that thrives under conditionality, one in which is only existent after an individual meets the adopted standards of the condemner.”
― Criss JamiSalomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

A Gathering of Minds

painting by Jofelyn M. Khapra

 

A gentle ray of sun fell on the blooming bushes and trees. A cheerful sight to behold after the gloom the rainy days brought forth. The air was fresh with the scent of newly washed grass. I walked past the iron wrought pavilion shawled in ivy vines and yellow bells, towards an enclosed section of the garden. The circular row of cypress trees standing  in full  attention looked verdant and well nourished after the monsoon. Well trimmed lawn carpeted the green cocoon and decorated with a row of white wicker chairs around a pristine long white table. On it, sparkling under the yellow light streaming down from the azure sky were a collections of my finest tea cups and tea pots amidst an assortment of tea time goodies; red velvet cupcakes, chocolate chip muffin, chocolate truffles, slices of cheese cakes, danish, lemon tarts, eclairs and oatmeal cookies. Fresh flowers plucked from the nursery blushed profusely against the immaculate table cloth. I smiled and sighed with deep satisfaction. I sat on my favorite chair at the left corner at the far end of the table granting a full view of all my friends who shortly would be arriving.

Painting by Jofelyn M. Khapra

I pour my self a cup of Darjeeling tea and opened the IPad with child like anticipation. Out came from WordPress’ portal the Poet, carrying with him beautiful sentiments of the day. Together with his melodious musing he sat comfortably on my side, listening entranced I offered him a cup of Chamomile tea. With boisterous laughter the Story Teller burst out inducing much hilarity. Pacing to and pro a humorous tale she related. The garden reverberated with peals of our laughter, competing with birds chirping in the trees. Clutching our stomachs we were helpless with gaiety. Silence! Cried the Critic who sneaked in on us. ” You are all wrong and I am right!” With angry stride and forceful remonstration his rhetoric went on and on. Arrogant might be his words but it did trumpeted loudly with truth. He cleared his throat upon conclusion. Black coffee he demanded. Scrambling to my feet I searched for the bitter brew. A stronger caffeine I knew will be requested.

image from google

” Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” Uttered a voice of  Reason. So softly but firm it was almost a whisper. A gentle hush fell over the table. Even the Critic turned his attention to the new comer. With awe in our faces we absorbed the wisdom he imparted. Peace filled our being. Eyes turned towards the horizon we were lost in deep contemplation.

When we were exhausted with words the Artists soothed our eyes with their visual creativity. The most wondrous photographs were passed around followed by the echoes of oohs and aahs. Worked of arts painted the garden with kaleidoscopic hues. Our eyes drunk in nectar of those beautiful creations.

With such lively company the hours sped by easily.  Soon it was noon and time to bade adieu. Far too hot to sit under the sun much longer. With a promise to see each other again the next day each went on their merry way.

painting by Jofelyn M. Khapra

Now that the gathering was over, I was overcome with regret. Wanting to kick my behind I asked myself, where was I ? What have I been doing all this while? What took me so long to join this community? Many pleasurable hours were spent in the garden alone ravishing books one after the other but exchanges of thoughts bring titillating delights. I am energized. Infused with vitality after such communion I felt like a well oiled machine at the height of my creativity.

My fellow bloggers this is my ode to all of you. Thank you for gracing my home every morning with your  intimate musings  and witticisms and thank you for enriching my life with your beautiful thoughts and truths daily. I am much obliged to you. Have a great weekend.

©JMKhapra

Painting by Jofelyn M. Khapra