Disclaimer: This post like an earlier one is not a religious commentary, nor is it aimed at hurting the religious sentiments of anyone. They are just the thoughts and observations of another faithful like you.
I was driving to my client’s office yesterday and was in Thiruvallikeni High Road (Triplicane High Road). I was observing the communal harmony that seemingly existed in that area where the entrance arch to the Parthasarathy Temple opens into a church. The area has temples, mosques, churches spread out among the homes and believers of their faithful. It gave me a sense of pride to be a part of this city considering that religious discord is prevalent in many places across our country.
I happened to notice a hoarding that proudly invited people to participate in a ceremony where the deity will be washed (worshipped if you please) by 108 pots of milk. Considering the fact that these pots are much bigger than your mini-coffee cups and may in fact contain enough milk for at least a 100 mini coffees I was a little disturbed. I just thought it was a good thing that the images of the Gods are made of harder stuff else they would have drowned in the deluge.
I was disturbed right through the Holy week when the preacher mentioned on two occasions that even today in India many people live on 20 rupees a month. Considering the fact that I tipped a waiter the same (@ 5% of the bill amount) for a meal in a restaurant, it left a slightly bitter taste in the mouth (no it was not because I was fasting that day). Also many people go to sleep hungry every night. Statistics remain a mere number unless it involves us and somehow the statistics the preacher gave, disturbed me.
On the topic of fasting, fasting is common to many faiths and people tend to fast for various reasons. A very common reason is when the faithful want to make their God feel obliged to them – like “Hey God I gave up my lunch today for you so why don’t you do XXXX for me” or simply “I have fasted so give me XXXX”. People have given various definitions for fasting but D showed me once a beautiful version of fasting. Every time D fasts or gives up a meal, generally her breakfast (Note: Skipping breakfast is a very unhealthy practice and should be avoided) she packs the meal and carries it with her. She gives her food to some hungry person on the road. She explained that her fast becomes meaningful only when that food which she had given up reaches a needy person.