Friday, 4 November 2011

School: The initial experiences...

On the 4th of this month my school completed 150 years of its existence. I was in town on the day and though unfortunately I missed the ceremony, the news did bring back some old memories.
On someday (believe me I have tried really very hard to figure out the date) in July 1996, my first day, the 7 year old me scampered away holding my father’s hand (my father wasn’t scampering along, he was walking respectfullyJ) trying to locate my classroom, ‘2-B’ (I joined this school in the 2nd standard).To tell you the truth, I was not at all scared. Two of my friends from my previous school were also in the same class. They had joined a day before and through the quick and complex maternal communication network I was aware of this news.So, instead of being afraid of the change I was eager to rejoin my friends!! I can still literally relive the moment when on entering the class, the first thing I noticed was my friends’ smiling faces.
Now although I want to describe a lot of experiences, in the following text I have shared two of my initial experiences in the school.
The first is concerned with a very uncommon boy of my class. The reason he was uncommon was that he was quite large and mature than the rest of us. To do hi description justice I can ask you to imagine a 12 year old (in a class of 7 year old boys) wearing the tight clothes of a 10 year old (uncanny) and on top of it all a facial profile of a 16 year old (without the traces of facial hair of course) i.e. quite mature (looking) for the class. But it isn’t his appearance that has qualified him to be worthy of a mention but his reaction.
On the first day, the teacher had punished the whole class for talking J.Now it was 12pm, the end of the school hours, but she had literally frozen us to death by saying, “No one will go home today, I’ll ask the peon to lock you people up in the class!!” As soon as she had said this, the deceptively mature boy started crying out …BAH! BAH! And begging her to let him go!!! Imagine a class with many small children sitting quietly and one boy, the least expected of all, the one you would expect to pacify the other children IF (and a big if it is as we never did cry on that day, no sir, no one except HIM) they reacted, the one you would expect to face this threat with a smile on his mature face, starts to wail out and weep oceans!! My first day……my first impression of my classJ.
The second is about another boy, one with a ponytail, and he wasn’t a Sikh/sardar.He was very friendly, the first of the new classmates who tried to help me adjust and be friends with me. But ME, I had other notions’ was pretty well convinced that he was a girl (and my school was an all boys schoolL). I was perfectly certain of this fact, even more certain than I was about my own name!!So guided by this certainty and his frequent friendly and helpful chit-chat, the ignorant me decided to run away from her the next time ‘she’ tried to help me out!!And I did try to avoid ‘her’ for the next few days, but eventually ‘she and me’ J became good friends. It turned out that ‘she’ very close to my house and we started playing together and going to each other’s houses and then ‘he’ had his hair cut and ‘she’ became a ‘he’ for me!!Although I had accepted him to be a boy (my mother’s reasons, that if he is a girl then why is he in a boys’ school? And why does he have a male name?, shattered my illusion) but my mysterious ‘kid’ mind never did abandon the faint possibility that one day I would wake up to find out that ‘he’ is a ‘she’ and I would get to tell my mother, “I told you so!”, until the day of his hair cut J and now, jokes apart, it has been 15 crazy years and very few of your friends(school) are  still in touch with you and can be relied upon for any sort of work and he is one of them. Although now we do not get a chance to meet often on account of the journey(called life) we do sometime catch up on those instant chat services and when we do meet its just like the good old days(not the initial illusioned days of course J).

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The GOD Dilemma

For starters this is an article written by me sometime back in 2008 for my college magazine, hope you like it. J
God, is there a God? Who is this God? Is He real or just an excuse to hide our explanatory weakness, to explain certain events, feelings, phenomena? Many times the feeling of despair and hopelessness thrusts such questions in our minds. But no matter how hard we try , acceptable answers to these questions are never found, for the believers continue to believe Him & those who oppose His existence will continue to do so. Here, in this article, I try to find out ‘my’ answer to this question.
In my quest for the answer, I asked myself-What/Who   according to me is God? From the various ideas, from books/television/newspapers, which have influenced my mind, I regard Him as a ‘positive energy’ of such magnitude & influence that it not only inspires us but also helps us to realize our true capabilities. Religious books are proclaimed to be His words/ideas   & in our daily lives, we are expected to implement these teachings. Obviously, these scriptures have a large number of believers, which itself depicts the influence of a ‘SUPER-BEING’.
Another   thought   that came to me was about our very existence! The fact that we occupy the ideal place in our planetary system , the values of certain quantities (like the sp. Heat capacity of water, latent heat of ice) , durations of day & nights etc.  are ideal for our sustainability. Don’t you think this to be too much of a coincidence? It appears as if ‘Someone’ has chosen these values for us! Further occurrences of miracles, premonitions, prayers being answered etc. reinforce His presence. 
Even as I was pondering over the various points enforcing His presence, I started feeling dissatisfied with them, as for every argument, automatically; a more rational explanation sprang up! All religious scriptures were written by ‘man’, we  just believe that they are the teachings of ‘God’. As a matter of fact, the Bible was written in a time period of 1400-1800 years by over 40 people!! This fact greatly changes things, isn’t it? Further there is a possibility that all these ‘teachings’ & the ‘concept’ of God was a way to inspire people to do the right and follow certain norms of life. As people, generally, more easily believe the mysterious rather than the logical, the various religious groups  could have aimed to use this characteristic of human nature to reform the society by making them blindly accept the good principles just to avoid getting into the ‘bad books’ of  the so called God! Similarly, the argument about our ‘too perfect’ position and surroundings can be easily explained by changing our point of view i.e. these things aren’t perfect it’s just that we have ‘evolved’ in accordance with these attributes.
Today, man has been able to develop techniques like tissue culture/cloning which have given him the power which once only God possessed , the power to create organisms-‘Creation Of Life’! Furthermore until the occurrence of eclipses was not scientifically explained, people linked them with mythologies like ‘Rahu’ & ‘Ketu’ etc. Does that mean that the phenomena which we are unable to explain today (referred to as miracles or supernatural happenings) can be rationally explained in the coming years? If this is true then this is a big argument against the existence of God!!!
Eventually, to answer this question we need to understand the ‘faith’ & ‘belief’ of people.  We need to know that an event can be regarded as just a coincidence or mere luck from one point of view while it can be regarded as a miracle from a believer’s point of view. Thus God will continue to exist for His followers and He will continued to be regarded as an excuse by the non-believers. As for me, I just found out one thing-I love my God but don’t blindly accept anything propagated in his name.