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Marble Surface

Alone and Aloof

There was a god in front of us.

There were people behind me.

The temple bells were clanging.

The aarti drums were banging.

It was chaotic for me, and within that chaos, I wondered how many could find solace. It was a question I ask myself about mankind often – how can loudness and thundery beats make people find themselves, instead of tranquillity and peace. Then again, people as an entity has always confused me, and the more fragmented it becomes, the more confusing it gets.

But for once, the chaos was not affecting me. Nor was the fact that a temple isn’t really the place most people who know me would expect me to be. But most people who know me don’t really ‘know‘ me, and since they don’t, they do not have the slightest idea about the lengths I could go for love, and heights I could reach with it. And that is good, in a way, as then they wouldn’t have to deal with my shortcomings of self loathe and the lows I can sink to when I am not ‘okay’.

Nothing affected me there, in an environment which is a guaranteed migraine trigger for me, because I wasn’t alone. Not in the figurative sense this time, I was genuinely not alone.

I looked to my right, and the noise drowned out, the people vanished, and the heat wafted away.

Her head was bowed, covered with her pallu. Strands of hair swivelled out of that cover onto the side of her face, and she may not accept it, but I had a hunch she let it stay out cause she knew how much I loved it. Her eyes were closed – not tightly, nor pretentiously – but firmly, with conviction. Her chin rested lightly on her hands clasped in front of her chest. Her lips were moving, whispering the words of the aarti which I could not hear. The threads on her wrist stood out, and her earrings swayed every time she adjusted her head.

There may have been a god in front of me, and she might have been praying to the same god, but I was looking at a Goddess, no less.

It was then I realised how valuable it is to have someone who can make you do things you do not intently want to do, not because of threat or the fear of repercussions, but rather due to a belief of trust in tolerance. No one was so far able to extort me into a temple before, but she got me there nevertheless. I prefer to be revered rather than feared, and to be in positive demand rather than remand. God, for me, has always been someone who is feared, and that curiosity made me seek flaws. God’s flaws.

God may judge me but the weight of his sins outweigh mine.

I absolutely love the idea of god’s infallibility. Man decided he wasn’t good enough, or perfect enough, so he framed the idea of a being (or plural) in his image of perfection. That’s fine, by the way. I have a question about the notion that when man realised that he wasn’t perfect, the thought process moved towards, ‘but someone has to be!‘ And later, more reasonable school of thought popped up that asked, ‘eh, but who is?‘ Unfortunately, as man realised the onsight into a grey area, his insight towards it became of exploitation, rather than adherence.

God is supposed to be perfect. God is someone who doesn’t make mistakes but is often rumoured to do wrong to ensure a greater right. A smaller wrong done ensures a bigger right, and whatever collateral loss the wrong may induce, is merely a price. Because right and wrong, probably, is easier to determine thanks to omnipresence and knowledge, rather than being in the mix, suffering the dilemmas and conundrums at the ground level. It’s his bird’s-eye view which may ensure what’s right and what’s wrong, apparently, and thus he stays aloof. Far, far away, silent, and quiet.

God made man in his own image, they say, and that has always been true. Quite like god, Man isn’t bothered with the cacophony that emits from the stage of his life – as long as he has a reason to put his own music on. Man, quite like god, likes to stay away, far and quiet. Aloof, until things corner him – and when he is cornered, he cannot fight; for god didn’t make him in an animal’s image which can fight, but in his own, which makes haste and thus seeks aid, only to realise that he is the reflection of someone aloof, far, far away.

Some men, thus, never actually bothered upon seeing the events around them, and began exploiting the idea that they thought that god was perfect  – and god became incitor-in-chief. Others began exploiting the fact that nobody is perfect – certainly not someone who’s super powerful but quite aloof – and then god became nothing more than a reference; or an idiom.

They say knowledge is power, and maybe the power god holds in is not the power to change things, but the knowledge that he cannot change things. Changing things requires extensive knowledge of contexts and nuances, something a bird’s-eye view does provide. The more he knows, the more grey areas arise, and the more complex the solution gets, eventually raising the workload. The more he sees the more he knows and the more responsibility it raises on him; isn’t he who started it all? Quite like a student who has a lot to submit does nothing, as he is overwhelmed, God does nothing as well, cause he knows it’s hopeless.

God stays aloof because even he is terrified of what he has created.

But thank god, literally, that he merely made man in his image and not a true replica, for some men do see the micro view; the worm’s-eye view, and try to change things. One thing at a time, sowing hope, and reaping despair; burning bright only to be dissolved into the darkness. And what do they get in return? They get eaten up, swallowed by men in god’s image. But the worst thing they get in return is a forlorn path to trudge, to reap hope and shine bright eventually – and be ironically called godlike.

To become god is the most forsaken honour of all.

She opened her eyes and caught me looking at her. She sighed, and beckoned the priest carrying the holy fire towards us. The priest gave blessings to her and asked me to pray to the fire. I politely refused and smiled; only for the time to come to a standstill again.

I saw the unholy fire of blasphemy in the priest’s eyes, for he thought no one was perfect bar god, and to refute god was to seek war. I realised I was alone, and the gods, the godpeople and the godless wanted me, and I smiled. It would have been better if man had made god in his own image.

If god chooses to be my enemy, I’ll live like I always have, and fight like I’ve never before.


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