Sunday, May 27, 2018
KADAM CHHOTA, CHANGE BADA
God and I have this wonderful relationship. I imagined that just before I was born, He said, “Let there be light!” When I appeared, my parents named me Deepti, which means ‘light’ in Sanskrit.
My grandparents were religious to the core and they had this huge pooja room filled with idols of all shapes and sizes. My personal favourite was the pot-bellied Elephant God who was an ally in arms, and a tall blue Krishna who stood in a glass case, with a friendly smile on His face.
My parents were never temple-goers, but they made sure that they never harmed a fly, a philosophy which implied that God resided in every creature. Maybe Mom was not too fond of lizards, but she only kept well away from them.
My husband being an Army officer, we found ourselves celebrating every festival with equal fervour. We would immerse Ganeshas, light lamps, eat delicious langar at gurudwaras, and meditate in silence within the cool interiors of beautiful churches, finding joy in every moment of the festival. The festival of colour, Holi, would find us cavorting in tubs brimming with coloured water, and Id would consist of mutton biryani that melted in the mouth. Christmas was the time for gifts and Santa’s visits, when we would regale our neighbours with carols and stuff ourselves with cake and mouth-watering snacks.
Thus, what happened one day did not surprise me or my husband. We were going for a stroll in the Cantonment with our five-year-old daughter. Shady trees lined both sides of the road, and it was a pleasant, balmy walk. There was a temple ahead and as we crossed it, the little one slowed down. We turned around, only to see her standing in front of the temple, and smiled as she prayed with her eyes closed tight, her little lips muttering something. As we looked on, she opened her eyes, made the sign of the cross and then walked towards us.
For a moment, we were both stunned. Here was a little girl who, with one tiny gesture, had established that God is one, whether He dwells in a temple, a church, a mosque or a gurudwara. With one small step, she had broken through the centuries of orthodoxy that dictated which deity belonged to which religion, and proved to us that it only takes one little step to create a mighty ripple of change.
If an innocent child could understand this mighty truth, I wonder why so many educated and sensible people fail to do so.
Every change begins with a small step, whether it is a change within your own family, or the whole country! India’s hero, Padman, had its digital premiere on ZEE5, on 11th May. Don’t miss this inspiring true-life story, only on ZEE5.
at May 27, 2018
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