Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Yesterday while coming back from work, I was having a conversation with my dad as to how the recent bomb blasts have spread the terror. The conversation arose after crossing Kalkaji temple where unexpectedly the traffic moved smoothly and was not snarled. There was no rush of devotees.It was somewhat strange for me for I have been crossing that road for years and during navratras, the traffic moves at its own pace there, thanks to the mela, the devotees thronging the temple and the processions outside which as always leads to chaos on the road. I was disappointed for the first time to not to have stuck in a traffic jam!
It was a special day yesterday which marked the last day of ramzan and the first day of navratras. I am all smiles when I see festivals occurring on the same day. Its not that I have the time to celebrate all festivals but still, I guess it brings with it a sense of warmth….to me at least! Its beautiful to see how the common people of diverse religions co-exist and celebrate in bliss as against the belief of the politico.
As for my own experience, living in a city like Delhi which has no culture of its own, one meets people from different religions and different beliefs. I do participate in Eid celebrations at my friend’s place and so do they on Diwali at my house. And we do like to leave behind these differences between muslims and hindus created by the managers of the country and publicized mindlessly by the media most of the times.
Infact, here I would want to share another beautiful example of religious co-existence. My work takes me to a school in a slum colony in Delhi where the occupants are muslims and hindus. Interacting with their children in school for about 6 months, I thought how simple it is a matter which has been maligned to the hilt by the known and the not so known of the country. In the short span of my work there, I happened to celebrate Rakhsha bandhan, Ramzan,Eid, Navratras and Diwali there. It was fascinating to see that raksha bandhan was celebrated with equal joy and warmth in both hindu and muslim households. During the ramzan time, children in school ensured that their friends who were observing rozas were feeling fine and comfortable. Children made it a point that they sit under the fan in the class so that it will be easier for them to beat the heat. And these were kids not more than 12 yrs of age. Both during navratras and ramzan, children shared the happenings at home and visiting each other home was a regular practice. I was enchanted. Both Eid and Diwali were celebrated with equal jest and warmth.
What else should we ask for. These are the households where the ‘not- so-educated’ live but the way they live, I salute them and the kind of values that they are imbibing in their children is appreciable. This is the way it should be….for our country, for the world.
Considering the present scenario, everyone around me is predicting riots and war. All I can say is that its very simple to co-exist harmoniously, if only politicians would let us.
It reminds me of a slogan : ‘Peace is not the way, peace is the only way.’