A little faith, much love and… some gooey curry

October 20, 2013
My little girl’s charcoal sketch of The Enlightened One… A coincidence that she shook me awake after this!
When I said I will not eat a dish placed precariously in delicate china near a yellow candle that seemed to croon and blush the maroonish-glistening gravy, I was told, “People come from far and wide enduring traffic, toll and weather, sit in queue to savour this and you don’t even want to taste it?” My gregarious friends exclaimed as they scooped up more than heaps of dollops into their plate as the husband passed me the raitha.
“Why is she like this?” They continued, as if I had fought tooth and nail and forced them on a trip to Iceland only to complain about the weather and sit sipping Horlicks I carried along.
“I have faith in my organs,” I replied.
“I have a deadline to meet tomorrow. I can’t waste time in the loo.” I explained.
“Common on, yaar!”
“If my eyes don’t approve of it, my stomach will not accept it. Simple.”
“That’s your misplaced belief,” said one from the other end of the table. Seconding him, came a few comments. “Yeah, yeah. This is all unwanted beliefs.” “You should be open to everything.” “You tend to be stuck in a one-off incident…”. “You are even otherwise very rigid in your beliefs…”
What the heck? I thought. My stomach, my body, my mind, my decision.
As I began saying, “Even you guys are rigid in your belief…”, the husband shushed me leaning across asking, “Want more raitha?” scuffling the rest of sentence, “…that only non-vegetarian dishes can complete a party,” into his armpit.
It sucks. No, not his underarms. That ilk and their eeky beliefs.
This incident happened two years back.
But its only today I realised my ignominy of having tugged along defending gluttonous delight using magnanimous words such as belief and faith, when I was confronted with a situation that questioned my belief and faith.
As in Belief and Faith!
I forced my little girl to visit a holy shrine of which she had no idea of only to honour someone else’s faith in the deity. In my blind belief to appease the person I love, I thrust my belief on to my daughter expecting her to follow instructions in good faith. And the project cancelled at the nth hour. An hour that proved costly only to my little girl as it came after she missed two days of school.
Lessons learnt.
1. Never thrust religion on your children. Enlighten them on all. Even talk to them of your beliefs in a particular faith and believe, yes believe, in the knowledge you impart and leave it to them to choose their faith.
2. Never mix faith and love.
Nisha Sanjeev

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