It is Dussehra time. The whole town is full of festivities and celebrations. Raghu and Ravi are good pals. They are neighbors and grown up together, studying in the same school and class from Class 1 to 9
Raghu: Happy Dussehra Ravi. Come let’s go to the temple in our colony. There will be lot of festivities and celebrations
Ravi: (disinterested) I am not coming. You carry on
Raghu: Hey come on Ravi. We will have lot of fun. All others would have come. Even Ankur will be there today
Ravi: (Sarcastically) Yes… God is fun. He wants to have fun.He enjoys making seeing others cry
Raghu: I don’t get you. (He sits down next to Ravi)
Ravi: Have you seen all the bomb blasts and violence in Yemen? So many people are killed. Many have become homeless and were deprived of their daily earnings
Ravi: If God exists and does good to all, why did he not punish the wrong doers?
Ravi: If it is true that God has created everything, why did he create all those bad people in the first place?
Raghu: hmm… You are right. There is no logic in creating bad people and then punishing them for that. But God is intelligent. I think we should ask our elders why God created all those bad people
Ravi: I asked my dad. He got angry with me and said, “Stop asking such stupid questions. There is something called faith. You can’t question that. If you speak like this, God will punish you”. I guess he doesn’t have an answer and is covering up
Raghu: Hmm… But dude, today is a holiday. And there is lot of fun at the temple. Come let’s go for having fun. We will ask someone else for an answer to your question. Don’t be a spoil sport
Ravi: (doesn’t respond)
Raghu: Hi… Ankur will be there as well. Probably he will be able to give us an answer
Ravi: You are right. Come let’s go.
They both reach the temple. All friends have already assembled in the open area behind the sanctum sanctorum. On seeing Raghu and Ravi, they all greet them Happy Dusshera
Ravi: Where’s Ankur?
Kiran: See this guy dudes. He doesn’t wish us. But enquires about Ankur, who is not here
Arvind: Have you lost something? Is everything OK?
Raghu: He has lost his faith
Kiran: On what?
Arvind: You are in the temple. Ask God. He will find it for you
Raghu: That’s where he has lost his faith
Raghu: He has lost his faith on God.
Kiran: Come, let’s search. It should be in some corner in the temple
Ravi: Very Funny! (sarcastically)
Arvind: Can’t you take something seriously?
Kiran: Oh! Mr. Serious, can you please find it?
(All are about to pounce on Kiran)
Kiran: Ok. Ok. Sorry!
Arvind: (to Ravi) Can you tell us what is the problem? Why this sudden doubt?
(Raghu narrates everything to the friends)
Kiran: (Putting his hands over Ravi’s shoulder) I very much agree with you dude. Why should God create this doubt in the first place? He could have directly given the answer. Why should they ask questions in examinations? They can directly give us answers. All our elders, teachers and even God are bad. They all have fun at our cost. This is very bad. We should protest against such attitudes. (His voice slowly turns sarcastic)
Ravi: (mildly punches on Kiran’s belly with his elbow. Puts his hands around Kiran’s neck, as if strangling him)
Ankur: Kiran is at his usual best I guess… What’s the new prank guys?
Arvind narrates everything to Ankur
Ankur: I concur with Kiran. We should protest against such attitude of God
Raghu: Please Ankur, we are really keen to know the answer
Ankur: Guys, do you all get same marks in your examinations?
Ankur: Are you all taught by the same teacher or different?
Ankur: Why don’t you go and question your teacher for being partial? Why doesn’t he give same grades to all?
Arvind: Come on! Ankur, it is in our hands. He teaches in the same way to all. Our marks depend on the way we take the inputs. If we put in enough effort, we get good grades. If our priorities vary, then marks also vary.
Ankur: God gives same opportunity and abilities to all. What each one gets depends on their effort and focus. They get the result only for their doings.
Ravi: I do not buy your argument. Many innocents are killed in the bomb blasts in Yemen. In floods even small children are killed. During hot summers, poor people die of sun strokes. What is their fault? Why should they suffer?
Ankur slaps Ravi very hard. His face turned red. Arvind, Kiran and Raghu’s face also turned red with anger. Ravi was about to pounce on Ankur to hit back. Raghu resists Ravi’s effort as he did not want to create a scene in the temple. For a moment all heads turned towards them. Someone came forward enquiring, if everything is OK. A smaller crowd gathered around with curiosity. Some simply gave a glance and walked away. Still others did not even bother to take note of something unusual happening around.
Ankur: Tell me Ravi, are people in the temple real devotees? Do they wish good for everyone?
Ravi: (Still not back to normal, stares at Ankur)
Raghu: Are you in your senses?
Ankur: I am asking a simple question? Are the people in the temple wish good for everyone? Are they devotees of the Lord?
Ravi: (retorts angrily) Everyone, except you.
Raghu: Did you observe that one or two were taking effort to stop a fight in a public place like a temple, some simply watched the happening around, some noticed but ignored, still others did not even bother to notice what’s happening around. Doesn’t everyone here have equal responsibility to stop when someone is picking up a fight, at least in a temple? Why did they behave differently? Why did so many people act irresponsibly? When something bad is not nipped at the bud stage, it will grow to become a big problem and engulf all in the vicinity. Everyone is equally responsible for the same. How relevant is it to brand all as innocents?
(By now even those around started listening to Ankur with interest)
When you have more people around you who do not inform about miscreants around, terrorism is bound to grow in your society.
When you act irresponsibly towards the nature, natural disasters are bound to happen.
As you walk around in the park, you may step on small ants and insects and kill them, though they have not done anything wrong. You do not also feel guilty about that because, they have little relevance for you. Similarly “what’s happening to you” has little relevance in the larger perspective of things happening in the world around. Tectonic plates keep moving and while they adjust in such a way that the earth remains in one piece, a tsunami or earthquake or landslides may occur and kill thousands. In the light of the earth remaining in one piece, these thousand lives are insignificant, like the ants in the park are for you. I may be sounding rude. But that is the truth. I ofcourse, feel sad for those who are affected by such calamities and pray for them.
Where is the role for God here? Why is God being blamed for anything and everything happening around? Instead of getting into this blame game on God, if people in the society act more responsibly to the people and nature around, there will be more peace in this world.
Ravi: In the light of this understanding we all have had, your handprints on my face is irrelevant. (smiling)
Ankur: I knew, you are intelligent and will understand, my dear friend.
Ravi: (in a lighter tone). Don’t cover up. I owe you a slap.Come, let’s have the darshan of Divine Mother and request her to bless us with wisdom and right guidance always.Let’s pray her to bless us with emotional strength to accept things and situations that are beyond our control; to do our mite to help those affected find some relief.