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A quick tale 183


You are a self-confessed atheist, I know. At first, it was a cool thing to be. I'm an atheist, you told a baffled aunt when she offered you prasadam from Tirupati. You laughed as she shook her head in weak disapproval. Them and their stupid belief in God. You wouldn't even write it that way. With a capital 'g'. Them and their stupid belief in god. You spent hours gathering evidence to support your claim. You surrounded yourselves with fellow atheists. And found a new faith in collective conviction.

Until one day, in a crowded market when, without your realising how, she slips out of your grasp. You look down and she's gone. Just like that, melted away. Your eyes dart furtively, scanning the milling crowds for that familiar shape who has come to dominate your life the past three years. With every passing second, your mind grows crowded with stories of kidnapped and tortured children. Of kids who were sold to Arab sheikhs for camel racing. Of those who were mutilated and forced to beg, to prostitute. And just then, you remember the powers you had long disregarded. Please bring her back to me, you plead in desperation. Please. Those frantic moments come to an abrupt end when a small, damp hand clasps your fingers. You collapse with relief. You tell yourself it was just a delusion. Yes, a brief delusion in a moment of dire need. Nothing more.


InTeGeR said…
Moments of desperation or helplessness are when we hope someone named 'God' should be there and there to listen to us.
apu said…
phew. scary tale.
-Lura- said…
what would you tell if I "don't remember the powers I had long disregarded" or plead in desperation.... Would I become a true atheist in your view ?

How would u define it then ?
Venky said…
@above may be it is easy to sit back and say "whatif "
the day sth thats equally stressful happens , u can do all but not think of being a true atheisr
Vi said…
How convenient.
Oracle said…
Reminds me of a Rajini dialogue:

God tests good guys but holds their hands..
Bad guys seem to be doing well till God lets go of them.
Anonymous said…
powerful imagery!
As a tale, a story, brilliant.

Outside of it, I will have to debate it with you.
Deepa said…
oracle, you should've quoted the actual tamil version. Sounds better that way.
-Lura- said…
being a atheist... i don't have to think anything in those terms to realise them....

life just go on... laws of physical sciences and biological just govern my life.. i find it satisfying... so i don't have to even reaffirm myself as a true atheist..

if somebody offers me prasadam... i just pop it into my mouth for my digestive system to take care of it...
Shankar said…
Interesting perspective..but blatantly written from a theist's point of view.

Maybe you can see Lura's pov and write another one:)

Interesting, how when an atheist suddenly thinks of's news!
While a Theist..suddenly wants to disown's no biggie!!
-Lura- said…
For not to believe something... first you have to think "why not to believe"...
I prefer "constant evolution" of ideas.. so in that way you think about god and other lots of stuff.... i guess its normal and not news... :)
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Joseph said…
Quite brilliant..Have been a fan of your quick tales for some time now..
Shalini said…
Faith and 'God' as perceived today ! A brilliant piece, as always !!!
LightRain said…
Great imagery. I love the way you can paint the details of a situation. That said, this "brief delusion in a moment of dire need" is being so casually confused with a real change of heart. In a society where 'Oh God' is a common interjection, this so-called delusion is the most natural reaction to a crisis. It doesnt really speak of your beliefs. It is merely the natural recourse. It doesnt have to be a breach of the 'atheist' contract. Panic reactions arising from somewhere deep in the subconscious are different from a deeper, well thought out rationale. On the other hand, if an atheist starts praying for the divine cure of an ailing family member, that would be a real breach.

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Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

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Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

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(And I have to bite my tongue)
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It's well worth starting young

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For fifty, I've begun
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Now that I'm thirty-one.

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