Thursday, October 4, 2012

religion of mementos

As the world outside struggled and rejoiced; depending upon whether it was facing the gun barrel or was behind it; effectively and disdainfully in a self-inflicting manner, thoughts of god and religion or rather gods and religions; he corrected himself, entered his mind.

He added gods, the plural form of essentially a bloody myth, just so as to leave no one behind feeling that their stupidity, hostility, barbaric indifference or shuddering inhumanity, could not even earn their god or in some cases gods, the right to be mentioned or bring them under the criminal canopy of conflict.

His struggle, however, was inside him. Religions of the world had renounced him. The gods were clearly displeased and none of the millions of gods out there, on sale, on incredibly unbelievable rates or more aptly; price, could find enough place to accommodate him. The gods had given up on him and so had the followers. Or was it the other way round? It had been such a long time ago that no one could claim to know. No one could be sure. 

The gods, the followers and he, did not care. That was, is, and as far as evidence goes, will be the only common thing this unlikeliest of trifecta share. 

He did not want to be without a religion. He was desperately seeking one.

He sat in a corner, writing, thinking. More thinking than writing. He thought of that one thing to which he could selflessly devote himself to, he thought if there could be a religion, the cause of which he could pursue endlessly, one which would compel him to explore the length and breadth of his life.

And then it came to him; his religion. He finally did have a religion that he followed. And one which followed him everywhere, even when he shut himself up in the attic of his mind and even when he was driven out of it. 
It followed him ceaselessly. 

This religion was oblivious. It had no heart to claim any territory. Its territory was him.
His was a religion that started and ended with him alone, tempting no one else to convert into something else.

There was no Good Friday or a day when people bowed and spread palms and flowers on the dusty path or a day when someone was born. In his religion there was no good day and there were no bad days. His religion did not discriminate between days. Or nights. They were treated the same. They were all treated with the same measure of apathy. They were all just days, something one just passes by, without standing and staring to take in the sights.

This religion did not exist in the here and now. It was not concerned with the here and now. It was a detached religion, a religion suspended in a vacuum. It was a religion stuck in quicksand, one which tells you not to move at all, to stay still, but one which sucks you into a breathless bottom nonetheless. 

His religion had a shrine. Not one with fresh flowers or burning candles or a chubby kid surrounded by three strangers with stranger gifts. None of that. The flowers in this shrine were dry, shrivelled. His shrine had bookmarks. Every article in his shrine was a bookmark, perhaps of different shapes and sizes, but all serving the singular purpose of bookmarking something. Candles served no purpose, whatsoever, here. This religion, his religion had nothing to do with light. 

His sacred places were never out of reach. They were all places he once frequently visited. Visiting these places, undertaking this pilgrimage, however was never done for finding peace. This was not a religion which professed peace. How could it? It was a religion after all. 

His sacred texts were scribbles and a few lines from certain songs and certain sentences in a book, a book which was 1349 pages too short.

There was no salvation on offer here. None. His religion promised nothing of that sort. There was no gift packed, life-long membership card called afterlife handed out with a *conditions apply* clause. His religion had no clauses. His religion did not boast of showing the path to life after death. His religion has no written or oral commandments. There were no teachings or preaching or sermons. This was a religion of silence and occasional sobs. 

His altar did not have heavy velvet curtains, replete with embossed insignias. His altar had eyelids; mostly heavy and almost always lowered.

So while the religions of the world outside, gave a reason to their respective people to kill; his religion, holding his hand killed no one else, but itself and him, a little every minute. 

His religion had but one deity, one which creates a universe in the time gone by, just so it can exert and assert its right and power of abandoning it in the present.


Because it could.
Because his is a religion of mementos.