In a world full of labels and identities, I still have no clue as to where I fit in. My religion? Hindu. But does it mean I visit temples and keep fasts like my mother? No. I do not. I don’t remember a single time where I wanted to visit a temple or do a fast unless asked politely by my parents, of course. I love them and if these little things can avoid any hiccups in our relationship, then sure why not.
But in my 2 yrs of living independently and away from parents, I haven’t once physically went to a temple or did any sort of a fast. Does this make me an Atheist? I don’t think so. For, I do believe in gods of all kinds and religions. Every time I see a temple, a mosque or a gurudwara, I join my hands and bow my head out of respect and habit. I do not eat non-vegetarian food every single day, usually it’s the staple- rice, roti and pulses. But do I avoid eating non-vegetarian food on days when my mom ask me not to? No, I do not. This is not me being rebellious or anti-religion. This is merely my eating preferences. I eat non-veg when I feel like, the day, time, or the place doesn’t really matter. Same goes with not using soap on a certain day or not going near a place of worship when I’m menstruating or even treating cats as a bad omen.
This is an apology to my mother, for lying and hiding the truth from her all these years because of a different outlook on life. Will I change my behavior in the future? No. For, it wouldn’t really change a thing. She grew up in a different environment with different beliefs and I respect her choices. And somewhere I know that she knows about all my lies and still chooses to ignore and live in denial, pretending not to know. And I take it, it is because she knows- it wouldn’t change a thing, not really and thus she leave me be.
But the real question here is- will we ever say it out loud? This game of play pretend. Will we ever break-free from this routine? Or will I continue to play this game with my daughter as well?
Out of habit, maybe
or even choice.