Paintings! That’s what I loved in childhood. It was not just my hobby but the passion long remained unfulfilled.
It was a lovely afternoon, when I was seventh grader, as I sat with brush and color. Canvass, not a professional as my father would not afford it, lay at the front desk, blank.This has to turn blue, red, green and black to speak for people to understand, if not all.
Grown up in a Hindu community, many of my childhood paintings reflected my attachment with the religion. Hardly aware of the fact that this society comprises of so many religions and non-religions, the only imagination I could make about the god is either Vishnu or Krishna. Of course, Durga groomed during Dussera festivals, occupy some party of my mind.
I picked up the brush and the brush picked up colors. The canvass on the desk gradually turn multi colored, complex like a society where I live.
I have faint I idea what I was making. Fortunately, it slowly appeared to be some male god that my parents and my community pray. I cannot name it but my father from behind, who was then reading Devi Bhagawat with sun bathe, hindered my attention on the canvass as he said, ‘Are you paining Krishna?’
I unknowingly replied, yes.
‘Have you seen god?’ His question made me confused. I am not sure about myself.
Yes I have seen gods and I have prayed the a lot. But all they exist are in papers and stones. My science teacher had taught me papers and stones are non living things. Now, my head felt some irritating, uncontrollable nausea.
Am I praying non living things? If so, what would they give me in blessing?
If I’ve seen Gods, they are not alive and if I’ve not, I’ve been praying since years. I’ve travelled to nearby temples, listened to sermons in religious festivals and have observed rituals in God’s name. How can I say that I’ve not seen the God?
Before I could reply, my father giggled and said, ‘My son, when did you see the God first?’
He showed me a page in the book depicting some sketches and asked me to name it. I said, Goddess Durga.
‘How did know?’
‘My son, you cannot say who is God, where lives and how is he just because someone told you.’
‘…Where is he then?’
‘Within you. You are the God. You are painting an illusion, not a God. All you saw through these years and called Gods are imaginary pictures made in name of God. There are none who saw God.’
Since then, I never painted God. In years, I bid bye to painting and God. I pray god within me, not non-living things and paintings that were explained to me as God, the universe creator.
That’s what I realize today. One cannot see Gods travelling to Mecca, Gaya or Pashupatinath. Gods do not live in churches, temples, gumbas and mosques. Gods live within me, it is just giving pain to myself to travel and get hardships to encounter with God. Fasting is for health, not for God. Praying is for managing my concentration, not for God…..
To be continued……