Socializing with God

Prayers | Anupriya Mishra | Religion | Temple | God

Prayers come to me as naturally as the phenomenon of breathing. I pray because I believe in the supreme power, the divinity and something miraculous that gives me strength to go on and on. Despite the failures, deceits, or losses, where does this strength to survive come from?

Yes, I am a firm believer of God. Not out of fear, but faith. I have always felt some mystic powers within, that have always given me courage to cope up with any problem, big or small. Where does this courage come from? There is something inexplicable that gives you strength to fight any situation.

This power that transforms into strength in adversities; is what I call God. I may or may not worship an idol, but I know God exists because that supreme power exists. The power that can take charge of any situation and lay a protective shell around you. Believing in God is believing the fact that there’s someone watching on you. That there’s someone superior to you, to guide you and also punish you for the wrong deeds.

More than anything, I believe in God for it gives me inner peace. And, the most peaceful of all the prayers happen not in the biggest and noisiest of temples, monasteries or chapels, but the smaller ones or may be in one of the silent corners of your home. Perhaps that’s why it is said that God is omnipresent and my favorite lines by Sant Kabir:

Moko kahan dhoondhe re bande

Main to tere paas mein

Na teerath mein na moorat mein

Na kanth niwas mein

Na mandir mein na masjid main

Na Kabe Kailas mein

Na main jap mein na main tap mein

Na main barat upaas mein

Na main kiriya karam mein rehata

Na hi jog sanyas mein

Na hi pran mein na hi pind mein

Na bramhand aakaash mein

Na main prakrati pravar gufa mein

Sab swason ki saans mein

Khoji hoye turat mil jaoon

Ek pal ki taalas mein

Kehat Kabir suno bhai saadho

Main to hoon vishvas mein

The crux of these beautiful lines is that the Almighty will not be found in temples, mosques, ceremonies or rituals. God is inside each one of us. All we need is, feel his presence with undeterred faith. True!

You’ll not find me visiting temples often or chanting sermons day in, day out.  I rather not favor the rigid traditions and customs or offerings that are made in the name of God. I also completely condemn the idea of floating idols in the seas and rivers during visarjanas and firmly believe that it’s time to change our outlook, our modus operandi. It’s time to socialize with God in a better way rather than giving offerings in various forms that go down the drain. I believe in God in my simple ways. What about you?

Why I Stopped Bursting Crackers?

Noise Free Diwali-Blog-Anupriya Mishra

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I do not remember when did I last buy crackers. It was when I was in standard 5th or 6th. With this calculation, it is probably some 18 to 19 years back. Unlike others in the neighborhood, my brother and I enjoyed lighting Diyas and Candles after the pooja. My brother is two years elder to me and of course the wiser one. He was obviously the first one who deliberately gave up on crackers.

We used to buy crackers from a popular place in Lucknow called Yahiya Ganj. This place was and still is popular, especially for high quality crackers. Once my brother came back home and told me how children of almost our age and even younger are assisting the vendors of these shops. Some of these children had burnt their palms. On being asked they told that they also assist in packing of crackers and that’s when they burn their hands due to excessive contact with explosives. My brother was touched with their story and the sight. When he told me I was equally upset and understood the reason of a few number of crackers, where we used to get bags full. The question that arose in our minds was, “Are we going to enjoy at the cost of the life of these innocents? Do they even get to enjoy one fourth of what we do, despite all the labor they put in?”

That was the year when we decided to give up on crackers.

No media to propagate, no PM to encourage cracker free Diwali back then, but it was a deliberate choice and I am glad I could follow it till date. Today, when I see a lot of debate going on whether one should or one shouldn’t buy crackers, I wish I could share my thoughts too.

Some people debate in its favor affirming that it gives employment to a number of people as it’s a huge industry and trade. But, they do not realize the cost at which it does. We spend thousands on crackers every Diwali only to spread harmless gases and noise in the atmosphere for our momentary pleasure. But, Diwali isn’t about that?

Every year there are accidents that lead to damage and destruction due to unexpected explosions. These massacres are human made unlike the natural disasters that are not under our control. Let’s control what we can!

Diwali is about spreading light, joy and love. It’s about getting together and praying for prosperity and well being of your family and loved ones. Festivals are meant for this purpose. It gives us a reason to celebrate the togetherness and warmth of our family without harming anyone or anything. We cannot get happiness, if we do not care for the happiness and peace of children, families or even animals who get disturbed and devastated with such pollutants. Can we?

I wish one and all a very bright, prosperous and noise free Diwali. I wish for a change that can prove us a sensible and responsible citizen. Let me know if you are there with me in support of noise free, cracker free Diwali.

As Bright as Gleaming Diyas

Diwali-poem-anupriya mishra

Dear God,

We wish for joy, prosperity, and success on Diwali;

We paint our homes, shop endlessly to decorate,

And live each moment to cherish and commemorate.

We buy delightful sweets and cook yummy goodies,

And, we choose the best clothes, buy the bright bougies.

But, this Diwali, let me bring some light

To those who deserve celebration; still deprived

I wish to spread joy around,

Pray healthy living for the downtrodden and in want.

Success should reward only those who deserve,

Let all slums be home with painted walls, well preserved.

Let us cherish the new outlook of commemorating the zeal,

Where power, supremacy and authority are not the deal.

Buy sweets and let us buy for all,

Cook goodies to serve and share the delight,

Live in a way to make other’s life bright.

God, let this prayer come true,

May this Diwali and all others too,

I can help bring happiness and light,

In the lives of as many people as I can do.

May I act as a medium to fulfill–

Dreams unshaped and aspirations undefined.



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Inter-Religion Marriage Isn’t a Taboo Anymore!  #InterReligionMarriage


Inter Religion Marriage

I remember when I was young, my parents, especially my mom used to tell me how falling in love at that age was a stupid idea and how I should remain focused on my studies and career. In my early 20s the lessons were slightly modified and transformed into a more heart to heart conversations, in an attempt to explore if the learnings given actually worked or were in vain. On hearing a convincing answer, the next thing that I was told was it’s not at all wrong to fall for someone who’s right. Often at that age, you tend to counter question. I used to backfire by saying, “Now, what do you mean with the right guy?” And, the answer was anyone who’s not prey to bad habits, wrong company and capable enough.

I don’t remember my parents did ever emphasize on the fact that I should stick to choosing someone from my religion. However, certainly a couple of times my mom reiterated the fact that there are lesser adjustment issues if you marry within your culture. To some extent I feel that’s true and holds sense.

Marriage is a sacred constitution, where not just two souls, but two families become one. It would be wrong to say that inter religion marriage is a taboo among Indians. We have some great examples of happy inter religion marriages that turned out to be successful and have set an example for others. And, Bollywood, known to be the trend setter, is the best example; whether it is Shahrukh-Gauri, Saif-Kareena, Riteish Deshmukh-Genelia D’Souza, Aamir Khan-Kiran Rao, Imran Khan-Avantika Malik, Malaika Arora-Arbaaz Khan, and the list is long.

India is a country of diversity and with a population of over 1.2 billion; it is very difficult to say if a certain thing is completely acceptable or unacceptable. Something that’s acceptable in one community may not be acceptable in another. However, the changing trends have time and again proved that things are ever-changing and they are not the same as they were in the last few decades.

Being a part of a well-educated and not a conservative family, I was never pressurized to marry someone of my own caste. I mean, putting pressure to fall for someone only once you are sure of the caste and religion sounds absolutely absurd. Would you first ask the full name of a person before you fall in love? That sounds a bit weird. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed the similar trend and undue parent’s support within my circle, where my friends and peers were not forced to choose a partner within their community. Of course, choosing a partner within your community is considered to be a blessing in disguise as that saves you from the tyranny of so called societal norms and things like adjustments. But, if your case is contrary, then you are still not boycotted from the society. There might be cases wherein you are somewhat lately accepted, but people do accept you sooner or later.

Having said that, I’m completely against the motion that inter religion marriage is considered a taboo among Indians. Gone are the days when we would have said that, and accepted the fact. When parents were dominating enough to force you do things as per their will. But, now the changing time has changed their mindset too, and parents today are much more supportive and understanding. It’s good to see India progressing and liberating itself from the shackles of cultural and religious differences. In the end, we are all humans and that’s how it should be. And, I must say without generalizing, there’s always a good and bad in everything and so does every religion, caste or community at the micro-level.