The Prayer


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Armed with her favourite prayer mat, she was a mortal headed for an immortality that would only exist as long as she would. She spread the soft, black mat on the ground and reminded herself that she loved the golden and dark, dull red pattern on the mat embodying the turbulence of her heart.

The rain had just stopped and she realized that sudden downpours like these have the power to wake you up from a pensive slumber and beg you – yes, beg you – to think and wonder what else you could have been if you were not you. I could have been a moth, or a crow, or an eagle, or a butterfly, or a tree, or lightening, or thunder, or rain itself, she sighed. And with that realization, she vowed to understand the why and how of what. They had, she admitted to herself, become the conjunctions and the interjections and the prepositions of the language that she was struggling to learn.

And with patience, she welcomed the robe of the night.

She prayed in her usual way. And with her characteristic faith – a gift from her mother – she turned towards the Unseen, stubbornly asking for what she wanted.

“I bow down before You, because You sent me here, and to You will I return. I am Yours, God. If You made me, You will look after me; You have to, You should.

…I’ve been looking at the stars and the skies and the planets and the galaxies for a long, long time now. And I…I wonder if it is not time to look at the insects and the sand and the fallen leaves and all that makes you bow down your head to get a clearer view?
How is it that when we need You, we look up at the sky and again when we need You, we kiss the ground with our forehead? Because..You are everywhere. In us, around us. And to know that, to just feel You, is…beautiful…because we can’t see You. We just can’t. Even Moses couldn’t, right? And here am I, a small creation of Your universe, trying to see You, trying to find you. Why did I not realize that You are so, so magnificent that I will only find You when I start feeling You around me, within me? Why did I not realize that I will only be Yours when I give out in abundance what You have blessed me with – unconditional love, kindness, mercy and unconditional love, kindness, mercy? Why did I not? Why am I so important to myself that I cannot bow down before You even my head is in prostration?

And despite my ungratefulness, you have blessed me with a beauty that is as inexplicable as this universe – to have been able to hear the words of the call to prayer ringing in my ears as the rain washed down the sand from the leaves and the trees danced to the tunes of Nature and the wind swung me from this world to another, and to know how beautiful this is! Why have You blessed me so? See, I am not grateful to You..I am still wondering why me!

And You..You know what I want, and You know that I know what I want. But I am not going to ask You for what I want. I am not going to cry in front of You for what I want even if I want it very, very badly. I will cry and beg You and be a stubborn little child, but not for what I want. I will cry and beg You and be a stubborn little child for what You want for me. You created me, didn’t You? So You can’t leave me around like this, can You? You must have something planned for me, something great, something phenomenal. Elevated, is that not what You say? Then show it to me. Please. Hurry up! Please. Give me the happiness that You think I deserve. Give me my share of happiness so I can turn it into an ecstasy. Give me my share of joy so I can turn it into an euphoria. Give me my share of smiles so I can turn it into a laughter. Just give it to me now, please. Just give me my due share, even if You don’t give me what I want…
You get it, don’t You? Obviously You do. You just want me to hear myself say this to You because You want the best for me! You want me to test my faith and my patience. But You know what, God? I am glad You do that. I am glad because this reminds me that there is nothing Divine or earthly, rather, we’re all Yours. This thunder that frightens everyone, the sunflowers that we so love. Even death. Tell me, God, why is Death the ultimate sorrow? Is it not enough to know that we loved and we lived and we grew and all those who we loved and who loved us, were loyal to us right till the very end – till our very end, till their very end? Is that not enough? It probably isn’t because happy endings depend on what makes us happy and nothing makes us happy. We’re ungrateful beings, aren’t we Lord? We want everything from You, but we aren’t giving anything to You; not that You need anything from us, but because we need it – just like how You know what exactly I want, and I know You do, but here I am, still giving words to my desires, to what I think is right, giving a name to what I cannot fathom. And You have to help me get out of this…this. You have to give me the happiness You think I deserve.

And..thank You. Thank You..for everything – everything small and everything big, everything good and everything bad, and every joy and every sorrow, and just about everything. ”

Her prayer was complete.

The sky was grey and the green neem tree that she could see from her window was dancing merrily with the wind. And she could smell the wet sand. The rain had conjured up this scent of wonder that was just so so..calming, soothing and..comfortable. And it was in that very moment that she let the calmness of Divinity spread through her because she realized that in search of The Answers, we are creating questions that only we can answer.

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