Credit: thehindu.com

Credit: thehindu.com

 

Some people have no faith in a divine order or any universal order for that matter. Others keep moving in and out of faith depending on the latest set of circumstances. Yet others are converted to faith where they had absolutely none before  and these are the ones who then are the most ‘faithful’. As for me, I sometimes think I must be some kind of freak because never even for a moment have I not had unshakable faith or trouble with an emotional response to matters of the spirit. An astrologer said from my horoscope that it reflected in full measure this quality, indicating that this was because of circumstances in previous lives – that such unshakable faith was not quite a common thing. I have tried to arouse doubt as an experiment, but I can answer all the questions raised by Mr. doubt as if I was the highest paid advocate presenting my case in the Supreme Court – it doesn’t work. Indeed my father was like that and I may have got influenced by that but then again none of my other siblings were so affected. In India we use the term ‘Sanskars’ or accumulated effects of past lives. My poem is a true story of what can happen to ones faith, so one cannot rest assured that nothing can change you or your beliefs, and that is scary.

 

            D Y I NG    F A I T H

 

My father said on his death bed

That his faith had gone,

He who had tutored us in ours

All his life long,

Now shrunk like a child

Immobile on his cot,

The daily ritual of prayer forgotten,

The gods on their alter forlorn

And lacklustre

Like his fading form.

 

The wicker lamps darkened with carbon,

The ungainly flame deformed

Into a giant red sun

Bloating with its own demise

As the shadows leaped upon

The books he had authored on

The purpose of creation.

 

We who could not share his loss,

Failed to reassure him

Who had been so meticulous

In reassuring us, as if the paralysis

In his hand had reached his thoughts

Which could not grasp at straws

And he sank into oblivion

And spoke no more

As the drips sought to hold his pressure

And the tubes fed him on.

 

Then like a distant dawn

A smile appeared upon his lips

As when he would score an irrefutable point

And as the pressure dropped away,

His face was cast

In faith at last.

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