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May 23, 2010

Missing Lattice..

I walked through the barren lands, beyond the barbed wires and broken fences. ..


And there stood a church which was once full….Full of people, full of wonderful Sunday dresses, full of gossip, full of faith, Full of blasphemy- well present, but ignored…


That’s how I know this place. I had abandoned it, many a summer ago – in a search for a better life..


Now, I was back to this same place, the same fork in the road, and I was greeted half-heartedly by the same church. Only, nothing was the same anymore. 


Vultures perched on the broken fences, where happy squirrels used to scamper before. The beautiful flower garden was replaced by a bunch of cobwebs. The orange-red autumn leaves, which once brought warmth here, now made it look spooky. 


I walked in to examine the god-forsaken place. There wasn’t a sound, not even a priest. The alter looked like a stage after a poorly performed play. And the most important area of the church, which was never found empty…which was always full of army wives, alcoholics, the poor, the diseased, the widowed,….was shockingly abandoned.  Yes, the confessional- the busiest corner of the church. 


To me, the idea of confessing has always been intriguing. Does admitting one’s mistake change anything in the big picture..?  Does that little wooden box with a lattice—wait! The lattice is missing. Now that explains a lot. Now I know why the church had been abandoned. Now I know why no one came.  The favorite motivational corner for everyone was gone…and so was their faith.. Fancy a church without a fully functional confessional!


I believe strongly in the goodness of life and things. And I cannot accept that we can wash our hands of all that we have said and done in the past, just be putting them in words and have someone to hear them out. Boy, do I envy the priest’s job then!


But today, a church has proved me wrong. I see the light, not by divine intervention, but by embracing that there isn't much as evil as divinity.


Just the lack of a lattice that makes one’s face not-so hidden from the priest anymore right?  (And yes! You think the priest doesn’t recognize your voice, by now? Nicely done dear! ). You really believe in safety? 


Religion has forever bound us in its clutches, blinded us, hoodwinked us, even divided us. I’ve heard this said before: what nourishes us, destroys us. Now I see it for real. Structured religion was started out to inculcate a fear, a discipline among the people. What started out as suitably dignified.. has blown up into a redundant burden.  A formality.  An evil concept, only good enough to mask the evil that people do.


Call me a skeptic (like that’s a bad thing!). But now I’ve realized what they mean when they say, every virtuous act is inspired by a dark secret. A confession never made. A missing lattice.  

17 Mississippi:

Harsha said...

jus outta curiosity i have 2 questions for u after readin this post:
1. Are u from outside India or have u been outside India anytime before?
2. R u a christian? I'm not a religious fanatic.. So dnt worry..

Pavitra .... said...

@ Harsha:
No, I'm from India....
And, no i'm not a Christian...
The whole confessional thing caught my attention when I saw "Mask of Zorro" (Antonio Bandaras and Catherine Zeta Jones)
Haha...

Harsha said...

oh wow.. Now let me give u the reason behind my questions:
1. The description of the church n the environment, etc. seemed to be not Indian.. It was a wonderful description.. It took me places..
2. The way u described the happenings of a church led me to believe u might be a christian.. It is brilliantly written.. Inspired by Zorro eh?? Now i get it.. Z.. :p

I too had the feeling.. Couldn't the priest recognize their voice?? But i think its purely to give the confessioner a final nudge to open up.. But then again, as u said, does it change anythin in the big picture.. Well, i guess its upto the one who confesses to tell us.. :)

A very thought provoking post, i must say.. 'A lattice missed' wud have been more apt.. :)

Harsha said...

Hey I have a small favor to ask of u.. Having an idea of ur thought process, i wud like to know ur thoughts on a post that i had written on my blog..

Here is the link to it:
http://dickylona.blogspot.com/2010/05/other-end-of-line.html

Have a read at ur leisure and let me know ur thoughts.. thx in advance..

Anand said...

Hmm, I like. And this may seem a unusual but I was sum how reminded of the Zorro flick myself...rather the lonely west church in the middle of no where sorts. :)
I liked the way u write. Expect me back. :)

Arv said...

well said... the real purpose of religion and has been long lost...

Billie J said...

fascinating post.. do keep in touch.

Nitin said...

i believe all religion is cookoo. that said i think you can guess my position on the topic. nice post.

Ironically the other night i was having a philosophical argument with a friend. on similar lines.

well not exactly similar lines. but the argument did cross this topic still the same.

i accept your views since its very similar to mine on. and this is your opinion.

Pavitra .... said...

@ Harsha:
I'll surely give your post a read...
Thank you so much for all your compliments!

Pavitra .... said...

@ Anand:
Haha...thats nice...
Thanks a lot! Glad you liked it...Keep visiting!

Pavitra .... said...

@ Arv:
You are absolutely right...so many horrible things are being done in the name of religion...Take the Ram Sena antics for instance..

Pavitra .... said...

@ Billy J:
Thank you very much....Yes I will...Keep visiting.. :)

Pavitra .... said...

@ Nitin:
Thanks a ton! Glad we share the same opinion...
Its become really artificial now....and its lost its meaning...
Do visit often! :)

Anonymous said...

astounding...not coz of the line of thought...it is pretty much in the minds of all urban youth with a decent iq....the way you used the language to deliver a hard hitting definite impact is amazing....your style of narration doesnot get preachy yet keeps the reader on toes !

on the content, i like your understanding of religion having been introduced to instill discipline in an otherwise barbaric and animal world of humans...but again, i wonder how u wud convey the same for a hindu who doesnot confess ? :)

Pavitra .... said...

@ Anonymous:
Thank you so much for your kind words...
Well, Hindus do have a way of getting rid of their sins...if not confessing...
Take bathing in the Ganges for instance....they say that you are absolved from all your sins...I mean...Really..?? Just by taking a bath...??
Think about it...
Keep visiting...

Anonymous said...

well pavitra...i neither believe in "reformive justice" in the cases of crimes...but here we are talking about sins...yeah the deadly seven...(and they are not the boondock saints :-))

the point in the case of the hindus is that, they seem to be eager to reserve a place in the after-death world :) i once told a friend...the best marketer in the world has to be the guy who sold the concept of god !

Pavitra .... said...

@ Anonymous:
See, the concept of God aint bad...
Ok maybe there is something supernatural out there....
But its the concept of religion that bugs me...the fights between religions....the fact that people do such horrible things in the name of religion... and the humongous divide it has created in he minds of the people....Its really very stupid and immature....