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Faith – Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad

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Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Faith and frenzy go hand in hand in a country like ours. We, as people, feel the need to believe. In a higher power. In a God that is often cruel, but has a ‘plan’.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

That’s what we keep saying to ourselves. There is a plan for us. A role in a grander scheme of things. And we have to believe this illusion because not believing it is scarier. Not believing it makes all the bad things around us seem pointless. Like everything is happening for no reason and is actually nothing but a sorry accident. And that idea of truth terrifies us. So we believe. With fervour. With blind faith. With a madness that is always unexplainable, but sometimes understandable.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

We are a sea of people. Hungry, not for happiness, but approval.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Approval from that one divine presence. One that we have to please at all costs.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

So we do everything it takes to appease this entity. This magical creature. Who is an apparition to some. A daydream to others, but an idol to us.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

He sits on our heads and watches our every move so that we don’t err.


Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

But err, we do. We err and pray for instant forgiveness. We hold our ears and break coconuts. And then we err some more.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

We wait patiently for our prayers to come true. We watch and do nothing as everything around us burns, self-destructs and disappears. But we keep waiting. For miracles. Every single day.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

And when we look back, we don’t see what we lost when we were busy being blinded. But we see stories. Of how our faith actually changed our lives and made us better people.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

And we truly believe those stories.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Because it’s these stories of hope and the promise of redemption that make us want to keep hanging on.


Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Because believing in these stories is easier than believing in ourselves.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

After all, we say, we are mere mortals. Helpless at the hand of fate and the mercy of divine power.
Faceless devotees of that Omnipresent being.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

We are actually just floating along our lives powerlessly like a piece of debris. With no control over anything. With no free will.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

But we don’t know this yet. Because in our subconscious battle between faith and free will, it’s faith that wins.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

But maybe, that isn’t so bad. Maybe this kind of faith is not all that blind and baffling. While some believe in magic, love and happiness, others believe in God.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

But either way, at the end of it all, we are all just hanging on to abstract ideas.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

So yes, the truth and the reality may be two different things for us. But till the day we keep believing, we can live unafraid. Reassured.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

We live knowing that our actions – our very mortal deeds and human failings – will be evaluated fairly someday.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Not evaluated anytime in this life maybe, but in the afterlife by an all-seeing God who will divide the rights from the wrongs. The goods from the bads. No matter how many masks we wear in our lifetime, we believe, he will see right through us.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

So, we hang on dearly to the idea of him.


Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Sometimes because of love.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Sometimes because of fear.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Sometimes because of innocence.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

And most times, because we think we have to.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Seeing is not believing for us.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

Believing is seeing.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

But if we are stripped of all pretense, all our conditioning and all that faith has drilled into us, we are in reality, just lost souls. We believe in the idea called God, but we stopped believing in goodness and humanity. In compassion and tolerance.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

We hurt, plunder and kill everyone around us. Destroy everything around us with self-created weapons till it bleeds dry.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

And when it’s all done and when we are standing alone.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

We don’t even stop to look at the empty shell of rubble and ruins we leave behind.

Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad (2012)

We just turn our backs on everything and walk away like clean slates. Like nothing ever happened. Because it’s all in the name of God. And God forgives, doesn’t he?

Priya Ramachandran

Amused, detached observer. Dreamer. Writer. Wanderer. Comic-strip collector. Secretly awesome singer.

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Written by Priya Ramachandran

October 3rd, 2012 at 4:48 pm

10 Responses to 'Faith – Ganesh Chaturthi, Hyderabad'

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  1. Nice compositions and thoughtful comments.
    Cheers.

    sarbojit

    3 Oct 12 at 10:14 pm

  2. Lovely photo story this! Also, liked the soulful comments for each of the picture, especially Seeing is not believing but believing is seeing :)

    Great stuff overall!

    Ajith

    4 Oct 12 at 10:31 am

  3. Very Beautiful pictures and thoughtful composition of the entire episode called ‘Faith’ :) Really Really liked it and appreciate it.

    Radha

    11 Oct 12 at 9:41 am

  4. Superb text to accompany the lovely images. I wish more people would think the way you do about faith and humanity and the planet. new to this blog and glad to have found it.

    subhorup

    12 Oct 12 at 12:04 pm

  5. wow., it is good to see ganesh nimarjan pics from hyderabad.., excellent camera work..,kudos.,

    uday

    26 Oct 12 at 11:55 am

  6. Dont know how I ended up here on a lazy friday afternoon, but am very glad that I did ! Loved the lines !

    Anil

    24 May 13 at 9:01 pm

  7. Thoughtfully composed pictures. Accompanying text philosophical. Brilliant work!

    Somesh

    24 Jul 13 at 7:38 pm

  8. Your photos are truly inspirational..can you share the settings you used with your 50mm?

    Mangesh

    30 Aug 13 at 9:28 am

  9. @Mangesh, Thanks!
    You can view the settings by clicking on the photo and then adding “meta” to the end of the URL.

    Example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovelldies/8038582146/meta

    Lovell D'souza

    30 Aug 13 at 1:57 pm

  10. Thanks Lovell :)

    Mangesh

    31 Aug 13 at 9:10 am

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