The unbearable lightness of being lost
(with apologies to Milan Kudera whose book I tried valiantly but unsuccessfully to read)
This book was torture. Most contemporary classics are. Modern day writers believe the more unbearable the characters, the more chances of winning a Pulitzer and being considered a literary phenomenon. Why, I ask you, why would I read about people I would hate if I met them in real life?
Actually, it’s funny, but hate requires a lot of effort. I really can’t find the time or reason to more than slightly dislike anyone and even then they have to be pretty Goddamn awful to me. Similarly I find it just as much of a nuisance loving anyone too. I sometimes (and this will shock a few people ) find it very hard to remember that I love my parents, and during these amnesiac fits I tend to imagine elaborate escape plans to New York City using my dad’s credit card, and sending them a “You’ve failed! I’m freeee!” phonecall from the JFK. Yes, I’m evil, but only during periods of memory loss.
This post has nothing to do with the title. I just thought it would sound cool.
Actually no, the title is relevant.
There’s a never ending war between faith and science, according to Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons. Scientists forever put down religion with theories like Evolution and Occam’s razor, and the clergy (whichever faith) constantly try to reconcile Science to God. If one has faith, he/she must learn to take certain scientific ‘truths’ in stride; if one is rational (in scientific terms), he/she must realize that religion might not provide ALL the answers and at some point one has to stop asking questions to keep one’s faith intact.
An acquaintance renounced Islam a few years ago and I didn’t do much to stop him. The minute I say “Dude, you’re going to hell” he whips up a “Technically you’ll be in a shittier spot than me, Hira, you’re a munafiq” type dialogue with a smirk and I clam up. Damn him. He’s read a lot more on Islam than I have. And even I know where I’m headed. I waver between Muslim and Agnostic to a horrifying degree. If I find it so hard to remember I love my parents, imagine how hard it must be to convince myself I love a God I can neither see, nor hear, nor touch. It’s logic that keeps me from renouncing Islam myself. There MUST be a God- this world could not possibly work on its own. And this is the only religion that makes any sense whatsoever; therefore it’s the best out of all the other choices. I am Muslim, but my faith is like nalkey ka pani- turned off and on at will. I wish I was stronger-willed. I wish I was less cold.
Wese, I may not be a Muslim in the true sense of the word, but I think maybe people like me understand Allah just as well as proper Mutaqqi people do.
Thing is, the more I read, the more I question and the more I realize why Allah left a lot of things unanswered. Love requires blind trust, and blind faith. Allah asks for love. Not fear as much, not worship. Those come AFTER love. And I think once I learn to love my God, after believing in Him absolutely, maybe, maybe then I could be able to call myself a Muslim? Maybe then my prayers, fasting and purdah might actually have significance. And maybe, just maybe, I might not end up in Hell.
PS: By the way, Eid Mubarak 😀