I have always been curious to find out who was the first human being to exclaim ‘Oh God!’ What section of the world were they from? Which god were they referring to? Were they happy or sad or both at the same time? The section of my brain with a chronically bad sense of humor refused to move on from this imagined scenario that it was a horribly pressed Indian lad running from a temple to a toilet when loo! He found himself blocked by a herd of cows, in agony yet maintaining respect he exclaimed, “Oh God!” (If I am struck by lightning and you did not at least snicker swear I am going to haunt you).
Bad jokes aside, today we begin our philosophizing on the vary basis of reality, (at least as per Sunday school, Darwin has a different idea), the almighty God. Every Sunday morning as children, we would be dolled up in our muslin dresses and khaki suits and taken off to church an hour or so before the adults got there (although in hindsight, the adults genuinely needed it more). Once there, a teacher, usually a teen trying to work off the guilt of their own sordid exploits the weekend before, would regale us with stories of God and his infinite love and wisdom. We would sing the most heartwarming songs, partake in some biscuits and revel in the love of the most high, all truly was well with the world.
Here I sit now a disgruntled twenty something, during ungodly hours, trying to trace back to where my life began to go off track. I was always told that this life is a war between the Almighty and the big bad snake (species Satanicus devilus). I suppose I somewhat believed it, despite the shady things unfolding around me as I grew up (multiple terrorist attacks , widespread national violence , the mysterious disappearance of the brand FUBU , Trump and most recently a flu from a bat that doesn’t actually turn you into a vampire). None of this managed to shake my faith in the good old Sky man watching over us.
Then high school ended. There is a certain magic that happens when, for the first time in twelve years, you are completely free to explore the world through your own lens (if your high school was like the Wild West then your rose-colored glasses break much earlier). It’s during this period that you truly realise the fact that if you input the phrase Oh God into a search engine, the results will still be soul raising but in a more X rated fashion. Slowly, I began to realize that prayer was not getting my meals paid for, good old Mom was, and it suddenly started grating when she told me she was just from paying tithe but my fees had a balance. During this period, God seemed more like a privilege than a necessity.
At some level, believing just stopped seeming practical. Something very important to a campus lad is getting laid (you’ll gripe about how shallow this is then proceed to get none either way, Kudos). One can divide campus lads with relative ease into two categories, those doing the devil’s tango and those praying to every spirit this side of the equator to let them have a taste. There’s a lovely confusion that ensues when sanctimonious ‘holy people’ want to do it with every fibre of their being then proceed to completely hate themselves for having such scandalous thoughts. Unfortunately, in this war of soul and body, I have met precious few who persevered in protecting that last sliver of purity that marks them for the pearly gates.
I have a lot of respect in the few true keepers of the faith that I know. Unfortunately, they are always a minority that keeps on dwindling. The houses of God have morphed in the internet age into the eternal, easy tax-free Ponzi schemes that will never be illegal. Shepherds of the flock in this age, instead of guiding their congregations to, at the very least some peace instead focus on milking them dry. So here I sit ,a disgruntled twenty something, not sure if there is a cosmic big man looking out for me or a bunch of charlatans are just trying to rip me off.