When I was a little girl ( Phew! so grown up now (?!!) ), I used to sit for a long time in front of a certain picture of a Hindu deity hung in my room and have long conversations (with the deity in the picture). Lol, you can take my word that it was mostly complaints on what a bad job she was doing maintaining the affairs of the world with all the rubbish going on around - rubbish, then, being my English teacher not having asked me to get the notebooks from the staffroom and instead that 'idiotic' girl who was my arch rival. Or the fact that my friends were leaving my 'gang' or that my best friend did not give me a rubber in the Maths class. All these were a source of intense distress for me and I grumbled my heart out in front of this deity. Yes, I believed God heard. Of course, it was not an age then to analyze and question the source and vagaries of religion. And thank god ('God' here merely as a common statement of expression), we still dont have over-developed brains in kids of 6 or 7, leading them to the extent of asking what God is .
At the end of each session, I felt better. Light. God would take care of the problem. That 'idiotic' girl would be punished; my English teacher would realize having missed appreciating a responsible girl and my best friend's rubber would get lost! (Hahaha...evin grins...just wait and see!). I trusted completely. Yes, God heard me. There was no doubt about it. Never mind that weeks later, the English teacher still thought that I was useless and my best friend now refused to sit with me as well. By then, I had a new list of woes and forgot about the state of success in implementation of the older ones. It was a very deep bond - God was a real best friend, who would take excuse from his/her duties in heaven everyday whenever I came for a chat. God would later go back to his chamber and discuss my problems which were apparently serious matters for the state of the world, with the rest of the members in the heaven. Ha! I was special.
A while later, things were not the same anymore. Of course, had it been the same, I would have been labelled abnormal with stinted mental development. Life began to suck when I supposedly got 'smarter' and understood the definition of illusion. Life particularly began to suck when I started to fancy the word 'Atheist'. I am an Atheist - ha! it sounded cool. My intellectual mind started questioning, for, there was no concrete evidence of my former best friend within the limits of my grasp. I had become a member of the elite group of non-believers - a new age group of scientific minds who wish to have proofs and evidences for anything and everything.
Despite all the self-pride on having it to question a fundamental part of life, deep inside, I missed my previous self. True, it was stupid to indulge in wishful fanciful thinking but no matter what the stupidity, those sessions of mine with 'God' gave me a content sleep. So, what was more important? To be blissful with ignorance or lost in truth? It was baffling but more often than not I wished I had gone on forever in that former plane of existence because in a way, faith was terrific. Knowing things will definitely turn out better for our good, no matter what, signified a certain trust in life. And when there is trust on life, there is nothing more joyous than that. Yet, I guess the very first of possessions we are stripped off in the arduous process of growing up is trust. People cheat. News cheat. Senses cheat. In the education that life gives, filled with examples of fakery, back-stabbing, gossip and hypocrisy, the easiest victim to be destroyed is trust. Of course, trust had been given a compartmentalized dimension since the day our parents told 'Dont speak to strangers'. No, you should not trust people easily - that was the message that we were fed. "Tell the aunty that I am not home if she calls" - No, even we are untrustworthy too - that was the message we were fed. Yet, every evening, you lit the lamp and prayed. Trust God - its ok. God is a 'higher' person. A very good guy. That was the message we were fed.
And we believed. As kids, there were two kinds of people in the world - The bad people and The good people. God took care of the good people and did good to them. God punished the bad people (usually by poking the eyes). Yet, the feedback we got as we grew up was different. What went wrong? Whatever happened to punishing the bad people? Suddenly you realized that the labels were wrong. There were two kinds of people in the world - the ones who knew to survive and the ones who dint. Even among the survival-smart ones, there was a race - a race to not only merely survive but be something better than the rest - survive as the richest, survive as the prettiest, survive as the brainiest. Wow! it sure was an interesting race. Never mind that some people who belonged to the "survival-dumb" group and wasted blog space by writing philosophies, mocked this race by adding a prefix 'Rat' to it. Truth is, they too, sooner or later join it.
So, there were two things. First, we realized that we really werent punished if we werent strictly adhering to the puritan path. Two, what was good and what was bad anyway? the distinction was not too clear. The elders dint have a 'passable' answer. Their theory of what religion was and what should be failed to convince. And then of course, there were growing support of Scientists and Atheists who partook in complicating the confusion.