Faith and Doubt

Faith and Doubt momentsatbay

Doubt precedes faith. And when once the torch is well lit, the darkness gets devoured by light. Yes, light contains darkness, but not the vice versa.

I was all alone on that day. Yes, I was all alone. I was taking photos of people bathing without the ulterior motive of taking pictures of women in wet clothes—well, not that I do not like the sight, I do do, but that I do not quite like South Indians in such a state—at the renowned ghat that stands behind the Temple when I was accosted by four Rajasthani drunk men, and I knew from their eyes and looks that they were finding fault with me and my camera at ‘that’ place. I drink, and I know how to tackle these! I saw them coming close to me, yes, all four of them, and I turned out to be the one to extend my right hand to befriend them. And soon they were all smiles and I was taking their photographs (friends! I shall post their pics ones day, but presently just listen to my story). They were all my friends, and were too happy not to pose separately and willingly several times. And then after some time they all were gone. And I was taking the photo of this ‘sadhu’. And I saw that the shore being extremely windy this sadhu-baba removing his clothes to take a dip at that time (exactly, 3:24pm) was watching and examining if his dear clothes would get blown away. I call this ‘material doubt’. As the picture professes, this greatly significant person owes our reverence, but see how the aged ‘sage’ longs to keep his nudity to himself. And yet he has full faith, not just because he is ritualistic, but because he is holding the torch for himself if not for anyone else. He loves Shiva and his grey tresses are very real. He loves the sea suds that touch and caress his skin like his late mother, and the sea is where his ashes would flow into when the time stipulated is well lived. I want to write a few more lines on that occasion when I was finally chastised in Tamil by an elderly man, very aged and sober, for I was not to be there taking pictures! And I had to move to a different place where I took pictures of the more beautiful shells, and myself with my feet dipped in the sea  where sometime later I myself would be…. 

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