It happened to me

Ever since I can remember I have been an atheist. I haven’t visited a temple. And
even when there was Ganpati puja at my home in Hyderabad, my only interest was in the sweets, and a break from the school text books for three days.

Disbelief or not caring for the forces,which supposedly control us, can be sourced either to ignorance or extreme self-confidence. But I will admit there have been instances to which I still have no answers. For instance, nearly two decades ago, there were rumours all over the country that the idols of Lord Ganpati were drinking milk. I was in my office then. I laughed off the rumours.
When I went home, my nephew came running out and said Ganpati was drinking milk inside. I was scared... As long as things are happening far away that’s fine. But to confront it right in your house is something else.
I went inside warily. The miracle didn’t happen. When my nephew claimed that it did an hour ago, I laughed it off. But the thought nagged me that I was scared of the ten feet walk into my house. Basically that means my so-called disbelief is just on the wall. It merely needs a push to fall off.
Another example: Choreographer Shiamak Davar was with me on a flight to Chennai. I have never worked with him. I had met him at a social occasion briefly a few weeks ago. I said, “Hi Shiamak!” I was on the aisle and he at the window seat.
Suddenly he stared as if someone was sitting next to me. “Is your father dead?” he asked. Taken aback, I replied,“Yes.” And he remarked, “He is here with us.” I was jolted. Shiamak added, “He is a little concerned about you.” To that I told Shiamak, “I don’t believe in all this.” He looked sideways again and said, “Your father says he never believed in it either.”
My father was an atheist too. I was really disturbed. How could Shiamak have known that my father was dead or that he was an atheist? There had to be an explanation. It was highly possible that Shiamak may have been told by someone about my father, or he was playing a guessing game.
Then some years ago, a relative dropped in at my house with her four-year old son. My mother and sister claimed that the kid had special powers since he had been blessed by a holy baba. The boy could answer any question. Many people from all over travelled to Hyderabad just to meet him. The boy would not speak but he would write down the answer on a chit of paper. Amused, I asked the boy randomly — what is 338 multiplied 797? The boy wrote down the answer in less than 10 seconds.
Yes, I was scared to see this happen right before my eyes. I was even more scared of my mother and sister because they took it all so nonchalantly. Then I understood that they were taking the boy’s powers casually because they have faith. They believe in miracles. Because I don’t, I got jacked.
The point is you can brush off miracles and superstitions. You can counter the existence of dark forces and argue about them in the safe confines of your drawing room. But what if it happens to you?

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