Saturday, October 04, 2008

Divine Wisdom

My friend F is has gone from being indifferent about religion (all including her own) to becoming deeply involved in hers. The transformation happened within the last couple of years. While I am not sure under what circumstances this happened, but I am only too aware of the manifestations. We don't meet socially any more because any spare time she has, she prefers to spend deepening her religious immersion.

We have not met in months but she expects me to drop everything when she is finally able to do lunch. But that is not what this is all about. I get a mail from her at around 9:15 a.m each morning that has a thought for the day borrowed from
DailyOM, a short prayer and a verse from her holy book. figure she takes some trouble to kit this thing together each day so maybe I should read it and I do try.

I am not offended to read a prayer or verse that is not from my religion but I almost view her daily religious onslaught as covert proselytism that is not a very pleasant thing to think about. Ofcourse, there are ways to deal with it. I can block her email address (which is her work address) or filter her messages out based on keywords. To do such a thing would be to reject what is most important to her and in effect reject her as well.

I still think (or at least want to think) of her as a friend. I want to be respectful towards her religious beliefs and honor the best traditions of my own. I would not be much of a Hindu if I was not able to embrace religious thoughts foreign to my own and learn something from it as well. It seems like F is challenging me each day and each day I am failing.

I usually delete her mails unread. On the rare occasions that I do read, I find myself unable to learn or accept anything. The question is then, what role is F's daily dose playing in my life and why is it bothering me to the point where I want to write about it and get it out of my system.

Recently, there was a round of lay offs in F's business unit while she was out on vacation (I did not know that she was). The mails had not been coming in each day and I was growing concerned. By the end of the week, I wrote F and asked her what was going on and why she was not sending out her mails anymore - I missed them. It turned out that she was fine and the mails were back again. I find myself appreciating them more than I ever did before.

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