Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On modernity and religion

Inspite of being 29 years old and having spent 10 years in Delhi- I had never been inside a Gurudwara before. A chance visit there today left an impression on me of serenity, calmness, and interestingly-of religion keeping pace with modernity.

The event was a rendition of Guru Puran on account of death in the family of a senior colleague. Inside a traditional gurudwara in Greater Kailash I was fascinated to see a screen connected to a laptop. As and when priests chanted hymns in punjabi- the screen had translations in English and Hindi that people seated on the ground could easily follow. What was also heartening to notice was that the translations were timely, succinct, professional, and had no spelling/font bloopers.

Making religion simple lends a lot to making it more accessible. Given existing desperation in urban life for the poor and downtrodden- having something meaningful to hold onto would make life much worth living. Religion maybe false hope, but as I’ve realized over the years- many a times a prayer is all you have to hold onto. It does help if I can assign meaning to the prayer- even if it is in a power point slide within a temple. I hope we do get to see that someday too.

No comments: