Religion is a Fairytale
Religion is a Fairytale
All cultures around the world tell fairy tales to their children. Religion is as same as a fairy tale, as they both tell entertaining stories with little facts or evidence. Like a lot of people believe in fairy tales, most of us believe in Religion, I did too until I met him.
As I turned 18 I was told now it's my responsibility to go down to an orphanage and provide them with the minimum necessities I can afford like winter clothing or books or chocolates. I remember tearing up when I saw all those helpless little kids with the world's brightest smile on their face. There were 30 children of various ages and with various problems. The caretaker told me, “some were here as their parents left them because of their disabilities, some were found as little babies in stations and dustbins and some because their parents died". Once the distribution of goods were done, the mother called to a little boy of around age 12, "show her around Ram", she turned towards me, "he is one of the brightest students here, he was found in the dustbin as a few days old baby.
He is the eldest among all". He had such beautiful eyes and a great jolly personality as if he had no problem, no grief to deal with. He told me names of all the 30 kids and how scared but also excited everyone gets when people come to adopt them or play with them. We went around each room and found kids playing around, painting, dancing and having so much fun. It was hard for me to believe how these little kids although knowing about their lonely reality tend to look at the world with hope and love. He told me all their names and stories, “di, Rita says she wants to be an artist when she grows up, she draws portraits of us so beautifully, and Bindu performs in every dance show we have for the foreigners every year, they say she is very graceful". We walked around the whole place listening to beautiful stories of everyone's dreams and goals. I told him about the world outside; he quietly stared at me while listening to them all.
He being the eldest among all took great care of the babies, when he took me there, I couldn't stop myself from breaking down. Little babies with beautiful eyes filled with hope crying out for love. He held my hand and took me to a cot, "he came here 2 days ago and I think he is the prettiest baby here". He indeed was beautiful with light brown eyes and a tiny smile on his face. I touched his hand and he grabbed my finger. "Ramu, this is didi" he introduced me to little one; he named him similar to his name. With tears filled eyes I was finally walked out of the room by Ram, he held my hand tightly. Bell rang, it was time for lunch, and we all sat down on the ground in a big circle and were asked to pray. I noticed something that eventually taught me lessons of life.
Ram did not pray, instead, he did not even enter the room until the prayer was over. We all kept talking about different things while eating, I fed the little ones and everyone wanted to share their food with me. It felt like one big family. After lunch was over everyone went out to the garden, I went to Ram, he knew why I came,"di come with me“ he took me to the garden, where he told me something that changed my life. Sitting in the chaos of the beautiful voices of the children was a deep uncomfortable silence between us; I assured him I am his big sister and was willing to hear him out. He told me how he has never really prayed since the day he learnt about God and his sayings.
He said "God protects us all but to me God is these people who did not give up on me when the people I was born to, sent by God itself, abandoned me". I was confused although it was the truth. He looked at me, "I am here for 12 years, different parents came and went, no one adopted me, didn't even want to see me, because I have vitiligo and heart problems since birth, I have seen so many of my little sisters and brothers find a new home, while I could only long to be loved". I stayed quiet, he kept saying, “one day I asked mother why we pray, she told me about different religions, sayings of different Gods and why we pray, we pray to God to protect us, to help us fight each day. I asked mother what my religion is. She told me I have no religion but as this orphanage is a believer in Hinduism we all belong to it. We get the religion of our foster parents when we are adopted". I asked him, “are you not happy with your religion". He said, ‘who knows my religion, who knows my identity.
We are all forced into believing in the religion our parents belong to, no one ever lets us decide whose path or guidelines we want to follow" then he said something that affects me till date "do you believe that if you were part of a different religion your life would have been different?” I stammered, “yes...no...umm...” he said calmly,'' we all believe in that one superpower guiding us all and controlling the world. Religion is just stories to separate us all, we all are children of God, he doesn't want us to pray in different languages or gestures, but believe in him from the core of our heart, and for us to fulfill the duties with which we are sent on earth". I knew this is the truth we all know within, but we are all too deeply trapped in the barriers of religion to ever break free, easily.
He took my hand in his, smiled and said,''di life here is different; we all abandoned kids fight each day just to be cared and loved. We are unknown to our own identities; we are unknown to the life that could have been ours if fate didn't decide to kill it. Religion is just another story; these kids believe in, there are various kids who were Christian and Muslim when brought here but turned into different religions when adopted. Did it affect them? Only for the better. Religion is like beautiful fairy tales that are told to each of us since birth, just the difference is it lasts longer and leaves a strong effect on us than fairytales. We are often told to forget fairytales as we grow up, but asked to believe strongly in religion each passing day".
I hugged him tight; his bright eyes glittered as the sunlight touched his tears. We sat there for some time looking at the little kids, playing various games, happy gleaming faces, kids with disabilities enjoying themselves as if they are just as perfect as the others. Indeed they are, their hearts are perfect, innocent and filled with hope and a lot of love to give.
We walked around the garden; he named me all the flowers and even gifted me a little tulip. The sun was setting, we went to the mother, she asked, “Ram did you show her around? Hope you behaved well with her". Ram looked at me smiling and nodded. I placed my arm around him and laughed, "Best tour guide ever". The mother guided me with the working of the orphanage and before I knew it, it was time for me to leave, probably the hardest part of the day. I knew I found a family here, and it's always hard to depart from your home. I waved and hugged goodbye to everyone, some came up with cards and drawings. As I sat inside my car. I saw Ram tearing up a little, I went up to him, hugged him and whispered, “I am and will always be your big sister, and you have a family now". I gave him a piece of paper with my number on it. As my car crossed the gates, I waved at them with a promise to return soon. I knew my life wouldn't be the same anymore.
Our life doesn't change based on our religion, stories are what religion provides us, not shelter nor food and definitely not the love each human deserves. It separates each one as we believe in different sayings taught to us by religion. God is a supernatural being creating us, controlling life; religion breaks the unity of humans just like fairytales breaks us from the real world and its struggles and problems. Religion is just another fairytale that we keep on believing.