It was a beautiful Sunday morning today. The weather in Delhi was lovely with cotton clouds spread over the wide blue sky. I went to our neighborhood park for a run. As many already know by now that I am very observant of my surroundings, these are the few things that made my run a wonderful run afterall.
The park in our neighborhood is like a mini jungle with random and numerous trees. As I started my rounds, I could hear birds chirping and bells ringing in the adjacent temple. There was music every where and in each breath. Two girls too were jogging, both had headphones plugged on their ears. It was ironical that with so much music surrounding these young ladies, they opted for headphones. Similar to the idea of how we keep lurking for happiness which we think is at someplace else, and skip to understand that happiness is a concept which is innate to our nature and lies within us.
Next I saw two young siblings of merely 5-7 years old. From their shabby clothes I presumed they may not be belonging to an affluent family. But kids are something else totally. The younger of them noticed two small doll like idols of a goddess placed below a tree. He looked really excited about it. I too tracked his eyes. There was delight twinkling like stars. He didn’t seem to be considering them as Goddess like we elders do, as we are trained to look them in that manner. The kid looked the idols with a lens of them being doll. I was assuming this though. And on my next round, I found one of the “doll” missing, and heard a clear laughter and excitement from a section of the park. It quickly reminded me of the sher by Nida Fasli:
घर से मस्जिद है बहुत दूर चलो यूं कर लें,निदा फ़ाज़ली
किसी रोते हुए बच्चे को हंसाया जाये
I also noticed a presumably religious woman in the park. She had one objective, to offer the best and probably all the flowers in the park to God this morning. In my five or six rounds of run, the lady had plucked almost each flower growing on the little sidelane bushes to the yellow Kaner flowers on the trees along the edges. This obsession of offering bucket full of flowers to Gods is something I can never understand. But this was her definition of pleasing the Gods. So be it.
The last person I noticed was a man in his mid 40s. He took a few rounds, did some exercise and then with folded hands did a Namaste to the bright Sun. Next he took some seeds out and placed them over a rock for squirrels to feed on them. I thought the show was over, only to find the man taking out few bottles of water from his bag and filling the empty baked mud vessels for dogs and birds to drink water. With this, he once again bowed to the Sun and left. This was his definition of spirituality.
In these few observations, I got a wholesome idea of the concept of God. The kid who considered the idol to be nothing but a doll to play with, considered being happy as a sign of spirituality. The flowers collecting lady considered embellishing and offerings as spirituality. And the man considered service as spirituality. Spirituality in a nutshell has a definition distinct for each. You don’t have to force someone to follow what you believe in. You just have to let them be. हम गलत नहीं, हम अलग हैं।