A Bond of Faith

Dhruvika ParikhDecember 4, 2023Now and Then

The past always plays a humongous role in our lives. By understanding the past, our decisions made in the present shape our future. Each religion, community, and group has its way and reasons for celebrating history. In my community, the past is treated like a book to learn from.

Customs, traditions, and festivals in my religion have it all. Even minor things such as superstitions are passed down in my community as beliefs. I can never forget hearing stories about the gods I worship every night before going to bed. One about the family and others that show that lies only help you escape, but the truth gives you the strength to face problems.

Each one of those stories painted a clear picture in my head of what I should and should not be. A few years back, I asked my mum, “Maa, why do you believe so much in Kaanha, our family deity?” She replied with a smile on her face, “Beta, you know when I was a child around your age, your Nana always used to tell me stories about how great a god Krishna was. I never understood these stories but I always believed in my mother.”

She continued, “As I grew older and faced problems in life no matter how big or small, I would pray to him and feel like I could solve anything in the world. All my tension and anxiety would vanish. When I asked Nana if god actually comes and helps us, she just said that god is not god for everyone. He can be a friend to you, he can be a son to you, or he can be a father figure for you, and if you call him from your heart, even without all these prayers and festivals, he will always come when you are in need of him.”

I asked mom, “But then why do we do all these prayers and festivals celebrations then, mumma?” She said, “All these events and traditions are to get closer to your beliefs and discover yourself through your gods by showing your devotion. But you know, god is always with you everywhere at any time. He is with you at school and in your playground, protecting you when I’m not there and even right here listening to us. And you don’t need any special glasses to feel him. He is right here, in your heart and soul.”

I began to close my eyes and imagine my new friend, Kaanhaa, standing right next to me holding my hand saying, “Wherever you are, I am with you and I will always be right next to you!” From that day on I realized that traditions and festivals are not really what my community passes down. It is utter faith, love, and belief that you have. In every bad situation when my emotions have flooded my mind, I just chant his name three times and he is there holding my hand again. And that is how my community instills faith in every child of theirs.

Dhruvika Parikh is a 12-year-old from Ahmedabad, India. Dhruvika is interested in coding, dancing, history, geography, science, crafts, and acquiring new skills.