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What's your Idol?

It was a long long journey. Multitudes of people climbing up a hill to get a glimpse of their beloved idol. It was a steep hill, with curves and climbs, that reached to a sacred place for many idol worshipers. Me and my dad, scanned the hill from distance and wondered how long it will take to climb the hill. I saw a shortcut from distance, the way was empty, none of the worshipers went through that way. The shortcut climbed the hill all the way to about a quarter (from bottom) of the main route, from where it joined the main route. The shortcut was empty, and thus we chose the shortcut.

So, we went ahead, and Lo! we ended up in a castle. I do not know how we ended up in the castle, but yes it was a castle full of mystery. A castle with many paths, and we both were completely baffled with fear and loneliness, frantically searching the route to the sacred place of idol worshipers. The castle had mazes all around, up and down, right and left. A yellow castle, neither was it painted, nor was it decorated, yellow yellow everywhere. Some of the steps were steep, while others were long slides. We climbed the first stair, a narrow one, hardly enough for a fat man to squeeze in. We reached to another floor. There were steps and slides in that floor too.We chose the stairs and slides neither by reason, nor by intuition, we chose them out of fear. We preferred the broader and straighter ones rather than narrower and steeper ones. As we went higher and higher, we had multiple options, with fear did we choose, with fear did we go. Climbing up, sliding down, and then again climbing up we reached at the corridor, leading to a place with an ambiance I have never seen before. Lo! There was an idol made of silver (or appears so), with hands, legs and big eyes. It danced in its position, and I wondered what made the idol dance. There were two boys dancing on both the sides of the idol. An atmosphere of fire, rage and anger, and the only consolation for us was the smile of a friendly priest. We were facing the idol, right in front of us. We were near the front entrance door ( I did  not see any other doors, though). The temple was reddish and dark, it was reddishly lit up with fearsome fire around the corners. The light from fire was brilliantly reflected by the silvery finish of the dancing idol. There were a few people, both women and men in the right corner watching at us. Another idol with bigger eyes, colorful body was in the left corner. Perhaps, it was shaped to cast a sense of fear among the idol worshipers. A friendly priest was sitting on the left side of us. The priest was fair, and had a south Asian look. He smiled at us and was keen to talk to us. My father slowly folded his hands to the idol, in the Hindu way of saying Namaste. It would be odd for him not to do so  - the priest might think that we did not belong to his clan. When I carefully noticed the hands of my father, I found a trick that he used to shy away from the unforgivable act of idolatry. I joined my father and clasped my hands as my father did. Since it was too hard for both of us to pay respect for an idol, due to our monotheistic ideology, the trick was to slightly open our hands, so that for us it meant like a prayer to Almighty God, who created the heavens and the earth and all in between. I guess the priest did not cast any doubt on us, because from outside it appeared as though we were worshiping the idol.

After sometime, the idol was not there, but the boys were still dancing. My soul was lamenting out of guilt, even though I did not worship the idol, in essence I did worship the custom. The custom was my idol. Otherwise, I would not have folded my hands to show the priest and the people who are looking at us from the right corner. As we retreated, the priest keenly showed us a small place in corridor, which he said was the old temple. The corridor had no idols, no paintings of statue, it was painted green and was an abandoned place. Perhaps, nobody wanted a temple without idols, and all the money was thrown into the new temple.

As we were about to say farewell, the priest claimed his share, we payed the amount and retreated. We went down the hill to our normal lives. Next day morning, after breakfast as I sat down in front of my laptop, I remembered the dream. Well, I thought of jotting it down, so that it may not fade away like hundreds of other dreams, which fade away every day.

As I started thinking about the dream, I not only wondered about the sheer creativity of brain, but also the fear of custom hiding in our hearts. Even though, out of reasoning, the characters in the dream (me and my father) absolutely criticized idol worship, they themselves acted as idol worshipers did, for the fear of society (the priest and, the men and women in the right corner) and the atmosphere (of fire, rage and anger). The idols for the characters of the dream were not the dancing idol and the colourful idol in the left corner. Their idol was the custom, fear and their own life. They preferred to be hypocrites in the sacred place of idol worshippers by not preaching their monotheistic belief. They instead tried to please the customs of the idol worshipers for the fear of losing their hidden idol - society.




Comments

  1. Nice post!
    One reason is definitely fear of society. Second reason perhaps is we don't question our own acts and do it just because others are doing it. Once we try finding meaning of everything we do and the very reason why we need to do it, we might be able to create meaningful actions, hence, freeing ourselves from this desire to fit in the society.

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