I'm a little behind on my posting, but I have limited access to the internet PLUS I'm on a vacation!
I know there's a no-placeholder-posts rule, but I need to read to articulate this properly and all the things I want to read for this are in my bookshelf in Delhi. I've already written about my personal discomfort with religion here. I may not be religious, and I may not believe in God, but there are circumstances and situations in my life that sometimes demand some things of me that may be religious in nature.
I have been thinking about my own responses to these situations and where they come from. In most cases, I do these things because I don't have the patience to not do them. I tell myself that some battles are not really worth fighting, especially if they end up hurting people I love (like my parents or my grandparents) for no good reason. In some others, I bargain with myself about certain things: I turn up late for a pooja, because there is more to these things than simply ritual. They are spaces for socializing with people and meeting people who I will otherwise not see. I have a very large immediate family and these social gatherings are the only times when all of us are generally under the same roof.
I constantly negotiate religion, and it continues to be a part of my own identity. So the questions I have been asking of myself recently have much to do with this losing battle I am fighting with religion.
How much of my own morality and ideology am I willing to cede for the sake of making someone in my life happy? Where do I hold my ground? Why is not being religious so very important to me? What compromises am I comfortable with? Why? What am I not willing to accept, and of these, what am I willing to fight against? How would I fight, if I had to? Obviously this negotiation with religion most times coincides with my being a woman. On what grounds do I negotiate these issues? In what ways do I articulate them to myself? (Also, simply out of intellectual curiosity, how does a religious person negotiate their religious identity? What battles does one fight when one is religious?)
So. Many. Questions. None of which I have answers to yet.