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Kids speak out on religion is a video everyone must see with their heart and imbibe in case one still has an inner child. Kids of all hues were asked a series of questions like what is religion? What is means to you? What is you religion? Do you have friends from other religions and so on? I urge you to take a few minutes and listen to their jaw dropping answers filled with wisdom beyond their age. From “Respect to the Gods” to “To make us less scared” you have it all. And then you will smile at the religions proffered: tamil, marathi, Bhojpuri. They all agree it is man made and ultimately everyone is the same. If there are no religions they all agree that life would be better. Amen!

It is serendipity at work again as if you read my last post, you may recall that Utpal now in his raging teens is hell bent on getting the 1st prize the dorm decoration contest and to that end barring posters and wall clock he bought a small Ganesha and the name of Allah as the room has Hindu and Muslim boys. Yesterday I got a frantic call asking me to buy a cross too as we seem to have a Christian pal too. Needless to say it has been done and waits to be sent to school. This side of Utpal is heartwarming to me as I too was brought up the same way and even at age 63 my temple has deities and representations of all faith. That is the way my parents brought me up. I guess boarding schools are also a great place to learn to be truly secular.

I cannot resist but share a story that happened almost half a century ago. My husband who was in boarding school since age 6 told me that once when he was soccer captain, he discovered to his horror that his shoe laces were misplaced/lost/wet and that he needed something to go in the dared shows. He saw some kind of string hanging in the washroom and without a thought grabbed it and laced his shoes. He discovered later that the string was the sacred thread Parsis wear around their waist. But it was no issue. The string was removed form the shoe and washed and found its way back to the intended waist. Everyone has a good laugh and no one was offended. The two boys in question are still great friends!

Religion at best should be all encompassing and humane. Nothing short of that is worthy of any God we pray to. I was born a Hindu but brought us as a human being and though I prayed at our alter, I also fasted with my Muslim friends; went to Church with My Muslim ones; celebrated the Sabbath with my Jewish ones and argued in a bantering way with my atheist and agnostic ones. That is the way it should be.

This rabid talk of religion jars on the years and make me uncomfortable to say the least if not go ballistic. So when Utpal’s asks for a cross it is music to my ears and balm to my heart. But one quickly wonders how long will it take these kids to be drawn into the vortex of religions that divide, teach to hate and even kill.

For the moment, let me simply enjoy this moment.

Listen to these real children of God