March 16th, 2018 / 08:55 PM
Years ago I was blessed enough to go for a pilgrimage. No I am not a holy man by any definition. I have my reservations and questions regarding the versions of faith altered over time and reaching newer generations in a way that it only gifts profit to a certain group of people. As I am the only person in my family who prefers science and logic over blindness of faith and still loves stories and fiction on the other side, asking any question or just telling openly that I didn't want to go was like an asking for more trouble than I can handle. So I agreed when they told me that they are going to Makkah. I remember the first day when I reached the city. I was too tired after performing all the religious obligations and wanted to get some rest. Luckily I was able to sneak away making an excuse. I reached the hotel and took a nap which was much needed to restore the energy. I woke up just before the Azaan. I reached the mosque where we had already decided our rendezvous point. By that time all the other members of the party performing pilgrimage were very tired, so after the prayers, they headed back to the hotel. I with Mani and a friend did not go back to the hotel and we decided to roam the streets of the city much like wannabe urban explorers.
I still remember that evening as if it happened yesterday. When I reached a group of people partying and playing celebratory music, for a moment I was taken aback and wondered what was going on. But the suspense unfolded in a few moments when I saw a bride dressed in white with a groom in the same color coming out of the main door of a marriage hall next to which the crowd was making a noise. As a young man who does not realise the harsh realities and responsibilities of life, I was very eager to make a wish that if and when I get married I would also make a celebration right in this religious city, the of epicenter of pilgrimage. I know that my family would not let me play loud music in celebration even when I would be getting imprisoned for life. Some years went by and I was able to go to that street again. This second trip happened in 2015. To my disappointment the marriage hall was destroyed and there stood an open ground instead. Somebody bought the property and intended to construct a hotel there.
These days the pressure on me to get married is enormous. I don't know why every family claims to love their children but is bent upon destroying their children's life by adding the burden of responsibility is on to their shoulders. I know I cannot escape this ritual forever. One day the moment would come when I would no longer be a bachelor. One day I would be imprisoned forever. A few moments ago I was talking to Mani about life and marriage and all of a sudden I recalled that marriage hall where once I saw a bride and a groom and there I wished something I still remember and cannot elaborate with ease.
You never know what wish might come true. And there is no harm in dreaming.
So keep dreaming and keep wishing.
For the good and for the best.