Sunday, July 2, 2017

Finding God

No, this is not an article about God. No, this is not a spoof on God. And yes, the title was meant to be read like 'Finding Nemo' or 'Finding Dory'.

Recently through a new game that I have adopted, I involved myself into quite a survey on the NH8 highway connecting Delhi and Gurgaon. The game involved finding any reference to Lord Krishna (image or text) during the one hour journey that i took everyday on the same route from my home to office. Well, I started onto this game with just fun and some faith. I only thought that in a country like ours where God is more feared than prayed to, it shouldn't be hard to find the reference. I had no idea that this vague game would turn to a survey stretching over more than a week and now translating to a blog post.

From most common to rarest in nature -
God is omnipresent or so we are told. Yet, I think people believe that Lord Hanuman is lost somewhere. Most people like to keep idols or plastic mutations of his look-a-like in flying pose in their cars. This is only given competition to by Lord Shiva who is remembered through the writings 'Om', 'Om Namah Shivay', 'Shiv', so on and forth. If we take a whole count of both image and text included, Shiv ji would win. If we take a separate count, Hanuman ji would win the image/statue category. Well, i don't think this should be much of a concern since Hanuman ji is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva himself. Hence, in a way the award goes to the same super being.

Following them closely are people they loved most. In text form, Lord Ram has to be quite significantly seen. Now, I am sure that we don't really understand Ram. I mean, we are taught he was great and a God incarnation and thus, we bow are heads and fold our hands and pray to him. But do we really know him? As a person - how did he become so beloved and maryada-purshottam? Yet, whenever a child goes to school in India and is taught any language, he or she makes sentences using Ram as the person. No other name strikes. Same goes to the people who own cars. Naam toh likhwa liya, par Ram ko na dhoondha... na paaya. 
In the image/statue category, the runners up position is taken by Ganesh ji. Now, every time you go buy a car, if you are a Hindu, the car vendor will himself give you a Ganesh idol to place in the car. This number gets impacted as some people want fancier or different idols and also, Hanuman ji id modelled into a flying miniature which is tied to the rear view mirror and present along with others Gods. Also, Ganesh ji doesn't have any stickers and very rare textual appearance.
Overall, it would be difficult to judge whom to place ahead of the other. So, lets call this a tie.

Third place is occupied by Lord Krishna. I didn't imagine but my game was quite easy once I started playing. Quite a few people adore their cars with multiple representations of Lord Krishna - picture sticker, name, chant, name reference under a bow which has to be a symbol of some religious guru. There are lot many images of his childhood form, his peacock feather or his murali. Even in text form you can find his name in quite a few places.

In my journey, I am also bound to find atleast one car with Lord Durga sticker. A very few cards will have the waheguru symbol and even fewer cars will have the cross hanging from the rear view mirrors.

Apart from these inferences on popularity of Gods and Godesses, there are two other important inferences that i derived from this little experiment.
Firstly, the cars I see daily are almost the same except that the number changes. Like there is a car with 'Kapoor' green coloured sticker on the hind window. I see it often but not daily. Thus, we can safely conclude that almost the same bunch of people are using the road everyday during the same time of the day. Also, this group can thin or thick as they wish. In General, I see more cars without any God reference increase gradually.

Second and the important inference is that most of the cars that have God images or name stickers or statues are with yellow number plates or to put it formally, are the commercial vehicles. Forget buses and trucks but most of these are taxis (thanks to Ola and Uber). Now, as a passenger I would feel concerned if I am to travel with a stranger on the NH and the car has so much God on it that it practically screams - only God can help complete this trip safely.

I am not sure but since I have used God and names of Gods so much, hopefully this post might be pretty successful.

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