I was and am so humbled

by Dina on October 1, 2008 · 12 comments

in Indian Culture,soulfood

It’s festival time here and I am baulking at how much people spend on celebrations, rituals and the accompanying firecrackers that are driving me crazy. It makes me so furious sometimes that people who have to work so hard and live a hand-to-mouth existence, just blow up their money like this.

Then I remembered this incident a couple of years ago – I remember really shouting at this lady who helps clean my house (yes we do have help to clean and cook here in India), who wanted to borrow money to conduct a series of religious rituals in her hut during one of the festivals and call all the neighbours etc.  I began explaining all the logical reasons for using the money in more ‘productive’ ways. I tried explaining to her the difference between religiousity and religious rituals – and although I am not a believer, I do respect her right to believe, but not throw away money on wasteful (in my perception) rituals.  She wouldn’t listen and I was losing my temper with her and was at the point of refusing to give her the money.

Then she just broke down and said to me simply:

“Didi (big sister) – all I have is my faith, it keeps me alive – don’t take that away from me”

I was am so humbled. This is soul stuff!


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Gems from my maid – she keeps me real
September 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 neha October 1, 2008 at 3:21 am
2 Dina October 1, 2008 at 3:25 am

Synchronicity – thanks 🙂 Some call it numbing .. but I guess for those who believe, “It helps people to reinterpret pain, and make it less threatening. These people felt safe by looking at the Virgin Mary, they felt looked after, so the whole context of the test changed for them.” – quoted from the link you sent me!

3 Devakishor October 1, 2008 at 4:14 am

I am an atheist. I have had similar conversations with my believer friends. The faith they have in “god” is surprising. One devout friend, getting pissed that I wasn’t buying his arguments told me “you’ll learn the hard way”. I am yet to learn that lesson.

But I couldn’t agree more with your help when she said, “it keeps me alive”. For believers faith can move mountains, healing pains is nothing.

4 Kas October 1, 2008 at 9:14 am

You are definitely one of the top bloggers in the Indian blogosphere. But who would YOU consider the top 10 Indian bloggers?

5 Dina October 1, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Devakishor – thanks for the share. I’ve had similar arguments over the years too!

6 Dina October 1, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Kas – not sure your comment is relevant to this post (perhaps meant for my earlier post) but I will address it here :). I’m just one of the early bloggers from India :). Even called a “veteran” here – http://www.labnol.org/india-blogs/indian-bloggers.html.

I don’t have a top 10 list, but I’ll share some blogs from the Indian blogworld I enjoy reading. Not a comprehensive list by any means. Some I read because I simply like the person writing the blog and enjoy keeping up with what they’re doing; others I like because they are skilled in their specific focus areas; still others I like because they stimulate and infect my thoughts and feelings. And some, because they’re a combination of all of the above!

Neha – i love this girl and her thoughts at http://withinandwithout.com/
WATBlog keeps me updated with news from the indian Web 2.0 scene – http://watblog.com/
Rajesh Jain’s Emergic – because I admire Rajesh and his vision and projects – http://emergic.org
Rajesh Lalwani’s Blogworks because we rap a lot on the social media scene in India http://blogworks.in/blog
Jabberwock – I like his taste in movies!
Gauravonomics – is a good resource for research and analysis of markets and social media and meta blogging – http://www.gauravonomics.com/blog/
Blogs by Reshma Anand, Charukesi, Shubhangi Athalye, Aparna Ray — they’re fellow qualitative researchers and friends too. They don’t all blog that often, but it’s always good to see what they’re up to.
Ideasmithy love the way she writes and she makes me think – http://theideasmithy.com/
Madmomma makes me smile and laugh – http://thebratthebeanandbedlam.wordpress.com/
Recently discovered Chhavi Sachdev’s blog which is a great example of visual “ethnography” about everyday life – http://chhavisachdev.com/
Again a recent discovery that I’m enjoying – manuscrypts and his brants too. http://www.manuscrypts.com/brants/

One of my most recent sources for discovering new blogs and bloggers is the Twitter community today!

7 ray October 14, 2008 at 6:53 am

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don’t you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘conversations with Dina’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run http://www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. 🙂


8 Sam October 21, 2008 at 11:26 pm

It is sad and true faith keep people alive .It is the faith in their god which probably makes them hope things will get better .And if they cannot spend money on their god there is not use of their money.

9 Ange October 27, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Happy Deepavali Dina! (or maybe I should say Happy Bade Diwali – just found out about the small and big Diwali concepts) :):)

10 manuscrypts October 28, 2008 at 5:02 am

hey thanks dina 😀

11 Rajesh lalwani October 29, 2008 at 12:08 am

Oye! 🙂

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