"God, Grant me the Serenity,
To accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage, to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom, to know the DIFFERENCE."
The Serenity prayer. The only one I believe in, completely,
unquestioningly. It's everything you need, you'll ever need. And it's
the hardest thing in the world.
I found these words somewhere long, long ago, and I have believed in
their power ever since. It has helped me hold on when everything else
was hazy, even dark. And it always comes back to me.
I've never been such a sucker for custom made prayers. I remember when
me and my bro were kids, in Calicut, it was our job to light the vellaku
(lamp or diya that you light before a deity) in the evening. I was not
allowed to handle fire so chettan (my bro) would light the vellakku, and
I would light the agarbatties from the wick in the vellakku. And then we
would recite our prayers (we had this prayer in Malayalam, which is
usually recieted by kids, "Daiyame Kaithoram,kelkkumaragannam , paavaam
aam enne nnee kathumaraganam..." I hope I got the words right, but I
have a sneaking suspicion that I didn't. Loosely translated it means
God, I'm folding my hands in front of you, please hear my prayers,
always watch over me...). Somehow this little daily ritual got lost in
the daily busy business of growing up. And then I developed a whole
different perception about praying and my relationship with God.
I have not believed in mouthing pre-ordained words to pray for a long
time now. It always seemed so distant. For me God was always a personal
friend- someone I raved and ranted to, someone I loved and fought with.
But this one little prayer stayed. And it the only one that I actually
believe in. I don't know its origin, neither have I ever made an attempt
to find out. Perhaps because I have found my meaning for these words,
and now I don't want that coloured by any history, or anyone else's opinion.
Why all this now? Well, I've been deliriously happy these days. Confused
at times, more sure of myself than ever at times. And worried and unsure
at times. The mother of a good friend of mine told me once, "Everyone
has an allocated quota of everything in life-of falling down, of
learning to walk, of happiness, tears, joy, stupidity, everything. If
you don't finish your quota when you are supposed to, then you'll have
to make up for it sometime later." I kinda believed in that. And then
someone I have come to love and trust so much insisted recently, that
there really is no need for sorrow in life. You can find happiness in
everything, everywhere, all the time. Honestly, I'm torn between the two
beliefs. But are the two really different? Aren't both just really ways
of acceptance? For me, it is just saying that life comes in many
flavours. Yeah sometimes you end up with a crappy taste in your mouth,
but even that can mean that you have taste (notice the pun??). Life does
not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
It is perfect because it is wonderful.