I stopped believing in God the night Shekhar died. I didn't stop praying though. I prayed in the hope that the belief would return. That the faith with which I entrusted my hopes, dreams and wishes to the Unseen One, ever since I could remember, would find its way back to me. I do it involuntarily, like breathing.
One summer holiday, our Aunt came to spend time with us. I was nine. She was horrified that we made the sign of the cross while passing a Church and could recite the Lord's Prayer but not our own. She took it upon herself to rectify this glaring deficit in our character. My sisters and I spent what seemed like a very long, hot summer studying Gurmukhi and learning how to read the Granth Sahib. I am eternally grateful to her because when she left at the end of the season, I had realized prayer had a method, a technique, a power I hadn't experienced till then. I was never alone or afraid as long as I could pray.
Prayer has since got me through good and bad times, rough and smooth, ups and downs and in-betweens. I stopped asking for things in my prayers when I realized nothing I could ever imagine for myself could match what God had planned for me. Little did I know...
So now there is anger, recrimination and prayer. But a strange thing has happened since the night Shekhar went...I pray - in supplication, in surrender, in hope, in gratitude. I ask for help, I ask for strength, I ask for guidance, I ask for support...like always. Only now I don't know if I'm praying to God or Shekhar...his name slips so easily off my lips. The human has mingled with the divine...God now has a face...
I sit in silent wonder at all I understand.
I am not actively praying.
I have become a prayer.