The story is of the first time I made it into a mosque!
I was doing a recce for a spirituality tour and it has always been a keen interest to be a part of the religious proceedings in a mosque, how things are done and their significance. The curiosity always stemmed from the thought that I did not know anything about it and for the first time I wanted to enter, I was scared that I might hurt some sentiments and to a certain extent I was Islamophobic.
The day before I was outside trying to talk to a few people and know whether it was appropriate to enter since I did not know the practices followed inside and I did not know what were the conditions I had to follow before entering. And at the other end paranoia was kicking in and I was really feeling scared, sorta in a place where I did not know anything and I did not know how things would pan out.
The endeavor was no avail, probably when I am afraid it shows right up in my face and I believe that I can carry that stupid afraid look very well! I did talk to a few people around and they seemed equally scared about letting me in. That is the thing about fear right, if you are afraid, people are catering to your fear, not the result you are looking at. I never got the result and definitely not the way I was trying to approach the situation.
The next day, I thought it is pointless and the paranoia can be defeated by only one thing, the truth. The idea was to meet someone from the clergy, get a permission and enter. After about an hour, I did identify the contact, went ahead to meet him, explained what I was trying to do and the man is probably one of the nicest I have met. He took me inside, explained the procedure and the process and I even ended up offering my first prayer and it all felt so nice. Religion and thought has always been amidst a lot of fears and I believe most of them come with the ignorance and the unknown. Trying to search the reality, all of them try to offer one path, to make yourself a better man/woman. To reach out and follow the code of conduct which brings someone to the path of rectitude.
I do know that I am quite a rebel to the strictures and thoughts, but sometimes to know what the beauty of things are, religion is an amazing conduct and it is never by birth, it is by choice and the choice is how open we could be to see the truth.
Today I feel very humbled when I write this, it was about braving a little bit of the unknown. There are so many more fears which are baseless without the knowledge of truth, I still believe I am wallowing in a few of those. The one thing that helped getting out of fear was the true knowledge and action.
We all are afraid, of many causes for various reasons but the fear is always bigger than the reality.
Coming to think of it, fear is an illusion, it tries to delude us, all the same it tries to bring us, the choice is whether we prefer to face it or to wallow in it!