As a devout Zoroastrian, I try to live by our prophet’s adage of ‘good thoughts, good words and good deeds.’ I have learnt the profound truth of this guiding principle.
Good thoughts are important for filling ourselves with positive energy. Good words make our interactions with the world pleasant. Good actions such as work and charity are what make our time on earth worthwhile.
I begin my day with prayers to God thanking Him for all the happiness my family and I have been blessed with. I know that God listens to all our prayers. That is the foundation of my spirituality.
My husband Rajesh is the most secular human being that I have come across. Curiously, we started discussing religion and spirituality in one of our earliest evenings together when we were teenagers. Over 35 years of close friendship and 25 years of marriage that discussion still continues.
Swappy, Manu and Nikki our three children and our numerous friends have over the years often contributed towards these conversations. Rajesh has an in-depth knowledge of the major religions. We dwell not just on the similarities between religions but on their differences as well. We believe that these differences should not only be respected but celebrated as well. Hence, as a family we celebrate all festivals. Our friends tease me that Parsis just need any excuse for celebration!
We are often puzzled and sometimes amused at the arrogance of some of our fellow humans. Sometimes, on account of wealth or knowledge or power — men behave as though they were God themselves. Ordinarily, this would be so amusing were it not to have tragic consequences on the lives of others. We thank God for granting us humility and pray for His guidance in ensuring that we never become arrogant.
Rajesh believes that God has a great and sometimes naughty sense of humour. He believes that God created megalomaniacs who go about strutting their wealth and power for His own amusement as well as for ours. Sometimes when I try to coax Rajesh into sneaking out for a movie, he says, “Life is such an ongoing spectacle full of entertainment, let’s enjoy it instead!”
Secularism permits us to live in harmony and we should celebrate our similarities as well as our differences. Besides, we should treasure the sanctity of every moment and show gratitude to God.
(Dr Firuza R. Parikh, director, department of assisted reproduction and genetics, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai)