September 25, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay: Who is your deity? by Vartika Sharma Lekhak

2 min read

In this essay, Vartika Sharma Lekhak talks about her experiences with religion, prompted by the contemporary short-fuse on religion where an individual’s perception of religion is put to public scrutiny.

Hindu Religion is an ocean of 33 crores of Gods and Goddesses, ever-growing and ever-expanding. The beauty of this vast number is that you can actually customize your deity, find out which one you can relate to, and which one accepts and embraces your persona. Not that any of these Gods are rejecting you, they are ever-welcoming. But it is the human agents, the middle person who has created this chasm between a seeker and God in the name of vulnerability, purity, and monopoly.

My experience with my religion was also something like this. While growing up in a neighborhood as an outwardly confident but inwardly shy girl, I was introduced to my first deity when I was in class 12th then. I boarded the Delhi Roadways bus to reach the tuition center at some distance from my residence. In that fully crowded bus, a couple of young men started misbehaving with me. I am leaving the details to your imagination because I know these things have not changed much, except for yearly sensitization rallies on Women’s Day. At that age, it was a big shock for me and instead of confronting the tormentors, I sank into self-blaming. Maybe my t-shirt was too tight, or I had unknowingly smiled at them. When my father learned of all this, called me. I still remember his words –

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