Thursday, August 27, 2009


Yesterday while travelling a local train I happen to overhear a conversation between a small child and her mother. (Yes, I know eavesdropping is bad and one should not do it but at times it is very stimulating and very informative and there are times when you just cannot avoid listening to what others are talking)

I was so much impressed by the questions asked by the young one and the way the mother was struggling to satisfy the curiosity of the child. There were times when I found the answers of the mother to be very weak and I could feel it in her tone but she was trying her best.

This is how the conversation took place. A is the daughter and B is the mother ( for my convenience)

A: Momma God is every where
B : Yes, beta he is omnipresent, found in each and every thing on this earth, living, non living, plants, animals
A: so mummy will you agree to that he is the creator,
B: Yes my child
A: then please tell me why do we pray to him?
B: GOD is that support system which gives us strength, hope, encouragement and confidence to face any obstacles in the life.
A: when he is the giver, he is the caretaker, then why do we ask him for things? He should know what we require?
B : true , but he has to take care of the whole universe, he is extremely busy. So there are chances that he may overlook us, or forget about us so we need to remind him
A: but when he is the supreme power who knows each and every thing that happens on the earth, everything that happens is as per his desires. Then why should we go on asking him to take care of us?
B: Look child I will give you an example, for a mother her child is the most precious thing in the world and her life revolves around her, but even then there are times when due to her work she may forget to feed the young child, then the child has to remind her to feed her by crying and he goes on crying till she gives him milk.
Similarly God also needs reminders now and again.
A: OK mom, you gave birth to me, you take care of me, I am your most precious possession and you don’t want to see me ever in pain or suffering. Right ? Now that God is the creator, he is responsible for the whole world then why does he give us pain, why did he make my friend cry when she lost her mother?
B: he gives us pain so that we should value the things which give us happiness; we should not take everything including him for granted. Pain and happiness both are integral part of life. Without one we cannot enjoy and feel the importance of other. And one should always remember that after night comes the day and vice versa. Similarly if he give us pain he will surely give us happiness.
A: that means if we are happy then we are surely to get hurt too.
The mother was speechless for a second
B : this is circle of life, nothing is permanent. This is why I always tell you to value all the comforts, all the facilities you have. You never know one day you may not have all of them.
A : But mumma, if God wants to take all this back then why give in first place. Why make us get used to a happy life and full of comforts and then let us suffer
(I was admiring the endurance of the mother who was patiently trying to answer every question of the child)
A: OK mummy tell me one more thing, why do you ,many times tell to God that if some wish of yours gets full filled , you will offer a coconut or some sweets to God, Do you offer him bribe or do you pay him for the wishes he grants you. That means even God is corrupt as he doesn’t fulfill your desires till you promise to give something in return. ( very smart question. hats off to the child for asking such a question)
B: ( trying very hard to answer and maintain her cool) this is our way of saying thanx to God for what ever he does for us.
A: A mere thank you will not suffice? And more over whatever we offer to God, it doesn’t reach him but either the pujari, or someone else takes it. Then why do we promise God to give something in return. We all are his children then he should do our work without expecting anything in return.
( the mother was visibly in a tight spot and was getting irritated by now)
A: ok tell me God is one, then why do we have so many Gods.
B: all the Gods are different names or faces of the same God.
A: if it is so, then why do we pray to different Gods on different days? Monday we go to Shiv temple, Tuesday we go to Ganpati, Thursday to Sai Baba, Friday to Mata Rani, Saturday to Hanumanji.
A : And Momma one more thing, if we all his children then why some are poor and some are rich, some are good looking and some are not so good looking? U always say that for a parent all the children are equal and no parent would ever differentiate between children then why does he do so?
My station had come so I had to get down. But I wonder how many more questions the child had in her store and how the mother was managing?
But this entire conversation did make me also think that all the questions asked by the child were relevant and were neither randomly asked nor thought about on the spur of the moment but she must have pondered over them over a period of time .
and I admired the perseverance of the motehr in quenching the thirst (clarification of her innumbearble doubts) of her child


Milan Mehta said...

Hats off to the mother for answering the questions of her child so diligently and patiently....

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

lucky child... maa ke saath ghum sakta hai and baat kar sakta hai
meri maa to mujhse sirf jhagda karti hai :(

The Panorama said...

This is one of your best posts, Anju. Excellent! The child is so innocent and so right...God has some answering to do here:) Sometimes I wonder about those things too.

The Panorama said...

Excellent Post; Anju. Loved it:)

Nazish Rahman said...

Those were some serious questions asked by the kid but valid. I think her mother must have had a hard time answering them. These days kids are very smart and the kind of questions they impose are dam tough and can easily bowl any one out :)!!

God is!! Only a child can dare to ask a question like this!!

Ooglers Googlers said...

I see the god in the child who is testing the mother with her patience and ability to clearly articulate things.

Indeed very nice and touching post. I wonder if topics like these are genesised in trains, why do people look elsewhere?

Clearly one of the best posts till date.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, have I ever had such questions posed to me. I don't know all the answers either. I just love everyone and know that He knows what is in my heart. I agree riding a bus or streetcar can offer many things to think about. My post today was from a car ride HH and I took today.

Apanatva said...

Nice post .Its really difficult to get all answers .

RoyalTLady said...

Wow! What a child indeed.

Anju, I really enjoy this post of yours. It's a wise child asking a wise mother.

I was also put in such tight spots when my children were young and I had to practically "squeeze" my brain in such a tight spot to give a relevant answer.

RoyalTLady said...


I appreciate you coming by and leave
finger prints" in my blog.

I truly admire the way you write your posts. You put such an effort so that we enjoy them all. Your flare in language is eloquent!!!

Yes, please come often and leave traces for me.

Swatantra said...

That's beautiful.. i admire the kids. Siddharth has already started many question to me, i can imagine him taking me to this level also..

Neha said...

Anju, nice post..and a special mention to you for mentioning it in such a crisp way...very well presented...nice memory you have got I must say...very commendable :)

Solilo said...

Aww..enjoyed going through this post, Anju.

Gayathri said...

Post was too good..the way of putting up a serious topic in a light way was truly admirable..

Abt the content..i would say,Bhagawat Gita has an answer to every question the child put forth..
God ain't's we,the mortal souls,who impose the corrupt persona upon him the poor and the rich is just the same so long as they perform the same karma..
cheers :)

manju said...

Great post! Really, the mother is to be commended for answering these questions so patiently!

BK Chowla said...

Must say that mother is very lucky to have such clear thinking child.
Don't we actually try and bribe the God?The child has the answer.

Durga Nandan said...

:) I have always wondered about almost all the questions the kid asked.
That amma is lucky. Such an inquisitive child.. :)

Smitha said...

Wonderful post! What a wonderful mother to patiently answer all the child's questions!

Stupidosaur said...

It takes a child to see through the stupidity of humans.

Ketan said...

What was the rough age of the child? I'm very impressed. And, the mother actually skirts so many questions? :)

Ketan said...

And, I'm wondering how come none of the respondents has thought of the most logical conclusion that could be reached from the girl's questions, viz., God doesn't exist, or if he/she does, then, the characteristics of that God are not the same as we attribute to the entity?

I don't expect you to answer this Anju ma'am, but was just wondering. And yes, you've written the post very well (dispassionately and impartially, which is commendable considering you're a firm theist :) ). It's worrying to see respondents not take the questions as seriously as they should only because they come from a 'child'. :(


sm said...

5 star post
this is the eye opener for every reader.

shilpa said...

Just one question how old is the kid?

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