So what am I? Rather cliched to ask a question like this, but it keeps coming back to me. Perhaps it doesn't even matter, or maybe it does. But the post here isn't about everything that I am, but about an aspect of my existence.
I know I am not a theist by definition, but my interest in religion has been steadfast since the time I can remember. In fact, the first girl that I fell for was a Muslim and I was completely besotted by everything about her - her house, the swimming pool at her place, her dolls, her dad. Her dad was a doctor, and I insisted that we always visit him only for any treatments. Though, things didn't quite work out the way I wanted them to. Back then I was too small to even know what I wanted, but I wanted to know more.
We are a family of non-vegetarians and always participated in the Eid feasts of the Muslim families in the numerous colonies we lived in. I loved kebab and mutton keema the most, especially because amma never made them at home. It was at this stage that I also started learning Urdu with a friend, sadly could never go beyond the alphabets.
At this stage of life, I was a staunch Hindu too. Daily early morning prayers, loads of sholkas, regular fasting and so on. I can't remember exactly if I believed in God as such, but I guess I believed in something up there. Personal tragedies changed all this and I became a complete non-believer thereafter for a long time.
My fascination with religion never ended. Later Buddhism became my passion, and I was even willing to take a break from life and study Buddhism, again something which just remained in my dreams. Someone wanted to know then, if I would convert to another religion if I felt more at home with it? But I do not understand conversion. I wasn't born a Hindu, it became my religion after my birth. In my basic form, I am nothing, just another living being who could be anything. And I really do not have any regrets about being a Hindu, even if I am not an overt Hindu like some of the people I know. I also say a prayer at times, but my God always changes - Ram to Khuda to Issiah.
I find them all fascinating. And It seems I can't have them all, I need to chose one of them, at least officially and to be printed on some paper somewhere. And so I chose no one. And I end up being a reluctant atheist.
I do not know what it means. Some atheists prefer to call themselves humanists, and its a beautiful world, but it also goes so much beyond just religion. Can I call myself that? Its a big term and something very difficult to live up to. I also wonder if there is another category, who are neither theists or atheists. Neither superior or inferior, but something else that also exists.