If it was another quiver in your arrow;
If it was networked into reason;
If it was in every fibre of your being;
If it was the dark circles around your eyes;
If it was a question of your existence;
If you had a chance to write your eulogy;
If there was nothing left to match intensity;
If you shift gears zombie-like to unthinking;
If it was the beginning and the end.
If it was a never-ending cyclic mode;
If you could be a dispassionate observer;
If there was ever any question of choices;
If the command or request borders on insanity;
If it was no longer a question of parameters;
If all dreams come to nothing in the end;
If you were left with a pocketful of life;
If you could touch your soul and sniff your goodness;
If you suddenly remembered your third birthday;
If you were to be sacrificed for convictions;
If your life has indeed been a travesty;
If you were drunk on ego and big on yourself;
If images of pets, friends, and family flashed past you;
If in the end you’re trying so hard to be you;
If you saw the creases on your television face;
If you were finally shedding the restrictive;
If you were beyond any pigeon-holing;
If it was starting to fit in somehow…
Tell me.
Would you – could you – die for ‘God’?

© A. Vardaraj — All Rights Reserved

Author’s notes: I wrote this in the aftermath of an attack that killed seven people, including the attacker. It was perpetuated in the name of religion and brought about by religious intolerance, and I couldn’t understand it. Twelve years later, I still don’t get it.


  • stace8383 13th December 2012 at 10:38 am

    I don’t get it either. I find it incredibly sad and frustrating that purveyors of religion use it as a reason to commit atrocities. It’s nothing more than a social construct, just ideas, concepts… using it to justify horrific acts is totally unacceptable. If you’re going to cling to an ideology, let it be for the sake of peace and positivity.

    • Awanthi @ I Speak Awanthi 13th December 2012 at 10:42 am

      The weird thing is that no religion – not even the one that’s rocking the world’s boat at this current moment in time – actually preaches going out and killing the innocent. NOBODY’S god wants them to do that. I understand that religion is about interpretation, but that, I have always felt, is more to do with choosing how to worship your god and what customs you want to follow and not, you know, wholesale mass murder.

      • stace8383 13th December 2012 at 10:50 am

        Unfortunately religious texts are generally so contradictory that if you read the right passages, very selectively, it CAN seem to be about going out and killing people. It just depends which bit of which book appeals to you!

        • Awanthi @ I Speak Awanthi 13th December 2012 at 10:53 am

          *snort* I wish I could disagree, but I have read the Old Testament from cover to cover. *sigh*

          • stace8383 13th December 2012 at 11:13 am

            *grin* Ditto.

  • Kafkaesque 13th December 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I found this very evocative and powerful. I truly didn’t see where you were going until that last line. Then, when I read it, I just went “WOW” and started from the beginning. I love how you managed to twist perceptions and make it a very diff. poem upon second reading, once one knew where you were going with it. Very clever and very well done.

    As for the sentiments at issue, you know my feelings on both religion and organised religion well enough. There’s no point in agreeing with the choir, even though you’re far kinder and more tolerant on the subject than I am. 🙂 So, I will leave you with this one parting word before I go to bed: Brava! xoxox

    • Awanthi @ I Speak Awanthi 13th December 2012 at 4:03 pm

      *kisses your hands* Thank you, my dear friend, for complimenting me on the poem. I really am very proud of this one, because it came from pure emotion; I didn’t over think it or plan it and actually wrote it in ten minutes. I’ve never edited it either and it’s one of the poems I’m proudest of. It’s definitely going into a future poetry book. 🙂

      Thank you so much. 🙂


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