If there was an all-pervasive, ubiquitous entity that let me experiment with life but saved me in the nick of time, it had to be God. My unwavering, unshaken faith in God is not because of any one particular incident that could have reinforced my faith in Him, but more because of the kind of upbringing and the atmosphere in which I was brought up.
There was no compulsion whatsoever, from my parents to be a fastidious devotee; it just came from within. Probably, it was the childhood influences. I was exposed to myriad religions. My parents were ardent believers of Guru Nanak while my school – Carmel Convent, let me in on the values of Christianity. Some of my closest pals were Muslims while my grandmom was an Arya Samaji. The overall effect was very stabilising and helped me respect life. At the tender age of ten, I had already memorised the Gayatri mantra and had developed an affinity to all the religions. There is not one festival that I don’t celebrate, be it decking up the Christmas tree or serving the Gurudwara on Gurupurab. Diwali is one festival I love to celebrate with all my family and friends and touchwood, till now, I have never been robbed of this desire.
Though there is no one specific God that I worship, I do have a favourite among the Goddesses. Every year in September, I have to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine because I feel she has blessed me with immense fortitude and has bestowed me with more than I could ever ask for.
Believing in God is an element of my existence and a part of me is always in conversation with Him. I feel that ups and downs are a part of everyone’s life and it’s just God’s way of testing us ordinary mortals and our faith in Him. Personally I feel, every time I go through a crisis it’s God’s way of teaching me a lesson, of bringing me down on earth if I start flying too high.
But I would say God has been very kind to me. Just recently, I had a shoot at Kolkata and had to leave for Mumbai soon after. But as fate would have it, a chance shoot at Delhi forced me to come back here and I planned to leave after celebrating Holi with my family. And just as I was about to leave for Mumbai, my father suffered from a massive heart attack. I think God made me stay back as I’m the only child. If it wasn’t for my timely decision to admit my dad in Escorts Heart Institute, God knows what we would have gone through.
My faith has helped me maintain my peace and strike a balance between my inner and outer being. It has helped me curb feelings of jealousy and anger and helped me to be the kind of well balanced and levelheaded person I am. I will always remain grateful to God for all that He has given me and also that He hasn’t.