Musings of an Atheist  

I used to be an atheist when I was young. As young as eight years old. 

I just could not get the concept clear. I saw my mother praying to some stones and every picture of God. My father was at the other end. He has visited some famous temples to see and not to pray. So what happened when they married? They had a love marriage. My father was liberal and sensitive enough to take my mother to whichever temple she wanted to go‌ to. But he would not enter. 

Image by Author created with AI

I remember one occasion when I was about ten and my younger brothers were nine and seven. As a girl, I was asked to accompany my mother, who went inside a temple. My brothers were standing outside with my father.  I had a question – why are we going to a temple? I did not voice it.

Over the years, I developed my logic. Mostly, I thought rationally and did not give in to what I thought were irrational beliefs. But over time, I became more humble and have become an agnostic, admitting to the fact ‘to each his own’ and that there are matters beyond our comprehension. Why break my head over matters that are not easily understood? Besides, I always believed that one should do one’s duty with utmost sincerity – be it the role of an employee, a parent, a daughter, a wife, or a friend to someone. 

Why am I saying this? Because this piece is also about what my daughter should believe in. 


When she was small, I ‌read to her the stories of the Bible, the Quran, and the Ramayana and Mahabharata. They were read as stories and did not reference God as such. I wanted to convey the fight between evil and good, the moral values. Irrespective of religion, many stories are supposed to improve one’s integrity.

Ironically, her father is religious and used to take her to the temple on weekends when she was small. She used to tag along after getting up early on a holiday and go with him after I bathed her. After the temple visit, they would have breakfast in a restaurant. After about a year or so, she began to feel lazy and decided not to go. But she wanted the restaurant's food. She told him to bring the food, and he did. I had a good laugh to myself.

She was about seven or eight when one day, out of the blue, she told me that God exists. It seemed to me that she noticed that I had never visited that temple. I think I told her long back that I do not believe in God. I was curious and asked her why she thought that way. Her answer was – ‘Who else built the mountains and the trees?’ I did not know how to reply to her question. Yet I did not want to tell her it was God. Ideally, I wanted her to find out for herself when ready.

Now she is 22, and I still do not know. Maybe I should ask her. This is not the one topic we talk about. There is always something else to tackle or chit-chat.

Now, at age fifty-plus, my relationship with God has not changed. I have refined it. Today, I believe that ‘goodness is God’. So there is God in everyone. There is a Satan, also lurking somewhere. This duality takes whatever shape according to circumstances. That is probably why some people bring out the best in you and others the worst. As for me, I try my best to be good all the time, admonishing myself, even if the slightest nasty thoughts creep up.

I used to think that good begets good. Unfortunately, things have not happened that way for me. It took me many years to accept the fact that life is not fair. It has nothing to do with your faith. You might be the most sincere, but bad things happen to you, one after the other. I have seen very religious people who are very nice suffer for no fault of theirs. I have also seen non-religious, good people suffer. So, there is no rule. It is chaotic.

Relief was what I felt once the ‘chaos theory’ was established in my mind. Like a placebo, it is working well. Now, I do not have to think about the mystery of life. Just live it. Go with the flow. Do your duty well. Do not think too much about tomorrow. Just focus on what is to be done today and perhaps the next. Beyond that, I do not know what to think.

Will I be alive? Should I waste time trying to do something for the day when I don’t know what will happen? In one way, I know it is stupid to think like that. The word ‘hope’ takes us forward, and one should maintain the flow of life.

Also, count the blessings that one has and move on.

In moments of sadness, I think of someone known to me. She has ‘dealt with life’ for so many years. Life has still not granted her peace of mind. I think of her and am glad to be me and not her. I guess the mind works things out for you, probably out of sheer frustration with being depressed all the time. I ask myself often – do I need to feel sad about certain things in my life? Do I need to waste my energy on stuff that will not change? Then, I urge myself to see the half-full glass rather than the half-empty one.

Live and let live. That strong policy of mine has some people accepting me the way I am—irreligious. They have understood that being an atheist does not mean I am a bad person. They used to have that notion, being very traditional and very religious. I had to work hard towards changing that. They are the kind who do not feel good if they miss the regular temple visit, even for one day. According to me, these are habits one gets used to. You feel something is not right if you do not do that activity. Their faith is their hope. Let it be. Who am I to question that?

I prefer to live life the way I please. That strictly involves being good to everyone. So what if I do not think or pray to God, per se? Once in a blue moon, I think of God just to review the concept. I tell myself that if God is all-knowing and all-pervading, then he or she or the entity knows every thought of mine and that I do not deserve any punishment for having bad thoughts or doing anything bad. Invariably, stoicism settles, and I feel calm. Ultimately, I guess it is about satisfying your conscience. That is one thing you have to deal with until the end of your life.

I could be wrong. One day, I might turn religious. Who knows?

As a final thought, I am happy for those who have found God or found solace in God. Maybe I am a late bloomer. One day, my time might come. I am not going to say no.

Let us know what you think in the comment section below. If you want us to publish your opinion piece, mail it to us at

Usha Menon

With over 25 years of experience as an architect, urban designer, and green building consultant, Usha has been designing sustainable, and visionary spaces. She has published a book, has been actively blogging, and is on social media. Now, her journey is transitioning to full-time writing. Her words will continue to craft stories, not brick and mortar, but in the realm of ideas, fostering a better, more inspired world.


  1. Good Article. Factual. As to me, I am atheist for 75 years, now. God had not interfered in my affairs. Nor do I interfere in His. I am religious in my own way. I believe in God – my Consciousness. I have a religion – Humanity. This religion has two Castes – Male and Female. –

  2. Thank you for reaching out! If you have any specific questions or topics in mind, please feel free to share them, and I’ll do my best to assist you. Whether you’re curious about a particular technology, scientific concept, literary work, or anything else, I’m here to provide information, advice, or engage in a discussion. Don’t hesitate to let me know how I can help you further!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Opinion