Kannamurthy, Uttar Pradesh, May 24:I was very excited when I started school.
I started studying Hindi and I got a job with the Bharat Electronics and Computer Services Company.
But when I returned home, I found the entire school was packed with people of other religions.
I was the only Hindu in the class.
I never expected to be the only one of my classmates to be Muslim.
I was surprised to hear that some of my peers were of different faiths.
Some people were religious, but there were others who were secular.
I remember my friends, who were Muslim, asking me, “Why don’t you come to Islam?
What about your religion?”’
One of the first times I heard “Hindu” was when my mother was telling me that she had come to Delhi to go for her first visit to the country.
I had to come back a few days later.
At that time, my friends used to say, “Hindu, Hindu, Hindu.”
I did not think, I just heard that word.
It was only when I came to UP that I realised how different it was.
It is a very diverse state.
In the state capital, there are two churches.
One is a Hindu temple, the other is a Muslim mosque.
I have lived here my whole life, but I never imagined that in the state of UP I would have a Hindu priest and a Muslim preacher.