I'm a Hindu but I have to admit if you were to ask me to explain Hinduism in detail, I would get stuck after a few sentences. My knowledge in the subject is limited, and I believe this is the same with almost all Indian youth. Then again, I am not generalizing. There will be many out there who might be knowing the Ramayana or the Mahabharata inside out. Whereas yours truly only learned very recently that the Hanuman Chalisa is named as such because it has 40 verses ('chalis' verses).
Last week had me visiting temples. I'm not someone who visits sacred places regularly, but on an impulse I decided to visit a number of them... and even attended few classes by a spiritual teacher. I wasn't there for demanding anything, but I got what I was looking for -- a peace of mind and a feeling that someone is out there to protect me, someone who really cares. I had stopped interacting with God a few years back when I didn't get what I truly wanted. I see the same happening with others around - some stop praying when they lose a loved one, some stop praying when they fall sick, others stop praying when they feel they are being made to suffer too much in life. These are the times when you have to pray the most, because the strength it gives you cannot be described in words. You have to try it to believe it. I have resumed praying again of course but now I wonder why on earth did I stop it in the first place.
During this journey last week, I served food for my spiritual teachers at an ashram, I cleaned up after their meals (using cow dung and water -- in Hinduism, that's how a place is "cleansed", you can get more info regarding this on Google), I learned some prayers, got their blessings -- and finally, felt happy. An amusing thing was that the teacher asked me "Will you be able to clean this place up using cow dung?". I had told him I was brought up in the Middle East and I won't blame him for thinking that I might be just another stuck-up NRI who was a non-believer. It surprised him no end when I took a handful of it and just spread it all over the floor without batting an eyelid. Some might say all this is just superstition, but given a chance I would do this service all over again for that feeling of content it brings to me. Nowadays my days feel incomplete without chanting the Hanuman Chalisa, the Shiv Sandhya Namam, or Hari Bhajanam. I spend half an hour meditating everyday and it's the best thing to do if you feel stressed out quite often!
I haven't yet told anyone about this journey because at this modern day and age, I'm not sure if anyone would understand. Anything people haven't encountered first-hand or don't have any knowledge about is termed as a "superstition". The non-religious people will guffaw at all this, but I seriously don't care. These prayers and services to God give me what I'm looking for - a peace of mind and a feeling of protection. And if you take that step towards God, you will feel the same way too.