Skip to main content

Gaining my religion

To say that religion is an important part of India is the ultimate understatement. The country is steeped in religious fervour, is the mother of all melting-pots when it comes to gods, goddesses, idol-worship, non-idol worship, sadhus in various stages of undress, intoxication and malnutrition and host to festivals right throughout the year. It permeates everything, and I mean everything and apart from cricket, is quite likely is the major fuel for the great joy, sadness, celebration and social crime that ignites India.

Very Jekyll & Hyde.
Very public, very personal.
Very tricky, very touchy

Think about it. The field trip lasts for 12 - 14 days. In this time, we have to introduce ourselves, get accepted by & worm some extremely private details out of a group of people who probably have never seen any real strangers and are therefore perfectly within their rights to be reluctant to let on, if not be downright hostile. And this just describes what we are up against for the census data. Which is why you, dear reader, will understand the idiocy of attempting to question the people about their various deities, obscure rituals and beliefs in magic, of which the practice of the black kind is illegal and perversely ofcourse, prevalent. The researcher would be leading a charmed life for those 12 - 14 days.

Basically, challenging stuff. Which wasn't the reason I crossed it off the list of 24 as the only one I was against. I'm interested in mythology, religion and whatnot. But I was dead set against any of it at the time this trip took place. Call it a reaction. So, no.

Apparently, the class had misconstrued it a shade when the professors told us to pick topics for ourselves. We went ahead and chose and promptly had the professors smile at us in a sickly fashion and assign us completely different ones based on their own logic of what was appropriate for each student. "This is your destiny..." as it were. Completely filmi, I know, but that's the way it was.

24 topics, 19 students. Some topics wouldn't make the cut (shocking and heartbreaking, really, but the world is an indifferent place). Even as the student's name and his or her topic was called out, I had this premonition (ironic, isn't it) about the topic I'd be assigned.

I kid you not about this next part. I was number 19 & there was only 1 major topic left on the list. Sometimes, its just not worth your while to hold your breadth.

Oh well.... onward, philistine.

Comments

Dionysus said…
dood...:).Yeah, I remember pretty well. Kinda difficult to forget anyone from that Ferguson bunch of friends he had.

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Drink up and be somebody

Dear Reader,

History will boldly testify that your favourite blogger is usually slow on the uptake, a state of affairs that's blooming with each passing year like a reverse-Revital. "Why this self-harshness, G", you may ask? Well...

I've been doing the Bom-Pune-Bom trips for 9 years and it's taken about that long to accept that MSRTC Shivneri, still the best bus service of them all, simply cannot (or, realistically, will not) cope with 3-day weekends. Since my job profile does not allow me to plan my travel in advance on said Fridays, I land up at Dadar, view the queue of potential passengers snaking a long way from the ticket window and mentally prepare to arrive home at the hour of morning reserved for sheepish teenagers and dacoits. The Expressway doesn't help anyone's cause thanks to truck drivers spreading themselves generously across 3 lanes and clogging the Lonavala pass to a point where the traffic jam is about 3 km long. A stretch that would tak…

Country Comforts

Part 1

With timing that was far more impeccable than their usual service, the MSRTC went on strike 2 days before Diwali over a pay dispute. I've traveled on their buses for close to 9 years and know full well just how popular they can be just before a major holiday. The chaotic crowd at Dadar is so dense, one would only need to introduce a few Naga sadhus into the mix and hey presto! we've got ourselves a brand new Kumbh Mela. Albeit one where getting out of Bombay ASAP is the only kind of salvation devotees seek. 

News and newspapers being what they are at present, I was unaware of the jolly bus crisis until Wednesday morning when a well-wisher asked how I proposed to go home for the holidays, flourishing the paper in my face with the reluctant panache of a small-town magician. Realising the gravity of the situation, I looked up train schedules and was stunned to find General category seats available on an outstation train departing later that afternoon. As far as I could see, …