Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Fanatics

Diary Entry - 30

I know the past few posts have been super long. I kept this post as short as possible so that even the lazy reader will read.

I have a lot of Christian friends. But I have had only one friend who was a fanatic. Some try to reinforce their beliefs by having a very low tolerance to other people’s religious belief system. When me and my fanatic friend started talking about religion, I learnt a lot about the Hindu god, Krishna. Krishna stole butter and women’s clothes. He also danced, bathed and did other stuff with the babes of other men. By doing this he had successfully broken three of the Ten Commandments given by god to the children of Israel.

Thou shall not steal
Thou shall not commit adultery
Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s wife

I was told that worshipping a god who steals and does stuff with women, doesn’t speak very highly of me. I later learnt that the entire thing was a metaphor. (No way I am turning my blog into a place of religious tosh by explaining the metaphors. I suggest you look it up in the internet if you are that interested). When I told my fanatic friend the metaphors in the Krishna story, I was laughed at. Religion has been my least favourite topic of conversation ever since.

Four years after that conversation, I met Krishna in a bus.

I was going home from college. It was a six hour long journey and I was going alone. I was hoping that the movie in the bus was going to help me survive, but half an hour into the journey, the guy tells us the TV is broken. No movie. No company and a 6 hour long journey. My phone had low battery which meant I had no text buddies for company either. And only because I had no choice I spoke to the stranger sitting next to me. His name was Krishna.

I asked him where he was heading. He tells me his name is Krishna and a bunch of other crap that was not the answer to the question “where are you going?” I was a little worried that this guy is going to talk me to death but I actually liked talking to him. We talked about food, women, movies, college and a lot of other crap. Then our conversation went to New World Order and we started to talk about Palestine and Israel. He did not seem to like Muslims much but he seemed to hate Jews more. I was more interested in talking about the politics of the region but he was more interested with the religion. He was telling me how Jewish people were inherently selfish and cunning and how the world needed another Holocaust.

Hello Hitler

I hated it. I for my part did my best to defend the Jews (not because I liked them but because his arguments were prejudiced). I told him about the article I read in the New York Times which attributed the smartness of the Jews to centuries of oppression. Being smart, especially with money, was the only way for them to survive. I told him that the story about Shylock and the jokes about Jewish rabbis fighting for a penny are a result of bias, envy and the kind of oppression they have been facing for centuries. I told him it should not be taken literally like the jokes about Catholic priests fighting for small children. I hoped that the Catholic line was going to make him laugh because the conversation was going Nazi by the minute.  But instead of smiling his face turned so red with rage that I felt he was going to burn in a stake.

To understand why his face turned bright red with rage, let me tell you a little about Krishna. I learnt this  AFTER I cracked the crude Catholic priest joke. Krishna’s family is something like the royal family of England. They name their sons after their grandfathers and their daughters after their mothers. They were a typical South Indian Hindu family, but then the Christian missionary came along and made them change their religion. The missionary however failed to change their names. It resulted in a Christian having the name of his grandfather, Krishna. After the conversation I had with the first Christian fanatic, I sort of took the liberty to assume that people whose names were Krishna were anything but Christian. But this Krishna epitomized the worst of Christian Fanaticism. He was the reincarnation of Pope John Paul II. It turned out to be a tragic irony for me.

Moral – When some people say shit about you or someone else, the best thing you can do is smile.