Archive for May 15th, 2009

Boy, did my last post get me into trouble! I’d had a productive day and to celebrate my achievements, I was baking a cake (eggless, of course. I’m a vegan). I was carefully folding in the flour, when the phone rang. I balanced the phone in the crook between my head and shoulder and absently said, “Hello.”

“If you’re so unhappy, why don’t you convert?” My mom shrieked from the other end.

What the f…? Momentarily befuddled, I tried to figure out what I’d said or done to earn that reaction. And then I remembered. She must’ve read my post yesterday and taken my rather shallow, and frankly flippant, criticism of the Gita as blasphemy. After all, the Gita is words spoken directly by Lord Krishna. Now, her knowledge about New Age spirituality is limited to the Beatles indulging in transcendental meditation under the tutelage of Maharishi Yogi so naturally she figured I was just a step away from converting to Christianity or Islam.

I silently cursed the day I encouraged her, no, bullied her into reading my posts. She had, as usual, missed the point of the post and latched onto the one thing that upset her.

“You think Hindu texts are misogynistic stuff, wait till you see what’s in the Quran. When you’re covered head to toe in a burkha then we’ll see who’s complaining,” she said darkly.

“The Quran doesn’t really say anything about that,” I wanted to protest but then I figure I don’t really know that for sure. And it’s dangerous to argue with Mom on that because she has lived all her life in UP surrounded by predominantly Muslim neighbours and as such knows much more about the Quran than I do. So I fall back on a rather tame protest instead. “Mom, in any case, I’m talking about New Age stuff!”

“That’s what I mean!” she insisted. I tried to work my way through her rather convoluted logic. And I had to admit that where she was coming from, if you really look at it, considering the antiquity of Hinduism, practically every other religion, Christianity and Islam included, is New Age.

By then, not only was a developing a royal pain in neck, telltale bumps had started to sprout in the batter. “Now look what you’ve done. The flour had lumped up in the batter.”

“That’s what you get for blasphemy,” she said smugly.

I was starting to get irritated. I considered the wisdom of telling her that some scholars have hinted that Krishna and Arjun were gay lovers. But I also didn’t want her to faint. So I said, “But why are you defending Krishna? Didn’t you yourself say that he’s paying for his sins?”

According to some Jain philosophy, Krishna is the eagerly awaited twenty-fifth tirthankar but at the moment he’s in hell, paying for his evil machinations during the Mahabharata. Don’t ask. Even I haven’t figured out how one can go from hell, straight to an exalted position.

“Just as you will,” she said, as usual avoiding arguments for which she has no answer.

And I did! Yesterday was a disaster. A Complete Catastrophe. The cake, needless to say, turned out to be clumpy and hard as a rock; I twisted my ankle nastily while running, a feat I’ve managed to avoid for three years; my iPod hung, leaving me with the only option of letting the battery die out; I had a major war of words with an autowalla who scraped the fender of my car and; two of the six mangoes I bought had maggots in them.

Now, whether it was blasphemy, my mother’s curse or my own mind turning against me as a result of that dire warning, I’m not taking any chances. Just like I don’t when I perform a Graha-Pravesh when moving into a new house. So no more blaspheming scriptures which are actually reservoirs of timeless wisdom. Except the Manu Smriti. I can’t help it!

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