This Saturday afternoon, Dad and me ,went to the Central Cottage Industries Emporium in Janpath. I really love being there :http://www.cottageemporium.in/ 🙂 It is full of beautiful handicrafts and textiles which reflect the rich , cultural heritage of India. But I do get a very deprived feeling because shopping there is a tad expensive! Although, one is assured of the quality and authenticity of the items.Well, yesterday Dad wanted to see the exhibition on ‘Rudraksha’ that is going on in the emporium.( Read what a ‘Rudraksha’ is here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudraksha ). There was a pretty impressive array of ‘Rudraksha’ on display and for sale. I saw a necklace of ‘Rudrakshaa’ capped with gold for a whopping 1 & 1/2 lakhs! There were these wise looking men all clad in saffron robes at the exhibition too, doling out advice on which ‘Rudraksha’ to buy for fame, money, health, marriage, happiness etc .My Dad started talking to a particularly fierce looking saffron clad man,smelling of sweat and wilting jasmine.I don’t know why the chappie glared at me ? Because my nose twitched disdainfully at his un-holy body odour ? Or was it because of the Faulaadi T-Shirt from Kulture Shop,that I was wearing ? Here this one: https://www.kultureshop.in/faulaadi-womens-art-tees.html/# It says ‘Dekh kya raha hai be ?” ( What are you looking at ?) Aware of her strength, her rights and her bad-ass attitude, Faulaadi is the ass-kicker all girls secretly want to be 😀 ‘Your daughter needs to be calm! Buy her a ‘panchmukhi rudraksha” thundered the chappie. Just then my sister called on my mobile phone.Her customized ringtone is ‘Immigrant Song’ with Robert Plant howling ‘Aaan aah aaah’. Both Dad and the holy ( ?) chap flinched. We left.
I have noticed that somehow the Gurus/Pandits/Babas don’t seem to like me much. Whereas I have tremendous respect for them! Why ? Well, because they seem to be in the BEST profession! Everyone is showering money and gold on them.Disciples galore bring them fruits ( terribly expensive anytime out here ), sweets ( all made in ‘shudh ghee’) and other savories. Nubile, beautiful girls and boys keep pressing their feet and the Lord only knows what else, 24×7. They get to hobnob with the leaders,politicians and celebrities.Some get to kiss film stars too. Here check out this picture below. Guruji , I am sure, attained nirvana 😀
I had this very, very rich Aunt who was majorly into Babas/Gurus. Saffron clad men of all shapes and sizes would surround her in the hope of getting huge donations. But Auntie dear was pretty crafty. I remember , when her daughter was having marital problems, a seedy looking, fat ‘holy’ man turned up at her door step. He called himself the ‘Nag Guru’. (‘Nag’ means the King Cobra). Before he started with a sentence, he would to my fascinated horror, hiss and throw back his head.Intermittently, he would stealthy scratch his scrotum without batting an eyelid at my giggles! Well, ‘Nag Guru’ stated that Aunt needs to donate two snakes made out of gold to him. He would then recite some powerful mantra, bathe the gold snakes in milk and erm…mate them.This would miraculously set her daughter’s marriage right. My Aunt nodded and gave the man a Rs 100/- note, asking him to come after two days. ‘Nag Guru’ returned hissing and with a pleased, expectant look on his face,perhaps imagining two fat pythons made out of gold ? His face crumpled with shock at the two tragically thin “S’ shaped gold wires given to him by my crafty Aunt :D. He stuttered ” Memsahib…the snakes are too thin! The female snake has to be plump and fat!How can they mate otherwise ?” 😀 Which left me, all of 12 years old then, with the impression that I need not worry too much about my baby fat :D.
However, my Aunt met her match in a ‘holy’ man, who has gone down in our family history with the name ‘Arse Guru’.Sounds terribly risqué, I know! But the man had a penchant for screaming out ‘My arse’ in the most horrible colloquial dialect, when he got excited .The first time we heard him, everyone flinched because you see, while ‘arse’ sounds pretty inoffensive, its the Indian version, a four lettered word starting with ‘G”, that can cause havoc with your sensibilities!Anyway, perhaps my Aunt was really not in her element when she met him. She had been told to cut down on her alarming sweet intake as her sugar levels were not good.Her children had all got married and settled outside the country. She complained that they had forgotten her. Her mild husband, though devoted to her, had hired a pretty, sexy secretary.My Aunt believed that the secretary regularly laced Uncle’s tea with ginseng and powdered rhino horns 😀 ‘How do you know that ?” I asked. ‘ Your feeble Uncle is like a frisky rabbit when she is around’ she replied viciously. I was at a loss for words and thankfully the Guru summoned us . He sized her up, looked piercingly at her, invoked the Gods & Goddesses and said ” Arrey cow-herdess!”. I gasped because my Aunt was a very stylish lady! But to my amazement , she was looking at the man with rapt attention! ‘Arrey cow-herdess! Are you not tired ? You have raised that little calf, borne its kicks! Now he has deserted you! Smell, smell your hands! They smell of cow -dung! My arse, my cow-herdess, look what you have done to yourself!’, the Guru screamed relentlessly. Aghast, I watched my Aunt break down and sheds buckets of tears. ‘LET’S GO, LET’S GO, the man is a creep’, I told her urgently, giving the Guru a baleful look and he shooting an evil one back at me.’ To my horror, Auntie gave him a thousand rupee note, a wistful smile and a tearful goodbye. ‘Why did you do that Aunt ? He is scum”, I raged. But she gave a martyred look and then drove everyone nuts with her ‘ I am a cow-herdess. Krishna speaks to me” ! I am so reminded of this “Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake ” 🙂
On a sombre note though, I would like to add Voltaire’s words :”Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”. I believe In God. I have a hot line communication with Him. I really don’t need an operator to connect me, non ?
Did I tell also you all that Led Zeppelin is my religion ? 🙂