Monday, September 22, 2008

Why rains in India make so much noise - a preface...

There is an old joke that goes thus.

A Christian, a Muslim and a Hindu were debating the efficacy of their respective Gods, and boasting about how quickly their Gods would come to their rescue if called. The boast led to a challenge and climbing to the top of a high rise, they each decided to jump off only to be rescued by their God!

The Christian jumps off first and screams, “ Jesus, save me.” A divine arm materializes out of nowhere and he is brought safely to the ground.

The Muslim jumps off and shouts, “ Ya Allah, save me!” A mysterious force breaks his fall and he lands on the ground as gently as a feather.

The Hindu now jumps and screams, “Hey Ram, save me.” Nothing happens. “Hey Krishna, save me.” Nothing! Frantically, “Hey Ganesha, save me!” No response. Almost in tears, “ Hey Lakshmi, save me.” No response! He falls to the ground and dies, and heads up to heaven. There he sees all the Gods sitting together, and he is livid. “All of you are right here, and yet none of you wanted to save me? And I had faith in you for all these years!”

The Gods quietly endure the tirade till finally Ram says, “ Well you see, we are so many of us that before we could discuss and decide who should go, you had reached the ground!”

Jokes apart, India – is a secular nation that celebrates all religions and all Gods. So, given the fact that we have so many Gods to worship, it is not really surprising that we have so many festivals. After all, all Gods have a birthday, a coronation day, and seas on 3 sides of the country imply that celestial bodies like the moon, when joined in mood by the sea leads to yet another bunch of festivals. Like one of my foreigner friends once mentioned, Indians just need a reason to make merry. And when we celebrate, we celebrate BIG time! Indians are staunchly religious by nature. As markets plummet, illustrious investment banks of yesterday face bankruptcy today, religious consciousness is at an all time high! And why not? If at least one of the whole lot of Gods decides to listen, the financial world could possibly be resurrected!!!!

So watch out for a chronicle of Indian festivity – Janmashtami, Ganeshotsav, Id, Navratri, Dashera, Diwali, Kaarthigai, Christmas leading up to the new year.

As they’d say in the olden days – ‘Let the festivity…. BEGIN!!!!’

No comments: