Religious 'Com'plications.

Posted by - Rohit
My father was born to a Hindu family whereas mom, to a Muslim family. Something that we are extremely proud of. When in time these extremes were fighting for religious superiority, we were brought up in a world that made us believe that one's conscience supersedes all religion. My mom would say "No religion should kill the God within you". Right from the subtleness and smoothness of Sheer Khurma to the crispy crumbly Shankarpali, we've had it all. What we learnt at an early age was that there was more than mere religious diversity that bound us all.

That's one reason why we are insensitive towards any religious jibes made at us.

And when I say religious jibes, let me get back to my friend Umesh.

(I'm all set to fly onto a different tangent from here now.)

Umesh is one guy who would 'create' undefined, unheard, unmatched, unimaginable and unwanted humour anywhere and under any circumstance. His range varies from  current affairs to past affairs, legal and illegal affairs or his own affair. Impromptu is all that he is.

On our trip to Sabari Mala (a religious place in Kerala and a huge competitor of Tirupathi) we had to halt by every known, famous, really old temples. These temples were characterised by fanaticism, to define them. You could find trees full of nails and they were supposedly hammered in by the many so called 'possessed' devotees using nothing but their head. So all you, so called metal heads, this is what head banging is all about. What you do is just similar to playing an Air Guitar. Well I never bought these stories of banging nails and I still don't.
But we had our own way to perceive things in a very uncomplicated manner, something akin to what Umesh used to say looking at these overenthusiastic morons -
"Item log hain bey"...

While moving towards Sabari Mala, our bus driver would play 'Ayappan Devotional' songs. Everybody would go in a trance, everyone. Umesh and myself were sitting in the last row, witnessing the devotees' feeling of peace and tranquil. Those songs could be comprehended as LOUD, gaudy, pompous or just call them plainly unbearable (I would rather listen to a duet by Britany Spears and Christina Aguilera). These songs are supposed to give you immense peace, calm just like the early morning Azaan, the reverberations of choir in a Church or Ganaraj Adhiraj sung by Shankar Mahadevan. But they were just the opposite, it had too much Shehnai (reminded me of Himesh most of the time (Another reason to hate it altogether)).
So we had to counter this exemplification of loud musical melodrama.
Don't know what happened next Umesh started dancing to these tunes and moves which had long back lost it's popularity. Umesh the outdated dancer. He was doing the invisible rope pull, the invisible glass slide and the wave of which even I was a part of. Yes he was dancing to Ayyapa's tunes. Imagine someone moon walking with the Gayatri Mantra in the background, this was as bad as that.
Impromptu madness.

But the most vivid memories of Umesh's knack of taking on the theatrics that piggybacks itself along with religion was after the movie Aamir had released.
The movie was characterised with a whole lot of Urdu words. Some words like 'Qom' which means community and 'Mazhab' which means religion were given a lot of emphasis in the movie as the whole movie revolved around these words.

So right after the movie Umesh would ask me, 'tera "Qom" kya hain bey' as if to mock the zealot portrayed in the movie.
He would don that avatar every now and again. For instance when I asked him to pay up for the Vada Pav we just gulped he would say "Mere Mazhab mein yeh sab nahi hota" (means the religion I follow doesn't allow me to pay  for others).
If he would find me doing something really indifferent, he would go "Tera Qom mein aisa hi hota hain kya?".
Yes he is a drama queen.
I would never feel bad about this since I knew his intent wasn't to make me feel bad about the same or disrespect any religion but only to emphasize the dramatics portrayed in the film.
This would continue for many more days, months and years to come and he was gaining popularity within our circle as he kept maneuvering with Hindi and Urdu. That's when he took this humour to work as well.

He went on to ask one of his colleagues, "Bol Saale tera Qom kya hain?".
The bewildered colleague had no idea what Umesh was so hyper about.
Umesh amused by his perplex went even harder this time -
"Bol na Saale tera Qom kya hain?"


"B-COM hain re, kuch panga hain kya?"

Umesh never reconciled with those words again, that was it :)

But that's Umesh for you, he won't stop. Rumour has it, he was learning something about Zoroastrianism...probably sharpening his humour.

Moral of the Story: Religion is good, until it's simple, uncomplicated, kept to oneself and not enforced and if it does cross the line, disentangle this convolution or call up Umesh.

P.S: So far my family comprises of Nairs, Nayaks, Noranhos and Mohammeds. This gives us many more excuses for holidays and celebrations :) (Yes a different tangent again couldn't resist though.)

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  1. good one..there are patels and merchants in your family too.
    In the interest or disinterest of general public, we are now waiting for guptas, sharmas, singhs, iyers, iyengars, daruwalas,kollepallis, mukherjees, basus, sassoons, sherpas, and many more to widen our horizons...then we'll call ourselves truly enlightened and diverse :)
    By The way, Rohit is very much single and ready to mingle, so, all marriage proposals for him may be please forwarded to me.
    Religion or creed no bar..just that it has to be a girl :)

  2. y is everyone looking for a mate for u ....... its alike a do or die thingi

    1. That's my eldest sister. Yes I'm used to getting pampered, hence...

  3. @preethi di ... which one should i look for and bring in ?

  4. The simplicity with which u write .. and ur tongue firmly in cheek humor about religion are full on kiraak! mashallah! kya likhta hai.. mazaaa aata hai padh ke :P

  5. Abe tera Kom kya hai be jo tu aisa likhta hai....gud one dude..

  6. what a talent !! national integration personified hai re :P :P

  7. "B-COM hain re, kuch panga hain kya?" , I was at this part of ur blog and had this broad grin on my face when my manager walked past me!! He gave me a 'tera Qom kya hai bey?' look!!
    frigging hilarious , I say!!

    1. hahaha! I hope you gave him they "B-COM hain re" look back :)

    2. More than a grin was what I had! Thank God my manager didn't walk by :D

  8. Both believers and non-believers are living in the same society. So, it is important to have religious tolerance to maintain peace among people all around the world. guarantor

  9. Probably not, but I still want to learn about them and I respect where they were at the time of this building project or dollar bill emblem design or whatever was implemented.