Thursday, August 28, 2008

Catch 'Em Young

It was just another day at work. I sat in my 'conquered' cubicle, pretty much like the proverbial camel, mulling over a project plan for a forthcoming event. Ideas flowed fluidly, gliding with ease over the gravel bed of reason...Words eagerly tripped one over the other, as my inspired fingers raced to keep pace with my thoughts. I was a woman possessed and it was, to put it mildly, a very pleasant place to be in. A lot like basking on the sun kissed beaches of a tropical paradise with an extravagant frothy cocktail in one hand and a gripping book in the other!!!
But unfortunately for me, this happy state of affairs was not to last. ..
"Rekz, there is a call for you......" yelled my colleague from the next cubicle " It is from the Hare Rama Hare Krishna people"
* eyebrows and ears perked up all around me*
My colleague can barely conceal her surprise nor can the many other ears, which seem to have sprouted miraculously on the walls around me! Not that I blamed them. The last thing anyone would associate with me is an affiliation to a religious organisation.
Sure I do have my own brand of spirituality and commune frequently with God, but my conversations with the powers that be are not conducted within the preview of any religion. Sighing, I walk over to my neighbour's cubicle to find out what ISKON could possibly want with a pagan like me...
" Hello...Is this Rekha Nair?"
I reply in the affirmative.
" Hare Krishna"
Now how do I respond to that, I wondered. Various possibilities flit across my mind - Namaste.. Shalom Aleichem..Hail Mary..Om Namah Shivaya.. But, even before I could run through my mental list of greetings to pick one which would best represent my spirituality, the lady forged ahead..
" Madam, would you like to contribute to our programme..we want to give books and magazines to people "
A Literacy Campaign!!!....While I had heard of and was highly appreciative of ISKON's Food Programmes for under-privileged children in schools, that they also ran literacy programmes was news to me. It wasn't that I objected. Oh no, I didn't. I am all in favour of any organisation, regardless of its religious orientation, which would help raise the learning curve of the uneducated millions in our Country.
" Madam, we will give spiritual books and magazines to children and to prisoners so they will become better people"
The little gears in my head came to a screeching halt.This was not a literacy programme...It sounded more like a recruitment drive to me!!!
'You want to distribute your literature to underprivileged children? The books and magazines which ISKON publishes? But why? "
" Oh yes, it will be ISKON books and magazines...we want to do this for the children so that they will find God, learn values and become good human beings"
" What makes you think that they don't have a God already? Or values for that matter? Or that they are not good human beings?"
" You see, many of them are from poor houses. Their fathers are normally drunkards, who beat them and their mothers every evening. These children live in poverty and most of the time, there is no one to take care of them or teach them good things...So we would like to help them"
" But surely, their mothers will teach them to pray and about God. Don't you feel ISKON can utilise the funds to help improve their lives? From what you have just said, it would seem that the problem is poverty and not a lack of religious instruction. So, wouldn't it be better if you gave children books that would help them learn something useful or conduct employment oriented courses or try recruit volunteers who will spend time helping these children plan their futures?"
" Well Madam, we are already running the Akshaya Patra Scheme which feeds many children each day....Now, we would now like to spread word of Krishna in the same schools"
" To be honest, I think your 'Feed the Hungry Child' scheme is wonderful because it fills hungry bellies. But, I am not very sure of your 'Propagate ISKON Movement".... I am a firm believer in the 'Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime' philosophy and think that ISKON as a organisation can do a lot more good if they focused on equipping under privileged children with life-skills "
"But madam, are you not a Hindu? It is not wrong for us to spread the teachings from our sacred books and about our Gods....People from other religions do it...So why should we not?"
Obviously the young lady is an ardent member of the 'Hinduism Bachao#' movement, which sincerely believes that all other religions have a single purpose to their existence - To augment their numbers in multiples either by large scale conversion or by sustained procreation!
" But why should we? Others may or may not be doing so...But does that mean we should also mimic them? Why should we also get on the "My God is better than Your God' bandwagon? Do we really need to foster our perceived religious differences on the children?"
" No, no Madam, you have misunderstood...If we do not spread Hinduism and keep it strong in the hearts of the followers, we will soon die out...Madam, we will become like the Jews before the birth of Israel!!! "
* deep sigh*
" My dear girl, we come from a country which has religion oozing out of almost every little Galli## and screams at us from a gazillion commercial signboards. It is integrated into our daily lives..So how can Hinduism or any other religion for that matter just fade away? Considering that we live in a secular country, don't you think religions should be promoting a little more tolerance, mutual respect and responsibility, rather than try drive the religious wedge deeper into young impressionable minds?"
But, it would seem that I was not making the smallest of dents on her Hare Rama Hare Krishna Armour.
" If you don't want to contribute to our program, just say so..I am not willing to compromise my mission listening to your words"
Indeed it would seem that there ain't no such thing as free lunches in this world..Not even when the Gods ordain it!!!

# Bachao = Save
## Gallis = Little Street ways


Roopa said...

How come you have religious overtones in both your blog posts? Coincidence??

Moggie Mom said...

Oh yes, it is indeed a coincidence that the two were published one right after the other...Both were written a month apart but were published so close to each other largely because I always seem to take more time on my posts on Soul...Maybe because Soul is more about my observations, thoughts and ideas about the world around me while Moggies draws a lot on real life!!!
My Brother's Keeper on Soul was 3/4ths done in July but insane work schedules kept me from finishing and publishing it...Catch Em Young is more recent...


wen will we all realise who we all are?
me have a new post...
do visit

d SINNER!!! said...

:) i loved the sarcasm...

Moggie Mom said...

Thank you Sinner....
:) :)