Friday, September 18, 2009

The Yogi In Chains

A reputed master of yoga and other such ancient Indian sciences sauntered into office this morning.
Clad in a white kurta-pyjama, he meandered about lazily, examining the art and artifacts with detached interest.

In the distance stood a few admirers, gazing upon the noble guru in awe and veneration.
" 85 and still going strong...Can you imagine..." whispered one, all too audibly.
" He is a true master....even foreigners come to learn from him" hissed another.
Impressed more, it seemed, by the yogi's ability to attract hordes of white disciples than by the depth of his knowledge.

But, much to my surprise, he breezed into my office....The master of all that he surveyed. And, with scant disregard for all else, began to examine the yellow and white lilies in the Japanese vase on my desk.
Any offence I would have taken to this rude intrusion was mollified, in part, by his interest in my precious blooms. And so, when he eventually deigned to notice me from over the vase, I decided to accord him the traditional Indian welcome and brought my palms together in a Namaste.

Perhaps, it was that I did not look sufficiently overwhelmed.
Or, seem as if I would fawn or gush mindlessly.
For, the mystic man's glance flickered casually over me.
Without any interest. Without any acknowledgement.
And, perhaps, a tad dismissively.

With a last glance at my brilliant lilies, he wheeled about and left the room.

As I watched him walk out of the glass door, in surprised annoyance I confess, I noticed a white woman in her mid 50s walk into the office.
American, I guessed out loud to myself.
The master must have spotted her too....For his progress was, suddenly and inexplicably stalled.

To the adoring onlooker, it must have seemed as if he was pondering on a particular yogic puzzle.
Or, an unexplained mystery of life.
But, to my cynical eye, it appeared that he was sizing the entrant with barely concealed delight.

As he stood there, probably wondering how best to make his acquaintance of yet another potential disciple, a dutiful devotee stepped forward.
" Madam, this is one of the greatest men in Bangalore city. He is a famous teacher of the science of yoga. His knowledge is superlative and he may be amongst the best in the country..."

The enthusiastic eulogies that followed, floated down the hallway to my eager ears.
And I could not resist sneaking a glance at the mystic man.
He sported a benevolent smile. But beneath the modest expression, I could trace the signs of self-gratification.

My examination of his demeanor came to a screeching halt when the lady, who looked suitably impressed, flung out her arms to join her palms together in a rather exaggerated Namaste.
The beaming master, quite predictably, reciprocated with a deep, stately one of his own.

And, to think ,we Indians, take such fierce pride in having freed ourselves from the white man's yoke!!!


The Survivor said...

Double standards!! :)

Some of us are still in so awe of the white skin that they would go any length to appease them...

Good to see you back again, hope the break was refreshing

The Mad Alpha Moggie said...

It is good to be back, Survivor...
And, I have you as well as a few other loyal readers to thank for this comeback...

Ganga Dhanesh said...

hey i missed reading this....good one, Rekz! Loved the descriptions of the man's demeanor :)))

The Mad Alpha Moggie said...

:) :)
Funny how heightened emotions can lead to some interesting writing...isn't it?