Category Archives: Life

Christianity and Christians

Kamal hassan came up with a brilliant and beautiful film called ‘Anbe Shivam’. The film conveys a simple message – ‘Love is God’. We are brought up as Christians, or Hindus or whatever for that matter. If all the religions teach us to love each other, to do good things, then why come we have so many religions out there and how easily we differentiate them. Christians go to church every sunday. Hindus offer poojas, they have a strong belief in ‘Horoscopes’. Muslims give namas thrice a day. Their life time ambition is to visit the holy place called Mecca.  So the stress is not on LOVE, it is on the practices, the policies, the rules, the external beautification and that is what differentiates us all. That is the reason why I am a Christian and you a Hindu. How foolish!!

I still remember when I was a kid, while all others of my age enjoyed the ‘Donald Duck’ show on Sunday 9.00 in Doordarshan, I had to attend the Sunday Mass. Not even a single sunday was spared and there was nothing I could do. And to my Horror, there was a separate subject for Christians called ‘Catechism’ which was way too tough than the ‘Moral Studies’ that our Hindu friends used to study. I never understood the logic behind our not studying the ‘Moral Studies’. Probably our principal felt that Christians were supposed to be moraly perfect. What made matters worse was the fact that the teachers who handled ‘Catechism’ were very sadistic in their approach. They were not to be blamed because all ‘Catholic’ schools were supposed to train their ‘Catholic’ students very well in the ‘Catechism’ subject. This was appraised by having a yearly State-Level Exam in Catechism and the first three ranks would be announced. So our principal and ‘Catholic’ teachers made it a point that we studied the subject extra hours. The rude shock came when we were called for the first time to stay back till 7.00 PM everyday and study the subject, and still worse, we were asked to come on saturdays and sundays to sit and study it. Today I don’t remember even ONE damn thing from the 7+ years of studying Catechism. ‘Anything forced for a sufficiently longer time becomes a Habit’ And we meaninglessly follow it without even giving a second thought for the rest of our lives. One can learn more about Christ’s love in a few hours, than by attending sunday masses for years. Good parents are all that is required.

That was not all. We had to get an attendance signed by our priest every sunday. This was done to ensure that we were attending the Sunday masses properly. And for every ‘Catholic’ festival that was around, we had to prepare days together for a procession and the actual day of the procession would be invariably a Sunday. What more, the processions would be in the main roads of Pondicherry and I very much hated the idea of having to cause terrible ‘Traffic – Jams’ just because we were praying ardently. Did they ever give a thought to the hundreds of people who had to switch paths or wait till the processions were over. What does one gain by shouting at the high end of his voice amidst the already nauseating traffic. I can think of only one reason. Getting everyone’s attention. Christians were getting attention but they were losing the values for which they were known for – LOVE.

While I am trying to point out that all religions are equal and the differences among them are superficial, I am well.. ashamed to accept that there are 1001 divisions within ‘Christianity’. First there were catholics and then came protestants (They got their name as they protested against the Pope for some practices which they didn’t approve of). Then there was another 100 divisions out of the protestants alone. But why?? Well there was no obvious reason for the further partitions. It could have been just someone’s ego, or someone wanting to establish his name etc. But if they were all the same, then what could they do to differntiate themselves from their brethern. Just then some ultimately stupid person came up with the idea of differentiating through practices, appearance and what not. So they decided, ‘If those bunch of people are going to attend Sunday Masses we will do it on Saturdays’. Wow!!! and if he is going to celebrate ‘Christmas’ on Dec 25th, we won’t and we will tell everybody we meet that Christ infact wasn’t born on Dec 25th. Excellent!!! and another much more stupid person stood up and said, ‘We will make sure we make our presence felt. We will shout as much as we can, so that we get branded for it’. But the one I like most is ‘We will not wear ornaments. God in the bible had asked us to live as simple as we can’. So Strict NO to ornaments. I feel a pang of pain when people ask me which branch (read Brand) I belong to as soon as they come to know that I am a Christian.

Once I had a chance to go to a village with one of my hindu friends. When he said to the villagers I was a christian, they had this terrible look at me and moved on. Later I learnt that a few locals have been converted to Christians and together they are making a lot of mess, in the name of prayer and calling others as devils and so on. Why don’t they understand the essence of Christianity – LOVE. Those who don’t wear ornaments are prompt in accepting money/jewels when it comes to dowry. Shame on you !! and don’t fill your religion as ‘Christianity’ in any application form from now on. If there is any threat to Christianity, it is because of Christians. As Mahatma Gandhi put it, ‘ I like Christianity, but not Christians’. Christians have isolated from the core of Christianity that Christ gave them 2000 years ago and instead are forcing new rules, practices that were laid just a few years ago.

I am very much against conversions. Why the hell does anyone have to convert to Christianity? Christianity is not a religion (though it has been made one), it is just a way of life. To be honest, to be kind, to love one another is being a Christian. You need not get converted or change your name from something like ‘Tamil Mozhi’ to ‘Jasmine’ just to know about Christ or to love one another. Even when I was a high school student, I never could digest the fact that people are converting to Christianity and I have seen that those who get converted show more foolishness. They tend to call the temples and mosques as devil’s home. They won’t eat foods that have been prepared for Hindu functions and so on.

When I first met Kayar, I knew she had all the good qualities in her. So it never occurred to me that she is a Hindu and that it could be a problem for us to get married. But my parents were prompt in laying it as Rule No 1. Even Christ would not have approved of it and neither did I. But then we had to get married and they wouldn’t go ahead till she was proclaimed Christian. Damn!! It was not only cowardly on my part to ask her, but against my principles. But she proved to be not only good but logical enough. She said that it would end things smoothly and she was not going to lose anything by accepting it. Because of her, we are in good terms with our relations. But still it had caused a wound inside me and my principles. The world doesn’t need any more conversions of religions , but of minds.

In my perspective, anyone who follows the one Golden Rule alone can call himself a Christian, “Love your neighbour as you would love yourselves’. And the hard truth is there will be very few Christians in this world compared to their current 50+% population.

An Anatomy of Love

A TV anchor meets a couple and the first question she asks is “Was yours a love marriage?” and the couple somehow feel bad saying that theirs was arranged. It doesn’t sound nice. And you should see the pride in the couple that say the other answer.

For many the fundamental problem in life is ‘Should I marry the girl my parent choose’ or ‘should I love someone and marry him/her’.  Somehow pride is attached with love, especially during the college days. A Boy feels proud to say that a girl is in love with him and the same holds true to most of the girls as well. And those who are not in love are looked upon as incapable or even impotent.  The fact is that you cannot just go and start loving someone or wait and pray that you would be loved.

Well then what do we do. Do we marry a girl who we haven’t even heard about and just because our parents assure that she is the best match for us. After all they claim that they have done a lot for us from childhood and know what is good for us. NO.. IMPOSSIBLE.. It doesn’t work all that well and for many it turns out to be the worst mistake of their life. In the best case it has a 50-50 chance for success. Something similar to tossing a coin and calling for heads. Great if you get heads, but WAIT it is a decision that is going to affect the better part of your life. Should you leave it to chance? Have you heard that  “A known DEVIL is far better than an unknown ANGEL”.

I have seen people doing a great research before buying their bike. They want a classy, fuel efficient, powerful one that is also cheap. When they don’t get all they want, they just do some compromise on the ‘not-so-important’ features but make sure that their priority features are met. And they are proud to have the vehicle. Now when you take so much care for a vehicle which is not going to bother you (It doesnt even talk to you or go against your wishes) and you can sell it later if you don’t like it or when a newer model arrives, then to have someone as your better-half, who can make or mar your life, you need to be atleast a little more cautious that just tossing a coin and hoping for heads.

Now where does that leave us? I can summarize three options

   1. Marry the one your parents choose and you don’t have the slightest idea about the person  –  A STRONG NO except when you are way too old (30+)
   2. Love a person and marry him/her – MORE ON THIS BELOW
   3. Choose your life partner –  MORE ON THIS BELOW

Well the next option is to “Fall in love”, and you will literally fall. We have heard some facts like love should be spontaneous and that you should be careful to avoid infatuation. Bull Shit!! It is almost impossible to find true love and much more difficult to hold on to one. The first requirement is that you should be lucky enough and the next one is that you should be bold, brave and if need be fight with all your might to end up in marriage. Pretty tough considering that you need to  prosper in your career at around the same time. But should you find one and go to to marry him/her, you can rest in peace. Believe me, there is nothing like having a wonderful friend at home who also happens to be your spouse. But it doesn’t end up in bliss for many and as I have pointed out, you need to be LUCKY.

So the best option is to ‘CHOOSE Your Life Partner’. And it is ‘risk-free’, ‘returns-guaranteed’ way of approaching the entire problem. This is very simple and is synonymous with dating. Make friends of the prospective persons and date with them. Stay in the yellow line, be more than a friend, but just don’t yet commit to the relationship. You will in the course of time get to know a lot about the person and even if it doesn’t work out (She says NO one fine day or you find that she is incompatible or worse still, inpalatable) you need not sprout beard or spend your money on drinks to show your dissappointment. Just move on to another person. But again you need to make some compromises and keep your PRIORITIES right (like $%%^!@(#, personality, character etc) or else you will spend most of your life searching. I know it is not all that easy to understand a person a lot by this way, but you can give it a try and you will get better results that just sitting in a corner and tossing a coin.

Marriage – A necessary evil

In the words of Meander ‘Marriage is evil, but a necessary evil’. I sat to write this after reading the opinion of Gavri in his blog on marriage

Well the fact is he has confused living-together and marriage. Everyone wants to be loved. No doubt about that. And there is something within us that makes us love someone else for whatever reason. That lands us in a situation that we are better off living in the same place sharing our love better. As far as I am concerned, Marriage is bull-shit. Two people who love each other can well live together, have kids and be happy. In fact if they do find incompatible, they can say goodbye and move on (If that is the case do so before having kids. I mean kids not ‘sex’. This is important as we don’t want any left out kids).

I have always found it highly unacceptable that this society approves sex between two strangers just because they were married on the same day, but finds it hard to accept a sex bwtween a loving and caring couple who aren’t married. What the fuck!?! What the heck is this marriage then – As gavri put it, a license for sex. Go to hell you people who defined it that way.

The necessary evil – But then why did I get married or waited till then to have sex with my girl friend. The whole point was, they wouldn’t even allow me to see her till then and they made my life very miserable by making a fuss of our love. The only way I could shut them all up was by getting married. We don’t give a damn about our marriage. It was for others, for this stupid society to know that we can hold hands and it was none of their business to complain thereafter. But the government approval does bring some benefits with that. After marriage we were respected more, my useful opinions were headed to by some senior members of the family. We were given a house for rent immediately. I enjoyed the status that came along with it. My kid will find it extremely easy to get admission in a school since we are married. Even the tax department is happy. Marriage gives you a recognition in this society PERIOD

It doesn’t take a lot of your time or your money (if you insist) to get married and so it shouldn’t be a problem for you. So go ahead, get married and enjoy the recognition. It would be stupid of you, if you were trying to prove your point and wasting a lot of your time, effort and enerygy (money too) by just standing against it.

So Get Married – It is evil, but a necessary one.