Tag Archives: religion

Doomsday scenario: Invitation to a picnic

The following advertisement, published a few days ago, had caught my attention:

“The Extreme Right Wing Association invites likeminded people for a Doomsday picnic on 21st December, 2012.

The interested people may contact xxxxx at xxxxx for bookings.

Kindly note, the seats are limited and there shall be a selection process, the details of which will be made available on request.

Needy candidates may apply for a fee waiver, along with a lack-of-income certificate.”

I contacted xxxxx, and applied for the picnic, with the sole aim of getting to know what mischief was afoot.

In hindsight, it was a big mistake. I seriously believe my doomsday is likely to be earlier than the date of the picnic.

The ERW Association is rightly named – it is far too much to the right of sanity. It is a collection of hard boiled devotees of all major gods of the world. Their passion and faith brooks no logic or argument. (Incidentally, that was the first test in a series to determine the suitability of the candidate for the picnic – but more of that later.)

The location of their headquarter is New York city, near the UN building. But they have branches all over the world.

They have adequate finances – and are patronized by the dictators and the democratic leaders alike.

But enough of the organization. Let’s come to the picnic part.

The organization has faith in the ultimate destruction of mankind, but is not too sure of the Mayan-calendar-end date. So that the members may not feel too let down by a non-event on the D-date, the leaders of the organization felt that a picnic would be good diversion to keep the flock happy and together on a potentially important date.

The process of selection of candidates is on, but I have found that the quotas for major religions are already full, and only some seats are left for the people of religions like Zoroastrian, Babhai, Navajo, Candomble, Chinese Folk Religion, Dayak, Eskimo and Cheremis and some for the new religions such as Cao Dai, Ikuantao, Wicca, and Scientology.

What the association plans for this picnic is interesting. There shall be hate speeches, suicide bombing shows from around the world (this shall be organized live and will be seen on giant TV monitors), workshops to exchange ideas on worst social practices, bonfire with burning of bleeding-heart liberals (or their effigies, I presume), gladiatorial shows and many other such activities.

Provision has thoughtfully been kept for celebrating the unlikely event of a real Doomsday happening on that date, with permission to picnickers to indulge in rape and murder in non-picnic areas.

My trouble started when I passed the first test – that of believing passionately in the existence of God. The second test, to demonstrate my hatred for the non-believers was also almost up-to the mark. It was the third paper where I did poorly – where they test your hatred for people of other religion.

I got a call from xxxxx, when the result of the third paper was declared.

“Are you a phoney or something,” he accused, angrily.

“W..Why?” I asked.

“For a person who is supposed to be such a passionate believer, how come you say you can tolerate other religions?” he asked.

I had no answer to that one. From then on I was a suspect in the eyes of the organization.

By now I know too much about them – but that is not my fault. After I did well in the first test, they sent me lots of catalogs about their work around the world, and their plans for the future. They had jumped the gun – the barrel of which is now pointing directly at my skull.

I now have to prove my innocence – just like the Afghan youths, or the Congo tribals caught in the middle of a civil war – by doing something bad to a person of another religion. And bad here does not mean throwing ink on their white robes.

So you see where I am stuck? If I fail, I am doomed, and if I succeed, Interpol will start writing a notice on a recycled paper about me and would paint its corners red.

Two things I have not yet understood. One, why these fellows from the association do not dislike the Interpol – in fact they flaunt their red-corner painted notices with sheer pride. And two, why they like each other so much – they never harm members of a right wing, even if they are not from their bloody religion. In fact, how do they work with each other so well.

Most of the members of Extreme Right Wing are looking forward to the picnic on 21st December. To confess, I am too – if only to ensure that I survive to see the Doomsday.

***


The universe has space enough

The universe has space enough
For all your Gods.
 
Do not sit on your haunches
To pray to the Gods
That you meet on the way-
Bow before them,
And move on
To more miracles
That your eyes
May be permitted to see.
 
There is no method
No madness, no logic,
No map, no destination-
Move, till your legs ache
Till your heart beats.
 
Do not expect the time to end
Or the universe
To have a boundary.
Do not expect knowledge
To be final
Or unchanging.
Do not let the blinding illumination
Deter you
From travelling towards light.
 
In the ever expanding universe
The truths of today
Can become myth of history
In an instant.
 
You never know
When the time will reverse
Its march,
And move away
From wherever it was going –
Be ready, always,
To unlearn all your beliefs
And knowledge
And wisdom –
 
And remember,
The universe has space enough,
For all your Gods.
 
***

The plagues of…

Doomsday procedure began yesterday.
No one noticed.
Terror attacks, poison gas leaks,
Freak weather storms, plane crashes,
Pestilence and disease-
Everything happened.
It was just like any other day.
 
Man has become a cockroach.
That is a good thing.
They can live in filth, tolerate a lot of poison;
They are immune to the sufferings
Of fellow men.
Plagues of Biblical proportions
Does not worry them any more.
 
Even those who died
Did not notice.
Living in hell, all their lives
There was little noteworthy change
In circumstances.
The strange faces of new neighbours
Was not even noticed.
 
The issue of burning earth
Was debated at the UN.
When the AC of the General Assembly failed
The leaders shook their heads in disgust.
The rich nations said it was not their cars,
But the rice fields of the poor,
That was at the root of all trouble.
 
The doomsday procedure
Did affect traffic in many cities.
The burning roads, the lightning strikes
Was intolerable enough- the failed traffic light
Made many reach the offices late. They honked
At those who ran on the roads, burning, naked.
 
***
 

The land between the temple and the mosque

The wasteland
between the temple and the mosque
where the children play cricket
amidst the barb wires,
where the policemen hang their clothes to dry,
where the drug addicts hide in the night,
where the sharp glasses of broken bottles
remind the priests of the sinners,
where the goats graze on dry, sparse grass,
where the memories of past bloodsheds
has left a stench of hatred,
where the breeze does not bring the music
of lovers singing in the moonlight –
where the land awaits
the saint who would sing songs of love 
in the wasteland.
 
The wasteland
where the sound of the azaan clashes
with that of the temple bells,
where the broken stones of shifting loyalties
are used as proof of past injustices,
where the faithful prove their loyalty
with silent vows of more sacrifices,
where the officials come, once a year
to measure the land and verify
that no one has planted a rose shrub,
where the Sufi laughs a bitter laugh
and says that Gods hide here from men –
where the land awaits
the spring of love to burst forth
and reclaim the wasteland.
 
***

The Solstice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This time the solstice
has nothing to do with the Sun.
The Sun is remote, aloof,
majestic, unconcerned.
Instead,
pray for the frail order,
to which you are yoked.
 
A balanced earth
no more instills confidence;
soon, too soon,
will it lose its balance,
its sanity, its equilibrium,
completely.
 
But on which side of the scale will it tilt?
Towards cold anonymity or burning hell?
 
Enjoy every moment. Enjoy,
this moment of solstice –
though it is temporary,
borrowed from time,
an accident, a freak.
 
Pray, on this day, that the eyes close
before the solstice is over,
before the fragile balance is lost,
before the mirages of beauty
and love and goodness
make a faint cracking sound
and break the heart,
and disappear.
 
***

The great escape

The other day I made a list
Of things that I need to escape from.
Work figured at the top,
Then came bullies and misery,
And accidents and sickness,
And then in quick succession
Flashed past me, what I believe was,
The entire dictionary, including,
Love and children.
 
That stumped me for a while-
Why do I need to escape from
Love and children?
That’s because it is easy to hurt them-
They are delicate,
And when they get hurt
Because of you, or otherwise,
It pains so.
 
Somewhere in my list to escape
Were success and failure
And happiness and sadness.
They hang out in pairs.
Take one of them out for coffee,
And the other will drop in,
And they will back-slap each other
And you are left to pick the tab
And you feel cheated and alone.
 
It would be easy, just to say,
I want to escape the world, or
I want to escape from myself,
And be done with it.
But it is not that easy. You will
Tag along with yourself,
And you will find the world
Standing at every street corner
Looking sullenly at you, as if
You have let it down.
 
I know of a smart madman
Who escaped from his sanity.
‘I will enjoy life,’ he says, ‘till
Sanity finds me again.’
But it is not so easy
To fish out sanity
From your brain.
It is only the lucky
Who lose it, accidently.
 
My attempt to escape myself
Has taken me to some nice places
Around the world. There I pretend
Not to know myself, and that
I am not me; and the people there
Do not really know, or care enough,
To correct me. But this escape
Is temporary – it is a sham
Like the movies, where the superhero
Sets everything right
In the end.
 
‘Escape this need to escape,’
Said a mystic, ‘and flow with the river.
Do not swim, with or against
The current. The river shall take you
Somewhere – do not ask where.’
The advice does make some sense 
For in it, I get a hint of an escape,
And a hint of insanity,
And a hint of not having to do anything.
I think I will give this advice a try.
 
***
 

The fake universe

This universe must be a fake.
Its vastness, its largeness,
Its infinity-ness,
Its eternity-ness,
Its wastefulness
Its meaninglessness,
Its senselessness,
Its remoteness, its aloofness,
Its mysteriousness,
Its lack of bloisterousness,
Its life-less-ness
Its sullen quietness,
Its entire God-less-ness
Must be a fake.
 
Or else, we must be fake.
Our values, our love,
Our hates, our desires,
Our Gods,
Our twinkling stars,
Our days and nights,
Our bird songs,
Our fragile green earth,
Our solitary moon,
Our tides, our seasons,
Our lives, our deaths
Our dreams, our songs, our tears –
They do not gel well
With the rest of the universe.
 
Something, clearly, is amiss.
It would be plain silly
To believe in all of it.
 
Let us rather wait,
And hold our judgment
Till we are awake
And know what is real,
And what was fake.
 
***

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