Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lunch and Religion!

The funniest of things often happen in the most unlikely situations.

There you are sitting in the University cafeteria having a quick lunch (in-between classes), with the most irritating thoughts for company, and on comes a guy with the best discussion topic.

The cafeteria remains particularly crowded around the lunch hours so getting a free table does take a while. So you always try to join someone sitting alone in a table (like me).

Mr. X: "Do you mind if I join you?"
Me: "Not at all"

Mr. X: "So where are you from?"
Me: "I am from India, and where are you from"
Mr. X: "I am from Taiwan"
(at this point I so wanted to smirk and exclaim "Ahh you are made in Taiwan!!")

Mr. X: "Are you from the Northern part of India? "
Me: "Umm no, actually I am from the Eastern part, Calcutta."

Mr. X: "So what religion do you practice?"
Me (a bit taken aback, but I get up again): "I am a Hindu"

Mr. X: "Ahh, a Brahmin?"
Me: "Umm no, I am a Kulin Kayasthya"

Mr. X: "What is that ?"
Me: "Its like the upper crust of the Kayasthyas. So basically we failed to make the cut to qualify as a Brahmin :)"

Mr. X: "Alright, so what is the Hindu religion like?"
Me: "Its very very liberal. Most people just call out to the Gods before exams and result declarations, job interviews, cricket matches, etc"

Mr. X: "Very interesting, so how many Gods do you have?"
Me (I swear to God I was waiting for this question!): "We have 330 million Gods!"

Mr. X (almost chokes on his croquette): "What the he..I mean really? Why?"
Me: "Well Hinduism is a very old religion and over time Gods have had to visit Earth to help us deal with sin"

Mr. X: "How do you pray to all of them?"
Me: "Well we don't really pray to all of them"

Mr. X: "Then why do you have them in the first place "
Me: "Actually we have (say) 10 main Gods and they have taken different incarnations to walk on Earth and fight evil"

Mr. X: "So basically you have 10 Tier-1 Gods and their different forms altogether summing up to 330 million? "
Me: "That is right. So we do not pray to 330 million individual Gods, but we mostly pray to the main Gods"

Mr. X: "Fascinating! So who elects these Gods to Tier-1 level? Is there an election on an annual basis?"
Me: "No, they are more like Dictators for life. So once they got that position they never let go"

Well I am sure some of you might have a much better understanding of Hinduism than I do, but the point was I had an awesome conversation here :D