“How can our country progress if we keep believing in babas and superstitions?” thundered the TV anchor, slamming his thirty-fifth pen into the desk. His own hair, perfectly in place at the start of the show, now were astray and all over the place. Much like Baba’s bhakts in Panchkula. As the thirty-sixth pen went about its short-lived life, I noticed Mr. anchor’s fingers, as the two gem-ed rings on them glinted off the studio lights.
One was to reduce the negative effects of Saturn and the other, to increase Jupiter’s positive ones.
“It’s lack of education yaar”, remarked my friend, as we were discussing how these babas manage to manipulate such a large number of people. “These uneducated people will believe anything in the name of religion and god”, he ventured further. I nodded my head in agreement, and was about to pour our first drinks for the evening, when he stopped me.
“You know I don’t drink on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
Driving around listening to someone opine (on the radio) that it was poverty that bred superstition, I stopped at a traffic light right behind a beautiful Bentley. Worth more than an average condo, this car was modern technology defined. Even the reflection from this car was dripping with money. And then I saw it. Right under the rear bumper, bang in the middle, hung a thick strand of black threads knotted at ends.
To ward off the “evil eye”.
It’s been about a fortnight since the arrest of Baba Ram Rahim. Every news site you open, will provide scandalous, lurid and lascivious detail about the murky affair. Almost anyone you speak with, will laugh at people who “followed” this baba, what with his ridiculous sense of dressing, his over the top mannerisms, and his “films”.
But I won’t do it.
I cannot get myself to.
For every time I feel the urge to do so, I’ll remember the currency notes I pushed down the slots of collection boxes at a temple in my home-town. In hopes of divine intervention in my life, by an imaginary entity.
The same currency notes that went towards building a gold dome-top for that temple, when they could’ve been spent in buying books for lesser privileged school children.
It’s not the babas who create the sheep.
It’s the sheep who can’t seem to survive without creating one.