Monday, July 1, 2013

In which I meet Ramesh Srivats, ask him a religious question and get an answer

As religious questions go, it must be said that mine was a genuinely tricky one. It's not one of the usual "Is there a God?" or "Is there life after death" types which can be answered, not withstanding the fact that entire followings have been established on their strength, by a simple 'yes' or 'no' without having to ascribe any reasons to it.

The question was asked of me by one of the lads - I forget which one- many years ago.

"Annie", said the lad "if you eat non veg on a proper, non veg eating day like say Sunday, in which case there is no sin, and a piece of say chicken gets stuck in your teeth. If you pick your teeth on a veg eating day like Monday, dislodge that piece, and eat it, is that a sin?". I remember the missus sending off the lad with a flea in his ear for trolling his hapless parent but the question lurked around in the recesses of my mind, for I remain a deeply spiritual man and existential questions such as these do not disappear from it by mere banishment.

And yesterday, purely by accident, I managed to bump into Ramesh Srivats who is a fount of wisdom on all matters temporal and spiritual, and one I have consulted over various vexatious questions ("If you black out while drinking, does your soul temporarily exit your body and reside with the stars?" and "If you black out while drinking, and you make a wish just before passing out, does it come true?" are two that come to mind) and asked it of him.

He pondered for a while and asked me a counter question.

"If you eat nonveg on a Sunday, get chicken stuck in your teeth, pick it on Monday and eat it, but cross the international dateline in the meantime so that it is still Sunday where you are, but Monday in the place where you had originally eaten the chicken, is it a sin? Answer that, my lad, and you will know all"

I experienced a feeling of bliss enveloping me. I was no closer to the Truth, but now I had a question to keep my mind focused and away from the distractions of the material world


anantha said...

I am sure copious fluid intake was in progress while said question was being answered...

varsha said...

I stumbled upon this blog reading the name of the great sri sri ramesh srivats, and I must say you're equally wittier and hilarious like him. As a result I sat to read the blog and been quite successfull in finishing. A laughing riot to be precise! And I still haven't stopped laughing at Albert Einstein CEO of chandrakant textiles! Rofl!!! And did u write about the "missus" aversions. And cravings when she had the elder lad? I hope I haven't missed it.
You're blog is Awesome and hilarious!! Love it !!

Kunal Pawaskar said...

This reminds me of a similar piece by George Carlin.

Once a week, Father Russell would come in for "Heavy Mystery" time. And you'd save all your weird questions for Father Russell. In fact, you'd make up strange questions. You'd take a whole week thinking up trick questions for Father Russell. "Hey, hey, hey Father! Hey, uh, if God is all-powerful, can he make a rock so big that he himself can't lift it? HA, HA, HEEEEEY! WE GOT HIM NOW! AH, HA, HA!" Or else you'd take a very simple sin and surround it with the most bizarre circumstances you could try to, y'know, relieve the guilt in the sin. We'd usually end up with the, uh, statement, "Would that then be a sin then, Father?"

Like, here, this is an example. There was one sin- not receiving communion during Easter time. You had to perform your "Easter duty". You had to receive once between Ash Wednesday and Pentecost Sunday and if you didn't do it, it was a mortal sin. Provided, of course, you had said to yourself, "Hey, I'm not gonna do it this year!" And, uh, there weren't many mortal sins on that, but a lot of guys went to Venial(?) City on Easter duty and so you would ask the priest y'know, you'd..."Hey, Father, hey, uh.." Remember guys would leave their hand up after they got called on, right? And the priest would say, "What are you, the Statue of Liberty, Dunn?" "Oh, sorry Father. Anyways, Father. Suppose that you didn't make your Easter duty...and it's Pentecost Sunday...the last day...and you're on a ship at sea...and the chaplain goes into a coma...but you wanted to receive. And then it's Monday, too late...but then you cross the International Date Line!" "Yes, I'm sure God will take that into account. Sit down, Woozie