A fellow passenger once dissected my genealogy and told me I belong to an ultra-purified Brahmin community. Not sure, if the semens of forefathers have been rigorously pasteurized and purified by reverse osmosis, but whatever, the outcome is right here, scribbling an yet-again-nasty blog.
Time-and-again, the racial superiority was validated by hook or by crook. My priest in Bangalore was surprised when I finished a 6 hour-long Vaastu-puja in 2 hours as most of the complex Sanskrit Shlokas seem to emanate from me as vedic hymns. As he got up in praise, we figured out his guide-book was actually written by my long-dead grandpa who died 9 months before my birth. Many believe I am his incarnate. Re-birth, an incarnate of a Sanskrit scholar. Why me?? I feel like a walking ghost everytime I see a smiling ‘daadu’s portrait’ in my village courtyard.
My neck-to-neck competitor in school was a Muslim friend, who defeated me in ‘Battle of Social Studies’ to the ‘Gory battle of Mathematics’. I doubted if he was Aurangzeb incarnate, born to denigrate a Brahmin pride.
With great power, some fool said, comes great responsibilities.
With the sacred thread running from shoulder-to-waist, I rechristened myself as ‘Janeu-man‘. (janeu is colloquial term for sacred brahmin thread). While my hindu friends cheered and sneered, I cozied up with my destined enemy. I would enjoy having ‘Iftaar-party’ with him and he would learn sanskrit shlokas to garnish his achilles-heel ‘hindi’ papers. The last decisive ‘Battle of matriculation’ turned indecisive. We both were declared joint-toppers. I had beaten him in his forte of ‘maths’ and he shattered me in my own backyard ‘hindi’. Recently, in an alumni meet, the school notice-board seemed over-crowded in year of 1995 with two names somehow accommodated together.
Event crucified the upholder of hinduism, and demon of Gandhi corrupted my mind. When a brawl happened in medical school over some isolated muslim fellows cheering for Pakistan team, I would chip-in as peace-proclaimant. The wobbling Inzemaam or the flairy Afridi, I loved the team, though could never cheer for them in Shiv-sena infested Pune hostel.
Pak-loving Kashmiri medicos beaten and bruised by Shiv Sainiks. What are we building? Brand ambassadors for Lashkar-e-Taiba?
I cozied up with them, cheered for Afridi, and soon came the Multan test! Viru and his flamboyance! We all cheered for only man that day, whether in Pune or in Multan. Viru shattered the borders.
Some years later, my dad, a devout Brahmin, navigated through the stinking streets of muslim ghetto, studded with all-species-butchering shops, and threw me into feet of Khan Saa’b, the best driving teacher in city. I somehow manoevred to grab his feet beneath his lungi. His shanty displayed a Pakistan flag and a large portrait of Ramallah in Palestine. I was surprised why my dad, who otherwise refuses to eat in same plate as muslim, did this to me. May be a revenge to his father who might have slapped him in his childhood. Afterall, I am ‘grandpa returns’.
Surprises galore! That pak-loving khan saab brings a packet of incenses, and asks me to take out a statue of goddess hidden behind a wrecked car engine. Before training, he insisted for a puja of that engine with goddess kept on top and I began reciting the durga-shlokas. This wasn’t all. He corrected me in one of them, and gave a lesson on hindu values which are being ignored by new kids on the block. My dad had shoved 101 rupees in my trouser-pocket beforehand, which I handed over to Pandit Khan, touched his feet and learnt to become best driver in city. He would tell stories of his long friendship of my dad and him, and I would be awed in my hard-core hindu dad’s real self.
Puzzled, I quizzed my dad.
He said, “Why do you sport a US flag on your T-shirt? Probably, you like americans who live thousand miles away. Khan Saa’b loves our neighbour country. I don’t like either. My choice, your choice, his choice. Go! Get a glass of water now!”
Grandpa smiled at his avataar from heaven, and I smiled back to him. I doubt if he is gobbling on muttons and having ‘iftaar’ party up there. Hypocrite gandhians! Huh!