What would happen if Lord Rama visits Ayodhya this Diwali? Will he be able to relate to the 21st century India or will he find himself as a misfit? How will a conversation go if I had to show Lord Ram around? “I” here represent some of the kids from the nineties and a lot of millennial kids.
[Disclaimer: The following conversation is imaginary has nothing to do with any person living or dead. The colors chosen were to differentiate the two speakers, initially I wanted to use green instead of blue along with saffron (from the Indian flag) but you can guess how it would have been perceived. The original with colors is available here: Ram, a misfit in today’s India ]
It was a Saturday afternoon, I just had lunch with my buddies, while coming out of the restaurant I saw a weird man. He donned a dhoti kurta and was observing people and things disturbingly quietly. He caught me staring at him, which made me a little uneasy and I said:
I am sorry, what?? he replied
I am saying what are you up to? You look lost!!
Why do you think I am lost? I am simply looking around. I will soon be heading to the place where Raja Ram was born.
He looked at me with a quint in his eyes and said Raja Ram from Ramayana, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Oh you meant Bhagwan Ram.
No, I meant Raja Ram. Since when and how did a king become god for the people?
Whatever man!! the court is deciding if “Raja/Bhagwan” Ram was born there or not.
Eyebrows.. Still? I visited the place a decade ago, the court was still deciding. I heard the excavations also proved the same.
Do you think it is a simple task? Its complex. You don’t know it man.
Okay, I could at least visit some other places in the city. I haven’t been here for long.
I could tell you about some of the interesting bars, pubs, party places etc etc here in the city.
Thank you but I am not interested in those activities.
Oh are you a teetotaler? That’s so uncool bro! Have you not tried any booze or smoke or powder at all? No rave parties?
WoooHoo, you must be from the countryside.
You could show me some other popular places in the city.
Okay, Gaounty! I could do that, but not today. I have to spend the evening with my girl today, her parents are out of town. We could do it tomorrow morning.
Oh that’s wonderful. So when are you going to marry her?
WTF man.. where did wedding come from? We are just exploring each other, having fun (you know what I mean), living the life like there is no tomorrow. After all we get only one life. Don’t say you think that spending life with only one partner is fun.
Actually it is fun. What’s wrong with that? I did that. Loved one women my entire life, was extremely proud of her, never looked at any other women, even fought a mighty formidable monster to get her back. And she did the same for me, she spent her life in exile with me just for being with me.
Man you are old fashioned, it does not happen this way now. We have dates, flings, one night stands, affairs, pre-marital, extra-marital– that’s fun, cool and progressive. Having more than one partners adds few points in your life resume. If you have only one, you are boring.
Speechless… I guess, even thinking about spending your life with one person seems to be regressive now. But do your and her parents know about this?
No they don’t. But even if they would know they should not interfere in our life, We are independent adults, we would do what we like not what they like. There is something called as individualism. Isn’t there?
Eyebrows.. You should always obey your parents. My dad debarred me from his property for fourteen years for no mistake of mine, I never asked him a question, just followed his orders.
Seriously?? You were dumb bro. You should have stood up for your rights. You should have fought back. How could your old man mess up your life? He had no right to do that!!
This is weird. But anyways, let it go, we meet tomorrow morning. Okay?
Done. In fact my brother has a car, I could bring it. Although, he does not want me driving his car, but he is on a business trip so, I can have it and no body has to know about it.
That’s completely wrong. You shouldn’t do this. Brothers should love and respect each other and no one should lie even if nobody will know or is watching. My brother never took my place when my father debarred me from his property. My other brother loved me so much he sacrificed his youth to just be with his elder brother during his tough times.
Wow!! hehe, I thought you were the dumb one, your younger brother definitely deserves “who is the dumbest of all” trophy. So tell me should I bring the car or not?
No, thank you but that’s not required.
How are we going to visit places then?
We could use the taxi service.
Hoho!! buddy we can, but we shouldn’t. Those guys are really smart, they can trick you into paying more without you realizing it.
What!!! that’s not called smart, that’s called cheating and is unethical.
My dear slow friend, you are smart only if you get what you want, no matter how. You need money, you squeeze it out from others. You need more space for your shop, you encroach the road. You need to live a lavish life, you do business in cash, keep the government out of the loop, evade taxes. You exploit the public resources to the core to benefit your private self.
That’s wrong. You should help your government to build a better nation, and not hamper their plans. Of course if you think something is wrong you should ask questions, and the ruler should provide you the answers to your satisfaction, no matter what the price is. You know what, a washer man questioned the integrity and loyalty of king’s wife, the king had to answer. The king’s wife understood king’s dilemma and jumped into fire to prove her truth and did succeed in proving it. However, the king had to reject this fire test. Why? If he would have had accepted the results, can you guess how many women would have been thrown into fire by common people in order to know their loyalty? A king can not let that happen to his subjects. Instead the king asked his pregnant wife to leave him and go to the forest again, because he knew there isn’t any way to prove her loyalty. The king lead a lonely sad life after letting go the only love of his wife. He didn’t see his children growing up. He didn’t play with them.
That’s sad. But but but, voluntarily jumping into the fire? and “who is the dumbest of all” trophy goes to the king’s wife. She should have stood her ground. She should have fought for her rights, it does not matter if a stupid person asks a question, it does not matter if she was a queen. Weren’t there any feminists at that time?
Indeed there was, the king himself was the biggest feminist at that time. He did support a lot of sidelined women and brought them out of their misery. For instance Shabari, a tribal women or Ahalya, a rape victim and some more.
Okay Okay, whatever. But you know what, you don’t worry about that, they would not trick us, I am friends with the taxi guys. And when you know that, why do you support them? Secondly, why do I support them? I get free rides all the time, why should I ax my own feet? Do I look crazy to you?
Actually, I knew somebody, who when realized that his own brother was doing wrong, tried to oppose him. He went to the extent that he took his brother’s enemy’s side to fix his brother.
Hahaha, and the winner of “who is the the dumbest of all” has been replaced by a new guy. #brocode. This is getting really interesting. The men and women from the dumb island. So, no car, no taxi!
Yes, we will walk.
As you wish. when and where?
We can meet at the holy river bank before the sun rises, we could do the “surya namaskar” (sun salutation) and some yoga together before we start our day.
Wo wo.. religious guy. I am an atheist. I don’t do these stupid things.
Oh so Mr Atheist, how do you pay respect to the mother nature; the sun whose energy you consume, the river whose water you use, the cow and other animals who you domesticate, the trees and plants you eat? That too for free! How do you express your gratitude for these things? Or you take them for granted? Since you and I can’t do anything in return for them, we could at least say thank you. can’t we? Or you have found something you could do for the sun, the moon, the river, the trees? Salutation is the easiest. Respect the sun, the moon, the rivers, the trees or you cease to exists one day.
And how did Yoga become religious? Don’t say OM say MOM, the very same effect, instead of SHIVA say SHIA of SHI, the same sound, the same vibrations, the same effect. And the rest is physical posture.
Now the lecture… and the bhakt inside you is speaking now? You are a Bhakt. Aren’t you?
And by the way, before sun rise? are you crazy? that’s night not morning you early to bed early to rise uncool guy. I sleep at 2, that’s cool. I can’t wake up that early. Moreover, even if I could, I won’t because I don’t hangout with Bhakts. I know more than enough, I don’t need extra gyan.
I am sorry, if I offended you in some way. I definitely did not mean to hurt you. No more “lectures”, promise you. You could join.
No thanks. I neither have time nor energy to withstand your crap. I guess you should make a tv series about your dumb island, and I would be able to decide who actually wins the “who is the dumbest of all” trophy.
Isn’t already there? The Ramanad Sagar’s 1987 Ramayana or a new 2012 Ramayana?
Come on man, do you think in the age of HD, ultra HD, 4k and 8k resolution I will watch that pathetic print with pathetic acting? They suck!!!
I simply don’t understand why do some of us still want a Ram Mandir or some of us don’t want a Ram Mandir. Ram is long dead. The principles attached to Raja Ram are long dead. In modern society, those attributes are associated with “dumbness” or “slowness”. We relate more to Ravan then Ram. We related to lust, arrogance, anger, greed, hatred, delusion, some of the typical properties from Ravan. May be that’s why some of us see a sinner in Ram and a saint in Ravan. It helps justifying our deeds. May be this is the reason why a raja became god. The principles raja Ram followed are divine or simply impossible to be followed by today’s humans.
I think Ram Mandir issue is merely consuming resources that could have been used for other more pressing concerns. Court’s indecisiveness (which by the way is one of Ravan’s trait) has costed us dearly. I hope the court this time gets it for good. If they can’t they should at least make a 100 years stand still agreement i.e. the entire controversial land is banned till the year 2119 – not accessible by anyone. We could decide on this issue at that time. At least we would do something meaningful till then.
Just a thought though, if Raja/Lord Ram was not born in Ayodhya, where was he born? or is this issue exists to subtly prove that Ram never existed?
The most unfortunate part is that, Indians in 21st century inherited the moral code of conduct on a silver platter, but they decided to reinvent the wheel. It does not matter if the Ramayana and Mahabharata actually existed or not. They were written so that we can learn from them, not because we need to play a judge. We chose latter. How could anyone blame the younger generation? Their exposure to Ramayana and Mahabharata is limited to Bal Hanuman or Chota Bheem, the “cartoons“. Cartoons are a good start, but they are not enough. There should at least be one world class tv series for adults and growing children that is at par in terms of quality with the other contemporary series. And not the interpretation for or by the liberals, specific to Bhakts exactly as the older generation (our granny’s) knew it.
Thanks for Reading! Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali!