Ive been meaning to write this for some tiem, as I told sashdude.
It is festive season. Not only in India, but everywhere (almost) in the world. It started a month or two earlier, and continues till the Georgian calendar turns January.
There were my frnds belonging to Kerala who clebrated their new yr, with Onam.
Then there was Navratri, ...and a spew of other festivities.
It is then that once you grow up you realise how diverse your frnds list and acquaintance list can be. For one, I would like to document this time as this is one of the few occassions I will have (I think) when I know so many ppl of so many different religions, with whom I interact daily.
At this given point of time, I know one each of a
10. Brahma Kumaris (Om Shanti)
It is interesting to see how these are so-called diverse religions, yet how near, if not similar some of the festivals are. It is interesting to note their celebrations, and how it really doesnt matter any day of the year, till it is the time for rejoicing, when everyone pitches in together.
The time when the difference can be felt is usually at dinner. Prefereance change, and so do food habits. But no one really asks twice if you are a vegetarian, or whether you have only chicken, or only fish. It really does not matter.
One of the few times that you really realise the secular nature of the country. I do not see anyone complaining. There may be the logical, quiet tea time conversations, where the topic of religion is discussed openly and calmly, without any misgivings. A place where everyone listens to the other, sometime in debate and sometime with lazy participation. Sometimes eagerly explaining a ritual and sometimes the philodophy.
Im living in this country for the past 24yrs now. I have seen staunch muslims, and staunch hindus. Strict Christians and even more conservative Zoroashtrians. Jains who dont eat potatoes to Jains who even eat chicken... I see no one complaining, or up to violence. Then why do the politicians and media men?