the one about the Hindus

My brother married a Hindu. I cannot begin to tell you how REFRESHING that was for me! She opened my eyes to strange and hitherto only imagined facets of life. From bhaji that was so tasty that one could justify the argument for being vegetarian, to wondrous stories of Gods and Kings that defy all logic and reasoning.
You see, I was brought up in an (albeit dysfunctional), Catholic home. I lived in predominantly Catholic Bandra, went to good old St. Joseph's Convent, run by The Daughters of the Cross, and my playground was the Mt. Carmel's Church compound. I was sooo catholic. I 'm not saying that's a bad thing... I mean, I can carry a tune well enough, I can jive, I can play football, and know I must say, "Switch on the light, please" as opposed to "On the lights." But the Bhaji at my house was a mess. A soggy, greenish sludge sometimes sprinkled with coconut! I'd like to see any vegetarian live in my house for a week and not reach out for the pork!
As for the mythology, not too many Catholics know the difference between Ram and Krishna! They'd probably know the odder ones... like Ganesh and Hanuman... But apart from their names and too few facts picked up from Amar Chitra Katha, not much else.
I was like them. Till I joined Air India. There I met people of other religions. People with STORIES! So on those long flights to Heathrow and JFK, instead of asking them for their take on the latest affair doing the rounds, I'd ask them to tell me a story. (Or to give me a recipe). People need to be the centre of attention. Especially the quiet, not so good looking people. And sometimes they have the best stories. (Or recipes). I'd take all these stories and file them away, for use God only knew when..
But I was always on the outside looking in. Till Owie married Priya. Now I too have a reason to celebrate Diwali. I go for puja's, and clap and sing and do Aarti... I get to wear the most beautiful Indian clothes, courtesy my generous Anju Didi. And I can tell stories to three of the most adorable little boys. Stories of Kings and Demons and Gods who walk the Earth bearing weapons that no longer seem farfetched... Though I have to admit, I don't have a good enough reason when asked why Dhashrath had three wives... but then I can't explain how Jesus could walk on water...
Us Indians, we have such a rich and colourful heritage. I'm just glad Adam has a chance to experience all of it... He's one lucky boy! Easter eggs, Santa claus and firecrackers! And guess what Catholics... Jesus is cool with this. He told me!      

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