Thursday, June 12, 2003

The wedding plans begin

Oh yes. We're gone tomorrow. The Arun man is tying the knot. And I'm driving to Mangalore. Which is going to be the high point of everything, after all marriages are made in heaven and I'm an atheist.

Anyways, check thisout. The rantings and ravings of a common baghdadi. It seems surreal, on the face of it. Countrymen than are relieved to see the back (or NOT see the back) of Saddam Hussein, yet have one thing in common - they hate the military forces that now control them. It's obvious isn't it? Any citizen that loves his country will feel nauseous at having to bow to foreign countrymen, no matter how much they try not to look at the women, no matter how much they try to explain their presence as a mere peacekeeping force. Jeez. And what the heck were we doing in Sri Lanka, may I ask? Why should we get involved in this ridiculous facade of redeeming Iraq? The people are smart enough now that the dick-tator's gone.

Can't get enough of em temples. Andy first goes to ISKCON. And finds out it's an exercise in futility. They're out there for your pockets. First, he wasn't allowed to take his cell phone in because it's got a camera in it. (What's the deal with that? We hide our gods? They're ashamed to have themselves photographed?) And then he was identified as an "NRI" which gave him access to the (surprise!) NRI section which is a glorified shopping mall, except prices are close to highway robbery. Wait, highway robbery is what you'd WANT after going there. Anyway, lastly, he tries to exit out of a gate marked "Exit" and they set the guards on him. The bastards. The concept was that he had to go out through their general shopping area, so they can inveigle a little more out of him, but he refused and said, "Stop me if you can". No surprise that he doesn't ever want to set foot in there again. They might as well call it Lord Krishna Private Limited - "We pay no taxes".

Andy's then off to the Baba mandir. Whitefield. There, they deny entrance because Smita wasn't wearing a dupatta. When Andy points out some women who were INSIDE coming out, and weren't wearing the required dupatta, the guard says "I wasn't there when they went in". Stupid, but nothing else to do so they go shopping around. That place is so desolate there's no dupattas ANYWHERE nearby. So they end up buying a 600 buck (!!!) shawl. He lets them in, and then they get people shooing them all around saying don't do this, don't go there, I couldn't care less if there's a board marked "go there" but you can't go there, etc. etc. etc. Woof woof, Andy has to say , but the ISKCON way stays. There's no point in this commercialized religion anymore - the gods have to stay home, sorry.

I love being an atheist. You don't get subjected to this maniacal belief process. If there is a god, he'd have to be severely impotent to allow such a thing to happen. It's funny how everything can be explained as things that happen because they're supposed to happen, and then there's a god that controls it but won't tell you how, except he does, and if you pray to him he's gonna listen and loosen the strings a little bit. Like that's ever happened. It's obvious to me that people tie their own strings to a wall, and then assume god's holding them back. If you need to get rid of the strings, cut your end off, dammit.