I should perhaps write this in my Blog Peripatetica as it concerns an incident from my not so frequent travels. But the context is here and now.
In front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris I came across the most unusual description of India.
There used to be a perfumes seller in front of the famed cathedral. He had a donkey kart filled with all kinds of perfumes. This ‘caricature’ of a Frenchman spoke several languages, flirted with all his women customers blatantly but charmingly. I watched his performance for a while and when my turn came (yes there is a queue in front of so humble a shop) I told him what i wanted. As he was preparing my order, he asked me, with a twinkle in his eyes: “Where are you from, Sir?”
“India”, I said.
He stopped his preparations and raised his hands in the air and looked heavenwards with reverence on his face, “Aaaah! The land of the Kamasutra!”. If he had mathematical bent, he would have said, “Aaaah! The land of zero!”, perhaps. Since he was an admirer of the ‘gentler’ sex, as evident by his flirting, it had to be Kamasutra, I guess.
If this happened today, what would he say? I wonder.
“Oh no, the land of the Kamasutra that does not tolerate public kissing?”
"Oh no, the land of Kamasutra that does not like Valentine’s day?"
No, I will not provide a link to that one. Why publicise something that craves just that?
I do not like Valentine’s day, which is just a commerce driven event that destroys the environment – with all the cards that are exchanged. The suspicion is that this is a non-event made big by the greeting card industry – as is often claimed.
But ban it? Threaten the couples with dire consequences – like marriage for instance!!!!?
Amreekandesi took objections to calling the happenings in Mangalore Talibanisation. I wonder if he will change his opinion, after this. Taliban imposed strict “Islamic behaviour” before it could get that kind of power. Men should have beards, women should be in Purdah, etc., and punished the offenders brutally. That was the first step.
A character in James Michener’s “Caravans”, set in Afghanistan, says something like, “Don’t give power to the mullahs. It will ruin the country.” It really does not matter if it is a Mullah or a priest in any other garb, power mixed with religion is ruinous.
I hope that we, as a nation, are better or luckier.