Sep 17, 2005

Umesh gets the Fear of God!

Varun took a turn for the spiritual, mid-way through our final year at school. Initially, we were all skeptical about the whole thing and regarded it as a mere passing fad. But, when Varun stopped coming to the movies and started delivering impromptu, unasked for sermons in between juicy gossips, we decided we’d been wrong.

Well, if Varun had left his spirituality at the prayer-hall, things would’ve been just fine. But, the dear fellow wanted the lot of us converted for good. He started inviting us to prayer-meetings and that made the rest of us run for cover. But how long can you hide from your best-friend, especially when God too is an interested party. Umesh was the first ‘victim’!

Umesh went to the prayer-meeting with Varun, on a Friday evening and…

It all started fine, I’d say. I walk into the hall, where a small crowd of people are on their feet singing a real spirited song, the keyboardist accompanying with fast-paced beats… real penetrating music. Next thing, the preacher starts clapping hands. Everybody joins in and seems to be getting rather excited. I get the general mood, and unconsciously start tapping my toe. Hey, this is actually cool! There’re even a few good-looking girls up-front! No wonder Varun...
The song died off and the preacher resumes his preacher-talk, with the mandatory Praise The Lord after every second word he says. The keyboardist starts playing a haunting (at least that’s the way I felt) background, when suddenly something happened to the preacher (at least that’s the way it seemed to me)! This man who’d been till that moment speaking, most coherent Malayalam, at an unbelievably supersonic pace, suddenly seemed to have lost his gift of gab. He started blabbering and gurgling and mumbling, in a totally incoherent manner!
I sense a change in the crowd too, and behold, the lot of them have started rocking in slow-motion, eyes pointed heavenwards… in a state of trance! I get the odd-guy blushes and start rocking myself. Then it happened!
A boy in the front row started shaking like he’d got the epilepsy or something like that. That really rattled me! I was starting to get goose-bumps all over! Then the nice old man with the French-beard followed suit. Then the lady in pink sari… then the rest of the front-row, including those good-looking girls, who I’d thought were the reason Varun had turned spiritual.
Suddenly the preacher comes and touches the boy who’d started shaking first and the boy falls senseless on the floor! By this time almost everyone has started shaking except me… I didn't know whether I should've been enjoying the funny show that was going on or not!
Varun, what about him? I turn around in slow-motion and my greatest fear came true. There was Varun… entranced, chanting in a progressive tempo, shaking like hell or heaven! I, alone in the crowd!
I gather my last ounce of courage and make for the door, away from a world apart...

Umesh came running to the mandapam in the Museum, where the rest of us were enjoying just another day of cloudspotting and relishing pointless chat. Here's how he looked after his hair-raising experience.



We had a good laugh, and made mental notes to steer clear off any invitation Varun might offer for another prayer-hall experience.

12 comments:

Jithu said...

ha ha.. tht was good.. i guess u meant the protestants (pentecost)..

silverine said...

This was damned funny LOL :))

Please steer clear of these people. They make a mockery of christianity.

DARREN FLETCHER said...

da that is hilarious but see to it that it doesnt ends of teasing god,I had called dem up for onam ,allo of them were togethet,thwen da machi i found a job ready,1500 starting salary,us based company amkor semicon,hehe,so starting a new chapter of my life,umma thanks a lot for ur prayers,keep on praying

Jiby said...

haha neil...great post...i went for a potta dhyanam in LA a few months back...a friend dragged me along and after umpteen "praise the lord"s and "alleluia"s and 3-4 hours gone by i wuz at my wits end...

then the achan recounted a story of a gal who had gone to potta and from being lazy she changed overnight into a hardworking and helpful child at home..."he said aa kunjinte unmeshathinte rahasyam enthaanu"...the only thing that came into my mind wuz..."boost"...unfortunately it came out a bit too loud and i wuz faced with a host of disapproving zealous faces...took the cue and fled!

like silverine said they make such a mockery of catholicism and xianity....the ppl who fall for this are ones who cant decide for themselves how to orient their faith to countering their hardships and making them better individuals.

>|' ; '| said...

entammo...pediyakunnu.. :-S

Praveen said...

Nice post, well written :).

To answer ur question, i am tied up with loads of work and am also not in the country, have come to Deutchland on work, but I do check others blogs as u can see :).

Hoping to post something soon.

Neil Padayatty said...

@jithu - Thanks! Yes, it was some group of that sort... But don't take me any other way! I'm a secular Catholic!

@silverine - Precisely that! Imagine the impression Umesh got! And I tell you it isn't merely impressionistic!

@darren fletcher - Ani, I guess He Who Knows All would obviously also know mine intentions. So he wouldn't take offence!
Congrats on getting the job! Proud of you! And the prayers... it'll be there for eternity!

@jiby - That's just about how funny all these preachers sound. Boost, you're right! Funny lingo these guys have. They call it paathiri malayalam!
And I guess there's a lot more to faith than mere chanting charades! I feel we all should write a post on that!

@poison - I'll tell you, Umesh had the same effect. Like the feeling you get when you see the ape's head instead of Abraham Lincoln's, towards the end of the "Planet Of The Apes" movie!

@praveen - Thanks! Holland is it! Get some pics and photo blog it, please!

@

DARREN FLETCHER said...

manda dey deutshland is germany dude,not holland,coming to memory is the mr la fete where u gave cricket as your favourite sport despite not knowing the basics of the game and in the q&a round you were asked your opinion about match fixing,and a shivering you not knowiung the meaning of that telling that match fixing is good for the game.....hehe........

Neil Padayatty said...

@darren fletcher - ani, dey, aarodum parayaruthu, anbathu paisa tharaam. Ali, my mistake (blush hopelessly). Tongue of the slip. But, I still maintain, I didn't say match-fixing was good. I said it was bad! You can ask Neena, she was also there!

silverine said...

@Jiby: that was tooo funny..boost hehe LOL

Nishcarter said...

Da Neili chote here. Same is the case with me. Last time when i went back Varun invited me for a prayer meeting but i never turn up. Ho I never knew that and if i had gone i wud have been another umesh.

Neil Padayatty said...

Chote,
Thanks for gracing my blog with your visit! That's a milestone for me! I'll tell you when you avoided Varun's invitation, you saved yourself from a most bizzare experience!
But I became a victim last time. Varun was complaining that it was a long time since I visited his house. To put that complaint at rest, I went to that gudam called Kodunganoor, where if you're still there after, 9:00pm in the night, then you'll be still there till 6:00am the next morinign becaus there are no buses between that time. So I went straight to Varun's house from Bade's place in Varun's bike. I watched some christian rock videos there, and after sharing some funny memories from the past (the part I liked best), Varun and his mother both invited me to the Charisma fair at Puthirikandam maidanam. Caught between God's own, I gave in after numerous half-baked excuses. I had a jolly great time, but none quite like the one Umesh had, I should say.