Monday, April 09, 2007

Way of the Cross

Easter was very good . At least the chicken , duck and mutton{cooked , grilled and roasted} were awesome. My mother gets very little opportunities to test her culinary skills these days as both of us are away from home and she made sure that both of us ate all the stuff that she had experimented with in last two three months . There is some marketing trick involved in naming things like 'Chicken Chettinad' , 'Kadai Chicken' , 'Chicken 65' , 'Malabar Duck Roast' and 'Lamb Softie' and whoever invented the trick is responsible for people like me becoming overweight sometime in future.

I hated lent for a long time in childhood because it meant eating only veg and going to church more often. Never got the logic of people taking lent for 40 days and we used to follow it religiously like all mallu Christian families.It seemed as complex as the logic of the equation Z=Z+1 that I learnt in the computer language called BASIC and didnt make sense to me for first two months on how 1 can be equal to 2. Silly Me Z was a variable! Every night has a dawn and I liked the easter day which culminated the end and which started with a nice mass in Church and Appam + Chicken for breakfast .

As always I was the last person to enter the flight.One good thing was that they announced my name repeatedly in Mumbai airport as a result of which I happened to meet one of my engineering pals in the same flight who was returning from Pune. Since Air deccan didnt cancel the flight in mid air I reached Kochi at around 10:30 . Midnight is anyway not a perfect time to reach your sweet home , but our dog didnt think so and he expressed his solid love and affection to me by putting paw marks all over my T shirt and licking my face and hand.I was looking forward to Holy Thursday , Good Friday and Easter and then returning back to Mumbai on Monday morning.

The trip was another way of experiencing way of the cross.

Arundathi Roy writes in God of Small Things about an experience of some guy who returned back to Kerala.

"Some days he walked along the banks of the river that smelled of shit and pesticides bought with World Bank loans. Most of the fish had died. The ones that survived suffered from fin-rot and had broken out in boils. Other days he walked down the road. Past the new, freshly baked, iced, Gulf-money houses built by nurses, masons, wire-benders and bank clerks, who worked hard and unhappily in faraway places. Past the resentful older houses tinged green with envy, cowering in their private driveways among their private rubber trees. Each a tottering fiefdom with an epic of its own."


Every year these lines come to my mind when I go for the 'Way of the Cross'.Every year way of the cross proceeds past the new, freshly baked, iced, Gulf-money and US Dollar houses built by nurses, masons, wire-benders, software engineers and bank clerks who works hard and unhappily in faraway places.Pleaces as far as Arizona and Amman.I walk along with their happy parents who are happy about the money that is being send home .In a normal 'Way of the Cross' nuns pray from a jeep with the loud speaker.
"Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women,and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
People like me are supposed to reply

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners(special stress on this as Holy Mary is supposed to process a lengthy application for huge sinners and frauds like me) now, and at the hour of death. Amen.


I was thinking about Arundathi Roy and her book and suddenly heard two aunties behind me discussing.

Auntie 1: Hail Mary, Full of Grace............In between to Auntie 2:Did you see that fatso? He is married to Susanna's cousins daughter. He is a drunkard and beats her everyday......... of thy womb, Jesus
Auntie 2: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners(staring strongly at fatso ).. ........In between to Auntie 1: I see , no wonder Susanna is so sad............ now, and at the hour of death. Amen.
Auntie 2: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.. ........In between to Auntie 1: See Avarachan , He is displaying his gold chain. Lot of money with him these days since his son is in US............ now, and at the hour of death. Amen.
Auntie 2:
Holy Mary, Mother of God,..........In between to Auntie 1:But still he is so stingy.His dhoti looks so old...of thy womb, Jesus


It went on and on and the two scheming ladies bitched about everyone. Pretty entertaining to hear but I sympathised with Christ who died for sinners like them and me.

After sometime the 'Way of the Cross' reached the church and our Parish Priest introduced the priest who was supposed to make the speech." Fr. XX is a scholarwho completed his postgraduation in US and higher studies in Rome. He is one of the noted critics of Malayalam literature. We are fortunate to have him make his speech for us today."

Glacing at the priest , I could understand that he was going to kill us with a long boring speech on why youngsters like me should learn from the crucification of the Christ but contrary to my expectations , the speech started

"Brothers and Sisters.Every year Good friday.....................................
.................................................................
.................................................................(5 minutes)

The deforestration has contributed to the increase of temperature in the atmosphere. When are the icebergs in Antartica going to melt?.People should try to plant more trees and do less sins. .................................................................
.................................................................
.................................................................
.................................................................(10 minutes)

Global Warming is a menacing issue these days.People should concentrate more on convincing the government about the role India should play in Global Warming and Kyoto Protocol
.................................................................
.................................................................
.................................................................
.................................................................(10 minutes)
In case any of you are interested in my speech . Please buy my recent book. It is on Global Warming , Deforestration etc....


It was so embarassing and I think this was the actual Way of the Cross ladies bitching about people and a priest trying to promote his book :(.

17 comments:

Neihal said...

this post went right over my head....one I know not a thing about Easter and two even after trying a hundred times I could not get past the first two pages of Arundhati Roy's book.
:)

alex said...

NC,

Bitching is an all time favourite for many a people. And in places where they get to group. sad. :(

Rose said...

The guy who returned to (or rather was abandoned in) Kerala in 'God of Small Things' is Estha.. He started walking after his pet mongrel died.. Probably the only life left in his world that had kept him clinging to sanity.. He walked for hours at end.. As if giving vent to every energy within him onto the nature around him.. As if each molecule of pain that had been accumulated over the years would seep out through his pores in the form of sweat..

But it all came back when he knew Rahel was coming back..

"It had been quiet in Estha's head until Rahel came. But with her she had brought the sound of passing trains, and the light and shade and light and shade that falls on you if you have a window seat. The world, locked out for years, suddenly flooded in, and now Estha couldn't hear himself for the noise. Trains. Traffic. Music. The stock market. A dam had burst and savage waters swept everything up in a swirling. Comets, violins, parades, loneliness, clouds, beards, bigots, lists, flags, earthquakes, despair were all swept up in a scrambled swirling.

And Estha, walking on the riverbank, couldn't feel the wetness of the rain, or the sudden shudder of the cold puppy that had temporarily adopted him and squelched at his side. He walked past the old mangosteen tree and up to the edge of a laterite spur that jutted out into the river. He squatted on his haunches and rocked himself in the rain. The wet mud under his shoes made rude, sucking sounds. The cold puppy shivered--and watched."

Sorry.. Cudnt help commenting on the book.. I love each and every word in it..

:)))

..Me

aRrAcK said...

Hee hee hee. I purposely went home only on Saturday morning so that I could avoid the Good Friday service in Kerala. The service here was much much better !
I've been an unfortunate audience to many a bitching session in churches, especially during weddings, which is when the aunties are in their element !

Jac said...

A software engineer too ? That is a new addition !!!

The parish priest must be more affected by the Global warming because of his attire !!

Flyaway Mind said...

scheming aunties & a priest promoting his book on global warming.. intersting..i guess that kept you from falling asleep during mass :D

Jo said...

LOL! I could relate to that gossip session during the processions. :-))

silverine said...

The ladies bitching is so much part of the local flavor!! And is quite funny actually! We have ladies in church beating their chest and crying on Good Friday and bitching on the side:)) I guess the Church is a meeting place for folks and so it becomes a place to catch up on the latest news etc. I have never come home before 12 after going for a 9-10am mass in Kerala due to the Q&A session ( a.ka. quizz session in my family) that always follows after mass :p

Nariyal Chutney said...

@ Neihal: Easter is very simple concept . You should not eat non veg for 40 days and suddenly one day you start getting non veg . That is easter . May be you should try the book once again . It is a nice one though sometimes I wonder why she has used so many Colloquial Mallu words :P.See Roses comment below.

@alex: And that too in way of the cross , Very Sad :(

@ Rose: Me too love that book and one of the best parts that I like is the relationship between Estha and rahel. She has picturised it in a lovely way.

@arrack: I see :).I have heard about the birtching session in weddings but never had experienced any as I was always busy with organising the weddings :).

@jac:You bet Kerala is so hot man , no wonder priest felt so hot . Wondering is it because of the drilling that you guys do in Africa. :DDD

@flyawaymind: Hmm , It was not so nice on the part of the priest to promote his book . Ya anyway I never sleep even in night :) , so it was OK.

@jo: You bet. It is a characteristic of our community.

Neihal said...

hahahaha
so thats like Navratras we have.
I tell you God is One.
:)

I will give the book one last try. Maybe a year of reading half a dozen (I think more) Mallu blogs will help :P

Neihal said...

@ Rose
Okay! your comment is inspiring. :D

mathew said...

Lol!!nice one..you have just said the sad story in a humourous way..exactly one of the reasons I like goin to church only when there aint any crowd..

Srijith Unni said...

Happy Easter NC..

That church episode was hilarious.. A rib tickling post, as usual..!

Have FUn, Take Care and God Bless.!

With Best Regards,
Srijith.

Seema said...

Hilariously written...the way the Hail Mary went was absolutely funny but sad state aint it !!

Neways not that bad down here in Mumbai...its a mini version of the gossips we find back home though!

For Dukhaa Velliyaayicha we had an ACCHAN on DEPUTATION from Kerala (since our regular ACHHAN was touring Gelf hmmm) and he kept repeating...Sthrikal kushalam parayaandum ..watchil samayam nokaandu qurbanayil pangu edukaana vanathu ennu prategichu marakarathu nu...am sure he must be sayin this umpteen times back home !

Ive just got myself a copy a GOD OF SMALL THINGS so I am at it soon!

Nariyal Chutney said...

@silverine: Sometimes I enjoy the Q&A sessions after the mass when there is not much bitching invloved :). Once in a while it is fun to meet up with all. Hope you write some funny bitching stories in your blog :).

@neihal:It is more complex than navratras . But as the first stage this much info will do . Will give more info next year :P.

@mathew:Hope you had a nice time in Germany celebrating easter :).There are some moments you cant avoid with teh crowd :).

@sreejith:Thanks Buddy , Hope you enjoyed the long weekend , courtsey easter :).

@seema:Actually u know the achan who made the speech had come in deputation from US . So they start from Kerala . Go to Mumbai . then go to Gulf or US and then go back to Kerala .God of Small things is a good book . You will relate to it surely

P S:Palliyil poyi kushalam parayaande vallapozhum kurbanayokke kanoo koche LOL :D.

Beena said...

very conveniently din post my comment!!....in that case how bout not commenting on random bloggers too!

Beena said...

smart...!now thats non-conformance to mediocrity! :)

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