In The Name of God !

Scene One:

I am at a temple. Standing and praying. Multiple devotees crowd in, with their offerings. Some have flowers in their hands. Some others have coconuts. Others have ghee. Oil. Butter. A lady has a vada-mala ( a garland made out of vadas) I stand in line, and pray. As I open my eyes, I see a rat jut around. Amidst all this offering is a curious artifact. A 300 odd page, bound notebook. I wonder what it could contain. Perhaps someone is opening a new establishment, and that’s their account book. Perhaps some kid is giving his exam, an overzealous parent has given in his notebook. Perhaps it is the kid himself. Couldn’t quite figure it out.

What could it be?

Scene Two:

That week, one a dully day, I started for home after a long & dull day at work, and was immediately greeted by a traffic jam of mammoth proportions. It was 9 in the night, and I wondered what caused it. I rolled down the windows and checked and looked. I could see a towering Lord Ganapathi, on a huge truck. With acccompanying music and wild celebrations. I knew it would be a while, before I could get home. As I looked around I saw fellow motorists. All with a frown or a scorn. Some with anxiety. Many had given up. We could do nothing but wait.

As I saw the cavalcade pass me, there were about 4 different idols each 20-30 feet high. Some other statues accompanied the giant idols. (One of them was Ronaldhino’s. And no, am not making this up). If the lake that was to receive all this had a blog space, it would have put in so much of material, that the servers the world over would have crashed !

Scene Three:

The President of the Congress Party is coming to Bangalore. And lo and behold, the city was decked with so much of posters, festoons, and other modes of sycophancy. Needless to say, every single brave heart who ventured into the city last Sunday was stuck in two hour jam.

A couple of days later, the Bangalore corporation fined the Congress party of a whopping 1 crore, because they had put up more posters than they had permissions for. That wasnt surprising for one too many a reason. But still is relevant to this post. Read on.

Scene Four:

There is St.Mary’s feast happening in Bangalore. And scene two gets repeated, in a different format. It’s a different God. It’s a different set of people. It’s a different set of rituals. All devotees wore the same colour of dress. And here was a 10 day plus fest that was one. The pomp and gaiety continued.

Dont forget the traffic snarls, the mindless and the inherrent inconvenience caused to people in hospitals close by

Pen to Paper:

A strange and wild thought came to my mind, and I started to put paper to pen on it. I talked to a few people, and then calculated what the average cost of putting up a Ganesh pandal would cost. Then proceeded to look around and find out how many such pandals were there enroute to work and back.

The total amount that would have gotten spent on the Ganesh Pandals, by conservative estimate is about 5 crores. ( In a 15 kilometer stretch). And this is pure money cost, and doesn’t include other aspects like the amount of time spent and free labour / space etc.

The politician’s visit to the state costed a cool 30 crore, by official estimates.

The St.Marys feast, cannot have costed anything less than 2-3 crores.

And by the way, coming back to scene one and the note book. The note book had 300 pages of ‘Sri Rama Jayams’ written. Neatly. Legibly. And ornately. I am sure it would have taken a great deal of focus and purpose in writing it all out. 300 odd pages. Phew !


Over the last couple of weeks, Bangalore would have seen about a 100 crore go up in smoke. In plastic. In posters. Into the lake. Wherever. All in Gods (and demi-Gods) name ! Just imagine, how much of a transformation we could bring about if only the we could marry the resolute purposefulness that the Sri Rama Jeyam writer had to this kind of money. The word will be such a better place to live in.

Imagine a 100 crore as corpus for pensioners. The money could help in our society growing! For education of the poor. For the aged. For the homeless. For trees. For the environment. For infrastructure. The subjects that cry for our attention are just so many !

Now, don’t get me wrong. Am not an atheist. Nor am I a right wing fundamentalist or whatever. It pains me to see ignorance continue to have its cosmic dance over millions of people. It affects me deeply to see how age old traditions have become mere exhibitions of pomp, crass & vulgar popularity. Our seeking for selfish reasons have long overshadowed our traditional endowments of society, mutual help and collective growth!

Five years ago, a bearded man, blew up scores of people and attributed it to God ! Daily, people keep fighting, and dying, in the name of God !

Perhaps some day, God will be bigger than religion and its accompanying ‘high priests’. I guess we need to wait till then.

I am not sure how long. That perhaps is a question, the answer to which, is blowing in the wind.

11 thoughts on “In The Name of God !

  1. Keshi says:

    ppl often forget that religion is not always in a book or in history. It can be in any form. My religion could be music or gardening or making ppl laugh or loving everyone equally.


  2. indianangel says:

    nethi adi! Well written post Kavi I too agree on this, people dont realize the value of money and spend on some unknown face of god, instead if they do this for the really poor atleast we can see happiness in the eys of those who get helped and their blessings!

  3. Swatantra says:

    Very different read!! well written.

  4. pria says:

    Kavi: /God can be greater than
    We people belive all statues and stone sin the name of god. The society created due to different community as they need an identity for themselves.
    God is one in the nameof religion. Its we who bring up the issue pretty wide by keeping other non-hindus under pressure. It can be done only in India with majority of population being hindus. But the world population religion wise its the Muslims; christians and we are just minorities.

    People waste money in myth and ideologies. We cannot change the roots as thaz the way ppl’ are brought up.

  5. Kavi says:

    Keshi : Well Said ! Couldnt have said it better

    Prasanna : Thanks ! I guess somewhere we need to create awareness and spread the message.

    Swatantra: Your post got posted ! Thanks for your comments ! Keep writing

    Priya : You make a good point ! God is greater than religion. Religion is man made. But religion has succeeded in diving us further ! Thats my pain point. My worry Priya, is the fact that we indeed were brought up in a way. But we have lost our sense of balance in progressing further ! Our forefathers did not teach us to be vulgarly ostentatious !

  6. KK says:

    Very nice thought and very nicely composed. Great job Kavi!
    Well you have echoed my thoughts, I always used to think, why we waste so much money, instead if we make use of them in an orphanage or other means as you have said it will make so many happy. God is in every one.

  7. Jeevan says:

    Good calculation! Very good post Kavi:) God don’t ask us to do this and that, we people use god name to our necessity. I also ask my mom to sink the Ganesh Idol in a bucket and pore the water in the flowerpot instead of putting it in the sea.

  8. two months ago a man jumped into the lions enclosure in the Kiev Zoo in Ukraine shouting “If there is a god I will come out alive”. Apparently a lioness pounced on him and he was killed instantly…

    just thought i would let you know..


  9. blind ignorance and euphoria. Its because there are followers, there are people who lead to deceive. In every cent that they spent, someone did make money, the poster people, the cleaner. But that is immaterial when we think that the money to a poor student would have reduced more poster stickers in the future.

    We must learn more. God, especially in hinduism never demanded anything. Just keeo him close at heart and everything will be done accordingly. Its a pity for an allseer like Ganesh ‘wanted’ all this to happen to him, when a simple pooja and vibuthi/ pootu would have been sufficient.

    Its a pity people have to suck up to politicians, if only the politican was willing to step into the slumps and greet the poor that they so much talked about during elections.

    Life will evolve. Just wait and see.

  10. Kavi says:

    KK : Thanks for the comments ! I hope the message seeps through to become public opinion

    Jevan : Appreciate your comments. Thanks for treating the environment with care ! The small measures go a long way

    Sundar : After all there is a God ! To have kept morons like him away from public eye

    GP : Somebody said Religion is the common mans opium. I think it was Karl Marx. You are bang on when you say God never demanded anything from any of us. I hope your words come true and life will evolve. I am waiting GP !

  11. Kavi,

    I appreciate your thoughts. I have always wondered for the huge cost involved in such occasions. You have done good mathematics in estimating. Also, people waste their money, time on such things. As you have said, if that is spent on some investment, atleast it could help so many families. Let us dream for a good future…

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