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January 2019, vol 14 no 4

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Gautam Nadkarni

Crying Foul

It isn’t very often that I lose my temper but there is a limit to benevolence. I have read somewhere that even the gods got cheesed off when disturbed at breakfast. They cast spells, they cursed. This had me thinking. How delightful it would have been to transform my Hindi teacher at school into a toad. With the wave of an index finger.

I woke up this morning to the hideous cries of agony of a dying pig. It made me leap out of bed. Only to discover that it was the business call of a hawker selling potatoes. Of course I cursed him soundly. But he did not become a rotten bell gourd. All the fuss they made in the scriptures about the curse of an incensed Brahmin. Well, I was a Brahmin by birth and what is more, I was incensed. Perhaps I had the mantra wrong.

Stepping into the washroom I almost brushed my teeth with the shoe polish which somebody had foolishly placed on the shelf. I thought dark thoughts about practical jokers. Then when I sat down for my morning coffee it was tepid. I hate tepid coffee. Whoever invented tepid coffee should be shot at dawn. Without the option of bail.

Now you know what I mean by a limit to benevolence. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just such a morning that had the god Shiva dancing the Tandava in a temper.

meditation class…
trying hard to transcend
the itch on my butt


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