A Chill Pill A Day…

After last week’s satire on the many ways to lose weight, I received an email from a concerned individual. “Firstly, you are wrong to connect Jainism with weight loss. Jain terminology is not for losing weight, but rather to purify the soul by means of fasting. Hence it is inappropriate for you to spread the fact that everyone should do an “Atthai” just to lose their excess kilos. Secondly, while propagating the “Atthai” fad, you also misunderstood the fact that an “Atthai” is done only for the attainment of salvation, and not for the attainment of materialistic gains such as “weight loss”. This in turn would completely nullify the purpose of the fasts. Thirdly, you should not have mentioned that one can drink “chilled water” during an “Atthai”. One cannot relax such regulations, unless backed by religious scriptures. Lastly, please refrain from writing about any religion (unless you have all your fundas) as it has a DEEP IMPACT ON YOUNG, IMPRESSIONABLE MINDS. I think you the Jain community an apology.”

How does one even reply to an email like this, given that I poked fun at everyone I could, in last week’s piece? And I thought Jainism was all about forgiveness and inclusiveness!

In this age of political correctness, we are constantly looking behind our backs and shoulders to make sure we don’t hurt people or trample over someone’s sentiments. And people just seem to waiting to spring up and complain and sue whoever they can over ridiculous and stupid issues.

Like the “Rooh Afza” issue in “Yeh J, Hai D”. The moment I saw the scene where Mr. Ranbir Kapoor’s character talks about not liking that drink, I wondered when Hamdard would hit the roof. And a few days later it did. And this was not even about poking fun. I too can’t stand Rooh Afza, unless it is mixed with milk to create “rose doodh coldink”. Does it now mean that if I don’t like Threptin or Diet Pepsi, I will get sued for saying so from a public pulpit?

The only thing now left is for each reviewer who says something negative about a film or play or painting or exhibition to get sued for slander.

We can no longer make Sardarji jokes in public. Jokes on racial color can get you killed. A Hindu can never joke about a Muslim or it will start a riot…and vice versa. It’s only the Parsis who are still fair game, only because there aren’t too many of them left to create a ruckus! You can’t even have fun with Tamil or Mallu accents…oh sorry, I can’t even say Mallu in public in anymore…it has to be Malayalee or “of Keralite” origin. Actually, you can’t even say “madrasi” anymore as well!

And making using Fevicol or Zandu Balm in a funny way, despite the fact that they have almost become nouns in our parlance has become unacceptable.

Most politicians still seem to be fair game at this point in time. But try making fun of Mr. Narendra Modi and see what happens to you…I shudder to think what will happen to our level of tolerance and sense of humor if he becomes the Prime Minister.

And a film like “Django Unchained” with the “n” word can never ever be made on our soil, if slurs like those were to be replicated in the Indian setting.

So many of us have become so uptight. Perhaps, all of us need to get up each morning and take a small chill pill before starting the day.

14 Comments

  • Bhavin,
    Just ignore the guy who wrote that mail. Best. Don’t even give respect by responding to such people and their contrived thoughts.
    Keep it up and keep writing Sir.Kudos

  • I think people need to grow up and broaden our outlook. No religion can be degraded by anyone and that is a fact that these “so called keepers of religion” ought to understand. A religion is far above all of these things honestly. As for humour, isn’t it supposed to be found everywhere? My Dad always said that God told us Vaishnavs to fast and eat only as much as a leaf could accommodate. He was thinking of the tulsi leaf. We went ahead and took it as a banana leaf. That explains why we put on more weight during upvaas than normal days:-)

  • CA Siddharth Surana wrote:

    Hi. I read your articles every Saturday and give my feedback whenever time permits via email. Even im an avid follower of jainism but honestly I didn’t find any insult to jainism in it. At the same time I do not disagree with the person who wrote this email. What he says is true and you should accept it.
    So far as the reply which to his email is concerned I find it funny and liked it(again despite being a follower of jainism).
    But you should refrain from anything that hurts the religious beliefs and sentiments of people. This way you can maintain your dignity as well as religious sanctity.
    It’s jain principles that even a jain is giving you polite suggestions. Try writing anything like that about any other religion and you know what the consequences would be.
    This is only a suggestion from a regular reader and nothing else. Regards.

  • Saurabh S Natu wrote:

    Funnily, you are doing good though i agree with earlier first comment of to ignore them .
    Lets learn to tolerate and make fun of ourselves as society.
    Let me suggest few more topics-
    1. How smelly and unhygenic are indians
    2. Our obsession with cricket
    3. Our obsession with socail status
    Have fun.
    Saurabh
    Sorry for typos or mistakes if any as typing without my reading glasses on mobile phone ( gosh… This can also be a topic)

  • sriganesh wrote:

    Recall what I wrote – I want to live up to my name. Now let us imagine each individual with a God’s name and wanting to replicate him/her in the name of religion.

    Did I hear someone say have you heard of those Nirgrantha munis? How many men and women want to follow them?
    :-)

  • Armaity wrote:

    As long as you know that what you wrote was “With Malice towards none” the matter ends there. It is true that people become hyper if religion is involved.
    Yes, we Parsis “always laugh at our ownselves or follies” and so we care a hang who pokes fun at us. Because people THINK what we are, whereas we KNOW what we are!

  • Sundaram M R wrote:

    Humans fall into three species. 1.Those who laugh at everyone. 2.Those who laugh at others.3.Those who laugh at themselves. Others do not laught:) God bless them all. But you need not look behind your backs and shoul­ders! Go unfettered with your satire!
    – A ‘Madrasi’.

  • H.L. Chulani wrote:

    Fanatics, religious or otherwise have no sense of humor!

  • Silva Pattnaik wrote:

    Sir, I believe your article was purely rhetoric in nature. In today’s world where we ladies are getting crazy about losing weight, your article made most of us laugh at ourselves. I don’t find any flaws in your writing prowess. Looking forward to read great articles in future.

  • Ajay Bhonsle wrote:

    I think it is best to start with a disclaimer which says that ‘contents of this article are not meant to insult any person (living or dead),nor is it meant as an affront to any caste, creed, faith or religion’- and then say what you have to say in the same breath!! I agree that people have become very uptight & do not tolerate things said or written even in a lighter vein( or maybe don’t understand the subtle humour)! One should watch American comedy shows to see the crap doled out to all & sundry without any remorse!(BTW at first I thought Rooh Afza was being plugged in AJHD akin to Zandu Balm by ‘Munni’, till I heard RK declare he doesn’t like it- but then again the movie was plugging ‘Daru’ throughout!- and I am wondering how this fact has not raised any hackles as yet)!!

  • My Dear Bhavin

    A very pertinent topic dealt by you after the mundane ones. Let us hope more and more of us get corrected while dealing with religions and their followers in public domain. Your reference to some of them as example was very apt.

    Warm regards

    TNM

  • Navnit Joshi. wrote:

    You were wrong when you said that you can drink cold water during Athai. During Athai you have to drink boiled water duly cooled. Before writing anything about practice of any ritual about any religion, it is better to get clear knowledge about it. Rest O.K.No
    grudge about making joke.

  • Mehroo Kharegat wrote:

    Ah Ha Mr. Jankharia- You are so wrong! We Parsis have ALWAYS been able to laugh at ourselves – and let’s be honest, at other people as well. Yes, sometimes when one oversteps, which seems to be often these days, we have our backs up but not due to lack of number.
    At our age my Husband and I think it a waste of a day without one of us making the other laugh. Life is serious as it is. So much better to show a toothless grin than a grumpy face!

  • Ganesh Parameswaran wrote:

    I ditto Ajay Bhosale’s starting statement. Start with a disclaimer, but continue to write what you think is right. Of course, the dangers of people getting offended for nothing are very real. Also, it helps to get the facts right before making a satire.

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