Maybe its the personality that is letting me cook 3 days in a row. If I’m being ABN (adarsh bharatiya nari) getting breakfast on the table before rushing off to work, I figured I may as well dress the part. So I put on a red bindi today along with the demure salwar-kameez. Plenty of double takes from folks at work. One offer of ‘vepalai’ so it would complete the ‘gonna get Amman for Thiruvuzha’ look. (long open tresses go with the bindi in my head). Thought – what a lark.
Evening. I managed to win the 500 meter race across the subway to make it on to the 7:04. Can’t tell you how beautiful it is to race past all the stations and get deposited at home in 30 minutes. Off the train and still dizzy from the speed and the happiness of having managed spot by the door, I ducked under the railway crossing only to be confronted by grinning bearded man and grinninger woman thrusting a sheet of paper and a ball-point pen at me.
Now, I’m a nice person and most folks don’t burst out crying when they see me, but these two were looking at me like it was Christmas and I was Santa. Their lips were moving in tune to ‘Nagada Baja’. Got the earphones off and heard “Sign here. Sign here.”
“For what?” I asked.
The lady said, “For Ram Sethu”
I glanced back and noticed the saffron flags, tilak-sporting lads, a desk and hand written signs that you could almost read in the dim light if you squinted really hard.
Grinning and grinninger were still looking approvingly at me. “Don’t worry, we are not for any other marketing. Just signature. For Ram.” grinning said in English after a couple of sentences of Marathi were lost on me. “You know against the Govt’s new order.” Grinninger added.
I was shocked. Why in heaven’s name are two VHP types looking approvingly at ME?!
“NO.” I said. “Its not man-made”.
Grinning didn’t get it. He was still looking at the bindi and the good child face. “Don’t you believe Ram is there?”. (The present tense???) “NO. I don’t believe that” I said and watched my shock transfer to his face. Made it totally worth it. Whether there is a God or not, there is Justice. I have almost resolved to continue the good child avatar.