My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

My ebook
Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
this link

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Stress test in Ohio

Last year when I was at Columbus, Ohio, I came across a hip-hop fair while strolling past the Botanical Garden.There were shops set up by black americans, africans and make shift galleries where amateurs were singing hip-hop. I thought of checking it out. However, I had a feeling that my visit there might lead to an awkward situation. It was presidential election time and Ohio being a swing state, feelings were running high. If one of my colleagues saw me in a hip-hop fair, I would be surely taken for a Democrat. This could have positive or negative but all the same awkward consequences in office. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to quietly pass through the fair without spending much time.

Alas, when I was crossing a large open tent, a young black woman handed me a booklet and before I could react, an affable black man guided me inside the tent. The smooth talker made me sit near a table with a few dialled instruments on top. He made me hold too large steel cylinders and asked me my name. When I opened my mouth to respond, all the needles in the instruments swung to the maximum. My affable friend told me that it was because I was under a lot of stress, almost near the threshold of passing out. But he said, there was hope. He introduced me to something called "Scientology" founded by someone called Ron Hubbard. Yes, scientology was the cure to all my problems. He showed me around several pictures which showed people with yes stress and no stress, before stress and after stress. Yes, i thought I need to do something to make those dials stay quiet. After 30 minutes of chat, my affable friend finally showed me the books which if read, would solve it all for me. The cheapest was worth 25USD. I touched the steel cylinder on my own and this time even before opening my mouth, the needles hit maximum. "Not working my friend", I said. Disturbed he asked me to atleast donate some 5 dollars for his foundation. He kept the cylinders away from me this time, but he saw my head tiliting to show that again I have hit the maximum. Totally stressed out, my affable friend said, "Come-on, all this scientology stuff is based on the holy Vedas from India only, atleast give two dollars for this booklet!!!" (After all he had spent 30 min with me)
I handed back the booklet to him and left saying, "Thats the problem, my friend. These Indian books never work for the Indians."

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