Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Save the trees, not me!

A couple of days ago, when I blogged about my childhood friend's death, some (anonymous again!) dude posted a comment connecting my friend's death to Jesus and the Bible.

The commentator wrote:

The bible says "The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly" (John 10:10)
The life of a young man has been destoyed. Bible also says "God created people to be upright, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path" (Ecclesiates 7:29).

There is only one way to over come this evil in this life. That is to have God in our lives and allow him to protect us from we being led in the downward path. Jesus said "I am the way truth and life". In Jesus everyone can find the fullness and abundant life.


My first reaction when I saw the comment was - "Jesus Christ!" (No pun intended.)

Vikram told him off all right, before I could. Well done, Viks. But the incident brought back some memories, of the time when I was in university and I used to be regularly visited by people who would try to preach Christianity and convince me to convert.


First things first. I am not religious. I have the utmost respect for all religions, but I'm not religious. I am a Hindu because Mom and Dad are. But I do not practise Hinduism. I do not pray to any of the Hindu Gods. And I love MOS burger's spicy MOS cheeseburger to death, which incidentally contains beef. But I would not convert. Merely because it would probably upset my parents. My religion has never been an incovenience to me, mainly because I have never allowed it to become one. For most of the time, it hardly plays a part in who I am. I only encounter it when I am filling up forms. And that doesn't happen often. So I am happy being a Hindu on paper, and a free thinker at heart.

After trying the polite way with many of these 'preachers' who came knocking on my hostel door, I had kinda learnt the tricks of the trade.

I remember this one particular guy who visited me on a sunday afternoon.

Knock knock.

I paused 'Roswell Season II' which was playing on my computer, and opened the door.

"Yes?"

"Hi, I am from XYZ society. I won't take up too much of your time. I am just here to talk to you for a while."

I'd rather have Max the hunky alien from Roswell talk to me from my computer screen, but whatever.

"Okay." I said.

"May I know your name?"

"Sayesha."

"Hi, Sayesha. My name is jobless-on-sunday. May I ask you a few questions?"

"Sure."

"Have you ever felt as if you are crushed by the troubles of life?"

"Nope."

"No?" He tried to hide his surprise. Did not succeed.

"Don't you ever feel like you're not truly at peace with yourself?

"Nope."

"Hmmm... okay... would you say that are you happy with the way you are living your life?"

"Yupp."

"Hmmm..."

This was certainly not going as per his rehearsals. I stood there while he contemplated whether he should get to the point.

Bingo.

"Sayesha, would you like Jesus to be your saviour?"

"My what?"

"Your saviour."

"Nope."

"No??"

"No."

"Why not?"

"I don't need a saviour."

"Everyone needs a saviour, Sayesha."

"To save me from what?"

"From the evil that surrounds you. Perhaps you don't know it. But the saviour will take away all your sins. You will find true peace only in Him."

The only evil that was surrounding me at that point in time was the dude himself.

"I think I'm doing okay. I don't need to be saved."

"So you would not consider converting to Christianity?"

"No."

"Why not?"

Oh, the audacity!

"Would you consider converting to Hinduism?" I asked him with a straight face.

"Excuse me??"

"I said, "Would you consider converting to Hinduism? We have a lot of Gods. And they save us too. You have the bible, we have the Gita. Plus many other holy books."

Loooong silence from jobless-on-sunday.

"Well..."

"Jobless-on-sunday, I am not religious. I don't follow the rules of Hinduism. But that does not mean I will convert to another religion just because you ask me to. There's not a single reason good enough for me to convert."

Jobless-on-sunday looked confused. He handed me a pamphlet.

"Okay, why don't we do this? Perhaps you could come down to this service next sunday? Maybe that will make you change your mind. And oh, free refreshments are provided."

"I won't be there, but thank you anyway, jobless-on-sunday."

I closed the door fuming.

But of course, I wasn't done. I had some more words which I had to say in my head.


Refreshments? You wanna entice me with free refreshments? Dude, if I wanted free food, I would just take a bus and go to the langar at the gurdwara where they will smilingly serve me the yummiest free food, without asking any questions, and without even a hint of any conversion talk.

The reason why I even let you waste my time is because my religion (which is Hinduism in case you forgot or you don't care) teaches me "Atithi devo bhava" which means "Treat your guest like God."

Why were you so surprised when I suggested you convert to Hinduism instead? You looked quite taken aback. Was it because you consider my religion to be inferior to yours? Well, why don't we do this? You stick to your religion for whatever reasons you have. And I stick to mine for whatever reasons I have. You don't ask me to convert to yours and I don't ask you to convert to mine. That way, we live happily ever after. How does that sound?

And oh, if I ever wish to convert to your religion, I will come look for you.
But if you ever wish to convert to my religion, please don't come looking for me.

You wanted to 'save' me, isn't it?

Do me a favour, dude, save me from yourself.



54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gold! Yippee!

!xobile said...

GOLD MAI HU

!xobile said...

GOLD MAI HU! MARK IDHAR HAI

jade said...

atta girl, sayesha!
do u know its a crime now to try to convert someone. u can lodge a police complaint. i m so glad...
i had a similar freaky incident once in the local bus in mumbai. i was sitting and some really old man came and stood next to my seat. so i offered him my seat and was standing in his place.
a guy on the opposite seat who apparently witnessed all this looked at me and ask" do u believe in god?" n i went "excuse me!!" so he just quietly handed me a small booklet which had jesus on the cover. i took it not knowin wht was in it n slid it in my bag. some days later i found it in my bag and started flipping thru it and it had scary stuff like how u sins wont be washed away because of ur good deeds and we all suffer for our sins n stuff, no matter how much good we do.
it really pissed me off! it had some prayers too...
but then these ppl are too much.
after da vinci code and books like jesus came to india and the latest discoevry of gospel of judas. i dono wht to believe. but i def dont believe the pope!
sorry for the long comment:)
tc. and good one:)

Teja said...

Gold mai hu!

!xobile said...

Nahi gold mai huuuu!!!
MARK IDHARRR HAI!

Teja said...

abe gawaar! tu to X hai! Gold mai hu!

!xobile said...

oh shit! haan yaar!!!!! Gold tu hai! lekin maaarkkk idhar hai!

!xobile said...

Ohhh sahiii
good sayesha

acha kara..
duffer hote hain conversion waale
max duffer

Aslam said...

Tum kya bolta hai man? Apun god se pray karenga ki tumko thoda bheja de man. Mother Mary se bhi apun tere liye prayer karenga. apun sunday ko apna best suit pehen ke tere saath father Joseph se milne jayenga. Holy Jesus, iss chokri ko guide karo lord. Amen.

Deepu said...

hmm way to go sayesha..
There are thousands, if not millions, who are hindu just because their parents are and are pretty free to think,at heart.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

amen, sistah!
:D

Sayesha said...

#Tu Kaun/Teja,
Kyun re? Double role?? Bahut din se Sash se chapaat nahin khaya toh taras raha hai?? Idhar aa, asli mark mere haathon milega tujhe!

*ZORDAAAAAR CHAPAAAAAT*

Yeh Teja Teja kya hai? Yeh Teja Teja??

Mogambo ki bhatiji hoon, aankhen nikalke goti khelungi goti! :D

#Jade,
//do u know its a crime now to try to convert someone. u can lodge a police complaint.

Awesome!! Is it like universal law or something??

#Aslam,
Tum apun ke liye God se pray karna band karo, khud ke liye pray karna shuru karo... is chhokri ke nazuk haath bade hi deceptive dikhte hain, lekin gaal par lagte hi prayers apne aap niklenge muahahahaha! :D

#Deepu,
Yep, true! I guess - as long as it is not hurting you or someone else, and it doesn't bother you, it's fine to follow a religion just because your parents follow it.

#Ipanema Girl,
Arre wah! Aaj tu World Girl se pehle idhar bar mein aa gayi? :D

Abhishek Upadhyay said...

//Jobless-on-sunday
what a name waah waaah...
I had many experiences like these.In our school we had our teacher who used to make us sing songs praising Jesus. I was his pet.Once he invited me to a church and I ended up singing i choir. He tried all his tricks of trade to fasao me in this christianity chakkar...but I was shana of all.
Before school after taking bath I used to read Hanuman Chalisa and then after coming to school that I behaved as if jesus is everything for me and no one else.
After 10th never turned back to see my jesusdom.

Nirwa said...

Way to go! I like your reply to him..

Very well written! :-)

Nirwa

virdi said...

jhakkkkkkkaaaaaaasssssssssss...

maza aagaya...

RP said...

Wow! Sayesha, that was indeed brilliant esp statements like -
I am happy being a Hindu on paper, and a free thinker at heart. **Wow!!**
The reason why I even let you waste my time is because my religion (which is Hinduism in case you forgot or you don't care) teaches me "Atithi devo bhava" which means "Treat your guest like God **zexy. i luv ye 4 this.**

gr8 reply 2 those dumboz who dont understand wut religion stands 4.

Utham said...

i suggested them to goto somalia and save the drought affected people

jade said...

i dono abt that. but i saw this ad in a theatre in chennai when i went to see a movie:)

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

Uh, if there's a god anywhere, the guy must be having an awesome time laughing his/her/its head off. After all, the earthlings are demented enough to fight over, kill, argue and even make a complete ass of themselves all in his name, like this jobless-on-Sunday loser (great name, by the way). Hilarious.

Aaj tu World Girl se pehle idhar bar mein aa gayi? :D
I was studying! I'm gonna be strangled this Saturday...aaargh!

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

And yeah, I also go to places like temples and gurudwaras because the prasad and langar is yummmmmy! Man, I'm shameless. :D

viv said...

Don't be so harsh lah... maybe the poor guy was just trying to get some ECA points so that he could get a hostel room the next year :)

Bhaarat said...

I am crushed by the troubles of life. I dont have peace in my life. Am unhappy the way I am living. Me going downwards ..... I don't visit temples. I don't believe in GOD entrusted with accounting my deeds.

I believe I need a saviour. I have been so unlucky that I havent met any of these jobless-on-sunday types till date. Please send them to me.

Yes, I am leaving my trace here.

Vikram said...

Atleast you listened to him patiently yaar, if I was in that position, would have probably rammed the door on his face. He would really see God that way and stop irritating me. :P

Lalit Singh said...

Kya aap thak gaye hain... kya aap nirash hain... kya aapko kai dukho ne ghera hain...
Dude then goto Sablok Clinic but for Godsake dont ask me to convert!!!

lol.... kya Sash tune us bechare ka sunday waste karwa diya.. how heartless of you!!!

Rebellion said...

WOW Sayesha..

A W E S O M E :-)

Loved your post yaar! Even I don't believe in all this.. I mean.. I am religious to some extent but that doesn't mean I believe only in one God. I believe in Jesus Christ too and quite often go to the church too but that doesn't mean I should convert....
Anyways.. awesome reply to *whosoever-he-was* :p
Loved it :)

Take care,
Aarti

Archana said...

I am soooooo glad that the chosen lot have found the true God and have been 'saved'. But please, I don't want to be 'saved'. Really.

Same here - I have never understood this compulsive need to try and convert people.

V.G.I said...

Well done! I don't quite understand why the church has to pump in so much money to get people to convert to Christianity. Well, if the faith is that strong, people will get drawn automatically. As a kid too, I had the same question when Mother Teresa converted people into Christians (I understand that was a requirement in order to benefit from her "noble" deeds). What a shame that charity doesn't come free of any strings either ...

dharmu said...

way to go sayesha....

its time we followed the religion of heart and of our choice. the thoughts you reflected can be related to the thoughts of the current generation.

why run behind some religion, when the only thing we need is some insightful thinking about ourself? if i like something, ill follow that, if i dont, forget it!

its global now...

Siddhu said...

Hahaha!!

That's an awesome reaction u gave jobless-on-sunday. Much better than what my gym instructor back home did (which involved roughing him up, tearing his pamphlet up and telling him he's next :P )

Tara said...

this is offtopic.. You should give this a try. I'm not some online marketer!
Been reading your blog for quite a while now. Came across this thingy on others' blogs and thought it would be interesting to look at Sayeshas' readership's demography

Sayesha said...

#Abhishek,
//but I was shana of all.
Before school after taking bath I used to read Hanuman Chalisa and then after coming to school that I behaved as if jesus is everything for me and no one else.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! :D

#Nirwa,
Thanks! It's a pity that most of the punchlines were only in my head... didn't wanna be too rude :(

#Virdi,
Thanks yaar! :)

#RP,
Thanks! :)

#Utham,
Exactly man! If they have so much of manpower and resources, they should do something constructive and not go around annoying people! :/

#Jade,
Cool! They should make this a universal law! Seriously! :)

#World Girl,
Hehehe.... true true... :D
I had langar food like twice in my life, but it was soooo yummy!! :P

#Viv,
I don't think NTU would allow ECA points for converting people's religions! :/ And even if it does, this guy should find an extra-curricular activity that's less annoying for other people.

#Bhaarat,
Only you can bring yourself peace. Stop complaining and get your life in order. :D

#Vikram,
Arre yaar, I didn't wanna be too rude.. . so I thought I'll just get away being cheeky :D

#Lalit,
Sablok Clinic?? Hahahahaha! It should be called 'Bahut kam log Clinic'! :D
I wasted his Sunday?? He interrupted my weekend drooling over Max the hunky alien! :/

#Aarti,
Wow, I love going to church too... though I have been there only like once or twice... it's very beautiful and serene, isn't it? :)

#Archana,
Exactly! How dare they approach me with a 'You're so doomed. Let me save you' attitude?? What, they know that I need saving when I don't myself??? Hah!

#VGI,
//As a kid too, I had the same question when Mother Teresa converted people into Christians (I understand that was a requirement in order to benefit from her "noble" deeds

WHAT???? Really???? You mean all the work she did in Calcutta for the poor people was only for Christians??? I didn't know that!!!! :/

#Dharmu,
//its time we followed the religion of heart and of our choice.
//why run behind some religion, when the only thing we need is some insightful thinking about ourself?

Beautifully put! :)

#Siddhu,
//what my gym instructor back home did (which involved roughing him up, tearing his pamphlet up and telling him he's next :P

WHAT? Really??? Haahahahahahaaha! I should try that next time. Will put m gymming to good use too! :D

#Tara,
Welcome to Sayeshaz! :)
Oh I do have statcounter! :) (You can see the counter at the bottom of my page.) But this looks interesting too... guess it will show the countries on my blogpage? Will check it up some time. Thanks! :)

Utham said...

that too in singapore i found hell of these jobless on weekdays also

encountered 3 in past 8 months out of which 2 NUS students

Priyanka said...

arghhhh.. there you go again.. another one of ur im so perfect posts.

Priyanka said...

yup but i do agree religious fundamentalists are a big turn off.

scipio said...

hee... hee... I know exactly what you mean. I guess you encountered this in some university abroad... but this same thing happened to me in good ol' India. What more, the people who try to do this are my own classmates and seniors in my college.
Guys... please let college be just for fun and academics okay...

Also I have seen that these people are successful quite a few times... The converts though are people who are suffering from some sort of depression or complex (from being ragged too much by seniors or being put down by your classmates for whatever reason). Poor souls. This is almost like what I often see on Discovery Channel... predators bringing down their prey when it is at its weakest. :)

No offence to Christians but some of your brethren indulge in this sort of stuff...

Sayesha said...

#Utham,
3 in 8 months??? Whoa that's a lot! :O

#Priyanka,
Can't help it, sweetheart. I am that perfect. ;)

Kidding, kidding! Actually I'm not perfect. I'm even better than perfect, muahahaha! Whatever it is :)

Ok seriously now, if you're looking for self-deprecating, depressing posts, Sayeshaz is not the blog for you, dear. I celebrate everything, including myself. Because I'm so perfect, you see! ;)

Perhaps you may wanna show us your 'I'm so imperfect' self in a blog of your own? What say? :)

#Scipio,
//Also I have seen that these people are successful quite a few times... The converts though are people who are suffering from some sort of depression or complex

That is seriously sad! :(

//No offence to Christians

I don't think Christians will be offended by this, we're attacking certain actions of certain people, and not the religion itself.

Angelsera said...

way to go Sayesha! I actually did a similar thing once..except I went one step ahead and started telling this lady who had come to my hse wat was in the gita :)

(which incidentally I found out from watching the 'Mahabharath' serial on tv :D)

she got so flustered she din come after that

Sayesha said...

#Angelsera,
//except I went one step ahead and started telling this lady who had come to my hse wat was in the gita :)

Hahahahahaaha! Way to go, babe! And I thought I was being cheeky when I said we have many Gods and many holy books :P

Hahahahaha! :D

Rebellion said...

Hey Sash..
(Finally I got your nick thru comments, though I love your name, its very cute & unique :-) what does it mean btw?)
As far as church is concerned, no doubts its really beautiful & serene. I've visited many temples, once the mosque too and been to the church quite a no of times. No offence meant to any religion whatsoever, but its really quiet & peaceful in the church :-)
If you ever come to Mumbai dear, there's one church at Bandra.. Mount Mary's church.. Its very famous that if you ask for something & light a candle there, your wish will definitely be fulfilled.. (though I believe that if you really want something and ask for it by a pure heart.. you don't even need to visit the temple or church) Anyways.. the church is really beautiful, do visit it sometime, am sure youl like it :-)

Take care dear,
Aarti

Drops Of Jupiter said...

its infuriating allright! And I'm quite religious (except for the beef-eating okay?)

The same gfnf's (good for nothing fools) once ganged up on me and asked me the same questions..
When I said no to the conversion question, they asked why.. and I said "Because I already follow a religion, thank you."
And they were surprised as hell (god knows why)
"Which one is that?"
"Hinduism"
"oooh...errr....Why don't you come down for refreshments.."

Somehow the idea that I already had a religion took the color off their faces. The things people do for ECA points..

Sayesha said...

#Aarti,
Sayesha means 'princess of hearts/attained with great desire'. Sash means that I have just been crowned Miss India. Hehehe! :P

Yeah, churches are very serene... my first church visit was when I was 10 or so, and we were having an inter-school painting competition in a convent school... I went to the church and made a wish that I should win a prize in the competition. I did! :D

Gotta go to this Mumbai church too! You know, I have never been to Mumbai??? I have to go to the chaupati to have pani puri, to Maratha Mandir to watch DDLJ and now Mount Mary's church :)

#Jupiter,
//(except for the beef-eating okay?)

Hahaha! I remember you're a fan of the spicy MOS cheeseburger too! ;)

//And they were surprised as hell (god knows why)

Good point! They somehow see us as religion-less poor souls wandering around, waiting to be 'saved' by them... sheesh. :/

//"oooh...errr....Why don't you come down for refreshments.."

Hahahaha! :D

Rebellion said...

Sash!
Ms. India :D hehehe

Hmm.. 'Princess of Hearts'.. Puuuurfect one haan :)

Just 3 things to see in Mumbai? Tell me whenever your planning to come here & il tell you a nice biiig list! Few to specify are 'Siddhi Vinayak' temple of Ganesha.. very very famous one... and also Mahalaxmi temple......
Errr.. I think am getting too religious!?
Anyways.. don't forget the 'Pav Bhaji' and 'Vada Pav' of Mumbai and don't forget to tell me haan when your here, one of the perfect Mumbaiyya's :) LOL

I loooooooove Aamchi Mumbai :D

Take care,
Aarti

Unaiza Nasim said...

ive so many frends from all over da world wid diff religions...nd i blv most of us are not practicing our religions we r free to think...
u r rite!

Jeevan Baretto said...

Now let me tell you this. Wat if your father is a christian and ur mother a Hindu..??
I am one of them.. Is it my fault to have such a thing? Now how do u think I handle the situation?? Just tell a christian that u r christian n a hindu that u r hindu.. so nobody would bother askin u anything regarding the conversion n stuff..!! Howz that?? But my name surely suggests that I am a christian but can't help can I..?? He he..

Nice post..

Sayesha said...

#Aarti,
Wow, now I have too many reasons to go to Mumbai! The next time I go to India, will try to make a trip there! :) Thanks for the advance mein invitation, will surely bug you when I'm there! :P

#Unaiza,
Welcome to Sayeshaz! :) You're my first reader from Pakistan! Yeay! :)
Thanks for dropping by and commenting :)

#Jeevan,
Wow, that must be an interesting situation... :D perfect for confusing jobless-on-sunday type of pple! Hehehe! :P

HOTWINTER said...

True, Sayesha the "jobless-on-Sunday" is a great name. Ha.Ha. No other name suits this guy.

U could have sent the guy to Ramdeo-ji. He would teach this guy how to stay happily and without any troubles in life through meditation. This guy needs to grow up seriously.

I placed myself on your footsteps and thought :
I am a Hindu, I love all religions in the world, Ive gone to Church several times, I like all Christians, I love Jesus more than any other God in this whole world
but does that mean I would convert myself to Christianity? No. Never. Why? Because its my personal decision. Bas!


I give you 10 on 10 for the way you behaved with this guy. I think you were much tolerant to let the stranger enter your room. Only Indian Hindus can be so much tolerant. Im sure about it. Any other girl from any other religion would never have let the stranger enter her personal space or allowed a stranger to say anything.

I myself would have chased the guy out of my hostel by the help of 10 other people if he had tried to waste my Sunday. Belive me. I hate these "DC to AC" convertors a lot.

-----------------------------------

I really liked the meaning of your cute name. "princess of hearts/attained with great desire'. Wow! Too Good. You are a princess of hearts indeed. It can be seen by the amount of fans following you. Great going Sayesha! Keep it up!

You are invited to Kolkata too. Do visit the city someday. Its not that bad as people think it to be. Do not forget to visit the St. Pauls' Cathedral. Im sure you will love it.

Sakshi said...

You go Girl!!!
I live in the Baptist dreamland (KY, USA) and get a lot of these hicks at my door. They are persistant, small minded and really pathetic people. I feel sorry for them and their beliefs.
Nice post

Nath said...

Hmm. Looks like I'm the only one who actually enjoys these conversion attempts. I never pass up an opportunity to crush another person's entire belief system for my own amusement -- I'm kind of mean that way.

Fine, I made up that bit about crushing peoples' beliefs. But you've got to admit that the whole evangelism thing is pretty amusing. Kind of like watching a toddler/drunk person acting silly -- walking in circles, drooling, falling down and so on.

Liz said...

Heya,
This is something that irritates me as well - and I'm a christian :) When I first came to Singapore, I was approached by a handful of ppl, trying to get me to convert (They never dreamt an Indian cud be a Christian!). I don't know why they do this. I don't even like to go to the Churches here - cuz they tell you outright to go out there and convert ppl. Its really wierd/sick/irritating - Again, I'm a christian. So I can imagine how much worse you guys must feel. The problem here is that these guys are first generation christians. They are of the opinion that if they don't aggresively push the religion, people will convert back. We on the other hand, being christians for generations are more secure I think.
Honestly, I like the way we practice religion in India - where religion is important to every individual, yet we practice it without trying to impose our views on our neighbours. I'm constantly explaining this to my non-christian friends who are approached by these guys.
Wow...this seems long =S I love the way you replied back to that guy. Cheerio.
Liz :)

Anil said...

Great post Sayesha!

It always bugs me that people cannot just be satisfied with practicing their religion - they have to convert everyone else to it. Dude, if you cannot respect the right of someone else to follow a different philosophy, if your religion makes you look down upon all other religions, if it makes you believe that everyone else is doomed, then it hardly makes me respect you or your religion, does it?

I remember a time when I was sitting with a friend and we were approached by one of these evangelists. He talked about Christianity and how everyone who did not believe in Jesus would end up in Hell.

"But that's where I want to end up", my friend said.
The guy was dumbfounded. "Why?"
"Because that's where all the cool people are. Heaven is probably full of people like you".

"Let's see where you end up", he said before walking away angrily.

As you mentioned, it's hard to be disrespectful to a missionary-type because we are taught not to disrespect any religion, so you end up thinking of vile things to say in your head while you smile at them and say "No, thanks.. I am not religious".

Vidya said...

You write too well !! Amazing post !

Anonymous said...

Why Not

The Rich Fool Stories from the New Testament That Mothers
Can Tell Their Children http://biblestory.spiritualideas.com/index.htm

Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! »