Skip to main content


Short Story

“The threefold offspring of Prajapati, gods, men and demons lived with their father Prajapati as students of sacred knowledge.  Having completed their studentship the gods said, ‘Please instruct us, sir.’  To them he uttered the syllable da.”

Baba closed the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad from which he was reading and looked at his listeners.  Thousands of faces were eagerly looking at him.  He was the source of their truths.  Their peace.  The very meaning of their existence.

“I’m going to speak to you today about the meaning that the men, demons and gods found in da,” Baba started his sermon. 

Men interpreted da as datta, give.  Baba preached about the vice of greed that had entered the hearts of people.  It is a cancer, said Baba, eating up our hearts.  Nobody wants to give anything.  All are out to grab.  We have become a grabbing civilisation…

The sermon on datta went on for an hour after which Baba retired to his air-conditioned office for an interval.  His manager was summoned.

“What are you doing to get the school shut down?” Baba asked.

“I have increased the workload of the teachers to 17 hours a day,” said the Manager.  “They are asked to go to the hostels at 5.30 in the morning to wake up the students, and then take normal classes till 2 in the afternoon after which they will look after the studies in the hostel, games in the fields, again studies in the hostels till 10.30 in the night.”

Vidya Devi Residential School had a 20-acre campus.  Baba had already bought up the entire land of about 1000 acres all around the school.   The school remained an eyesore in the middle of his empire. 

Finally he managed to convince the owner of the school, who was his devotee too, to donate the school to him.

The first thing that his Manager did on acquiring the school was to dismiss every employee who was on temporary appointment or probation.  The next thing was to change the colour of the buildings and walls.  Sooner than later the campus underwent a total metamorphosis.  It’s not just the colours that changed.  Tempers did.  Attitudes did.  People changed their colours.  Like miracles.  Miracles are an integral part of every religion whatever the colour.

“Yes, break them with work,” said Baba.  “The students are leaving faster than we imagined.  It’s the staff that remain a pain you know where.”

A fart escaped the Baba’s derriere. 

“It’s time for the next sermon,” the Manager reminded Baba.

“Ha, yes.”  The second meaning of da was dayadhvam, be compassionate.  The demons had given that meaning.  Baba was going to preach...

Note: This is a work of fiction.  No character is intended to resemble any real person, dead or alive.  If any resemblance is found by anyone, it is sheer coincidence   


  1. Interesting twist in the tale !

  2. Enjoyed it! You have a unique style of writing.

    1. This uniqueness has got me into a whole lot of hell, Malini. But I love the whole affair called life anyway :)

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed the post , good one Matheikal :)

  4. As far as I see it, you are on a mission ...


  5. You have singularly unveiled the 'da' of the demons. But I guess he'd merrily fart his way to his desires.

    1. Indeed, Uma. Some people are incredibly wicked! They look incredible even in fiction.

  6. Fact is stranger than fiction ... the demons and the devils are real, not the gods. :)

    1. True, fiction may look mere fabrication of the writer's imagination...

  7. Replies
    1. What appears solemn may turn out to be ridiculous!

  8. I read in the news an actor was quoting babas to be the biggest con man. Interesting tale and has a lot to reality to it. Many will find resemblance.

    1. Religion is merely a business, Saru. A very profitable one too.

  9. I don't know why I remain a climber still. You are really a banyan tree sir. Not baba of course.

    1. I will never be a baba. Life offers me much entertainment without donning that garb.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Aberration of Kali Yuga

Are we Indians now living in an aberrant period of history? A period that is far worse than the puranic Kali Yuga? A period in which gods decide to run away in fear of men? That’s a very provocative question, isn’t it, especially in a time when people are being arrested for raising much more innocuous questions than that? But I raise my hands in surrender because I’m not raising this question; the Malayalam movie that Maggie and I watched is. Before I go to the provocations of the movie, I am compelled to clarify a spelling problem with the title of the movie. The title is Bhramayugam [ ഭ്രമയുഗം] in Malayalam. But the movie’s records and ads write it as Bramayugam [ ബ്രമയുഗം ] which would mean the yuga of Brama. Since Brama doesn’t mean anything in Malayalam, people like me will be tempted to understand it as the yuga of Brahma . In fact, that is how I understood it until Maggie corrected me before we set off to watch the movie by drawing my attention to the Malayalam spelling

Karma in Gita

I bought a copy of annotated Bhagavad Gita a few months back with the intention of understanding the scripture better since I’m living in a country that has become a Hindu theocracy in all but the Constitution. After reading the first part [chapters 1 to 6] which is about Karma, I gave up. Shelving a book [literally and metaphorically] is not entirely strange to me. If a book fails to appeal to me after a reasonable number of pages, I abandon it. The Gita failed to make sense to me just like any other scripture. That’s not surprising since I’m not a religious kind of a person. I go by reason. I accept poetry which is not quite rational. Art is meaningful for me though I can’t detect any logic in it. Even mysticism is acceptable. But the kind of stuff that Krishna was telling Arjuna didn’t make any sense at all. To me. Just a sample. When Arjuna says he doesn’t want to fight the war because he can’t kill his own kith and kin, Krishna’s answer is: Fight. If you are killed, you win he

Kabir the Guru - 1

Kabirvad Kabirvad is a banyan tree in Gujarat. It is named after Kabir, the mystic poet and saint of the 15 th century. There is a legend behind the tree. Two brothers are in search of a guru. They have an intuitive feeling that the guru will appear when they are ready for it. They plant a dry banyan root at a central spot in their courtyard. Whenever a sadhu passes by, they wash his feet at this particular spot. Their conviction is that the root will sprout into a sapling when their guru appears. Years pass and there’s no sign of any sapling. No less than four decades later, the sapling rises. The man who had come the previous day was a beggarly figure whom the brothers didn’t treat particularly well though they gave him some water to drink out of courtesy. But the sapling rose, after 40 years! So the brothers went in search of that beggarly figure. Kabir, the great 15 th century mystic poet, had been their guest. The legend says that the brothers became Kabir’s disciples. The b

Raising Stars

Bringing up children is both an art and a science. The parents must have certain skills as well as qualities and value systems if the children are to grow up into good human beings. How do the Bollywood stars bring up their children? That is an interesting subject which probably no one studied seriously until Rashmi Uchil did. The result of her study is the book titled Raising Stars: The challenges and joys of being a Bollywood parent . The book brings us the examples of no less than 26 Bollywood personalities on how they brought up their children in spite of their hectic schedules and other demands of the profession. In each chapter, the author highlights one particular virtue or skill or quality from each of these stars to teach us about the importance of that aspect in bringing up children. Managing anger, for example, is the topic of the first chapter where Mahima Chowdhary is our example. We move on to gender equality, confidence, discipline, etc, and end with spirituality whi

Kabir the Guru – 2

Read Part 1 of thi s here . K abir lived in the 15 th century. But his poems and songs are still valued. Being illiterate, he didn’t write them. They were passed on orally until they were collected by certain enthusiasts into books. Vipul Rikhi’s book, Drunk on Love: The Life, Vision and Songs of Kabir , not only brings the songs and poems together in one volume but also seeks to impart the very spirit of Kabir to the reader. Kabir is not just a name, the book informs us somewhere in the beginning. Kabir is a tradition. He is a legend, a philosophy, poetry and music. I would add that Kabir was a mystic. Most of his songs have something to do with spirituality. They strive to convey the deep meaning of reality. They also question the ordinary person’s practice of religion. They criticise the religious leaders such as pandits and mullahs. Though a Muslim, Kabir was immensely taken up by Ram, the Hindu god, for reasons known only to him perhaps. Most of the songs are about the gr