In a village in Kerala, Mathew bought a cow. It was a beautiful GM (genetically modified) creature which promised to yield enough milk to support Mathew’s basic needs. Mathew had no needs more than the basic ones. The only problem was that Mathew didn’t know how to milk a cow.
His very next neighbour on the western side was a man named Krishnan who was a velichapadu (oracle in a Hindu temple in Kerala) but was an adept at milking cows. After all, one becomes a velichapadu only much after one becomes something else in life.
Krishnan was happy to get an opportunity to utilise his best skill. He came early in the morning and went to the beautiful young cow who had delivered her first calf a few days ago. The moment he touched her udder the beautiful thing reacted. One kick. Krishnan fell on his bums and took a somersault by kinetic force.
“No problem, I’ll bring a sacred thread from the pujari (priest in a Hindu temple) and tie it on the neck of the cow and the problem will be solved.”
Mathew was glad that the problem had such a simple solution.
But the cow did not respond to the sacred thread at all. Another kick and another somersault was all that Krishnan got in reward from the beautiful GM cow.
“Let me try another thing,” said Krishnan. He wished to go to the mullah who was the next neighbour of Mathew’s on the eastern side and get a unani solution to the problem.
Mathew said, “Let me try my parish priest once, if you don’t mind.”
Krishnan never minded any such thing. Solution is important. It doesn’t matter where it comes from.
Mathew brought some holy water blessed by his parish priest and told Krishnan to sprinkle it on the cow before milking it.
Krishnan had no probs. The cow too seemed to have no probs. Milk flowed from the udder. Miracle?
This is an anecdote that appeared in a Malayalam newspaper quite a few days ago. I disregarded it when I read it. But it refused to go from my mind. The anecdote was cited as an example of the religious integration that existed in Kerala. People were not bothered about religion as much as about solving their day-to-day problems. And solutions came easily when solution was the focus.
Today problem has become the focus.
I have adapted the anecdote quite a bit. But I the spirit remains the same.
Kerala has a mixed population. Hindus: 56%, Muslims: 25%, and Christians: 19%. The people lived in harmony until certain politics entered the state recently. The writer of the above anecdote was questioning that politics, I guess. [I don’t remember whether the writer was a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian.]
I too would like to question the kind of politics that is entering Kerala these days. But I don’t believe in any religion. I can live very well with a velichapadu and a mullah on my east or west provided no politician comes anywhere near my house.