The ideal man

First was the persecution of the fifth Guru Arjun. His only ‘crime’ in the eyes of the rulers was that he had acquired a large following and threatened to become a rival power base in the north. He was taken to Lahore, cruelly tortured and he died as a martyr. His son Guru Hargobind decided to take up arms.

Guru Tegh Bahadur, who composed some of the most soulful hymns — later incorporated into the Adi Granth — was arrested on fabricated charges and executed in Delhi on Nov 24, 1675. His body was stolen by one of his Dalit disciple who burnt down his own thatched hut to cremate it. Gurdwara Sis Gunj marks the site of his execution, Gurdwara Rakab Ganj the site of his cremation. It was this wholly gratuitous act of criminality that made his son come to the conclusion that when all other methods have failed it is righteous to draw the sword.

To mark the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur I reproduce my translation of one of his hymns, entitled ‘Jo nar dukh mein dukh nehi manai’ devoted to
describing an ideal human being:

He who in adversity grieves not
He who is without fear,
He who falls not in the snare of sensuality,
Who has no greed for gold, knowing it is like dust;
He who does not slander people when their backs are turned
Nor flatters them to their faces.
He who has neither gluttony in his heart
Nor vanity, nor attachment to worldly things,
He whom nothing moves
Neither good fortune nor ill,
Who cares not for worldly applause:
Nor its censure.
Who ignores every wishful fantasy
And accept what comes his way as it comes.
He whom lust cannot lure,
Nor anger command
In such a one lives God himself
On such a one God’s grace
descend,
For he knows the righteous path
O Nank, his soul mingles with the Lord,
As water mingles with water.
Satanic sex

The first thing I do when I receive my copy of ‘Private Eye’ is to read the column ‘Funny Old World’. India often appears in the columns because we do have more than our fair share of nutty people. However, this one comes from Malaysia. It is no laughing matter but I had a hearty laugh. (The Star: July 27, 2009 reprint as follows):

“It is perfectly possible for the Devil to have carnal intercourse with a man’s wife,” religious leader Datuk Abu Hasan told a Syariah Court in Malaysia, “because the Devil can make himself appear to look just like the husband. In this case, the husband has been regularly asking his wife for sex more than 10 times a day, which suggests to me that he must be friendly with evil forces, and practising black magic. It is considered normal for a man to want sex two or three times a day, but when the wife is asked more frequently than that, then it is probably not the husband who is asking, but the Devil.”

“Hasan was speaking during a hearing in the Syariah court (a Malaysian court that operates under Shariah law), in which a wife was seeking ‘fasakh’ (divorce) due to her husband’s unusual sex drive. “It all started when he had sex with her 17 times on their wedding night,” the wife’s representative Nazri Mohammed Isa told the court.

“The wife did not suspect anything at the time, because she thought he was merely performing his duty as a husband, but when the situation persisted, day after day, she told her mother, who also thought it was strange. When the wife’s family came to her house to investigate one morning, they found two men hiding in the bathroom, both of who looked exactly like the husband. Which struck them as odd, because the family had seen the husband leaving for work earlier that morning.”

Not for Valentine’s Day

Entries to a Washington Post Competition asking for a two-line rhyme with the most romantic first line, and the least romantic second line:

My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you has screwed up my life.
I see your face when I am dreaming
That’s why I always wake up screaming.
Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.
Love may be beautiful, love may be bliss,
But I only slept with you because I was pissed.
I thought that I could love no other
— that is until I met your brother.

(Courtesy: Amir C Tuteja, Washington)

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