India- The Land of Wonders
India - The Land of Wonders
At the airport, after George had finished his passports and entry process, he found Michael waiting for him. He was able to identify him from a picture that was sent to him by email. Michael welcomed George warmly and asked him whether he would like to go to the hotel, or for a quick tour of the city?
•George: No, thank you. Take me to the hotel. I’m tired after travelling and feel a bit jet lagged because of the change of time. We can take the tour tomorrow morning, before going to the office.
George noted Michael’s manner, his elegance and politeness to a degree that was close to affectation. As he went along with Michael, he noticed his luxurious car which revealed that he belonged to the wealthy section of the country, which was stricken with poverty.
The next day, at exactly seven in the morning, George left his room feeling fresh after resting enough the day before. When he reached the hotel lounge he found Michael waiting for him. He had the same impression of him as the day before. Michael was a picture of striking elegance. George greeted him and they walked together to the car.
•Michael: What do you think of taking a one-hour tour? We’ll be in the office at about half past eight.
•George: Sure, I’d love to see India.
The whole time Michael was explaining the history and introducing George to the buildings and churches, he was boasting that India is a country that goes back deep in the past. George noticed how Michael avoided talking about certain large buildings, despite being questioned about them. Michael also avoided talking about the idols of Buddha that were all over the country.
George asked Michael about them more than once, but he evaded answering him, as if he wanted to portray India as being only a Christian country.
But George was contented to just look around and he did not comment, remembering that Kach had told him that Michael was a fanatic Catholic.
At eight thirty, George and Michael arrived at the office. They worked until eleven, discussing details about business, projects and contracts. As soon as Michael felt at ease with George, he raised his head and said to him:
•Michael: You’re a Christian like me. So why should we allow that Jew, Kach, to tamper with the contracts of all the employees?! What do you think about tampering with only the contracts of the Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, and laying down a condition that the contracts for Christians should be better! I don’t want that Jew to rob us.
•George: So it’s fair then to rob the Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims?!
Michael was silent with embarrassment... They returned to the work they were doing until one o’clock, when George asked to take a break because he was again feeling really strained.
On their way to the hotel, they took the same route that they had come with. When George saw a large building, he deliberately asked Michael again:
•George: Who built this magnificent building?
•George: And what is that?
•Michael: A stupid Buddhist temple where they worship stones and humans like us!!
Since George felt Michael’s discomfort with the questions, he felt it better to be quiet and only listen for the rest of the way...
Michael agreed with George that he would pick him up at four to go for dinner. He said that he would throw him a simple welcoming party. Four o’ clock arrived, so George went downstairs to the parking lot and jumped in Michael’s car. It took him by surprise when Michael suddenly said:
•Michael: There are some things that Kach normally asks from us when he arrives, but I haven’t seen you asking for any of them yet!
•George: What are they?
•Michael: I’ll tell you about them at the restaurant. I think you’ll enjoy the surprise!
They arrived at the Taj Indian Restaurant. It was a luxurious and ancient place in every way.
George was impressed by the beauty of the place and its splendor, because it was in the traditional style, and was fragrant with the smell of Indian incense which he liked, though he usually did not like incense.
Michael smiled at him and told him that his special suite would been nicer.
In his VIP suite, George saw two gorgeous Indian girls who were approximately twenty years olds looking and smiling at him. He shook hands with them and smiled back.
Michael winked at George, lightly patted him on his shoulder, and said:
•Michael: What do you think of the surprise?
•George: Very impressive.
•Michael: Whenever Kach comes to this place for dinner, he takes one or both of these girls to his hotel room to spend an enjoyable night with them.
Looks of resentment appeared on George’s face, and he coldly replied:
•George: The only wonderful surprise for me is the beauty of this place.
•Michael: Strange, don’t you like the girls?!
•George: They are really very beautiful, but you are meant to be surprising me! I’m not Kach!
•Michael: What do you mean?
•George: Do you think that what Kach does is a good thing, and that I therefore must be and do like him?!
•Michael: Kach doesn’t sign a contract except in this way!
•George: So are you bribing me then to sign the contracts!
•Michael: Sorry. It’s just the norm, what do you want then?
•George: I’m a married man, and I wouldn’t betray my wife. Isn’t that what Christianity teaches us, Michael?!
The waiter came with the food menu and presented it to Michael. He spoke to him in Hindi and he left, taking the two girls with him.
Michael turned to George, faking a smile:
•Michael: Should I order for you, or would you like to do that yourself?
•George: No, rather you order for me, because you know more than me about the food here.
George wanted to change the atmosphere of the meal that had become tense.
He remembered Katrina who had repeatedly asked him to bring her a cross from India which would remind her of the Christian victory over the barbarian Muslims there, then the separation of Pakistan and Bangladesh from India. He said to Michael:
•George: You should know best where to find specially crafted crosses. Would you tell me where I can buy one for my wife?
•Michael: I’ll have a beautiful cross delivered to your hotel room… Then he quickly added: And I’ll tell you how much it costs because it’s not a bribe!
•George: You know, even though I’m a Protestant Christian, I don’t know that much about Christianity. From what I believe, you are a devout Christian; can you convince me of my religion?
•Michael: Christianity is a divine religion revealed by God, not like earthly religions written by humans.
•George: Which religions do you mean?
•Michael: Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, etc…In India there are hundreds of such religions.
George recollected his discussion with Adam. He found in himself the desire to continue to ask Michael questions to see how he regards religions and explains their existence.
•George: And what makes you sure that Christianity, or any other religion, is heavenly revealed or manmade?
•Michael: This is proven by history, recurrent reports and testimonies. Even if you ask a Hindu, he will tell you that Christianity is a divinely revealed religion and that it was later developed by humans
•George: I think that simplicity requires that heavenly religions are truer than manmade ones.
•Michael: Simplicity is a beautiful word. Yes, they are truer. Is there any doubt about that?!
•George: This is what all Christians say, but I simply want to make sure of that myself, and see it with my own eyes.
After a long day filled with events and discussions, George went back to his hotel room.
The moment he lay on his bed he started recollecting what had happened during the day.
He found himself echoing the words of Adam: “Make sure you take things simply and without complexity, happily and without depression.”
•He put on the TV and found that it was showing a program in Hindi with English subtitles about Hinduism and its wonderful moral teachings. The program emphasized that Hinduism is a mixture of the Aryan religion, which focuses on the reverence of natural forces, and the religion of the ancient Indians, which concentrated mostly on the things that they loved. After a period of time this set up evolved and some sort of merger took place, and because they were afraid that privileges of some classes would be lost, they started to scribe some opinions on these issues. Such ideas were later called the Vida. This is the greatest Hindu scripture, and the name means law or wisdom. They started scribing such laws or provisions which were intended to give the Aryan class or the pure race special advantages that the lower or impure classes didn’t have. Of course they started to record these laws which gave the minority successive privileges, as the laws increased and grew in number, so learning them by heart became difficult. So they said: “These laws should be recorded.” They went on recording them for ten centuries –that is 1000 years - and the writing of this book which is considered holy by Indians continued until it was sealed by a decision of the Hindu Priests’ Supreme Council, who said at the time that nothing more would be add to it. And if that had not happened, additions to this book would have continued. It is a gigantic book with a large number of volumes. George’s attention was drawn by a report in the program which indicated that Hinduism is a religion only suitable for those who are in India; The Hindus decided at a conference of their scholars that this is a religion made particularly for Indians, and when a Hindu leaves India, he becomes a non-Hindu. George laughed sarcastically at this strange religion which is fanatic even towards a place, but he then checked to himself and said: “In any case, these are human matters, they are not divine. It is that simple...just that simple! It is as though I’m beginning to see what I’ve been looking for. In all cases, this is not enough...”
At eight o’clock the next morning Michael was on schedule, waiting for George in the lobby. He smiled when he saw George approaching him.
He greeted him with a firm tone, and then said:
•Michael: We have a long day of work ahead, just like yesterday. Are you ready?
•George: Of course, that’s what I came for.
On their way, George saw a strange statue that did not resemble a Buddha statue. He tilted his head staring at it. Michael said to him laughing:
•Michael: What’s wrong? This is one of the gods. Didn’t I tell you that man-made religions make new gods for themselves every day?
•George: I want to sit down with one of the followers of these religions.
•Michael (Laughing): Ha ha ha… Today we’ll have dinner with the director of the company’s operations department. She’s a practicing Buddhist.
They arrived at the company and became immersed in work. Michael clearly saw how much George differed from Kach because he was interested in religion, and inquired a lot and always wanted to know more about it.
He also had many principles that he respected, unlike Kach, who didn’t care for anything except money and sex.
When they finished their work at about two o’clock, Michael came closer to George and said to him in a quiet voice:
•Michael: Now that we’re finished, I want to tell you something that I have been keeping to myself.
•George: Go ahead.
•Michael: You’re nothing like Kach, although both of you are from the same company.
•George (Laughing): You mean the girls at the restaurant?
•Michael: This is only one thing, but there are many other differences.
•George: And in your opinion, what do you think is the reason for this difference?
•Michael: In one simple word…religion.
•George: And you; aren’t you religious, but still you go along with Kach?
•Michael: Maybe, but what I’m doing is not necessarily right.
Then he stood up to leave, and then turned to George and said:
•Michael: Don’t you want to meet Jyotsna?
•George: Who is she?
•Michael: She is the Buddhist operational director I mentioned earlier. Do you know the meaning of that name?
•Michael: It means the light of the moon. Then he smiled and said: She is now almost sixty years old, so she is not a bribe, ha ha!
•George: Of course, I’d like to meet her. Is it possible for her to dine with me at the hotel at four?
•Michael: It should be okay. And after the interview you’ll realize the blessing of being a Christian.
When George came down from his room for dinner, he found an elderly woman waiting for him.
She had a mixture of Indian and Chinese features, or at least this is how he perceived her. He approached and greeted her:
•George: Hello, Miss Jyotsna.
•Jyotsna: Hello, nice to meet you.
He invited her to have lunch with him in an open buffet in the hotel restaurant.
She thanked him. It was clear that she was a very respectable and decent woman.
George chose to sit at a side table, and welcomed her again:
•George: Michael told me a lot about you.
•Jyotsna: And you as well, Michael told me a lot about you. He also told me that you asked me to have lunch with you because you wanted to know about Buddhism!
•George: Yes, that’s true.
•Jyotsna: Before we talk about that, there’s something that struck me about you, and it seems that all the employees are talking about in the company.
•George: What is that?
•Jyotsna: You aren’t like Kach.
•George: How do they know?
•Jyotsna: The news has spread that you refused to differentiate between Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims in tampering with the contracts, and that you refused the two girls, and so on!
•George: Do they like that?
•Jyotsna: At least for me as a Buddhist, yes, very much!
•George: I understand about not tampering with the contracts, but what about betrayal?
•Jyotsna: We Buddhists hate betrayal and desires. We believe that vices are attributed to three things: the first of which is surrendering to pleasures and desires, as one of Buddha’s commandments says: “Do not deliberately kill any living creatures. Do not steal nor rape. Do not lie. Do not take any intoxicants. Do not commit adultery. Do not eat food that is prematurely cooked. Do not dance nor attend a dance or a singing party. Do not frequently visit a doctor. Do not buy a luxurious bed, and do not take gold or silver”.
•George: Wonderful commandments. But I have some questions, if you would allow me? Why mustn’t you visit a doctor, or take gold or silver? Why mustn’t you buy a luxurious bed?! Is it a form of socialism?
•Jyotsna: Renunciation of the life of this world is the most important characteristic of Buddhism, and this includes avoiding marriage and riches, and abandonment of the self and other matters, such as those you’ve just heard. The life of this world is the mother of all evils.
•George: I’m surprised that the most important characteristics of Buddhism is not to live and be happy in this world. The nature of human beings inclines towards the love of money and also towards the opposite sex...Who is Buddha?
•Jyotsna: But I told you the life of this world is the mother of all evils, while renunciation of the life of this world is the mother of all good. As for the answer to your question about Buddha: “Who is Buddha?” This is a difficult question to answer!
•George: How could the answer to who Buddha is be difficult? Isn’t he your god, messenger or savior, and to him you associate yourself?
•Jyotsna: You’ve just pointed out half the difficulty. We don’t agree as to whether he is a messenger, saviour, god, son of god, a teacher or other than that.
•Jyotsna: North China differs from the south, and differs from Burma and Ceylon in determining this matter. In any case, this is not important. What is important is to elevate yourself spiritually to be a Buddhist.
•George: Elevating the soul by avoiding marriage and money, and by putting up with shoddy clothing?!
•Jyotsna: Yes, and not to steal, lie, get drunk, nor kill.
While talking to Jyotsna, George’s eyes were attracted to the elegant, expensive clothes she was wearing.
So he deliberately asked her, while staring at her clothes:
•George: Do committed Buddhists follow that?
•Jyotsna: Yes... Then she smiled and said: To some extent. Conditions of life don’t allow us to live these wise commandments.
•George: So these are only moral commandments and aren’t suitable for real life, for most people?!
•Jyotsna: Yes, to a certain extent too... Even you people are like that.
•George: What do you mean?
•Jyotsna: Frankly speaking, Michael is very religious, yet he brings the girls to Kach every time he comes for a visit, and also tampers with the contracts! I know many Christians who drink alcohol. Don’t these mistakes exist?
•George: True, but what is important to me is to focus on the religion itself.
•Jyotsna: For me, there is no big difference between the different religions, and I think that we are all similar to each other with regards to that.
She wiped her mouth with the napkin as she had finished eating. George called the waiter and ordered her some Indian desert.
Then he continued talking:
•George: You don’t agree about who is your god or messenger and so on... but do you agree about the laws, rules and commandments?
•Jyotsna: We develop these commandments over periods of time, and according to each territory....
•Jyotsna: Yes, Buddhism is a religion that evolves over time because it is of our own making and not divine, as you claim Christianity is, though some of us say that it has a heavenly origin - which is something I doubt.
•George: May I ask you a simple direct though awkward question?
•Jyotsna: Okay, we Buddhists love simplicity.
•George: Do you think that heavenly revealed religions are better or manmade ones?
Jyotsna thought for a while and fell silent for a moment, then lifted her head, sighed and said:
•Jyotsna: I have to say, so as not to lie, that...there is no doubt that if the religion is heavenly then it is better. This is in principle, but many of the followers of heavenly religions are some of the worst of people... Then smiling she said: Take the example of Kach, the Jew, and to a lesser extent Michael, the Christian who tampers with people’s money and robs them.
•George: True…true. But why don’t you convert to a heavenly religion and be good?
•Jyotsna: I was born from a Buddhist father and mother, and for that reason I am a Buddhist. But who knows!! Maybe I’ll be a Jew, a Muslim or a Christian in my next life.
•George: After death?!
•Jyotsna: Yes. My soul will be transferred to someone else after my death, and I am now sixty years old.
•George: Do you believe in reincarnation?
•Jyotsna: No, but it is in our religion.
Fatigue was clear on Jyotsna as a result of the discussion, and listening and replying, especially as the meeting was straight after work, and she expressed her wish to excuse herself and end the meeting because she was physically tired and couldn’t stay any longer.
•Jyotsna: Are there any other questions or anything I can do for you?
•George: No thank you, you’ve really been very helpful and I’ve learned a lot from you.
He wished her a good day and she left.
Michael contacted George at the end of the day, telling him that he would find the cross he requested at the reception office.
He added with a little sarcasm: It is registered on the hotel bill so that you don’t think that it is a bribe!
George thanked him and laughed with him, without feeling any embarrassment at all.
•Michael: Tell me, do you now know the bliss of being a Christian after meeting Jyotsna?!
•Michael: If the meeting had been longer you’d have heard wonders that would have really disturbed you. Did she tell you about their fancies and philosophies?
•George: Fancies! No, she didn’t.
•Michael (Laughing): It’s better like that, otherwise you wouldn’t have returned to us in India again. Although I expect that what you did hear was enough for you to know that Christianity is better.
•George: You mean all the heavenly revealed religions?
•Michael: Yes, that’s what I believe. Goodbye, my friend.
George spent the night in the hotel room browsing sites on the internet and watching TV until he felt drowsy. He lay on the bed.
It was a tiring day for him. It wasn’t physically tiring, but his head was heavy with thoughts about the tasks, responsibilities and details of work, in addition to his personal questions which were the biggest reason for his coming to India.
In the midst of it all, Adam’s advice was never absent from his thoughts: “Make sure you take things simply.” He soon felt a great relief because today a great part of the floundering of manmade religions, and also how they were distant from what is suitable for humans, became evident to him, which is what he was now certain of.
How could human beings like us tell us about the reason we were created?!
The next morning George went to the largest computer shop in New Delhi.
He took the elevator to the fifth floor, to Motee’s office.
He was the owner of the largest retail chain store in India for selling computers and software.
George found the office to be very traditional, but luxurious and simple at the same time, and the smell of Indian incense filled the place.
He went in and asked the receptionist the directions to Motee’s office. He replied:
•Receptionist: Sheikh Motee? On the right side; the last door on the right, and there you will find his secretary.
George walked to the location of the office, repeating to himself in surprise: “Sheikh Motee!! Sheikh! What does that mean?!”
He greeted the secretary who was working on a computer, then introduced himself, gave him his card, and told him about his appointment with Motee.
•Secretary: Please enter. The Sheikh has been waiting for you for five minutes.
George looked at his watch and found that it was in fact pointing to eight thirty five.
George entered the office, which was unorganized despite being luxurious.
The moment he entered his office, Motee stood to greet him. He thanked him for his kindness and they began to discuss work.
•George: Is it possible for you to explain to me the prospects of the possible alliance between us?
•Motee: Yes. Simply anything which may bring any profit to both your company and mine.
George felt very reassured by Motee’s profound simplicity. He shook hands with him while laughing:
•George: Agreed; this is the fastest agreement in history. But we must know what it is that will bring us this profit.
•Motee: I think that my brother Karimul Allah knows more about these details than me. You can discuss them with him. He is not here now, though. You can meet him at nine tomorrow morning, and you can lay down the details of our agreement together... Then he added:
•Motee: Did you take a tour of New Delhi and its suburbs? If not, it’s our duty towards you as a guest to arrange this tour for you.
•George: I took a short tour for about an hour and a half.
•Motee: Then you haven’t seen anything important yet. India is a very ancient country. Would you allow us to have you as our guest?
•Motee: So please, then let’s go.
•George: Where to?
•Motee: We’ll take a tour beginning with a visit to the world famous Taj Mahal.
George went down with Motee to find his luxurious car with his driver waiting. Motee rode in the back, next to George.
•Motee: The road to the Taj Mahal will take about an hour and a half, because the roads are not crowded at this time of day, luckily. The journey itself is an enjoyable one. As for the Taj Mahal, it is an architectural wonder of the world. I won’t spoil it by describing it to you, as you’ll soon see it for yourself.
•George: Who built it?
•Motee: King Shah Jahan. It’s a model of Islamic architecture in India.
•George: Islamic ?!
•George: Sorry, but aren’t Muslims extorters of the territory of India, and savages and barbarians?!
Motee smiled and said:
•Motee: Yes...Yes…we plundered India, killed its people and looted its riches!
•George: Oh sorry. Are you a Muslim?
•Motee: Yes, and I thought you knew.
•George: I apologize for my question, but this is what we hear in the West about Muslims.
•Motee: Never mind. Neither did I nor any other Muslim come from outside India to steal its resources... I’m a native Indian, the son of an Indian, who is a son of an Indian. If you want to know who stole from India, just note when you reach the Taj Mahal who actually cut the gems from it?
•Motee: Ask the tour guide when we get there...I hope that won’t bother you. I know the rumors about Muslims and I don’t care to respond. I think that reading a brief history of India would show you what I mean.
•Motee: Just write the word “India” in any search engine on the internet, and you will know who occupied India and plundered it, and you will also know whether Muslims are its indigenous population, or they arrived from abroad. Note how other communities lived under the Muslim rule... Then he added laughing: Although there are many mistakes that were committed under the Muslim rule, including the Taj Mahal which we are on our way to visit now; It was built as a mausoleum for Shah Jahan’s wife.
•George: You’re talking in a very simple way!
•Motee: Simplicity in looking at life is one of the labels of happiness and satisfaction.
George really enjoyed the trip.
He was surprised to know that the looting of the jewels from the museum happened at the time of the British occupation, but Motee did not tell him this as he did not wish to hurt the feelings of his guest.
George loved the purity of Motee’s smile and also his character, yet he noticed one thing about hi: Motee left him three times during the trip, saying to him: “Wait for me; I’ll pray and then come back.” Also all of Motee’s actions were clearly disorganized and impulsive.
The tour that Motee took George on ended, and George arrived at the hotel at 8 o’ clock in the evening, exhausted.
He took a warm bath and went to lie on the bed. But the moment he lay on his bed, he thought of phoning Michael to consult him about the nature of the agreement with Motee.
•George: Hello, I just have a quick work related question: it seems that dealing with Motee is easy. Is this a deceptive type of easiness?
•Michael: Though I don’t feel at ease with Motee, still he seems honest to me. But he is untidy in his business, and if he organized himself he would produce much better results.
•George: But Kach used to tell me that he is a complicated and difficult person, though I found him in fact the opposite.
•Michael: Yes, he is complicated in his religion, but large-hearted and simple in his approach and dealings. Then he laughed and added: He is complicated in that he doesn’t obey Kach with regards to his desires and girls. For that reason, they don’t agree with each other, despite the many meetings they’ve had together. Do you now know why a religious man like me brings beautiful girls to Kach!?
•George: Tomorrow I’ll sit with him to make the agreement. Do you have any advice for me?
•Michael: No, nothing.. I don’t have any other information. May the Holy Spirit protect you. Do you want me to give you a lift or take you on a tour tomorrow?
•George: Thank you. If I need something I’ll call you.
In the morning, while George was having his breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, he spoke to the waiter, who spoke broken English.
•George: What’s your name?
•George: It’s said that India is the country of religions. What is your religion?
•Kapoor: I’m Hindu.
•George: Wonderful. An ethical religion.
•Kapoor: Yes, it is.
•George: Is it true that your clerics believe that this religion is only fit for those who live in India, and that is why he is called a Hindu?
•Kapoor: Yes, we made this religion fit only for Indians.
•George: You made the religion!!
•Kapoor: Yes, we made it to suit us!
•George: Who is your god that you worship?
•Kapoor: We have the largest number of gods, compared to the other doctrines of the world. We have a very large number of gods. We may need volumes to write down the names of all our gods. Durant Wall, the author of The Story of Civilization said: “Writing the names of Hindu gods may fill up one hundred volumes.”
•George: Very strange!
•Kapoor: We worship some celestial bodies and take them as gods, like the sun. We give some gods the characteristics of angels, and some others the characteristics of demons.
•George: A demon-like god!
•Kapoor: Some amulets are gods, some birds are gods and some animals are gods.
•George: An animal who is a god!
•Kapoor: The elephant, for example, is the god called Ganesha. He is the embodiment of the human-animal nature. The deadly snake that kills with one bite is the god Naga. We offer these snakes milk and almonds, and hold celebrations to worship them.
•George: And how do you worship all these gods?!
•Kapoor: It was because of the large number of gods that we combined them into three, or one god with three divine persons.
•George: One in three divine persons... like Christianity?!
•Kapoor: It is possible that we took this from the Christians, since we develop our religion ourselves. Or maybe you are the ones who took that concept from us.
•George: Mmm, go on...
•Kapoor: What is important is that the three gods, or the God with the three divine persons, are: Brahma, the god of creation, Vishnu who protects the world, and Shiva who is the god of destruction, annihilation and damnation.
•George: This is a religion of wonders! But you haven’t said anything about the cow?! I’ve heard that you...
•Kapoor (Laughing): I’ll say as Gandhi says: “Cows are our god, and we love them more than our mothers. My mother feeds me milk for a year or two and I serve her throughout my life, while the cow feeds me milk for a lifetime and does not require from me except its food. When my mother dies, I pay for her funeral and burial, but when the cow dies we benefit from all of it, even its bones.”
George: Does that worship of yours take you to paradise after death?
•Kapoor: We have no paradise, nor do we have hell.
•George: So how is the good person rewarded and the wrongdoer punished? Or are they both alike?
•Kapoor: The good person is rewarded after his death in that his soul is transferred into another good man’s body, and it might unite with the god Brahma on the journey that takes on away from the cycle of rebirth. As for the wrongdoer, his soul is damned by being transferred into the body of an evil person.
•George: And do you differentiate in this worldly life between the obedient pious person and the wrongdoer?
•Kapoor: Yes, because some of us have our share of divinity.
•George: And how is that possible?
•Kapoor: Brahma the god of creation created every sect from a different part of his body. He created the Brahmins from his head. This is why they are the intelligentsia and the wise. He created the Kshatriyas from his arm and for that reason they are the people of power, strength protection and the army. Brahma created the Vaishyas from his thigh, so in the community they are the ones who work in trade, industry and who supply the food. And he created the Shudras from his feet, and these are the servants and slaves who have to serve the others. Their worship lies in their service of the previous three classes. As for the untouchables, they aren’t included in these four divisions or in the Hinduism structure.
•George: So if I am a Shudra, is it possible for me to climb up to become a Brahmin, or if I am an untouchable, is it possible for me to enter into Hinduism?
•Kapoor: Impossible! The Shudras’ act of worship is to provide services to the other classes, and the untouchables are entirely out of our structure.
George was speechless and he felt disgusted because of the atrocities of this religion.
He, nevertheless, feigned a smile at Kapoor as he left, and took out some change and gave it to him.
He got up to meet Karimul Allah in fear of being late for his appointment with him.
On his way, he recollected Michael’s words to him when he told him about the evils of manmade religions and that if he sat with Jyotsna for longer, he would hate India as a whole, and would never want to come back to it ever again. It is true.
How much these religions are contrary to the mind and instinct! But is this the case for manmade religions only, or are all religions the same, as Dr. Tom had told him: “You’ll return from India renouncing all religions”? There is Michael, the religious man, who is as unreligious as Kach, and there is Motee who is not better than them in his chaotic manner of life! George was sure that the true religion could never be contradictory with either the mind, instinct, nor logic. He wondered to himself if such a religion really exists?
George arrived at exactly 9 o’ clock in the morning at the office of Motee’s secretary, and he asked him if he could meet Karimul Allah. The secretary told him that Karimul Allah was waiting for him in the Sheikh’s office.
When George entered, he found the two brothers- Motee and Karimul Allah- talking. Both of them stood and welcomed him. George felt depressed and uneasy when his eyes fell on Karimul Allah’s face, though he did not know why!
•Karimul Allah: Please come to my office. I’m ready for the drafting of the agreement.
•Motee: After you finish, I would like to see you George before you leave.
•George: And me too. I would like very much to say goodbye before I leave.
George accompanied Karimul Allah to his spacious and simple office.
•Karimul Allah: My brother told you that we would agree to any contract that might bring profit to both parties.
•George: Yes... you look like someone...!
•Karimul Allah: Who? Osama bin Laden?! Ha ha ha! You’re not the first to tell me that!
•George: Well, I certainly hope you aren’t like him.
•Karimul Allah: I’m a Muslim like him, but I’m an Indian and he is an Arab.
•George: I mean you’re not a terrorist killer like him.
•George: Let’s not get into that please! He is a terrorist because he isn’t liked by you and because his actions don’t comply with your interests.
•George: How can we like him? Don’t he and his followers blow up trains, buildings and facilities in our countries?!
•Karimul Allah: Well, some of your presidents have killed double the number of people bin Laden has killed, yet you don’t call them terrorists. Western nations have killed scores of people in the countries they have occupied, yet you don’t see them as terrorists! Then he smiled and said: When bin Laden was fighting your enemy, the Russians, he was a hero, not a terrorist! Let’s move to the work, please.
George felt a gap growing between him and Karimul Allah, so he decided not to open any dialogues other than work with him. He wanted to just end the work requirements with him, as soon as he could. He told himself that perhaps Tom was telling him the truth after all, because there were these Muslims defending the greatest terrorist in history!
•George: Good, this is not the subject we came here to discuss.
•Karimul Allah: Do you have a proposed draft of the agreement, or would you like that I give you our draft?
•George: I have a draft, but give me yours to read too, please.
•Karimul Allah: Here you are.
•George: Thank you. Give me a minute to go over it.
George began to read the draft. He noted that the articles were simple, easy and to some extent all-inclusive, and were better than he had tiresomely written in his draft, but it allowed a lot of freedom for their company. He turned to Karimul Allah, who was busy reading a book, and said:
•George: I find it very appropriate and wonderful. I just have one simple observation.
•Karimul Allah: Please, tell me what it is.
•George: Don’t you see that it gives unreasonable freedom to your company, and there is a delay in the payment to us?!
•Karimul Allah: Then, there are two observations: there is freedom; so that I can work in a wider area, and also since we, unfortunately, are not so well organized, the delayed payments are because we do not want to lie in our agreement with you.
•George: You don’t want to lie! How?
•Karimul Allah: By promising you something and then breaking the promise! If I don’t have freedom in my work, I’ll have to resort to making repeated apologies using false and flimsy reasons for not being able to complete everything, which is something I don’t want to do and neither do you! The other thing is that these conditions make your sales turnover larger and you’ll therefore make more profit, and you’ll also have a full payment bank guarantee in the contract.
•George: Is it possible to advance the monthly payments by three months?
•Karimul Allah: Alright agreed! I want to be flexible with you so that Kach doesn’t have to come next time.
•George: Why don’t you want Kach to come?
•Karimul Allah: Forgive me if I don’t answer that question. I don’t want to burden you.
•George: You won’t burden me, please tell me why?
•Karimul Allah: He only thinks of profit in a very crude way that makes both parties, him and us, lose in the end. I think that principles can make all parties profit. He also repeatedly refers to sexual insinuations that we can’t accept. Sorry, but we Easterners are more conservative.
•George: Don’t worry, I quite agree with you on much of what you said. It’s a deal! I’m waiting for the authentication of the contract from the British Embassy, and when I return to England I’ll authorize it from the Indian Embassy there.
•Karimul Allah: Thank you; and I apologize for what I said about your boss.
•George: Don’t you worry! I would like to say goodbye to Motee’-ul-Rahman before I leave.
•Karimul Allah: Fine, please, let’s go.
George and Karimul Allah went to Motee’s office. He greeted George warmly, and then asked him:
•Motee: Have you finalized the agreement?
•Motee: Was it as easy and simple as I had told you?
•George: Very simple.
•Motee: Everything which is simple is successful and all complexities are against the mind, natural disposition and religion... Then he added: Since you’ve finalized the contract and finished the work, is there anything in India that you’d like to see? We’ll gladly take you there. Tourism in India, the country of wonders, is beautiful!
•George: Thank you, but I’d like to return to the hotel early today. I have some work to do on the internet.
•Motee: As you wish. Then he opened a drawer and pulled out two packs of excellent Indian incense, and said: This is a gift from me to you. He put it in an expensive looking bag, and said to him: The driver is waiting to take you to your hotel.
•George: This is rare eastern generosity! Thank you very much! Then, taking the bag, he bid the two Indians farewell.
George found the driver waiting for him. The moment the driver saw him, he came up to him and led him to the car. He opened the door saying:
•Driver: Please be seated, sir.
•George: Thank you very much. What’s your name?
•George: Oh! A Western name!
•Steven: I am a Christian, so my name is similar to Western names.
•George: For how many years has Christianity been in India?
•Steven: Many years.
•George: Did colonization and missionary convoys play a role in that?
•Steven: Without a doubt, otherwise Muslims would have invaded India.
•George: Muslims! You mean they would have invaded India with their terrorism?
•Steven: No, you don’t understand the absurdity of earthly religions. These are trivial and funny religions! If there weren’t missionary campaigns, people would have converted to Islam spontaneously.
•George: I’ve got to know about some of these earthly religions, but heavenly religions are not much different from them!
•Steven: Strange! How could you be a Christian and you say that? This is what atheists say!
•George: I hate atheism and see that it is contradictory. But I still think that heavenly religions are not very different from earthly religions.
•Steven: As for us Christians, we want to save mankind from its misery and we emphasize the importance of being pure, serene and moral, and I don’t accept any accusation against Christianity in any way - implying they are like the misguided earthly religions. And I don’t accept such accusations from Motee’-ul-Rahman who is a Muslim, even though I’m his driver, although he has never said anything like that, so how about if it came from a fellow Christian?! But perhaps because you’re a Protestant! But I still don’t accept it!
•George: I didn’t mean to accuse Christianity of being similar to earthly religions! How could I when I’m a Christian!? What I mean is that in its practices, Christianity is similar to earthly religions. It is also suffering from the same confusion and dilemmas that some earthly religions suffer from.
•Steven: I don’t understand!
•George: Is it possible to change the subject, and take advantage of what remains of our drive to tell me something about the history of India?
•Steven: We’ll soon be at your hotel. Anyway, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India were one country, then Pakistan separated from India.
•George: Why did they separate?
•Steven: Because of the injustice that Muslims saw and had suffered from the Hindus. The other thing is that they were lured out of India; otherwise India would have become an Islamic state.
•George: You defend Muslims much, though you aren’t one of them! Is that because you work with them or because you’re afraid of them?
•Steven (Laughing): Maybe!