It was one o’clock in the afternoon when George arrived at the hotel.
He decided to go up to his room to take a quick bath, change his clothes, and then go down to the hotel restaurant for dinner.
As he was about to leave his room, his phone rang. It was Katrina...
•George: Hello...how are you darling?
•Katrina: How is everything going, George? How is the land of wonders?
•George: Wonderful, and I’m very happy here. I have completed my work, and I have two days left for me to learn more about this beautiful city.
•Katrina: Perfect! What about the doctor’s questions?
•George: (Laughing) Ha ha ha … Sometimes I feel that Tom is right when he said that if I came nearer to religions I would abandon all of them, and I think things have started to become clearer to me to some extent.
•Katrina: The closer you get to Catholicism the more satisfaction you’ll find in it, and the Holy Spirit will bring you bliss.
•George: Don’t you be so sure of that. Michael, the devout Christian, is the one who brought me some young Indian ladies for pleasure. All of them are the same; Michael, Kach or Tom. I no longer believe any of them.
•Katrina: The existence of a bad example doesn›t mean that the original idea is wrong - rather it may be proof that it›s not wrong; because if there›s one bad example, you›re sure to find dozens of good examples!
•George: Very true. Tell me, how are our dear kids, Michael and Sally?
•Katrina: They›re okay. We are all looking forward to seeing you very soon.
•George: And I also miss you all, and am looking forward to seeing you soon too.
In the hotel’s restaurant, dinner was an open buffet with all types of savory and delicious food.
The restaurant was crowded with tourists from around the world. George sat at a small side table having his dinner alone.
His eyes fell on a gorgeous Indian lady who seemed to be in her early twenties. She had thick black hair, kohl-lined eyes, and bright smiling lips. She was looking at the tourists, who kept looking at her. Sometimes they exchanged smiles, and sometimes they were reluctant to overstep any limits and to flirt.
He did not know why he felt attracted to her beauty and her dalliance. He repeatedly looked at her, but then he decided that he would keep himself busy with his food and thinking about the work that he must do on the Internet instead. Yet suddenly he found that young beauty was sitting at his table.
•The Girl: My name is Urmila. I am from Delhi and the meaning of my name is gorgeous or charming...I felt sorry for you when I saw you looking at me while you were sitting all by yourself. Can I soothe you from your solitude?
George lifted his head and looked at here. She was almost naked. Her stomach fully exposed and she wore a very short skirt that barely covered anything. Her face was as beautiful as the moon, her hair was silky and wavy, and she had a bright smile. He did not know why he felt so happy when she chose him and came to sit at his table, instead of anybody else’s …
•George: My name is George and I’m British. Thank you for caring. Then he was silent, struggling with himself in an attempt to settle his internal conflict. He wished that he could be with her, but it was evident that sitting with her would result in other matters. He said: Sorry but I’m very busy, and actually this is the first time since my arrival that I’m sitting alone.
•Urmila: Your modesty, clothes and features are really attractive. Would you like to have some fun together?
•George: And your gentleness is beautiful and I’m enjoying talking with you now, but I have something I have to do in a little while.
•Urmila: Sorry....you seem to be naive and unlearned! I have an AIDS-free certificate.
She stretched out her hand, put it on his and pressed it hard. He felt as if electricity flowed to his heart. But he struggled with his core and his self, and pulled his hand quietly back.
•George: I understand... thank you, but I’m married.
•Urmila: Is your wife with you here in India?!
•George: No, she’s back in Britain.
•Urmila: Most of those who come from Europe and America, no matter what faith they may have, are married. But they love life and have fun here.... Indian charm is different.
•George: Thank you...you are really charming, but no thank you!
•Urmila: You’re strange and complex. This is the first time in my life that I’ve met someone like you, and the first time that I’ve offered myself to a man and he rejected me!
Urmila immediately stood up and left. George murmured to himself: “Very strange... I’m complex because I won’t betray my wife and respect my principles! (Laughing) Maybe.... Everyday this life shows us wonders that we can’t explain, or perhaps we can but in our own way. If Kach were in my place, he would have enjoyed a glamorous night with this beautiful woman!!
After George finished his dinner, he looked at his watch. It was half past four India time - which was eleven in the morning London time. He remembered that Katrina had called him four hours earlier - which was at seven in the morning. It was not usual for Katrina to wake up so early, he thought!
He went up to his room and finished some accounting work on his calculator, and then opened his e-mail and his Facebook profile. He sent a message to Kach mentioning the good news that he had signed the contracts with the two companies. Then he browsed the incoming messages and checked his Facebook page, which he hadn’t seen for the last three days. He found a large number of new articles, images and links from his friends, and a friend request sent to him from Dr. Tom. He added him then opened his profile. He found that Dr. Tom had added a new collection of photos, which he opened to find to his surprise that they were photos of Dr. Tom together with Katrina! George found that there were photos of both of them, eating and laughing together. Tom had written underneath “with Katrina”. George checked the date it was added and found that it was six o’clock London time. The timing that was written on some pictures was 5:25, with the same date of that day, 15/7...
He was perplexed! That meant that Katrina was with Tom until five thirty in the morning, and they had not slept yet! Blood boiled in his veins. He picked up his phone and called Katrina, but her phone was switched off. He called Tom, who replied to him with a tired voice:
•Tom: Hello George. Katrina told me that you began abandoning all religions!
•George: When did she tell you that?!
•Tom: When she called you we were together, and then I dropped her at your house. I congratulate you. She›s wonderful!
•George: What were you two doing together?
•Tom: We were at the church ceremony. Didn›t I tell you that I am conducting research on the religious!
George ended the call, and threw himself on the bed wondering at Tom’s insolence... He was not aware of himself except when he was standing in the hotel’s lobby searching for the girl Urmila, but he did not find her. He asked the receptionist about her. He smiled and told him that many men were asking for her that day, and that she had just gone up to the room of the Chinese tourists. George asked him impulsively and naively:
•George: What are they doing?!
•Receptionist (Laughing): Ha ha ha.. How should I know?
George felt embarrassed by the question, and realized that he was very tense, and not aware of what he was doing. He went up to his room and all he wanted at that moment was to take revenge in any way on Katrina for betraying him. He decided to call Michael to bring him the two beautiful young ladies he had seen in the restaurant. He said to himself: “Damn your principles! Why can’t you be like Kach or Tom?! What did these principles offer you? Nothing...nothing!!”
•George: Hello.... hello Michael!
•Michael: Hello George! Is everything alright?! It isn’t usual for you to call me at this time.
George realized that it was after working hours. He looked at his watch. It was seven thirty!
•George: Sorry, I didn’t realize the time. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. Maybe I’ll call you tomorrow. Thanks Michael.
•Michael: Thanks for being so kind. I’ll call you tomorrow.
George continued walking up and down his room with displeasure and anger, sometimes murmuring insults and curses. He did not know what to do since the suspicion and bewilderment about his wife weakened his character. He wished to take revenge on her with Urmila, but she was nowhere to be found. Someone else was undoubtedly enjoying himself with her at that time; someone who was less fanatic than he and more flexible with those principles that make one retreat, only to find that others come and get all the fun and beauty instead.
At that moment he remembered when Katrina had stayed out late with Tom before. He went on the net and searched on Tom’s Facebook profile for old photos and found that Tom had uploaded photos of that evening too, and that the images almost resemble the pictures of the last party, which gave an indication that it happened at the same place, which perhaps was the church. He said to himself: “What church is that that allows such nonsense?!”
Then he remembered how he had dealt with the occurrence of the other evening, and how Brad had almost made an addict out of him. And he remembered Adam’s words: “If your main questions are resolved then you’d be able to deal with your problems in a better way, and you yourself would be stronger in dealing with any pressure.” And he had said: “Don’t make your suspicion of her be the evidence that convicts her. She may have been with Tom calling him to Christianity!” And also he had said: “Focus on your major issues so that your soul and life may find the answer to these questions in a simple and deep way. Then you’ll find happiness, and then all your problems will be solved.” Moreover, he had said: “Try to deal with Katrina and Tom naturally, for you’ll soon leave to India, and when you return you can cross that bridge when you come to it. Make sure that you take things simply without any complexities, happily and without depression.”
He wondered to himself: “Did Adam and Katrina plan this together, or is he defending her because she is religious like him? I’ll call him to see what this man is hiding from me!!”
•Adam: Hello…. hello, who is it?
•George: It’s George from India.
•Adam: Hello, Western man calling from the East! How are you?
•George: I feel terrible! Katrina stayed up the whole night until this morning with Tom.
•Adam: And how are you sure of that?
•George: From Tom himself. He has put the photos on his Facebook profile. You can login and see them for yourself!
•Adam: What else? You’re sure she stayed up with him late last time?
•George: Yes, but ...
•Adam: The important thing is what will you do? Don’t weaken in front of doubt and confusion. Focus on your goals of the trip, whether they are your goals at work or your goals to answer the questions.
•George: I want to take revenge on Katrina in any way.
•Adam: I’ve already told you. Don’t make anyone manipulate you while you’re in a period of weakness and confusion. I repeat, when we’re weak we’re also weak in sticking to our principles, and the more we stick to our principles the stronger we become.
•George: I think I’ll have fun with an Indian lady or maybe with two, and then I’ll send her photos to burn her heart as she has burned mine.
•Adam: You’re only burning yourself by taking revenge in this way because it’s the act of the weak, and you’ll hurt yourself and your principles more than you’ll cause Katrina any harm. Suppose – and this may not be true – that she has betrayed you with Tom; who is the one who’ll be most affected by that, you or she?
•Adam: No, she’s the one who’s betrayed her principles, religion, reputation and herself. You won’t be harmed by anything, although I still think that the case isn’t as you suspect.
•George: Why are you defending her? Is it because she is religious like you?!
•Adam: I don’t think she is religious, even if she appears to be, if she is cheating on you as you say. But if she isn’t cheating on you, then it is another story. The other thing is why should I defend her when I don’t know her, and have never even met her? I didn’t know she’s religious except from what you told me now. You only told me that she drinks wine and stays out late, and didn’t mention that she’s religious. Plus, why would that interest me? You’re the one who asked me, and it wasn’t me who called you!
•George: Sorry Adam, I didn’t mean to make you angry. The thing is that I’m so tired and I decided to take revenge on Katrina with Urmila.
•Adam: I know you didn’t mean to offend me, but pressures shouldn’t shift us away from our principles. Now who is Urmila?
•George: A gorgeous Indian beauty who offered herself to me today, and I refused. How I wish now that I was able to find her.
•Adam: And why did you refuse her?
•George: Because I didn›t want to contradict my principles for a whim, desire or lust...or maybe because I›m a stupid idiot!
•Adam: And now you›re willing to contradict your principles?!
•George: What should I do?
•Adam: Return to your principles, and search for the answers to your major questions. Continue on the path to happiness - and you›ll reach it, leaving the troubles you are suffering from far behind you.
•George: I›m returning to London in two days and I have to meet you then.
•Adam: I›ll be waiting for you. Just contact me after you›ve arrived.
George hung up and didn’t know what to do; he turned on his computer and thought of opening Adam’s profile on Facebook. He found it to be a very ordinary page, with relatively long articles. He wasn’t in the mood to read such long articles. Then his attention was drawn to an article entitled: “Lessons from my friend who is searching for happiness” written 4 days earlier. “Lessons from my friend who is searching for happiness”: I recently came to know a person who has great principles and is eagerly searching for happiness. I think he is sincere in his search, but he is under great pressure. I have learned from him and his story, and I want to share with you the following useful points: 1. Whoever wants happiness, he should take the path that leads to it. One can’t reach it with money, position or inherited wealth. In order to reach happiness one should exert all his effort and be determined to reach his goal. 2. He is never happy and can never be happy, the one who can’t answer the major questions of life: Who created us? Why were we created? Why are we alive? What is our final destination? He who isn’t able to resolve these answers will never reach happiness. 3. Some people make the path to happiness complicated and difficult. Then they say: “We can’t overcome these difficulties.” If they simplified things for themselves and made it easier, they would be able to arrive there smoothly and easily. 4. Some people forget their major goals when faced by insignificant problems and small short-term goals. They then fall in the middle of the path and never reach happiness. 5. It isn’t right and we shouldn’t during the course of the path step over our principles, for they are beacons that shouldn’t be stepped over. He who seeks to step over his principles will himself be smashed, but the beacons will still remain unchanged. 6. Once the seeker is sincere with himself, exerts all his effort and is patient and determined, matters will be facilitated for him that will show him the path. There’re still other great lessons that I’ll try to continue with in an upcoming article, maybe soon. My best regards, Adam.
While George was in deep thoughts about Adam’s article that he had just read, he wondered in puzzlement: “Why did Adam write about me and didn’t tell me, and why didn’t he mention my name? There is no contradiction between what Adam wrote and what he says to me. Rather, he’s clear and decisive. But he doesn’t care about my feelings, and my psychological state! If I took some heroin, or found Urmila, I’d forget everything! Forgetting is the path to happiness.... Ah! Is it true that these are methods to escape from reality, or are they true solutions used by sensible people who don’t waste opportunities? I’m really at a loss!”
The hotel phone rang. He picked up the handset and it was the receptionist telling him that Urmila had returned...
•Receptionist: Do you want me to send her up?
George was silent for a long while and did not know what to say...
•George: I don’t know!
•Receptionist: What did you say!?
•George: I’m coming down to her now.
He went down to the lobby, talking to himself: “Is going down to Urmila a type of revenge I’m taking against Katrina, or revenge against myself as Adam says? Should I listen to Kach and Tom, or to Adam?”
While he was deep in his thoughts, the elevator stopped at the lobby. The door opened and there was the sweet seductress, Urmila, standing in front of him! The moment she saw him, she smiled widely and her face shone. It was even more beautiful.
•George: Hello Urmila! Would you like to sit with me there on that seat? • Urmila (Laughing): Okay.
Once seated, Urmila said with a smile:
•How happy I felt when the receptionist told me that you had asked about me and wanted me.
•George: And why is that?
•Urmila: Because I felt offended when you rejected me earlier, and I felt that you didn’t think I was beautiful and gorgeous.
•George: I didn’t offend you, I thanked you and I didn’t say that you weren’t beautiful. I think that you are gorgeous, just as your name says.
•Urmila: Why don’t we sit in your room to have fun together, then?! She winked at him.
•George: I want to talk first.
•Urmila: About what?
•George: Can I ask you some simple questions that mean a lot to me? And I want you to be very honest with me.
•Urmila: Okay, and I’ll be very honest with you! I don’t know why you attract me so much.
•George: Are you happy in your life?
There was a moment of silence in which Urmila looked at the floor.
•Urmila: I promised you that I would be honest and I’ll not break my promise, even though I didn’t expect such a question! If the happiness you mean is smiling, laughing, having wealth and beauty, then yes, I’m very, very happy!
•George: No, I mean inside you…in your soul…do you feel happy? Some people laugh and inside they are filled with sadness and gloom.
•Urmila: It’s like you’re describing me exactly. I escape from facing the grief and misery inside me with money, laughing, enjoyment and sex.
•George: And what is the cause of this grief and sadness, though you have beauty, money, health and even pleasure?
•Urmila: I don›t know! Maybe it›s the absurd life that I live! My life has no meaning at all!
•George: Are you looking for the meaning of your life? Or is that a matter that doesn›t interest you?
•Urmila: No, but I am not good enough to find the answer. Finding the meaning of life leads to true happiness, and I don›t deserve to be truly happiness!
•George: Why don›t you deserve it?
•Urmila: I›m just a nice toy for the tourist to play with, and I play with them for a passing moment of pleasure.
•George: And why did you feel happy when you knew that I, in particular, was looking for you?
•Urmila: Only because I failed in my game with you! I›m not used to losing at all.
•George: Do you know why I was looking for you?
•Urmila: No! Then she smiled and said:
•Don’t tell me that you were looking for me to ask me this question?!
•George: No, not for that. It is because I’m suspicious that my wife is cheating on me with another man, and I wanted to take revenge on her by pleasing myself with you.
•Urmila (Laughing): Didn’t I tell you that I’m just a toy. You’re taking revenge against your wife by having a malicious moment of pleasure with me! Am I despicable to that extent?!
•George: No … sorry, you are very gorgeous, but my principles prevented me from doing anything that contradicts my ethical and moral conduct.
•Urmila: And now, for the love of revenge, you forget your principles! How cheap I am in the eyes of the people!?
•George: Forgive me, I didn’t mean to offend you, but this is what you’re doing.
•Urmila: True! Sometimes one doesn›t realize who one is. It›s been just over two years now that I›ve been doing this kind of work, and I›ve never been rejected by anyone, ever. How beautiful I feel in their eyes, and how cheap I feel in their words and behavior when we›re done and I prepare myself to go! This is the first time anyone has told me so bluntly what you›ve just said, and has made me face myself!
•George: Sorry... I repeat that I don›t mean to offend you or hurt your feelings.
•Urmila: Maybe… but this is the truth!
•George: What do you mean?
•Urmila: Sometimes we escape from ourselves and are too afraid to see what we really are!
•George: I don›t understand!
George reached out and grabbed Urmila’s hand and tried to pull it towards him, but she withdrew her hand gently and tears came to her eyes. She said:
•Urmila: Absurdity and escaping from life is misery, however courageous it seems.
•George: Forget it please, and I apologize to you for what I’ve said.
•Urmila (Laughing): Ha ha ha.. You are giving up your principles to take revenge on your wife?! Am I absurd to that extent?!
•George: What do you want? You mean you refuse to go up to my room with me so we can enjoy each other and escape from our grief and our troubles?!
•Urmila: Yes, this time I’m the one who refuses!
•George: What religion do you follow?
•Urmila: I have no religion! Does a person who truly believes in religion do what I do?
•George: My wife is religious and I think she is cheating on me with another man!
•Urmila: It is either that your suspicion is misplaced, or that she is lying and hypocritical, and isn’t religious at all - or that she believes in a distorted and wrong religion! How can you possibly presume that I believe in a god that can see me and punish me, and yet I still sit waiting to catch men?! By the way, my father and mother are Buddhists, but I left Buddhism, which is a loathsome contradictory and prejudiced religion, and I became irreligious.
•George: How can you speak so lowly of your parent’s religion?
•Urmila: It’s our religion which we add to and modify as we wish. So if you want, you can consider atheism as a modern modification of Buddhism! Actually, many modern fads and fashions are amendments to ancient religions. Creativity, even evil creativity, has no limits... I’ll leave the hotel and may never return here again.
•George: Why won’t you return here?
•Urmila: I won’t return until I find a reason that gives meaning to my life and makes me respect myself. Thanks again.
•George: Where’re you going?
Urmila stood up and left, and did not answer his question.
George woke up late to the phone ringing; it was Michael on the other side. George answered in an exhausted and gruff voice...
•Michael: Are you still asleep? What’s wrong? You sleep and wake up late? Are you turning into one like Kach?
•George: Don’t worry about that! I’ve a day and a half left in India; what would you recommend I do?
•Michael: There are a lot of parks, churches, houses of worship, museums, markets... What do you want to do?
•George: Go to the churches and houses of worship.
•Michael: Don’t forget to visit the Church of St. James. It’s the most famous and most beautiful church here!
•George: And what else? Are there places of worship for Muslims, Hindus and others?
•Michael: Even though I don’t like it, yes; there is the Delhi Grand Mosque which took six years to build, and it’s a wonderful piece of architecture.
•George: Thank you, I’ll have my breakfast and go to visit these two landmarks.
•Michael: Before you finish your breakfast I’ll be at the hotel.
•George: Don’t bother, I’ll take a taxi.
•Michael: (Laughing): This isn’t a bribe. We’ve already signed the contracts! I’ll be there in half an hour. Bye for now.
Once George had finished his breakfast, while trying to forget his wife’s betrayal and his conversation with Urmila, which reminded him of his suspicion about Katrina, he received a call from Michael telling him that he was waiting for him in the lobby. He drank what was left of his tea, and went to meet Michael. He greeted him and they got into the car and headed to the church...
•George: I remembered you yesterday when I spoke with the Hindu worker in the restaurant.
•Michael: Why should a Hindu remind you of me?
•George (Laughing): I remembered what you had said about the Buddhist Jyotsna. That day you said to me: “If you had sat down with her for longer than that, you wouldn’t have considered coming to India again!”
•Michael (Laughing): Ha ha ha… That’s true…very true! These religions were made by man in periods of cultural and scientific backwardness. Each religion is tailored to solve a certain problem they have, or to give rights and property to a particular class. But looking at them in modern perspectives, these religions are failures, despite their modern versions. Forget about them and let me introduce you to St. James’ Church, which we’ll reach in a few minutes. It was built by James Skinner in 1836 and is one of the oldest churches in the region. It’s built in a unique architectural style, and its churchyard is one of the most beautiful around.
•George: It is the oldest church in the area?!
•Michael: Yes, it was built approximately 200 to 300 years ago.
•George: And before that there weren’t any Christians in India?!
•Michael: Christianity in India arrived through two routes: through Thomas the apostle in the Gospel of John, who is one of Christ’s twelve apostles, in the first century AD, and the second way was through the Western campaigns between 1500 and 1975. Christianity is the third religion in India, after Hinduism and Islam. There are about 24 million Christians in India.
•George: That’s all?! That’s only a small percentage of the population!
•Michael: Yes, Christians make up 2.3% of the population. And because of this percentage, angry demonstrations have erupted against this so-called very great increase, since the Hindus feel that Christianity has been imposed on them from abroad through money.
•George: Is it appropriate to impose religion on people with money?
•Michael (Laughing): Ha ha ha… To some extent, to save people from worn out Hindu beliefs.
They arrived at the church and got out of the car to admire the beauty of its construction, images, statues and domes. Everything was genuinely beautiful. There was no indication at all that there were worshipers inside, it was just a historic landmark to be visited. Michael happily described everything to George until the end of the visit, and then they got back into the car. Michael asked George:
•Michael: What do you think?
•George: Really wonderful.
•Michael: Didn’t I tell you that? Where shall we go now?
•George: We agreed to go to the Delhi Mosque.
•Michael: Okay, even though I don’t like the place. But if you insist I can’t say no.
•George: Why don’t you like it?
•Michael: Muslims are brutal barbarians.
•George: How? Did they force people to embrace Islam?
•Michael: The fact is that they didn’t force anyone to embrace their barbaric religion.
•George: Then they tempted people with money, like Christianity?!
•Michael: I understand what you’re aiming at, but they didn’t do that either.
•George: So how did people embrace this religion?
•Michael: Ah...people accepted this religion first from Arab traders, who came to trade in India. •
George: Then people accepted Islam because they loved it, not because they were forced to embrace it!
•Michael: Yes, unfortunately, this is true. It seems that it is easy to deceive and manipulate people; in order to escape from the abhorrent class system of the Hindus, people embraced Islam upon their first interaction with the Arab traders. Then they - that is the Muslims-came as conquerors, later on.
•Michael: Yes. The first conquests came with someone called Mohammed ibn Al-Qassimal-Thaqafi, in about the year 700 AD.
•George: That is about one thousand five hundred years ago!
•Michael: They increased until it became the second religion in India.
•George: How many are they?
•Michael: More than 180 million people, which is equivalent to 14.5% of the population.
•George: A large proportion! This means that if Pakistan and Bangladesh hadn’t broken away, India would have probably been mostly Muslims?!
•Michael: Yes, but they felt aggrieved by the Hindus and revolutions erupted, which ended by Pakistan breaking away from India. Then he smiled and said: But this is better for us! Muslims had ruled India from 1001 AD. Their rule lasted for almost 300 years.
•George: Did they force people to embrace Islam during that period?
•Michael: No, but they ruled unjustly. They built huge luxury palaces from the toil of the poor who are weak.
•George: Motee ar-Rahman mentioned that to me when we visited the Taj Mahal!
•Michael: This shows how fair Motee is. They wronged people with regards to their wealth, though they didn’t force people where religion was concerned. Generally speaking, all the kingdoms that were in India were unjust, and where justice is concerned, most probably the fairest who ruled India were the Muslims. Their rule was brought down by the British with strange brutality, under the name of “The East India Company”. People revolted, Hindus and Muslims, against them.
•George: Which means that the Hindus loved the Islamic rule?
•Michael (Laughing): Ha ha ha … Unfortunately yes, because not all the Muslim rulers were unjust. Injustice occurred at the end of their era of rule. Also, Muslim rulers – though they were oppressive - were more just than the British East India Company... I hope that that doesn’t anger you.
•George: History is told as it is, not as we want!
•Michael: The revolution against Britain continued until they captured the Muslim king and killed his children, and they placed their heads on the dining table! Then they fought against Islam and abolished Islamic education, and looted the wealth of India.
•George: What brutality! Where were human rights?!
•Michael: We hear about human rights at conferences and meetings. The reality, however, is something else! Anyway, we are getting near to the mosque which used to be the headquarters where the rebels against the British met, and where their Muslim scholars announced their ruling of the necessity of Jihad, according to which people started moving after that… It’s called the Masjid- Jahan Nama, or the Jama Mosque. It took a long time to be built, and was completed in 1656 AD. The Mongolian emperor Shah Jahan gave orders for its construction, and it became one of the largest mosques in Asia; accommodating 25,000 worshipers.
•George: An ancient mosque, then!
•Michael: Perhaps. It was built according to the Mongolian style, with three domes. There it is. We›ve arrived.
They got out of the car and looked at the mosque, its beauty and construction. Michael showed signs of uneasiness and that he was struggling while entertaining George, who therefore hurried and finished his tour of the mosque in respect of Michael’s feelings, as he was nice to him.
•Michael: Do you want to go somewhere else?
•George: No, thank you! I think it’s getting late.
•Michael: But you are being unfair!
•Michael: You visited a church and a mosque, but not a Hindu temple!
•George: I wanted to, but I thought that it would tire you.
•Michael: The temple is near the road we’re taking. Would you like to see it?
•George: Of course, if that will not delay you from your work, as I’m leaving tomorrow and I’ll spend most of the time preparing my luggage and won’t be able to go out much.
•Michael: The name of the temple is Akshardham. It is visited every day by thousands of locals and international tourists. It’s the largest Hindu temple in Delhi. Its construction began in 2000 and ended in 2005. It’s a modern temple, but an architectural splendor, with their gods engraved on the walls.
•George: The animals and the other gods are engraved?
•Michael (Laughing): Ha ha ha… Yes, gods like animals and dancers are engraved. There are also 20,000 statues. Didn’t I tell you that manmade religions are absurd?! It seems to me that every time they marvel over or like something, they make it a god! In any case, you’re in the land of wonders where some worship rats and build temples where they are worshipped, and also snakes and serpents which have special temples too. Here we are… that’s the Hindu temple.
•George: It seems to be a magnificently beautiful building.
•Michael: Indeed it is. It was built in pink sandstone and no steel or concrete was used in its construction. It’s engraved with beautiful decoration. Let’s go, we’d better hurry so we won’t be late for the hotel.
George was impressed by the building, though he was disgusted by the large number of statues there. They took a quick tour of the temple, and on the way back George continued talking.
•George: It’s a magnificent building, but as for the statues, there are too many of them. It is a shameful thing!
•Michael: Yes... you’re right.
•George: The strange thing is that even in the church there are statues, but there aren’t any in the mosque!
•Michael: But the statues in the church are of Jesus, and not of animals.
•George (Laughing): Ha ha ha.. Yes…yes, that’s right. Anyway, thank you for today’s wonderful tour.
In the midst of his tour, George forgot about Katrina and Tom for a little while. He felt calm and comfortable. It seemed to him that what Adam said to him was true: “Focus on your major issue”. This tour was a step forward on the path to happiness for him. It became clear to him that manmade religions were not suitable to answer his questions, for how could they answer something which they lack in the first place?! They even modify and change themselves according to the circumstances in order to reach the level of religious stability they seek.
He thought he should send a message to Adam. He turned his laptop on and wrote: “My friend Adam...I’m really grateful to you for your advice, and I apologize for talking to you in a bad way. I can say truthfully that I have benefited a lot from your advice. I’ve moved beyond the desire of revenge that was controlling me to become focused on my major issue, and I am not being distracted by small details. I’ve insisted on that and tried to continue in this way the whole day. I can clearly answer your’s and the doctor’s question: manmade religions don’t answer any questions. They are just opinions of humans who didn’t create us, so how can they know why we were created? I repeat my thanks to you. I’m coming tomorrow and I’ll be more than happy to meet you. Please accept my thanks again. Your friend, George.
Then he lay on his bed, happy with his day and that he had remained focused on the major issues.
George woke up early. He had a warm and refreshing bath and then checked the time. He said to himself: “There are four hours left before going to the airport. I’ll see what I can do, but I’ll have my breakfast first...”
While sitting at the breakfast table, he saw the Hindu waiter Kapoor who he had spoken to the day before. He called him...
•Kapoor: Hello, sir.
•George: Hello, I know I delayed you last time, but I have other questions to ask you, if that is alright with you?
•Kapoor: Okay. You seem to be interested in Hinduism... This is a new Western fashion.
•George: Hinduism is a fashion?!
•Kapoor: Yes, Hinduism and Buddhism are a fashion for you in Europe and America. They usually come to us to escape hateful materialism that has turned people into machines. They seek some spirituality and morality, but they don’t know anything more than that about it.
•George: Good, that’s clear. But I want to ask you a question: are you and other Hindus generally happy?
•Kapoor: Perhaps the Brahmins who exploit people are happy, although I don’t think so. I am from the Shudra, that is the servants -this is according to the class system. As for the dogmas, we escape from our beliefs and multiple gods through spiritual and moral rituals that remove us from the world, and the god too. Haven’t you heard about Gandhi?
•George: Yes, a wonderful personality.
•Kapoor: And a rebel too. He wanted to rebel against Hinduism, and was killed by fanatics for that.
•George: And why did he want to rebel against his religion?
•Kapoor: Because we can’t live as equals and have complete faith at the same time. Excuse me, you might be - according to the fashion-an admirer of Hinduism, and I might have spoiled that for you.
•George: Why didn’t you change your religion?
•Kapoor: I was born to Hindu parents… Then he smiled and said: I don’t want to rebel so as not to be another Gandhi.
•George: Will you accept this money as a gift from me, as I’ve taken much of your time?
•Kapoor: Thank you.
•He went up to his room and started packing and preparing his bags. While he was doing that the phone rang. It was Karimul Allah speaking....
•Karimul Allah: Hello, George, I’m Karimul Allah .
•George: Hello, Karimul Allah.
•Karimul Allah: I came yesterday to bid you farewell, but I didn’t find you. I left the contracts, which have been stamped by the British Embassy in India, at the reception desk, as we agreed. When are you leaving?
•George: Thanks a lot, I almost forget them. I’ll take them from the reception desk now. I’m leaving in two hours....
•Karimul Allah: Would you like me to give you a lift to the airport?
•George: No thanks. I›ve agreed for the hotel to bring a car for me.
•Karimul Allah: Don›t mention it. I›ll be waiting for an authorized copy of the contract from the Indian embassy in London, goodbye.
George hung up and then directly phoned the reception desk and asked to have them send the papers up to his room. He placed the handset down and thought:”Why is it that I never feel at ease when Karimul Allah is around, although he hasn’t done anything bad to me? Is it because he looks like bin Laden? Or because of his accuracy and proficiency when carrying out negotiations? Or because of how he spoke about my boss Kach? Or is it for another reason that I can’t perceive yet? A strange feeling! Maybe I can’t forget the train bombings in London, or maybe it’s the impact of the media! The thing is that I don’t feel at ease towards him, and I don’t know why...!”
His thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the papers from the reception desk. He examined them and found them to be exactly as he wanted, so there was nothing left to do but stamp them at the Indian embassy in London. He looked at his watch; it was time for him to go to the airport.
He phoned the reception desk and asked them to start the checkout procedures, and to make the car available for him half an hour earlier, if possible, so as not to be faced with any surprises or traffic jams on the road.
He looked attentively at the streets of India from the window of the car en route to the airport. The road was full of statues, and he was talking to himself: “I can’t worship or look for an answer to my questions from stones or humans. Thank you, India, for guiding me to the beginning of my path to happiness. It was an enjoyable trip, despite all that happened in it.”