Monday, February 15, 2010

Three Scary Stories, No, Actual Incidents!


It's scary. You only realize it when it happens before your eyes. Last week, I think it was Friday; I was standing on platform 1 at Victoria Terminus. The train was a short distance away, approaching fast, I am getting ready to jump in, suddenly a flurry of motion and shouts. A man had jumped on the track to cross it to the other side (a short cut), and was barely ten meters away from the fast-approaching train. A gaggle of people, commuters like me, spring into action, hold his proffered hand and drag him out of the tracks, at a lower level. He is saved by seconds, by hardly a few centimeters.

It's scary.

Inside the compartment I encounter, before my eyes, something even scarier. A man from a certain community is trying to convert me to his religious sect. The conversation begins innocently enough with him asking for my permission to speak to me. I don't grudge such permissions. So he starts a spiel on how I can achieve salvation, truth and paradise through his beliefs. The exhortations get almost threatening and rhetorical. He is quoting chapter and verse to convince me. I said I am okay being a Christian as I find it a very inclusive and accepting sort of faith that teaches people to love one another – though this not may be the case in practice. But he tells me, rather vehemently that I must think it over and change my mind. It is scary because this is a free country and such people are getting virulent and is trying to impose on another's faith. I say, to get rid of him, I am comfortable as I am, this being a free country, and all.

It's scary.

Friend Max had a narrow escape in the German Bakery explosion. He was going there for coffee and stumbled on something, which saved him. Imagine. This stumbling proved providential, it saved his life. Real life is scary, it really is.

2 comments:

ms said...

some years ago, i found jehovah's witnesses on my doorstep. when i said i am happy as i am, they wanted to know which religion i belonged to. i refused. then they pulled out all these magazines with titles "Jehovah and Hinduism", "Jehovah and Islam", "Jehovah and Buddhism", "Jehovah and Christianity"!! i felt a similar sense of being cornered when i was invited to a function guarateed to make me happy and part of a happy, closeknit family. yep, i was being drafted into Amway!!! the shining eyes, the huge smiles, the hugging and clutching, the videos of this perfect family on holiday in fabulous locations, the champaigne and the seafood dinners! see, i read somewhere that our freedom of speech and faith is seldom threatened by our govts, it is in danger from fanatics. in some countries in south-east asia (i will not name any names!!), they have govt centres devoted to "conversions" and govt departments which keep track of new converts just to make sure they do not return to their old faiths!! they assign staff to organise regular "discourses" to reconfirm conversions!! so, you are lucky if you only have to encounter wild-eyed lunatics on trains!! but, i see your point. what protection have the uneducated and the meek against such onslaughts?

John said...

Ms,

rightly said, what protection has the meek and uneducated, who could be easy prey to such virulent people who wish to recruit. I have never seen even salesmen being so aggressive, so this post.

Thanks for commenting :)

J