The Dress Code of Spirituality
While I was doing my final year B.Sc in 1982, I got an invitation to attend a literary camp conducted by Kerala-based Malayala Manorama Newspaper (later I was a columnist in it). As I had been selected as best short story writer in Malayalam in Kerala University (1981), I was becoming popular among college students then.
The venue was a Christian guest house in a very beautiful scenic place near Kottayam. There were three people in the front-desk reception. Looking at me one of them asked: “Yes – What can we do for you?”
“I came here by invitation” I raised my voice.
“Are you a sponsor or something?” the other receptionist asked.
“No. I am a writer”
All three of them gave me a strange look. “You don’t look like a writer”
I asked why.
“Most of the writers had a pattern of dressing – Pajama, Kurta, beard and a shoulder cloth-bag with long strap for it. Some of them are very smelly too,” one among them said as joke. “But you are in T-shirt and jeans and there is no beard”
“Please don’t worry; this is very shabby and cheap dress, so, for the time being please adjust with that…”I told them with smile. “I won’t take bath tomorrow morning and won’t shave…satisfied?”
Everybody laughed. Times have changed, but even today writers are being type casted at least in movies. Some of them look like Capra aegagrus hircus. Confused? It’s scientific name for bearded goats.
Few months ago one of my readers – Bhaskar Naidu – from Bangalore wanted to see me. I asked him to come and meet me in the hotel where I was staying in Bangalore and he came. He just stared at me for a moment. I could see the colour of his face drained. He gave me a look like that of a Orangutan suffering from hemorrhoids.
“What happened, Bhasker? You don’t seem to be happy seeing me… For further reading please check the book : TIDBITS: From The Life of Pai
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