Monday, March 30, 2009

Sleaze and Wisdom

He was certain that those were pretty much the raunchiest lines he had read in his 9 years of existence. It was confusing, because he had not expected those lines in a book that had been thrust into his hands much to his dislike, to be read and followed in life; and that too by his mother, of all the people.

As Mac, his trusted advisor in matters of sleaze, turned the pages and introduced him to the eroticism of Song of Songs, the confusion gave way to wonder.
“Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.”
Wow, he thought. Sunday school might not be as boring as he thought it would be. He started doubting the wisdom of having resisted his parents’ attempts to send him to Sunday school for 2 years. Duck Tales on Doordarshan suddenly looked less appealing than ‘breasts like a cluster of grapes’.

‘When are they going to teach us all this stuff?’

Mac gave him a smile of derision, like a man who had seen it all. ‘Never,’ he said. ‘You should explore and find all the stuff yourself.’

‘You mean there is more?’

‘Yeah! Even dirtier stuff.’

He dared not ask Mac to show him the rest of the stuff. Good kids, which he definitely was one, did not go around reading dirty stuff. But his look said it all. Mac felt elated at this elevation of stature – he was one of the big boys now.

‘Ok. But I don’t have much time. Note down the chapters and verses and read it at home,’ said Mac, quickly flicking through the pages to find the sections of interest.

He suddenly felt a deep sense of appreciation for the genius who had introduced numbering of verses in the bible.

While he was furiously jotting down Mac’s lecture notes, the teacher had noticed that 2 kids in the last bench weren’t paying attention.

‘So what gift would you have asked from God if you were given a chance like King Solomon?’ the teacher asked him in an attempt to get their attention back.

All eyes in class were on him. He was thinking furiously to figure out what was being discussed in class before his attention had wandered to more interesting things.

Oh yes, the story of the wise king Solomon and God’s offer to give him anything he wanted. He knew the ‘right’ answer, of course – wisdom. But then the teacher had been specific – what would he have asked from God. Even his 9 year old brain could figure out that what worked for Solomon need not work for him, the requirements were completely different, especially with the demands of the modern world. Besides he figured that he had tonnes of wisdom already.

‘I would ask for a helicopter,’ he replied with a sincere expression on his face.


That evening he started an in-depth study of the Bible which would last several weeks, much to the surprise of his parents. The scholarship he had gained over the weeks made him confident about facing Sunday school exams. To his disappointment though, not a single question was asked from the sections he had meticulously researched. That year, he set a record of sorts in the exams, scoring an unprecedented 2 marks out of 100. He has not yet figured out how he got those 2 marks.


He still maintains that a helicopter is a damn fine choice. Try commuting in Chennai if you are not convinced.


Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

I don't know much about the Bible, but my lesson from the Gita is sex and violence sells not just in Hollywood! :p

p.s: I don't know much about the Gita either! :|

Nitram said...

Hilarious stuff! And yeah, the 'Song of songs' is pretty raunchy stuff, and in a place you would least expect it! Perhaps that's why they never take it up as a reading in church!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! -- Di

Mathew said...

Brilliant! I was laughing out so loud. Although I refuse to believe that even with all the prodding and hints from the teachers, you got only 2 marks!

Mac really was the sleaze tutor. Two words - Monopoly, Titanic... :)

silverine said...

You hit the nail on the head! :|

thomman said...

Che! I missed those. (I'm a Sunday school drop out!)

Philip said...

karthik: Very true. Sex sells.

nitram: Can you imagine the priest reading out from SoS and conclude, "Now that, dearly beloved, is how you should make love." :p

anon: Thanku :)

Mathew: Monopoly and Titanic, you can say that again :)

silverine: always wanted to hit the nail on a couple of sunday school teachers' head too :|

thomman: I too dropped out a year later. It was unsahikkable, both for me and the teachers.

Anonymous said...

dude :) awesome!... i spent 10 yrs in sunday school and choir -- and they never had anything thing to do with song of songs ... i dont think the revised catholic bible even has song of songs included in it !:(

Philip said...

prashant: that's really sad. catholic clergy are in denial about human sexuality I think.

mathew said...

Dont remind me of sunday thomman am a dropout too..or maybe I knew a lot already!!;-D

I never knew song of songs until i read this post...

Shrutz said...

I skipped Sunday School. With my mom's permission.
But by then, I knew all the stories from the Bible.
And oh BOY, Song of Songs :P

Philip said...

mathew: If it wasn't for Mac, I wouldn't have had anything to do with the Bible. I too would have remained ignorant about SoS.

shrutz: I had to endure the Sunday torture for 4 years, until I reached 10th standard when I was allowed to drop out.SoS is the only good thing that came out of those years.

Anoop said...

lol ,tat was funny!

Zahra said...

Lol.... I'm late here, but this is hilarious!!!
I still remember when I first happened to read the Song of songs..... I turned this delicate shade of coral which has never returned since! :-D But it kinda dispelled the notion that sensuality and religion don't go together.

DPhatsez said...

aiyyo! Sunday School groan! :)

SoS wasn't even mentioned even when they taught us 'Agape and Eros' in Sunday School 9th Std.

'Namrukku paarkkaam Munthirithoppukal' finally prompted me to re-read again and again


jia said...

:) only confusion is..9 yrs???I thot kids were still kids at tht time..:P..ooks like u/he was too wise fr his age

Philip said...

anoop: Thank u :)

zahra: True, sensuality is integral to some religions.

jia: The 'full significance' of those lines didn't strike me until 2 years later.

Sushil said...

Am seeing this post over a month late - but still not too late to say its pretty funny you mentioned this about the passages that exist. Most Chrisitian boys have had the same thought but havnt dared put in in so many words :-).
As for the marks you reminded me of my college days due to some glitch I actually got a 2/100 in one paper ! Really - I still to this day don't know how.