Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pushing the Limits

Kaushik’s says in his last blog post that “Sroyon has an interesting history of pushing the limits of the Buddhist faith, but it’s best if you ask him about that.” Since no one has asked me yet, and since it is an amusing and instructive story, I will answer that myself. It’s an old story, and it involves the Buddhist temple whose picture you see below.
When I was three, we lived not far from this temple. Every afternoon, the maid would take me there for a walk, and we would always reach just before the service started. The service consisted of people chanting mantras. In time with the chanting, the head monk would bang a huge drum. Everyone in the congregation was given a little drum, which was played with a drumstick and which made a loud clattering sound; and with this little instrument they would all keep the beat. But not me.

I found the stately pace of the head monk’s drumming too boring, and considered it my duty to liven up the proceedings. So, instead of playing it in time with the head monk, I would fill the intervals between beats with loud and rapid clattering. But – and this is the remarkable thing – they would still hand me a drum every day, and no one would snatch it away or conk me on the head.

I do not think there is any other religion in the world that would have tolerated this.

5 comments:

new age scheherazade said...

I love the tag: Music.
But this post is full of kindredness. Though I doubt anyone could conk Little Sroyon on the head. (Haha Little Sroyon should have his own "Adventures of" comic book)

Dhruva said...

I consider this as a sign of a meaningful existence. The fact that you could make cacophony with your little drum.

Priyanka said...

In re: first part of second sentence, the world probably knew you'd put it up on your blog sooner or later.

I consider this a sign of the world's foreknowledge about your general attention-seeking tactics.

Anty said...

You've been lucky to have been acquainted with such a tolerant religion. I was chucked out of the temple for burping a little too loudly.

Sroyon said...

@scheherazade: Priyanka's drawing a comic book on commission. You think I should approach her?

@Dhruva: Maybe to the monks I was not an annoying little noisemaker but an existential symbol.

@Priyanka: The world knows me too well. It's unsettling.

@Anty: What temple is this? Most Hindu temples are too noisy for a burp to even be heard.