Doctor Jedi’s Blog
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light.

Joie de Verve

Today, I decided to take remedial action and recover some of the Joie de verve that I felt was lacking from my existence of late. Came back home from what will hopefully be my last night shift for 10 days or so and rather than just crash and go head low supine(aka sleep), I decided to shake up some of the dormant neurons that have been snoring away in my head of late.

Watched some TED videos, something that never fails to get the juices flowing.Its one of the ways in which the mind and the curiosity is satiated, by listening to and musing over these amazing things that other people are doing every day. This guy never fails to amaze/amuse me … I dunno whether I have posted this here before or not, but repetition is not always bad eh ..

I wanted to mention this video because of another reason as well.

I had a chance conversation  with a jamaican lady serving me lunch in the hospital cafeteria during the weekend ( u guessed it, I was at work). The lady standing in front of  me in the queue had managed to knock over a tray of fruit on the display and I was helping her collect up all the scattered fruit when the serving lady started singing hallelujah and sort of swaying with the tune. When I stood up and she started serving me, she asked me if I was a Muslim ( a question I have been asked quite often given my brown skin … apparently people are unaware of a billion pagans that happen to have various shades of brown skin eh), When I replied in the negative, she changed her line of questioning and asked me if I believed in God. When I replied in the negative again, her entire demeanour changed.She had a look of shocked disbelief in her eyes, and with a tremble in her voice, she grabbed my hand and said ” how can you not believe in God brother, what with the job you do, you are the instrument of his miracles every day”. I was a taken aback by this show of emotion and merely smiled and shook my head because her conviction and manner actually made me feel a bit guilty inside my head.As if I were doing something wrong and was responsible for her distress.Much as I wanted to defend myself, I felt that my quasi rational arguments would not stand a chance against her feverent belief.

I kept thinking about this incident through out the day.I guess, in a meta-philosophical sense, a belief in God and a belief in aethism, irrespective of what Richard Dawkins might have to say ( ref his book ” The God Delusion”), are the same. Both are not based on any material evidence and yet people go to extremes trying to promote and rationalise both of these viewpoints.

Coming back to the video,A.J. Jacob (the guy in the video) mentions something he calls Agnostic Reverence. Where in you are undecided on the existence of a Divine being, but you do have a reverence for the Creation and the Universe around. I think that sums up my stand on this whole question quite well. But obviously, it was a concept too elaborate to sum up to the lady serving the food given the shortage of time. There were other people waiting in line behind me and I had to get back to theatres and restart work.

Fast fowarding to the present again (or the near past)

I decided to have some breakfast before I finally dozed off and found some Pitta and Sambar in the fridge. And I kid you not that my wife makes the best sambar in the world. The flavour is just sublime and though I was too lazy to heat it up and thus magnify the flavour, it did hit the spot. As I was munching on this gastronomical delight, I started wondering about all this food that we eat and yet know nothing about. To expound on this a bit, let me indulge in a bit of a digression yet again …

In my part of the world, the carbohydrate accompaniment to every meal is what is referred to as the chappati. Unfortunately for me, my wife hails from a part of the world where rice is the major source of carbs in every meal.And to top that, we live in a country where potatoes fulfill the said role. So needless to say, I find it hard to satiate my cravings for unleavened  bread.

The Pitta came as a life saver as it is easily stored in the fridge and can be heated up quickly in a toaster or on an open flame. And much more importantly, it can be easily purchased at the friendly neighbourhood corner shop. So munching on this pitta moistened with the flavoursome sambar, I started wondering about the origins of this treat.

Enter the saviour. The proclaimed patron helper saint of all the curious. Wikipedia. And I spent the rest of the morning reading about sambars and pittas and chappatis and what not. And I was surprised by what I did not know. Apparently, the world pitta is the ancient aramic word for bread. Aramic being the language that Jesus preached in. The spoken languange of Palestine around the time when Jesus was born. It is by and large a dead language now, but apparently, the masses of some  Eastern Orthodox Church denominitions are still said in Aramic.

Thats all I ask from providence ( having just announced my agnostism, I would be loathe to invoke the heavenly father now wouldnt I).

Give us this day, O Providence, our daily Pitta,(and a smattering of Sambar).

Deliver us from evil,

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom

,and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

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