Jehovah’s Witless: The Musical

, , , , , | Friendly | November 14, 2019

(My house gets a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses. When I leave for college, my parents are politely refusing them, which isn’t working so well. When I come back from college for the winter break, my parents have developed an unusual way to deal with them.)

Witness: “Have you heard of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior?”

Mom: “Oh, come in, come in! I have just made lunch. Are you hungry? You look hungry! Come!”

(The missionaries come in, taking in the traditional Indian furniture and Carnatic music coming from the kitchen.)

Witness: “We’re here to tell you about Jesus–”

Mom: “Eat, no? Have some more! You’re so skinny!”

Witness: “We’re here to tell you about Jesus–”

Mom: “I have heard of this Jesus fellow.” *to my dad* “Dai! Konni Yēsudās karnāṭik pāṭalu vēyaṇḍi!” *to the missionaries* “My husband is putting on some carnatic songs of Yesudas. You know, his name means ‘servant to Christ.’”

Singer: “Manasulōni marmamulu telusukō marirakṣata marakaṭaṅgā nā…”

Dad: “I really love this song. So beautiful. Here, Saint Tyāgarāja is saying, ‘O Emerald-skinned Rāma who protects devotees, please know the trouble in my heart!’ Is it not so poetic? The Śud’dha hindōḷaṁ is such a beautiful raga. It is a pity it is so under-utilised.”

(The missionaries glance at each other. My father goes on and on about the song while my mother continues anxiously feeding them as if they were the ones who just came back from college.)

Singer: “…tyāgarāja yōga vaibhavaṁ sadāśivaṁ śrī tyāgarāja yōga vaibhavaṁ sadāśrayāmi tyāgarāja yōga vaibhavaṁ agarāja yōga vaibhavaṁ rājā yōga vaibhavaṁ yōga vaibhavaṁ vaibhavaṁ bhāvaṁ vaṁ śrī…”

Dad: “Ah, this is another beautiful song. The Ānanda Bhairavi feeling is brought out so beautifully. And the way that Saint Dīkṣitār has repeated the same line with taking out the few syllables at the beginning and created new meanings every time that are still appropriate prayers to Lord Śiva. Superb!”

(He goes on and on like this and the witnesses become ever more anxious. My mother starts mixing the perugu annaṁ to finish the meal.)

Singer: “…ilalō praṇatārti haruḍanucu pērevaridirē śaṅkaruḍani (nīkilalō)…”

Dad: “Another great song. In this song, Saint Tyāgarāja is asking of Lord Śiva why he–”

Witness: “Okay, that’s enough. You know, you really ought to try reading the Bible sometime. You really should. You need Jesus to keep you on the path to Heaven.”

Dad: “No, no! We are perfectly fine with our gods. We shall attain mōkṣa through Śiva, Rāma, Pārvati, Subrahmaṇya, Lakṣmi, Pārvati, and all. And if we fail, we will see you in the heavens. But only for a short while, for we get another chance at it, as well.”

Witness: “Well, thanks for the meal. It was lovely. I do hope you’ll reconsider!”

(One of them now comes round once a month to the nearby Hindu temple to listen to Carnatic music with us!)

Jehovah’s Witless, Part 17
Jehovah’s Witless, Part 16
Jehovah’s Witless, Part 15

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