Some of my readers who have not met me but have spoken to me on Skype would have seen this avatar of me on the screen and perhaps would have also asked me about the talcum powder kind of application on my forehead and got replied with the same information that I will give below.
Irrespective of how many times I take a shower in a day, and now in the summer it could be as high as four or five times, I will come out of my bathroom into my bed room with an altar where I will apply vibhuti on my forehead and say my set of prayers before I dress up. This is something that I have been doing for decades and most of the time, I simply am not even aware later that I have got vibhuti on my forehead. I will simply go off outside on chores or visits to the theaters or parties or whatever.
That application is Vibhuti. Quite what it is and why people apply it on their foreheads can be found out in the Wikipedia post that I have linked here. This post is to explain why it is an odd habit.
Let me explain a peculiar Indian urban phenomenon called Westernisation before I proceed further. This is something that English speaking pseudo intellectuals admire and practice. Apart from wearing jeans and t-shirts or their equivalents, their idea of secularism, another pseudo idea is, for the majority Indians, read Hindus, to overtly display anything related to their religious affiliation is being communal, whereas it is perfectly alright for the minorities to display those symbols like ankle length trousers, skull caps, beards, burkhas, hijabs etc for Muslims and the symbol of the cross worn around the neck and / or stickers on vehicles reading “Jesus Saves” for the Christians.
Recently, these elites have acquired a sobriquet which is The Intellectual Mafia. The problem with this gang is their inability to accept that someone as modern as I am, mark my choice of the word modern rather than Westernised, who is perhaps more fluent than they are in English can be seen in public with vibhuti on his forehead. Till they hear me speak they simply ignore me thinking that I am a bumpkin, because I am usually found wearing the native dress of Kurta and Pajama or lungi. The minute I speak they go into paroxysms of indignity. It is so unexpected that if they have the courage, they will ask me why I have got that mark or if they do not, they will snicker and go away to criticise me behind my back.
Truth be told, I don’t think that it is My Odd Habit. I am who I am. It is what is perceived by the intellectual mafia to be My Odd Habit.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my take on this subject which was chosen by Delirious who no longer posts for the LBC but keeps in touch with our blogs through comments for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where five of us write on the same topic. The four other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order; Ashok, gaelikaa, Maxi, and Shackman. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too! Ashok too is having prohlems with his blog being down and may or not participate this week.