Papa Please Preach


In Shakespearean’s words, ‘Some Cupid kills with arrows and some with traps’

Cupids or No Cupids, we are nonetheless encountered with several such traps in our daily lives – Be it professional or personal. Does the Gandhian principle of Honesty still hold water in a world governed by diplomacy and self-interest?

I try and seek answers from the Bible whenever in doubt. In these lines of thought, an interesting incident comes to my memory. Here goes the story – The city of Jerusalem stood in cudgels against a local prostitute called Mary Magdalene. The self-proclaimed Holy Pharisees outrightedly declared her a shame to the pious little town and wanted to stone her to a rightfully shameful death. As she was being cursed and mentally crucified by all the local guardians of a pious culture, Jesus came to her rescue. A very unlikely supporter of a whore, the Son of God Himself took her by his side and shielded her from the heartless angry crowd. Jesus taught us not to judge lest we be judged by the Father Himself. He challenged the city of Jerusalem to question their hearts and if any of them believed they were truly blameless by the Scriptures and their conscience, they were free to come forward and stone Mary Magdalene. Jesus’ words pricked the hearts of the people of Jerusalem and they had no choice but to quietly resign themselves to quiet submission. It didn’t mean that Jesus approved of Mary Magdalene’s ways. After the hypocritical crowd left, he told her in private to let go of her past and lead a new life in the ways of the Father. He blessed her with all his heart and willed for a good life. Why did Jesus stand for someone whose ways he didn’t approve of? In Jesus eyes, Mary was a good lady at heart. He didn’t allow himself to judge her by the eyes of the world - neither by her background, her past, her profession or her attire or the lack of it. He simply saw her good heart that was willing to change for the better.

Over 2000 years later, we have theories and several presumed facts that challenge the foundations of Christianity by the likes of Dan Brown. Its founder comes under the spotlight. What was the real relationship between Christ & Mary Magdalene? Could there be more than that which meets the eye? Is there a clever conspiracy hidden by the Catholic church?

Contextual to the Christ’s quote ‘Your ways are not my ways’, we can only think in the worldly ways. A relationship between a man and woman is always held under great suspicion. How then can poor Christ be spared from this worldly allegation? For coming in mere defense of Mary Magdalene, Christ let himself vulnerable to baseless speculations and rumours. Cut 2000 years later, we have a reigning best seller thriving on the alleged illegitimate relationship between Christ & Mary Magadalene. And a whole lot of us refuse to believe any otherwise.

Not surprising since the human imagination runs far and wild - a la Eve whose imagination was triggered by the serpent’s temptations to eat the apple and attain the greatness of God Himself. And by nature, the human mind is untrusting and full of doubts and fears – a la Joseph who was conspiring to secretly divorce and disown Mary when he learnt she was pregnant and to save himself and his family from future embarrassment till the Angel of the Lord had appeared to him and informed him of God’s will.

I won’t get into the argument of whether there’s some truth behind Dan Brown’s book since that is not the purpose of this article. On the note that some things in life are guided by pure faith and trust, I would like to carry this article to the next level in the true belief that there was no alleged conspiracy of any kind in the place. For the simple reason, I am of firm opinion if Christ had the courage and the nerve to be nailed and brutally thorned on the cross and die for other’s sins, he would have the equal nerve to acknowledge a relationship with any woman on the face of this earth or beyond.

Coming back to the fundamental question that we need to deal with in this article – Does it still pay to be really open and honest? Do we have to subjugate ourselves to fit into the idealistic realms of societal norms?

When Christ himself whose life was an open book was not spared of hard hitting allegations during his time and after, how much more mere mankind?

So where does one draw the line and balance out the act of being fortright without being vulnerable to manipulations by self-interest seeking fellowmen? Or is it too idealistic an approach to seek for in the first place?

At this crucial juncture of finding an answer to this question, I am strongly reminded of one of my father’s golden words of wisdom. Not because he happens to be my father but because I believe in the simplicity of solutions. He tells me very simply and rightfully as I would like to believe so – ‘Be politically correct in your professional dealings and Be frank and sincere in your personal relationships’

Being my father’s daughter and as an ode to his wonderful words of enormous wisdom, I will stick to his pearly words till the day I breathe my last.

6 comments:

vichchoobhai said...

profoundly philosophical, rhetorical, emotional and straight from your heart. What is bothering you? What is troubling you, it is not difficult to divine. You are caught in the crossfire between being open and honest and subjugating yourself to fit into the idealistic norms of society,as you say. A catch 22 situation.

I think whether it pays or not should not be the criterion in solving this dilemma. It may not pay in the short tun. But would u subjugate your free will and your beliefs just to be ok with society? Dont u think it is hypocritical to say the least. And to what end? To get some material benefits. To be a success in life. Ask yourself was Jesus a success in Life? No, as far as i can make out from the Bible. But he was a roaring success centuries after his crucifixion. Why did he die on the cross? To uphold societal norms or to stick to his convictions? There should be no second thought about where your choice should lie.

Forget Dan Brown. Da Vinci Code was fiction. I read it because it desscribes so vividly all the places in Louvre Paris and London which I had the good fortune to visit. I was spell bound. But I donot believe that the events chronicled there took place in history.

I am no one to question your father's credo. But the words "politically correct" touch a raw nerve. What is being - politically correct? I thought that this referred to euphemisms like calling Mary Magdalene a commercial sex worker or calling the blind visually impaired or things like that. I agree we should not offend others by being blunt. But being politically correct has diferent connotations in different contexts and points in history. Maybe I am getting confused.

I am sorry if i have been brutally frank ( or politically incorrect) in my comments

U deserve kudos for an extremely well written post which tugs at the heart strings !!!

Keep it up

vichchoobhai said...

Beautifully replied to my spur of the moment comments ( u wanted them quickly if u recall) . On calm reflection, I agree with every word u say. Women are supposed to be emotional, governed by the heart and not mind, but u have proved otherwise. U have a wise head on yr young shoulders.

Carry on Tina, u r in the right direction.

Sorry if i hurt u by my comments. I just cant even remotely think hurting u as I respect u a lot and care for u.

vichchoobhai said...

TINA
Happy news!
U got yuour 2000th hit of yourprofile
and that too from me
Remember i was the one whohit the thousandth hit too
Celebrate!!!
but write more blogs tina. Wake up from yr beauty sleep

Tina Jacob said...

Yippppppeeeeeeeeeeee!

It is HAPPY news. And I have started the celebrations by blogging already....

Yohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Rakesh Pandey said...

Wow! I always was intrigued by the history of Mary Magdalene! A very philosophical and introspective story! Apt for Christmas!

Tina Sequeira said...

Hello Rakesh,

I am glad you were intrigued with the post. This one especially is very close to my heart and reminds me of time when I was at life´s cross roads. I agree with you about the story...I find the story pretty fascinating and apt even in the current times. Evolution is inevitable and yet mankind doesn't change that much.