Rise of Satan!
India That Is Bharat
Satiricus is admittedly too dense to plumb the depths of Semitic theology, whether Islamic or Christian. He only knows that according to both varieties there is God and there is Satan. The Quran clearly says all believers are in God’s party and all non-believers in Satan’s. Christianity—at least its Indian edition—seems to say the same. For according to missionary literature published in secular India, the ‘Bindi’ that Hindu women apply on their forehead as a holy mark is a satanic sign.
And now that formerly Hindu Nepal has become a secular country, it is flooded with Christian evangelists who are out to save Hindus there from Satanic Hinduism. For they have produced a documentary called ‘Gods of New Age’, which shows that oriental religions were created by Satan to counter-balance Christianity. It also depicts Shiva and Krishna as incarnations of Satan.
Well, now, it does seem to Satiricus that the battle between God and Satan has been truly joined. And what is the report from the front? Alas, it is far from reassuring. In fact, it is alarming. Satan seems to be winning almost all over Christian Europe. For according to newspaper reports Satanism is on the rise in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Russia, Greece, Poland and Scandinavia.
Good God! Is God on the retreat on the Western front? And when the previous Pope came to secular India and loudly called for a fresh crop of faith here, was it because he knew that the crop in Europe is drying up and dying out? God knows! Or does he?
A million-dollar smile
This happiness business is really making Satiricus unhappy. He never knew being happy was that complicated. For Satiricus happiness is simply a state of mind—which only shows he is a simpleton. Had he not been a pen-pushing ignoramus, he would have known that there is a price-tag on happiness, that there is such a thing as the right to happiness, and that there is even a day of the week and an hour of the day—not to speak of the exact minute—for being happy. All this he has now learnt from various scholarly sources.
For instance, apropos the economics of happiness, a recent study by researchers at an American University says money can buy you happiness—but only if you earn more of it than your friends. Believe it or not, these scholars have made the astounding discovery that the rich are happier than the poor. And this, they wisely say, implies that what matters is earning more than others, not the actual amount of money earned.
What does this mean? It means “keeping up with the Joneses” is now outdated. Happiness now means overtaking the Joneses. So if Jones keeps making more money, you must keep making much more money. Now Satiricus would have thought an American with a million dollars in his pocket would be a happy American, but he is not. Why? Because Mr. Jones next door also has a million. So what price is happiness? Simple. The price of happiness is a million plus one dollar.
But should happiness be a free market commodity like this, outside the scope of regulation or legislation? The Brazilians think not. In fact several law-makers in Brazil think so, and they have proposed an amendment to their constitution to make the search for happiness a fundamental right. The said legislation is being backed by an NGO called the Happier Movement. See? Apparently, the Brazilians are happy, but that is not enough; they want to be happier. What does Satiricus think of that? Well, as India’s aam admi he would be happy enough if he had the right to be less miserable than he is.
But of course it would be too much to expect a daily dose of happiness when happiness is a precisely-timed weekly phenomenon. For according to a British study, the happiest time of the week is exactly 26 minutes past 7 o’clock in the evening on Saturday. Why? Because people are finally able to relax after a busy week at work, Well, now, what do you know? Satiricus did not know you could set your alarm clock for 7.26 pm to begin being happy. It is certainly a timely idea. But there is a difficulty. It is that 7.26 pm in England would not be 7.26 pm in India. And even after round-the-clock adjustment, what if Satiricus’s alarm clock fails to ring? And even if it rings, what if it rings one minute late or one minute early? Would not the happiness go unhappily haywire?
So the bottomline for Satiricus is, rather than go to all this trouble to become happy, he would prefer to just dream of happiness. And where should he sleep for this happy dream?—Of course in bed in a London furniture shop that is reportedly priced at 4 million pounds.