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The other day my friend's kid asked me, "What does oxymoron mean?"
I explained, but the youngster did not quite understand. I tried another tack.
"Just look outside," I said, "you will see it everywhere."
He wasn't convinced, though he did look out.
"Everything out there is oxymoron," I told him. "Read the editorial of any newspaper. It is all oxymoron. The current yug [era] is gonna be renamed after it."
How, he wanted to know -- and why?
"Look at what's happening," I said. "The sages in Manasarovar would be weeping when they look at the predicament of the most tolerant, most beautiful philosophy in the world. Isn't it paradoxical that a religion with 330 million gods and goddesses forgets all the beautiful messages of the invaluable scriptures, for which other civilisations envy us, and runs after the glorification of everything bovine?"
He looked puzzled. But I forged ahead.
"Jesus would be ready to die again if He sees what is going on in the valley of Golgotha. Buddha would denounce the politics of the karmapas and lamas. The Prophet would not hesitate to brandish the sword against the Osama bin Ladens and Wahabis. And Marx and Engels, they would be blaming each other for what has happened to their philosophies in China, Russia and Kerala."
The boy didn't look convinced -- yet. So I gave him another example, that of the leader of the free world embracing a certain military general.
"He is the head of the country that made Taliban, he lied, lied and lied through his teeth -- and, look, now he is the ally in a war on terrorism!"
I wasn't finished. I pointed to Korea. "Even after they made it public they have nukes, fuel oil flows to the axis. And the senate has to convene to decide!
"The technology that put man on the moon is not able to trace missile factories in some part of the world! The satellites that can read the licence plate of a Lincoln Navigator owned by a staunch environmentalist in Patterson, New Jersey, cannot see the enrichment plants in the middle of a desert!"
The boy stood up. He had had enough of this devil they called oxymoron.
Sebastian Mani, who lost a colleague in the WTC attacks, supports peace.
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