Waiter, There’s A Question In My Soup!

I watched PK recently, and it has to be the finest performance yet by Aamir Khan’s ears. A satire on organised religion, PK raises the all-important question i.e. how long before theatres are attacked? As it turns out, not very long. In India, you could die waiting for water or electricity, but dammit, we have the best Dial-A-Mob service money can buy.

The only thing offensive about PK was that the popcorn cost me 300 bucks. But try explaining that to the gentlemen who vandalised theatres left, right and centre, apart from filing cases claiming that the film promotes enmity and hate speech.

It’s weird that people can take offense to Raju Hirani, who’s probably the sweetest, most inoffensive director around. He could take the darkest story and turn it into the cinematic equivalent of hot chocolate.

If Hirani had made Black Friday, it’d end in Munnabhai telling the terrorist – who’d be Parikshit Sahni’s wayward son – “Aye mamu yeh gun chhod na – ghoda chalaane ka hai toh race course pe jaa.” Then Munna would give the terrorist a warm jaadu ki jhappi. (Okay, so some part of that story may have actually happened.)

This is not to say that I don’t have faith. I’m deeply religious. I fast regularly, mostly between bedtime and breakfast. I try and humbly follow whatever is prescribed in the greatest Indian manuscript of all time, the Kama Sutra. I have travelled far and wide to attain enlightenment, and I have found god. He lives at the bottom of a chillum.

What I’ve really enjoyed about my religion is that for the longest time, my reaction to the morning news was not, “Oh FFS, stop doing that in my name. Now people will think I’m also crazy.” Nope, that was a problem for people from the religion known as Naam Leke Marna Hai Kya, But You Know Which One I’m Talking About.

But of late, that luxury seems to be slipping away. It’s also tedious to hear and refute the same ol’ arguments that nuts throw at you, but it must be done, so here we go:

That film/book/song/falooda hurt my religious sentiments

So? You might as well take to the streets to announce “Anarkali ka phone thha, ice-cream khaana bahut zaroori hai” because that’s how much sense it makes. If you don’t like something, don’t watch it. It’s like me hating karela, yet going to a buffet where everything is karela and then attacking vegetable vendors because I did not like the karela.

Who are you to say that god doesnt exist?

Personally, I have no clue if god exists or not. But I admire your confidence. You’d be hard-pressed to explain how a fridge or an engine works, but you know exactly how the universe works. You should go tell that Hawking fellow to chill and stop thinking so much – your book has all the answers.

Why dont you make fun of That Religion Which You Refuse To Name In This Column?

We do, but your bias prevents you from noticing it. But I agree that we tip-toe around it more than we tip-toe around other religions. Because we’re too afraid, too broke to afford bodyguards, and too irrelevant to be granted asylum in countries that do not kill you for having an opinion. But is that what you want to become? If you say you’re better, then prove it by not turning me into sheesh kabab every time I make a joke.

How dare you question something so personal?

This was a question raised in PK too. If so-called silly rituals and and faith offer someone hope, then who are we to question it? Fair enough, as long as it stays personal. If it spills out on the streets and holds us up, we get to question it. If it breeds ignorance and superstition, we get to question it. If it leads to violence, we get to stand atop a flaming pile of your storybooks and proclaim that your beliefs need to change. Even Whatsapp gets an upgrade every few months. Surely religion could do with one. But we won’t do it, because burning books is your thing and we wouldn’t want to steal your thunder.

See, there’s a reason PK had to be an alien. Because we’re not allowed to question the planet we live on. If that thought offends you, well, pray that people like me see the light. That always works.

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50 responses to “Waiter, There’s A Question In My Soup!

  1. “This is not to say that I don’t have faith. I’m deeply religious. I fast regularly, mostly between bedtime and breakfast. I try and humbly follow whatever is prescribed in the greatest Indian manuscript of all time, the Kama Sutra. I have travelled far and wide to attain enlightenment, and I have found god. He lives at the bottom of a chillum.” – absolutely my philosophy as well.

    Super post!

  2. Is there any price for the first person who comments on your post ?

  3. Personally, I feel our Saffron brothers (I wouldn’t say sisters, cause like duh, who’s going to keep their stomachs full when they go out and you know… mob) just played out the same old stereotypical religious intolerance which was hinted at in the film. Joke’s on them.

  4. In a way..I think movies that like PK are needed..just to prove a point.. that when you question someones idea or belief.. people will instantly turn into pretentious DICKS..
    And don’t you find it weird..that most other groups don’t seem to give a shit about what other people believe in.. like when Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroop released… I didn’t see a single person from another religion joining in the Muslim’s protest.. they were too busy stroking themselves..
    We are such a ‘Secular’ country..

  5. This is amazing. 🙂

  6. I had been waiting for something on this topic – so glad that you decided to take it on.

  7. You pretty much speak my mind and that’s quite awesome because I might just be too chicken to do the same. Also, I’m not this funny even on the occassional good day. Well written!

  8. Reblogged this on Mayank Sharma and commented:
    Excellent article – written by the ever funny Ashish Shakya

  9. “See, there’s a reason PK had to be an alien. Because we’re not allowed to question the planet we live on.” – My exact thoughts after the movie. Also, about that chillum, as the great poetess Rihanna would put it “You found love in a hopeless place!”

  10. You are awesome dude! Keep on writing

  11. kick-ass post.. your best one yet!!

  12. Good piece 🙂

  13. IMHO, PK is a good film and if you go and watch the movie with a intention finding flaw in Amir’s work who is popular as a self-proclaimed social activist and secularist amongst right-wing hardliners, you’ll surely find many punches in the movie which punch the concept of superstitution right in the balls. I just feel that Raju Hirani could have prevented all this brouhaha by bashing all the religions equivocally. And those people who are saying that this movie was a blow to Hinduism, I pray that they don’t die out of brain-fart. 🙂

  14. Reblogged this on La La Ladybrain.

  15. thecertainphenomena

    Well a post like this is written more like… while you are still in aftereffects of a movie.
    And the ways you fast and your God at bottom of chillum also explains a bit about how composed you might be.

    Now God is more about hope and God is more about love but the practices and rituals are more about their ways and outcomes.

    Fasting is an ancient practice and so is Offering. Now while I do condemn wasting litres of milk on idol or putting blankets around him while someone else might be shivering in cold the very feeling of offering that you have to the almighty gives a sense of peace to many. Moreover hinduism pretty much like every other religion also teaches practice of dakshina that we embrace to help the needy.

    The problem with you stereotypes is that you see: hey! That trust is earning millions. But u ignore the fact that the same trust also organises langars, bhandaras, pandaals for those in need.

    Come around Patna central railway junction and you will see hoards of poor fed by we the religious blinds and not the pathetic scientific govt.

    Dear pal, ever played The ages of empires? Temples, Church, Mosque are important buildings for advancement in ages. Its so easy how guys like you post big blogs in internet and like minded sheeps come home clapping but hey think and read before you publish any shit.
    Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Hindu babas are frauds,
    Baba Ramdev is 50 yrs old he transformed life of many with yoga alone for free and yet here we stand with Anglo Indian doctors who according to a report prescribe 44% surgeries without any base.

    Think and reply

    • I was wondering when a faith-head would comment on the charitable work done by zealots. Dude, Hitler was good to his dog, Christian missionaries provide aid in Africa in exchange for conversions, and godmen like the fictional Tapasvi, or the real life Nirmal Baba, Asaram, Mata Amritanandamayi provide false hope in exchange for crores in turnover. Are they spending all the money they make in altruistic activities? Highly doubtful. A sense of peace for some should not come at the price of intimidation for others or inconvenience for anyone else. If your baba holds a Langar but then goes and molests a child – is that justified? P.s. Age of empires is a game not an actual account of history.

    • “If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of shit; and I’d like to get as many of them out in the open as possible.”

    • Trust is earning millions because they charge Rs.11111 to sit around a fire and blabber random stuff telling you your sins are now cleansed. So, your argument is stupid and redundant.

      Dear pal, ever played Call of Duty? Because I feel like shooting your ass off.

      Also, every baba is fraud in some way or the other. You do not need a baba for an omnipotent omniscience deity to hear you.

    • You, sir, are on the wrong web page.
      Please go to religioushotohapnetakrakho.com out had a wide variety of open minded things that you will totally not understand

  16. I try and I try, but I just can’t be half as funny or on target as you. Hats off Sir, you are a genius at comedy and logic.

  17. You pointed out some good facts & practices about religion, but you also missed on some. “thecertainphenomena” has covered the missed ones quite effectively.
    One common thing that you both agree with is to take something good out of bad, but at the same time we must also see to it that the bad of that particular Person/Organisation/Community/Religion shouldn’t exceed the good of the same.

  18. @thecertainphenomena

    you type quite a bit for a troll.

  19. 🙂 bang on!!

    On 6 January 2015 at 15:03, Ashish Shakya wrote:

    > Ashish Shakya posted: “I watched PK recently, and it has to be the > finest performance yet by Aamir Khan’s ears. A satire on organised > religion, PK raises the all-important question i.e. how long before > theatres are attacked? As it turns out, not very long. In India, you could > d”

  20. I don’t think us ‘scientific types’, as you said, have anything against anyone practicing religion, faith, helping people out, making your donations. I don’t think I or anyone else needs to tell you all the hundreds and thousands of unspeakable evils that are committed in the name of ‘religion’. Today religion isn’t about just finding peace or harmony within one self but it has become a tool which is being used to kill people, exploit people, kidnap and rape women and children, the list goes on.

    Nobody is saying Hindus or Muslims or any other community by and large are terrorists, even the article doesn’t say so. But then again, who created Hinduisms or Islam or Christianity? We aren’t born with a stamp right, referring to the movie, we as humans created this divide which whether you like it or not today is causing us to kill ourselves! Instead of working together as one, under a religion called HUMANITY we classify ourselves as Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs etc.

    As John Lennon said,
    “Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace”

    Like you’ve mentioned few good things which you, a religious person do, I can go on and on about the innumerable atrocities committed as well, I am sure if you’re well read you don’t need me or anyone else to point those out.

    All your donations, langars, helping the poor, teaching people Yoga or whatever else you do, why do it in the name of a religion? Isn’t this what we as humans should be doing? Helping one another? The mere fact that you need to point these out as good deeds done in the name of religion goes to show where the problem is. We link doing all good things with religion, why? Do good, be kind, help everyone and you will go to heaven, am sure we’ve all heard that in some form or another. How about Do good. Be Kind. Help Everyone. That’s it. No attachments.

    I can go on and on, but I hope you get my point, the scientific type 😉 As is mentioned in the article –

    “If so-called silly rituals and and faith offer someone hope, then who are we to question it? Fair enough, as long as it stays personal. If it spills out on the streets and holds us up, we get to question it. If it breeds ignorance and superstition, we get to question it. If it leads to violence, we get to stand atop a flaming pile of your storybooks and proclaim that your beliefs need to change.”

    All we want is, keep it personal, we made a choice, if you want us to respect yours, you should respect mine as well.

    Think about it.

  21. Reblogged this on are you watching closely? and commented:
    Hilarious!!

  22. As one of “Naam Leke Marna Hai Kya, But You Know Which One I’m Talking About”, “Oh FFS, stop doing that in my name. Now people will think I’m also crazy.” is the best way to describe how I feel on many days.

    Which is why this saffron outrage is so confusing to me. I always thought Hindus in general were more tolerant and understanding. There have been many who have jumped at my throat for voicing any opinion about PK – “It’s not YOUR religion being made fun of, you don’t get to talk about this. In fact, if it had been a movie on YOUR religion, the cast and crew of PK would have been dead”.

    Arey BC, you want to be better than mindless gullible zealots with no aim or not?

  23. Quite a mature post! Comedy going hand in hand with this! Superb!

  24. This might have voiced many people’s thoughts like me.. I was struggling to write something like this from a week but the post just didnt happen. I wouldnt have done it better
    KUDOS ashish

  25. Reblogged this on I ∪ Ī and commented:
    “The only thing offensive about PK was that the popcorn cost me 300 bucks.” Hehe…

  26. MARRY ME ALREADY
    But the kids will need to be Christian or I won’t get to go to heaven

  27. Reblogged this on The Westerlies and commented:
    This guy nails it. Humor is the second best weapon against ignorant weebs, first being sarcasm.

  28. Reblogged this on Myth's Reality and commented:
    The only one you should listen to for thoughts on PK is this guy! Hilarious!

  29. this is amazing. i love so many parts of what you’ve said. stellar commentary.

  30. This is amazing ….was waiting for an article like this ….those who don’t like it don’t watch it..well said bro some retards truly need to c this one

  31. @ Cacus , that’s true. “If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of shit; and I’d like to get as many of them out in the open as possible.”
    In my opinion, for these people the purpose of life is to obtain divine reward.
    In India, there are number of organizations run by many spiritual gurus who claim to bring happiness in people’s lives. It is like a market category and whose market capital is multiplying day-by-day. With the swamis and gurus being integral part of Hinduism at every time of its history, even in 21 st century it is easy to establish oneself has enlightened one/ son of god. These organizations cash on the troubled Indian minds and offering to bring peace & happiness. They accumulate huge donations and some part of it is invested back into the business in the form of philanthropy. This is a very sustainable business model and there is a huge market to tap into.
    Why is it difficult for people to accept the reality? Why is it difficult for people to believe in coincidences? Why is it difficult for people to accept the fact that their suffering is random and it is not that they are chosen by someone? I was going through some program of one of such organizations and realized how intelligently they market their products- market segmentation, products designed for each target group, chain like multi level marketing technique.

    I am so curious why can’t these enlightened gurus give some lectures on how to transform Indian economy and recommend ways to create employment opportunities for the people. If they wish to see real happiness of people then thats the actual happiness of people. I want to ask many young people in this world to please seek the answer for ‘how to live in this world ?’ than to find answers for ‘whats the purpose of this life?’ There is a challenge to all these people,i.e., just to avoid association with any of the activities taught by these people for an year and list of the things which went wrong because of not following what guru has said to follow.

  32. @thecertainphenomena
    1) The movie isn’t against religion. It is against certain practices in religion. Wastage of milk is bad as you agree and the practice of giving to the needy is good. This movie points out the bad practices in your religion and challenges you to stay away from them. Whether you take up that challenge or take up a trishul to protest against the movie is up to you.
    2) Religion is necessary for every human to connect to god and feel hopeful about someone out there helping him. But when organized religion becomes a race to see who has the most followers and a contest about which religion is the best, it becomes ugly.
    3) Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all babas are frauds, as you say, is completely true. There are babas out there who help people. The movie doesn’t say all babas are evil. It just warns people that there are babas out there who will take advantage of your fears and fleece you.
    There are several more points I could write here but I have work to go to, which the protesters at the theaters surely don’t have.

  33. Hahaha another masterpiece!

    I also saw PK recently, and all I thought what the hell is the hullabaloo all about?
    Infact, the movie is good but nothing original about it, people should be talking about how much it’s inspired from OMG but instead they are hell bent on turning India into the ‘religion known as Naam Leke Marna Hai Kya, But You Know Which One I’m Talking About Nation of India.’

  34. Umm AWESOME ARTICLE!! 😀 😀 Please don’t kill me for pointing out that there is a grammatical mistake in the first line of the 7th paragraph. It should be ‘But off late’ instead of ‘But of late’

  35. This is simply ashish shakya at his best.

  36. Piece of shit. People like you should be banned first. With no background and religious sense or knowledge, you have no rights to comment on anything. Get your basics right dude and then bark out loud!

  37. Indranil Roy Choudhuri

    Wow, super article as always. Dear Ashish, if you see that your comments section has such “engaging” conversations, then you know your blog is a HIT!

    @thecertainphenomena – i dont think the likes of Ashish or Tanya or “PK” are against any religion. The problem highlighted is that when people get subservient to rituals dictated by “godmen” of any religion, that the true purpose of faith is lost. This, I felt the was the main message of “PK” and even a similar film,aired earlier.Unfortunately, we are ailed by a misplaced sense of morality and don’t have a clue about tolerance .

  38. One of the very best views I have read regarding the whole religion debate and PK storm. Also, I really enjoyed reading about the ways you mentioned in which you follow certain aspects of religion like fasting between bedtime and breakfast, following the Kama Sutra etc. 😛 And it is so sad but true that in India, the wait for basic amenities is long but action taken regarding sentimental and frivolity is swift.

  39. Very good article..written well in good spirit.. and thats what is lacking around ..good spirit, positive energy, love and happiness. Hope things will change soon. Human should stop depending on other brains to lead his own life.

  40. Nailed it –
    “This is not to say that I don’t have faith. I’m deeply religious. I fast regularly, mostly between bedtime and breakfast. I try and humbly follow whatever is prescribed in the greatest Indian manuscript of all time, the Kama Sutra. I have travelled far and wide to attain enlightenment, and I have found god. He lives at the bottom of a chillum.”

    Another one –
    “Even Whatsapp gets an upgrade every few months. Surely religion could do with one. But we won’t do it, because burning books is your thing and we wouldn’t want to steal your thunder.” ~ FRIENDS 😉

  41. It’s funnily ironic that HT doesn’t publish this article.

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