We are not teaching ‘Tolerance’

My mother is a pious woman. She is loyal to her daily ritual of coddling 330 million Hindu Gods, goading them to secure the uncertain future of the Ghoshs of Soukalin Gotra. Over the years, she has rationalized her efforts as an act of benevolence. She offers prasadam and then distributes it to the less privileged.

But despite her obsession with the Hindu Gods, mom did nothing to limit my brother and me to the confines of Hinduism. Which is possibly why we turned out to be agnostics.

Id treats were consumed gluttonously at ours. Stockings were hung and filled by Father Christmas. Neither Santa nor the children in our Hindu household raised the question of religious allegience at such times.

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

This is probably why the concept of ‘tolerance’ bothers me so much. The word tolerance presupposes an inherent disdain for the other, which I had never been exposed to as a child. I am extremely keen that Baby T is either completely oblivious to the differences that religion imposes (improbable) or is, at worst, amused by the best of all worlds. I hope there is no situation wherein she needs to merely ‘tolerate’ another perfectly honest and amiable human being.

Therefore, we are sending out our letter to Santa, putting up a Christmas tree and keeping milk and cookies out for the old man. Merry Christmas ya’ll!

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