Enough of the good cheer, shopping sprees, and hollow New Year's resolutions. Some Hindus have better things to do.
BY: Shoba Narayan
I hope that all of you have a good holiday season. Not that I really care. I'm Hindu, you see, and that gives me an excuse to be rude during the holidays.
So while you share eggnog with old Uncle Willie and listen for the hundredth time about how he won the chess tournament of 1935, I can walk around with insouciance, hurling expletives at cab drivers, telling salespeople off, and chewing out every missionary panhandler who approaches me for a holiday donation. I am Hindu. I already celebrated Diwali in November. I don't have to be pleasant now.
As you have probably gathered, I hate the holidays in America. I hate the cheer and bonhomie that swathe society like sticky Indian halwa; the booming litany of 'Happy Holidays,' and 'Happy New Year,' that follows me like the sweaty breath of a moneylender. For the record, the Hindu holiday season falls in autumn, I don't celebrate Christmas, and the Hindu New Year is in April.
Besides, Hindu holidays are not marked by elaborate lists of what to buy for whom. Most families wear new clothes, burst firecrackers, light diyas, and gorge on goodies. Here in America, I go into a frenzy of shelling out $179 in the black market for the toy of the moment only to find out that my nieces and nephews already own it. I agonize over how much money to give to my dry cleaner, newspaperman, and doorman, especially since I'm not satisfied with their services. And then there's the guilt induced by the pile of cards with photos of happy families who are so together that they can send out New Year cheer to all and sundry even when they have three kids, two dogs and the odd cat when you can't manage your life with one kid and no animals to speak of.