Watching the old, rustic man in a saffron robe with a long beard looking serene and an epitome of simplicity, in movies was fascinating. He resonated with God, the supreme. Come 21st century, and this once serene looking man is giving the multi millionaires a run for their money. Welcome the New Age BABA, a word that at one time struck only the nursery rhyme cord.
Watching Nirmal Baba’ on television, (yes, a channel dedicated to him), claiming that binging on 7 ‘gol guppas’ will secure a follower’s ‘samasya’ for good. And a ‘samosa’ daily would make another rich! Now that’s my kind of ‘Babaji’, i thought …an ardent street food lover, just like me! But I must add, i was impressed with the size of the gathering that he held, prescribing a variety of street food options to lead a satiated life….Going by that reference, my life is Heaven on Earth, while i go have my 7 course street food meal, all credit to this innovative Guruji!
Gone are the days of hermit like Babajis living a life of a pauper. I had never thought i’d hear a frail looking very popular BABA, wrapped in saffron, talk about his business. So as i sat in bewilderment at the idea of Babaji raking in the moolah, pop went my bubble! I must confess, i felt a pang of jealousy, even if momentary. No more the comic book hermit begging for alms, now traveling in First Class, meeting the creme de la creme and being invited to lecture at prestigious international universities, is a matter of fact!..And hold your horses, he is also a rockstar, an actor, a director…the specially chosen messenger of God. I am now torn between envy and awe!
‘Jai Babaji ki’…..who said priests and babas live a life of celibacy? No points for guessing…..Baba Asaram has changed that stereotypical image for sure…and for good. Pretty ironically, Babas’ colourful lives and harems can put the most leeing Bollywood movie villains to shame!
In the race for the most inventive Godmen, this one gets full marks! Did you know that you can magically turn into a millionaire by keeping your wallet open and placing it on a ”money” plant outdoor? My inquisitiveness flaring at the sheer ludicrity of it, I set about giving this very unique trick a try. Lo behold, the rain gods visited, and there swept my branded wallet and my money, quite the irony…..So that turned out to be a damn squib, but atleast he compelled me to shop for a new wallet!
Going by the name,fame and moolah these Contemporary Babas roll up, it might also be listed as a fabulous profession option! Slogging for years for a seat in IIT? Nah, be a BABA! Simple, hassle free and at no investment cost! A course in learning the art of Babaism, anyone? The perception of India as the land of superstitions takes a leap with this.
Living in an age where progression is anticipated, I am appalled and amused, simultaneously at the thought of a million people bowing to a self-proclaimed godman, who manages to enthrall a grotesque number of people! Well, if nothing else, i will give due credit for engaging the audience.
Notwithstanding the satire, there is also a holistic approach to the whole hullabaloo around Baba Ram Rahim recently. Though it did somewhere ruffle my feathers, it gave my biased opinions a stir. With the flabbergasting number of followers he holds, could there be any credibility to the prefix ‘baba’, that entitles him to be an influencer?