This issue of "Weekend Thoughts" column is a very thought provoking
article submitted by Gopal Mohapatra. The beauty of the article lies in
the fact that Gopal always tries to convey very fruitful messages through
folk tales. The following article is one such example. We have seen many
of his folk tales over the ORNET in the past. I had sent the article for a
review to Surjit Sahoo. The reply I got from him was equally impressive.
So, I will simply provide an introduction for Gopal and then let Surjit
present the article for the column. If you want to add some more P's to
the list Gopal presented here's a few : Paani, Pabana, Pushpa, Priyaa,

--Debasmita Misra
			>>>>> Intro <<<<<

I have not known Gopal Mohapatra for a long time. We had met for the first time in
the 1993 American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, CA. From
there I learnt that he is sharing the same apartment in Arizona with one
of my friend Rabi. First impression lasts long. I found him to be very
jovial and pleasant. We had a lot of discussion and fun. However, the most
important component of his charming personality is that he is very 
gentlemanly in nature. I found that he has many friends all over the world.
Who wouldn't be happy to have Gopal as a friend? If you guys are traveling
towards Arizona, then don't forget to call Gopal and Rabi. If you see them
somewhere, then you know that you have the best company ever. In short, I
cherish my friendship with Gopal. 

Here is Gopal's version of his self introduction:   

Born in a small village, Barundei, 35 miles from Jajpur Road, I got my 
high school and college education in Keonjhar. Had an one year stint in 
REC, Rourkela after which joined IIT, Kharagpur. Now in Univ of Arizona 
in the Ph.D program in Geophysics. Hope to graduate soon.

		>>>>> Transfer of Microphone to Surjit <<<<<

Hi Debasmita,
After I read the article, I decided I'm no way going to review an
article of such a grandeur (Magnifique' is the appropriate word). 
It will be unfair to the author. So i am just trying to write an 


	>>>>> Surjit Time + Gopal's el Magnifique' article <<<<<

What you are about to read, would fill you up like a sumptous meal; it
would surely satisfy your apetite for reading, because the author has
added such a nice touch of story-telling, it's like having a nice
Indian buffet compared to fast-food. And for all those avid readers,
there is dessert at the end. So, without much further ado, I present...

			>>>>> Article <<<<<

                           BETALA KATHAA

Have you ever realized the influence of P's on our lives? If not, I am 
going to tell you about it. Only a few come to mind now. Power, Prestige, 
Pride, Promises, Property, Priests, Politicians, People are to name but a 
I am going to focus on a few of them: Priests and Politicians and their 
Power on the People. Because the other P's are pretty subjective and 
sensitive as well, I am  going to stay away from them. 

If you travel down far into the corridor of time, glaring examples are 
there about how religion (Priests) and power (Kings/Politicians) made a 
deadly combination and controlled the People. Consider Medieval India, 
especially moslem/mogul kings baring a few like Akbar. The social 
norms and  life in general were being dictated by mantras and swords. 
This has percolated through the permeable membrane of time and we have 
seen enough of that even after the British called it a day.
Look back for only 15 years. My memory serves me upto early eighties, 
when I first heard of killings in Punjab, about Bhindranwale, about Akali 
Dal. The most shocking thing to me at that time was to know that 
Sikhs are not Hindus. I thought that they are just like tamils, 
marathis, bengalis or say odiyas. Sikhs by themselves have a separate 
religion, was very surprising to me. Now I wonder, why I took it for 
granted that they were hindus. I remember those days when we kids used to 
stand by the side of highways and wave at the big trucks driven by the 
sardarjis. I think I started liking them since then, because they were 
driving big trucks, had big moustache, and appeared invincible. 
During those days, Dara Singh was still a big name. The strongest guy in 
our circle was always referred to as Dara singh. I still don't know if he 
is a Sikh or Hindu. Now it does not matter though, because he has 
grown old and is no more the strongest guy.  Of course, now I don't look 
upto body builders. In my opinion, getting a Bharata Ratna is 
easier than building a body.
Well, coming back to the point, it took me some time then to figure out 
why Sikhs are not Hindus and why they don't belong to my religion. It 
saddened me for a few days. Someone said 'Ignorance is bliss'. I agree. The 
killings were growing everyday. But at that time also I had a strong 
feeling that'This cannot go on forever...will stop soon...the terrorists 
will realize their mistake and things would be back to normal'. It never 
happened till early '90s. I don't think any realization dawned upon the 
terrorists. It was just that the cops got tougher, outside help dwindled, 
terrorists got frustrated. Whatever it may be, most of you know how and why
the Punjab problem started. From my limited knowledge, I know that it was 
the congress party that started the dirty game in punjab in order to bring 
down the Akalis. They made religion a weapon and put that in the hand 
of an innocent preacher, who went down in Indian history as one of the 
dreadest terrorist. If books are to be believed, he was a very staunch 
religious person. Religion was life to him. He had a strong influence 
on the rural mass of Punjab. And this is exactly what Congress needed to 
stop the Akalis. They used Bhindranwale. They misused him and turned 
him into a Frankenstein. The Politicians of Punjab and Delhi and the 
Priests of the Golden Temple put 900 million People into a state of 
terror. Thousands died for no fault of theirs, a temple was 
invaded, a priest died, a terrorist died and a prime minister took 
couple dozen bullets to her funeral pyre, and a five thousand year old 
country watched the gory end in silence. 
Look at Babri Masjid....thanks to some politicians...a forgotten, 
dilapidated musjid became more important than the Jagannath temple, 
more sacred than Minaskhi temple. Rhetorics travelled across India from 
Kashmir to Kanya Kumari, Baroda to Gauhati...the blood of some devoted 
religious people boiled...one fine morning Lord Rama appeared in front 
of Advaniji's palace and said " Son, How can you tolerate this...what 
happened to that blood of Vishwamitra, what happened to the successors 
of the AryaPutra...go get it. I need a place to rest, and it used to be 
my  place". Advaniji, Joshiji, and some other Ji's of Shiv Sena promised 
"In the name of Father, In the Name of Lord Rama, we are going to 
get it...we won't stop until we conquer even Delhi for pujya Ramaji". 
Subhas Bose awoke in his grave and asked...'who said "Delhi 
Chalo". He must have realized then that Time 
had left him far behind and he had to wait till another assignment 
came in. Chaos prevailed, the musjid was destroyed in front of the 
whole world, the big blue sky farted...some egos cooled 
down...some purposes fulfilled. The wave claimed innocent lives, 
over whose deadbodies walked some Priests and Politicians, and the
People watched. 
Look at countries west to us. Its the same priest- politician equation 
that controls the life of People. Somebody wrote a book...kill him. 
Somebody wrote about the plight of women...hang her. And now if I 
continue more, and the mail goes out of the periphery of Ornet, my head 
may suddenly become worth 1 million dollar.  

How about the Pope? His magic wand does its magic. His comments about 
social issues create fire. He sends his missionaries to convert people 
of other religion to christiansm, because Jesus, the only Son of God is 
the savior. Imagine for that matter, Ayotollah Khominie being the Pope. 
Can you ever imagine what will happen to the world? Imagine Khomeini 
and Hussain shaking hands?

There will be Khoeminies, Popes, Jagad Gurus on one hand, and 
Aurangjebs, Hussains, Advanis on the other hand. Please don't be misled
that I am comparing Aaurangjeb with Advani. They want to dictate, they
want to rule, they want to play ball game with innocent minds. And here
we are the People, always ready to be manipulated, to be dictated and
to be enslaved.

So life goes on...a thousand will come and a thousand will go. We 
will never learn from mistakes. We will forget the past in the hope that 
future will be beautiful. And the hope will persist forever. The past 
will repeat and the story will continue. Our grandfathers have told us 
their stories, we will tell ours, they will tell theirs and so on till 
the earth runs out of listeners. Then there will be rocks and water, 
which  exist there from the basement of time to carry on our stories in 
the hope that a cell will evolve.
-Gopal Mohapatra

ps: The author's views may sound biased. But he blames priests and 
politicians of any race, religion, caste for the state of affairs in 
the present day world. He believes that they should not be grouped 
together at any time. If it continues to happen, we are not very far 
from a mass extinction.

DM-- Having told the story to Vikramaditya, the betaala asked him " Hey
Raajan, can you tell who is at fault? Is it the Politician or the Priest
or the Janata? Rememeber, if you know the answer and chose to remain
silent then your head will split in two halves....  (JanhaMamu Style)   
			>>>>> Dessert <<<<<

I am sure, you enjoyed the article. We do not have dessert, but
we have a recipe for you. Please help yourself and enjoy ...

Fruit Cake Recipe
One cup water          One cup sugar
Four large eggs        2 cups of dried fruit
1 tsp baking soda      1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar      Lemon juice
Nuts                   One bottle whiskey

Sample the whiskey to check for quality.  Take a large bowl.
Check the whiskey again.  To be sure it is of the highest quality,
pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer,
beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon
of sugar and beat again.

Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another tup. Turn off the
mixer. Break two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of
dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the
beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups
of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey. Now sift the
lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar
or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the cake
tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the
bowl out of the window. Check the whiskey again and go to bed.

Wake up early next morning and check your head. If it hurts, then bang it
against the whiskey bottle. Then write a thank you note to me for the

PS: This recipe is only meant for kids over 21. Don't try the recipe at
home. Try it at a friends place so that they can clean up later. If you
hear growls in your tummy then consult the nearest Ayurved, or else get
some over the counter Soonthikhanda and Amlapitaantaka, crush it with a
pana leaf and add some Mahoo for taste. Flush it down your throat with the
left over whiskey from the bottle. Then start dialing 911....

DM-- If you have read this far then I have a request for you. Please send
in an article for the coming Weekend Thoughts column. I don't have
everyone's e-mail address so that I can request each of you. Please treat
this as an eternal request. I would appreciate your comments and
suggestions too (both positive and negative). Please send in the article
or comments before 5:00 p.m. Wednesday so that I have time to get it



Your comments are always welcome...


Gopal Mohapatra

This page has been accessed

times since June 23, 1995.



Ride back to Home Page...