In a country like India, you can’t throw a female baby out of the window without hitting something bizarre. Swamis who assist childless couples by applying holy paste from their flesh tubes inside the vaginas of the unfortunate wives married to pin-prick husbands; spiritual gurus who advise fathers to shovel the shit of their daughters’ asses with their dicks to bring good luck to the family; auto-rickshaw drivers who have pictures of hot bitches in the backseats of their vehicles but drive with their male buddies seated right next to them, their thighs intertwined; political leaders who get offended by paintings and books but whose consciences are cleansed when their barbaric cronies slash a pregnant woman’s belly and stomp on her fetus; men, a majority of them from Chennai, who think fat hoes and their flabby hips are as sensual and tender as Sonam Kapoor’s nipples; and people who believe that-in a world where humans kill each other over who gets the remote or whose Holy Text has more imaginative stories-praying thirty times a day and embellishing your room with faggy pictures of Providence which would look more at home in a Harry Potter book would get them to heaven. And in such a nation that’s crawling with assorted sights of strangeness it takes a major effort to stand out and be the king of weirdness. And I’m terrified to announce that we have a new king.

     Now, I’m not sure if what I’m about to state has come to the notice of anyone else who lives in India. Although unless you are blind or wear shades straight from Bappi Lahiri’s collection, you are bound to have encountered this, quite frankly, dumbfounding aberration. I refer to the inexplicable abundance of Tibetan monks inside places like KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and extravagant malls. The first twenty five times I experienced it I assumed it was the effect of the hallucinogenic pancakes I have for breakfast but once I realized I wasn’t the only one who was seeing these robe-clad specters-these Dalai Lama spinoffs- I knew that Apocalypse was here. Fuck you if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that these Dalai Lamas were more of the “meditate, eat leaves, shit once every two weeks, stay inside the temple” kind. And I thought nirvana was the only fucking thing on their minds. I wasn’t aware that enlightenment could be attained by gobbling down Colonel’s chicken or wolfing down McGrills by the dozen. I have even seen these Lamas lurking around inside malls feverishly text messaging fuck-knows-who, probably their fellow monks letting them know that they just clocked a hot bitch who would make Buddha’s halo get bigger. I don’t even know where these Lamas pop out of. Do they sit inside their fucking monastery praying for salvation when suddenly hunger strikes and one Lama says to the other Lama “Hey, McDonald’s ya?” And the other Lama says, “Ya, ya. Big Clown, funny, burger good”. And if at all they want to hang around in malls, why in the name of fuck do they want to loiter wearing their ridiculous clown outfits? I mean they make Ronald McDonald the fucking clown look like a fucking corporate executive. And if you have a uniform and you’re adamant that you will only walk around in that specific uniform, which happens to be sleeveless, don’t fucking flail your arms around. I don’t care if you have exclusive access to the 39th chamber of Shaolin, don’t fucking show your hairy underarms to unsuspecting passers-by.

     On the other hand these chicken-crunching text-messaging semi-urbane Lamas might be the new breed of monks that a religion like Buddhism needs. Buddhism has often been dismissed as being too, what’s the word, pussy. The very story that Buddha attained nirvana by merely sitting under a tree is a little boring. Sure, the subplot of the little raccoon that was trapped under his robe is rarely mentioned but monks are, by and large, considered a little erratic. A few decades ago, if a Lama was upset he would tell the other Lama, “I upset. What do?” And the other Lama would counsel, “Set fire to yourself.” Meanwhile, this new breed of Lamas, the McLamas, who despite their obsession with exposing their fluffy armpits, are bound to react in a different manner. If one of these McLamas tell the other, “I upset. What do? Set fire to myself?” the other McLama is likely to say “Fuck that. We eat fried chicken and check out bitches. Ya?” eliciting a “Ya, ya” from the first McLama.

     If you think about it the lifecycles of all the bizarre things in the past have proved that if they stick around long enough they become part of our lives, like cows and donkeys shitting all over the streets in North India, fat cunts ruling the South Indian porn industry, and Rakhi Sawant . Similarly, these McLamas, if they rise in number, and make their presence felt long enough and strong enough they are bound to blend into our daily environment like terrorism or a third nipple. Nevertheless, this phenomenon of McLamas is the strangest experience I have had from a religiously inclined group of people. Unless I see the Pope deepthroating a hotdog inside Nirula’s.

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