Images from Christmas 2012.
1. A huge Xmas tree in a plush Delhi mall, decorated with warmth and surrounded by gifts for children. But leaning against the tree is a placard saying 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare'. Next to it stand a troupe of four in saffron, singing this phrase aloud - deaf and out to deafen. To drown out the carols. The only person enjoying the "show"? Their bald-but-smiling guru on the placard. People came and wondered at the out-of-context religiosity. Petty attempt at sabotaging another's festival?
2. Page 13 of Times of India dated 26th December, 2012. Saffron-clad Hindu devotees carrying out the daily 'aarti' at the Sangam in Allahabad, wearing Santa masks and red Santa caps. And a huge crowd of devotees joining in the celebratory prayers. Respecting and celebrating another's festival!
Images from the everyday life of Faith - that poor bastard child tossed between the arms of stiff Religion and flexible Tradition. Images - a reflection of our minds - contradictory and confusing.
Can Santa wear saffron? The images have spoken and they can only say - Maybe!