— Nina Mehta

Do you speak Hindu?

in progress

It’s Halloween in San Francisco. My loving roommate invites me to a party on the roof of The Convent. It’s a restored church that houses ten or twenty artists and free-thinkers in San Francsico. They host tea ceremonies, cuddle parties, and are definitely the muscular yogi’s effortlessly floating into handstands next to you in class.

We squeeze through the hallways of peeling wallpaper and red colored lights. The chatter hangs over the room like a layer of fog letting you know, yes, this is a party.

Then, a man, in a gold skirt, completely dressed in sexy blue bodypaint has a flute and gold crown. I don’t even know how to feel. My instinct ins supremely offended. I myself am not even religious and certainly not even Hindu. But Hinduism is not an ancient out-of-date mythology. It’s a live and present belief system for hundreds-of-thousands of people today.

I feel mocked and cartoonized. Reminded of the times people asked me… “Do you speak…. Hindu?”

With my rationale mind I think this young man is excited about India, the culture, and colorful stories. He’s inspired by the grace and strength of Vishnu and Halloween seemed like the perfect time to try out a costume.

But we’re at a party. And it’s not the time to pick a fight or get angry and certainly not with such open-minded free thinkers.

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