Thursday, October 1, 2009


I have never, ever, managed to master the technique of tissues for the purposes of ablution, and be convinced that I am clean. Oh, there was ample water around - there were jacuzzis, unlimited hot showers and what not. But for this one single purpose I was marginalized with rolls of tissue paper. Everywhere I went, the Hotels, MacDonald's, Wendy's, Dunkin donuts, Starbucks, offices, Churches or even homes of people I was marooned with a tissue paper for this one important function of being clean. I could not understand how American Evangelicals and Pentecostals could have ignored this critical Biblical principle of using water. It simply isn't kosher! And water is a powerfully potent symbol in the Bible. It cleans. It purges. It the one symbol of complete catharsis. Thats why I could never understand why the westerners boycotted water from this primary function. You can imagine my joy of returning to Kolkata and actually feeling clean!

Take another example: In 1993, Latur in Maharashtra was devastated by an earthquake. Some western countries, out of concern for the rustic, starving and rural homeless sent about 800 bales of pink tissue paper! Imagine these illiterate villagers, with their dhotis and turbans wondering what to do with Pink Tissue Paper. They might as well have sent the Pink Panther. Talk about relevance. The whole issue became a pink elephant.  I think when recession hits absolutely, and severely, in the western countries, the first thing to go will be the luxury of the tissue paper. Thats where the cost-cutting will first begin. Thats the bottom-line. Thats when the Joy of Water will be discovered. And we can all be human once again.

The picture above is an image I created using a lanscape modelling program caled Terragen. And the topmost pic is me getting drenched under the Niagara spray in the Maid of the Mist.


Peter said...

Pastor one suggestion - Won't it be cost effective and good if the Westerners produced pink undies with those papers - use and throw. Why should they keep on wearing poohed ones.

Benedict G said...

Carbon criminals strutting around with the image of being soft and vulnerable carrying pink tissues.... enjoy reading your blog Noel... great stuff. Benny

Jo said...

Amazin.. abt tissues.. :)

Madhumita said...

What a queasy affair to dwell on, but no doubt,you did a good purging job out of it! Next time I see/use pink tissues, you can't complain if I remember you.....which I will definitely.

Anonymous said...

Noel I am still laughing. Once, while Debbie was in India and I at home in Delaware, she called me to verify our tissue habits to a woman in Delhi who couldn't believe it to be true. I remember her laughing and shouting over the phone -- You dirty, dirty Americans! You cannot use paper to wash your backs!!

I love your blog. I'll now read it daily.......and also remember you one other time each day!