Being an anti-religious guy in a stupidly obsessive religious nation has all the pains but none of the perks. May be, a few.
The perks are frequent, delicious and unlimited if you happen to live in a sikh neighbourhood. No matter what the festival of which there are many, they will spread out tables by the roadside and start distributing food, for free. I have binged on puri, sabzi, halwa and chai numerous times. During the last year, thanks to social media, I have come across photos of disasters in every part of the globe, in most parts, Sikhs have found ways to come together and distribute food.
The Hindus are alright. Given the number of fests they have and the few times something delicious reaches your home, it does not really work too favourably for them. The kanwariyas menace, currently the chhat puja jams, navratra helmetless biker gangs and much more for meager puri, that dastardly kaala chana and a small mound of halwa is just not worth it.
Given the sects and subsects and cults and it is only convenient though a little unfair to group all hindu and alikes together. But in terms of noise they make, the Buddhists and Jains are not that loud, though they rarely give out any food either. I was indifferent to sai baba dolts until they set up a tent in a high rise and celebrated something in a way that Honey Singh would have loved to attend. So, I will throw them to the bottom of the pile.
Then, there are the Muslims. They cook a lot, eat a lot, the food is amazing. But how much do you really get? The sab-e-barats, the Friday prayers on the road and eidly-sections-of city-lockdowns for a platter of biryani and kebabs once a year if you know someone! Not worth it, but not the bottom of the pile either. Let the sai baba idiots rot there.
Then, the Christians. A small store bought cake, that star shaped munchy with holes and a few chocolates for almost no fuss. Ok, the church areas are a traffic nightmare on 24th but that’s forgivable. Come on, do you have a heart or not?
Thankfully, we don’t have enough of Taos, Shintos, Jews or bahais etc to deserve a mention. I was getting tired already!