Friday, December 08, 2017

2345 : The Buddha who smokes

I am half a Buddhist. Or at least I aspire to be one. And while at Vietnam, it looked like over 50% of the country was practicing Buddhists.

I did not have much time, given it was a friend’s wedding that I had come down to attend...and it was a two day packed affair. And yet the evening just before my flight I managed to smuggle two hours for a quick walk across the once Indo-China nation.

I could not help native the proliferation of “Laughing Buddhas”, other Feng Shui symbols all over the place.

Almost every shop (including Coffee & Beans...yes the one owned by Coca-Cola had some very visible Buddhist symbols). And at most shops had an incense altar was a foreword to the symbols. Of course, the incense was not burning anymore....looked like it was a more of a morning thing.

And then....then.....I noticed something unusual. At one of the shops I saw some cigarette stubs in the ashes...and I politely slighted it...assuming that the “stubs” had found themselves there mistakenly.

And then....then.....:-)
I saw them in many shops. And later at a pagoda too.

I was mesmerized. Did the Buddha in Vietnam smoke? He seemed to be at least - unless I was missing some symbolism here.

How cool does a God have to be, for his fans to offer him a smoke? Now - I, even more, want to be a Buddhist. Makes sense na?

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