Friday, December 14, 2007

The Golden Calf

I have to relate what I think is 2007's Hard Luck Story of the Year, and just under the wire as we approach '08, which I'm sure will also be a picnic of despair; some fresh Hells and old, familiar ones, as well. Anyway, this story is about a fellow named, "Yanadi Kondaiah." Imagine you're him, and you're 80 years old. People revere you as a holy man, but they pretty much revere every old man as holy, because you live in a place rife with ignorance and superstition; a remote place in India. Chittoor Province, India, to be exact.

So you're probably not used to living the Life of Riley, as they used to say. You drew a crap lot in life but you've made the best of it. Some things give you comfort in a world full of abject poverty, squalor, disease and brutality. Oh, and probably a fair share of hunger, as well. Your family makes you happy. Enjoying a meal near a hot fire on a cold night is good, too. You have been in love, and you cherish your memories. You have nothing to lose and you sleep easy and have more friends than you can count. All of it and more makes life a good thing. But nothing comes close to giving you the kind of happiness that your magic leg radiates onto you and those who touch it. Your leg, a part of your own body, is an instrument of God. He works in mysterious ways...He's even known for it. And he's chosen to give you a leg that people will beg you, even pay you, just to touch. It's a Holy Leg is what it is.

You can survive and even enjoy your awful, difficult life because of the leg, and the fame that comes from it. The adoration and admiration. You may be hungry, but you feel blessed.

Then a couple of friends off to buy you a drink...

Attackers Chop Off Man's 'Magic' Leg

Thu Dec 13, 4:30 PM EST

Two men attacked an 80-year-old, self-proclaimed holy man in southern India and chopped off his right leg, apparently believing it had magical powers, police said Thursday.

Yanadi Kondaiah, who claimed that those who touched his leg would be cured of illness or have wishes granted, was hospitalized in serious condition after the attack Tuesday, said R. Ravindranath Reddy, a senior police officer.

"We are looking for the miscreants as well as the leg," Reddy told The Associated Press by telephone from the Chittoor district, a remote area 340 miles south of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state.

"This seems to be a case of superstition. The two people might have taken away the leg hoping to benefit from its magical powers," said Pendakanti Dastgiri, the police officer handling the case.

Superstitions, belief in magic and the occult remain widespread in much of rural India.

Kondaiah told police that two men offered him a drink as thanks for previously helping them with his magical touch.

After he passed out drunk, the men chopped off the leg below the knee with a sickle and left him to die, said Dastgiri, adding that passing villagers found him and took him to a hospital.

1 comment:

Miles Gibson said...

My mouth is hanging open at this story. I'm dribbling. I think it must be horror or glee. Oh, and I love "The Golden Calf" You're a bad bad man. Power to your elbow.