Downtown has become one of my favourite hangout locations over the weekends. Last saturday, I and Aravind went to the trax station and took all-day pass from a ticket vending machine. I love travelling by trax. Its full of life and I can see all kinds of people there. A young boy got his bike into the train(people call their bicycles as bikes, and they can bring it in the train. The funny thing is, they have separate places for boarding the train with their bikes!) A couple were sitting opposite to me - the girl seemed to be very angry and the boy was using all his skills to calm her. I was watching them from the reflection on the window glass ;) The girl did not relent for quite a long time, and then the boy said something for which the girl could not control her laughter. Persistence pays! An old couple sitting diagonally opposite to me were playing with the kid of a young couple sitting opposite to them. It made my belief stronger - that deep down, people are same everywhere - their likes, fears, aspirations, insecurities are all the same.
In the next 30 minutes, we were in Temple Square. First, we entered the South Visitors Center. Apart from the paintings on the walls depicting the life of Jesus Christ, the place had TVs showing the clippings of how the city was founded. It suprised me to know that the city did not exist two centuries back. We had just finished watching the clippings when we heard a female voice.
"My name is...I am from Philippines, she is...from Mexico. We are working as missionaries here"
I forgot their names as fast as I heard them.
"I am Aravind"
"I am Vasuki. We are from India"
We shook hands with them. The philippine was a short girl with round face and she wore a light pink dress and the tall mexican was in a black outfit.
The philippine started the conversation.
"Have you been to this place before?" She talked as politely as I have heard anyone talking till now.
"I had been here once. I was just roaming around this place, on new year eve", I said.
For a moment, her face could not hide the irritation for my "roaming around" remarks about a holy place. But, she regained her composure very fast. She seemed to remember her classes about the evils of anger.
"This is a holy place, this place was built by Brigham Young and the latter day saints. They were the children of God..." She seemed to go on and on, oblivious of the fact that two visitors were having a boredom of their lifetime.
We were nodding our heads and mumbling the periodic "Ya"s not to appear rude.
"Do you know Moses?", she asked.
"Ya", I said. I remembered the movie 'Ten Commandments' I had seen when I was a kid, and regretted saying yes to her.
"Moses and Jospeh Smith, they were chosen by God, to spread..." She spoke as though she was in a trance, with a pity for the ignorance of the mortals around(us!!) and a contempt for this materialistic world.
I could not understand why this girl cant see the beauty in this "materialistic" world...the snow, the mountains, exploring new things et al. Oh God, please save me from your followers!
The mexican girl started from where her friend had left off. Her face was expressionless and she seemed to suffer from spiritual numbness. She spoke as a nursery kid telling a by-hearted rhyme.
"God preached us how to be happy with family. We must realize where we came from (I am from Bangalore, I thought :)) and we must understand the ultimate truth (The truth is that I was extremely bored!)...do you want to take a guide here? The tour starts in 15 minutes". She paused for a second, for which I was waiting.
"Actually, we are a bit busy today. We will definitely come here again. It was great talking to you. We got to know a lot from you", I said. Never in my life had I told so many lies at once!
Finally, we rushed out of the room, taking care not to make eye contact with any person there (for the fear of being caught again!) After roaming around for some more time, we entered the trax and headed for Murray. I somehow could not forget those two bright-looking girls, who would waste their lives sacrificing all the "materialistic joys", for knowing "the truth".
Oh God, if you exist, save them, if you can!