Friday evening was glorious. I found myself an hour early for yoga. I decided to sit down on a bench to take in the sunshine. Smithfield Square was quite busy. The usual suited crowds made their way back and forth. Shoppers, laden with bags, meandered about the square in the direction of apartments or the surrounding areas. I felt chilled out after a manic week in work. I should do this more often, I thought. I wasn’t sitting down two minutes, when a couple approached me. They were Chinese. The male of the couple held a laptop. He informed me he was doing a survey. He asked if I would take two minutes to look at some pictures and answer some questions. I didn’t want to. I suppose two minutes is nothing? I said to myself. The man pressed a few buttons and the “pictures” started.
Seconds into the movie, I realised I had been duped. The movie was a sequence of religious scenes, but the frame focussed on text that stated, “There is God the Father. There is Jesus the son, but where is there a mention of God the Mother.” The text questioned the absence of “God the Mother” from modern religions, despte numerous references to her in the bible. One minute into the movie, my attention span waned. I focussed on the amount of time left in the movie. I just wanted this strange man and his mute companion to leave my presence. Finally, the movie finished. The man closed the laptop and turned his attention to me.
“After watching these ‘pitchas’, what do you think?” he put to me.
“Emmmm, I suppose it contained some interesting ideas. I am not a religious person. The content did nothing more than capture my interest, slightly. As I said, ‘I’m not religious’”
“Did you feel nothing else, while watching these ‘pitchas’?”
“No, I thought nothing.”
Somehow, I disappointed the man with my response. He seemed attentive to my every facial expression. I knew he was about to commence a lecture.
“Are you familiar with the Holy Trinity?” he asked. “God the Father, the son ‘Jeebus’ and the Holy Spirit. But where is ‘God da Mudda’?”
The man’s mute companion came to life. She handed him a book. It was a bible or this man’s version of a bible. He leafed through pages and read sections to me. He questioned the absence of “God da Mudda”. He spoke at me. I felt uncomfortable. I squirmed in my seat and waited for an opportune moment.
“So would you like to hear more?”
“No, thanks” I responsed. “I think I’ve heard enough.”
“You don’t want to hear more about ‘God da Mudda’?”
“I told you I’m not religious. This does not interest me.”
“I know you are not religious, but I would like to know about your personal views on ‘God da Mudda’.”
I really wanted to tell the fanatic that his views were of an extremist and that any reference to “God the Mother” was metaphorical. I wished to argue the existence of a higher level being was beyond our comprehension of mother and father roles. I knew this was a futile task. I resorted to dismiss him.
“I have my own views on religion, which are personal to me. I told you do not want to listen to any more. I’ve had enough, thank you.”
“Do you not want to discuss your views?”
“No, I don’t want to discuss my views on religion in Smithfield Square.”
OK, thanks for your time.”
“Thanks,” I replied sharply.
He clicked his laptop shut, stood up tall and walked away from me. I watched as he and his companion strolled out of sight. What the Hell happened there? I wondered. Why am I a freak magnet? I wasn’t sitting down for two minutes before I was interrupted. It was now I recalled why I don’t take the time to sit on my own in the City Centre any more. I picked up my yoga mat and decided to be early for class. During the walk to the yoga studio, I encountered a woman in the company of another Chinese couple. I recognised the forlorn look on her face. The male of the couple held a bible similar to the one I witnessed moments ago. I walked by, hazarding a guess on whether she would abide their mumbo jumbo for longer than I did. I took a moment to thank “God da Mudda” that I was no longer in the freak’s company.