Some days back, Walski had a few friends over for dinner. Yes, he admits it - Walski cooks - as in food, and not just tongue-in-cheek blog posts. He related this short story of an experience he had as a rambunctious 6-year old, while living in Tanjung Malim - back in the days before there was Proton City, and when Yik Mun was just a small coffeeshop.
So, in any case, here's the story:
As a kid, you could say that Walski was very inquisitive (okay, it's a trait that never went away) and nothing anywhere went untouched. So one day, while cycling around the neighborhood, Walski saw a small, simple Hindu shrine, underneath a large tree. There was a small statue - can't remember of which deity - and a trident. As is customary, the trident had on it 3 green lime fruits, one on each spike of the trident.
Being the inquisitive brat, Walski of course was intrigued by this, went over to the tree to take a closer look. And then, Walski did the one thing (he knows better now) that he shouldn't have done.
He took the limes off.
(more of this tale, and the point of the story, in the full post)
That night, Walski suddenly came down with a very high fever. So high that he was delirious. According to his parents, Walski kept saying that there were paratroopers landing in our yard. That pretty much went on the entire night.
Can't exactly remember much apart from that, except that it was a really rough night, but the next morning, Walski was okay again.
Now, Mrs. Walski, whenever Walski tells this story, is always amazed that he remembers things from such a young age. Yeah, Walski is kinda strange that way. He can even remember stuff from when he was three. Like the crayon mural on the front wall of his grand-dad's house, that really pissed grandpa off. If memory serves, it was Walski's rendition of grandpa and grandma...
Anyhow, the point of telling you the 3 Limes and a Trident story is the epiphany Walski had the last time he re-told it, which was at the dinner party Walski mentioned earlier.
Walski suddenly realized that the trident incident is why he respects the beliefs of others, and respect for the religious icons of others, as well. Which also contributed, perhaps, to why Walski is pretty liberal when it comes to religion
There are things in life that can never be rationally explained. Like why Walski had the high fever. Of course, growing up in a Muslim family, the Devil gets the blame when these sort of things happen. Others explain it as mysterious forces guarding these icons, and getting pissed off with idiot kids who mess with 'em. Walski's experience was probably mild in comparison with others that he's heard of before.
Regardless, the incident was probably a turning point in Walski's life, when it comes to viewing the beliefs of others, which Walski never realized until recently. The beliefs of others may run contrary to what Walski personally believes, but who is Walski to say that those beliefs are baseless, and that those who believe in such things are bound to go to Hell?
Perhaps those who decided that A**** can only be used by Muslims never had such an experience, or if they did, simply chose to belief that it was the work of the Devil. But sometimes we create our own personal demons, then blame the Devil for it. Life, and human nature, are weird that way.
Walski's personal belief? At the end of the day, there is only one Supreme Being, but called by many, many names. There are just way too many parallels between beliefs for this not to be so - sad to say, however, most people prefer to get anally fixated on the differences, and ignore the similarities altogether. To lay exclusive claim on A**** really is silly, not to mention selfish. It has more to do with a self-centered need for exclusivity, driven by ego, and fueled by insensitivity - and not piety.
As far as Walski is concerned, we are all His children, and He probably doesn't mind it one bit who calls him what. As long as we call on him from time to time.
Walski's post title credit (and other important stuff) footnote: The title of this post was suggested to Walski by his friend, brilliant photographer David Lok, and Walski would like to acknowledge and thank him for coming up with such a brilliant title. And he's such a wonderful human being to boot. Thanks David.
And the reason A**** has been written the way it has been is because Walski doesn't consider himself a typical Muslim. At least not the kind that we typically find in Malaysia, whose ridiculous demands on other people really put themselves in a bad light, so much so that Walski doesn't even like being associated with them.
And no, God doesn't have a gender - the masculine is used in the last paragraph simply for the sake of convenience. PEACE to all....