On the bus

‘Why cannot you believe in Jesus’, asked the Congolese passenger sitting by my side. This was during a spurt of conversation that the bus entered into, after a small town or stop had passed. He is heading to Congo, and will change for another bus from Dar Es Salaam, after taking rest for a night in the city. A day’s journey from there would take him into Congo. He adds that ‘there are many gold in Congo’ by the way of introducing his country to me. ‘Do you not want to?’, he continued, probing my faith. To him, the other alternative was to be a Muslim. After learning that in India one also has the possibility of being a Hindu, he asked about the red mark on forehead that men and women have. And what Hindu faith thinks of life after death. Is there a judgement day? I was not prepared for these questions.

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