The menfolk we revere

This is an issue that has stayed with me for nearly three decades. When the first Indian nuclear device exploded at Pokhran, Rajasthan, back in May 1974, the scientists sent the coded message, "The Buddha has smiled" to the prime minister in New Delhi to indicate that the deed had been done. The Buddha – prophet of nonviolence, self-sacrifice, renunciation, prayer and ultimate enlightenment – being associated with a nuclear explosion?

While I was carrying on about the injustice of it all, my long-suffering wife turned around and snapped: "Big deal, your 'prophet of enlightenment'. He abandoned his wife and young child while he went off to attain enlightenment. Same with Laxman, who went off for 14 years with Ram and Sita, leaving his wife Urmila behind."

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Himal Southasian