August 30, 2006

Quasi-Heretical Rant

I tried to get into St Paul's Cathedral around three on the afternoon today, and there was a blue ribbon barrier and a poster demanding that I pay up nine pounds if I want to get in. Apparently, taking poor students' money will ensure that Saint Paul's is still standing when future generations come to visit. However nine pounds each time I want to visit God means I shall not have any money to raise future generations of my own. Maybe my little urchins on the street will be rescued by the Saint Paul's charity brigade, now that will be full circle, won't it?

At the entrance, a poster says that photography is not allowed (Chanduppa shuddered in his case in fear when I read it out to him) so as to preserve the sanctity of the place of worship. Some sanctimonious place of worship it is, with Mammon acting as God's gatekeeper. So how does this equation work? I hand my money and then I get two minutes with God? And since I am paying, am I entitled to demand instead of supplicating? Like "Yo God, that dissertation I am about to hand in tomorrow? You better get me a distinction, or else no more moolah from me OR my future generations, geddit?" Now there's an idea. Maybe I can sell it as an advertising campaign to the authorities of the cathedral. For nine pounds.

Had written a poem when I first went to the cathedral. Seems even more relevant now:

On Visiting St Paul’s Cathedral

Heavenly Father, who in Heaven must be:
for in Wren’s cathedral, though I do see
matchless splendour, there’s no divinity.

Those angels hovering in the air
are to my willful eye passing fair.
And it will not shut itself in prayer.

The feast is laid, and the senses will dine

Pardon me, for I must stray awhile
to return that darling cherub’s smile
and to admire old architectural style

At midnight sharp, by St Paul’s clock
I shall sit by the river on the sidewalk
And there, in silence, we shall talk

You in your Heaven, and me in mine


wendigo said...

yehi to galti kar di. god ain't in the cathedral na.. pretend he/she is all around you and get him/her for freeeeee!
also heretical?

Intern said...

Believe you me,
I would send 9 pounds everyday [okay everyday is too much, make it every week] ... if I get to read such hilarious stuff ...

And I've seen St Pauls's from outside, never from inside ... would love to go inside someday! Apparently it is Prince Charles' favourite cathedral.
At least in UK you still find OLD castles... here in Chicago OLD means ... 100 years old!!! Thats funny ... especially after coming from india where OLD means thousand years old ... or at least a few hundred years old.

runa said...

hi.. i linked u in my blog day favourite 5 list:

Arthur Quiller Couch said...

That poem was (ho-hum) good until the last line.
Then suddenly it was brilliant.

Antonia said...

that's a nice poemlike especially the last verses

Ameet said...

They charge £9 for admission??? Hmmm - don't recall paying when I visited. Maybe cause half of it was covered under tarp. Hope you got your money's worth. It's a beautiful building.