Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"The Agnostic" by KHUSHWANT SINGH (1963, seven pages)

KHUSHWANT SINGH (1915, India) might be the world's oldest active writer.  Known for his acerbic wit and for an obsession with the female posterior, you could do a lot worse than start a day with one of his stories.  I have previously posted on two of his works, "Portrait of a Lady" and "The Bottom Pincher", both of which many would see as adults only works and tremendously fun stories.  They would not win the approval of ardent feminists.  "The Agnostic" is a family friendly funny story most anyone would enjoy reading.

As the story opens, a family friend is visiting.  He asserts his agnostic views, in front of the family children which really upsets the mother of the family.  She says you will destroy the faith we try to give our children by hiring Koran teachers for them.   The man tells her you are brain washing them with fairy tales, he says "Your God is like a gas bag".  The ten year old, knowing it will annoy his patents begins saying this.  The father changes the topic.   The friend stays the night.  The next day the family and he go for a walk.  The ten year old throws his ball into a tree.  He tries to dislodge it but it is too far up.  The agnostic says, I will believe in God if he will bring the ball down right now.  Of course a string breeze comes up at once and the ball falls in the agnostic's face.

Ok, simple story but fun to read and made me smile.

Mel u

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