POSTED BY Prarthna Gahilote ON Sep 22, 2010 AT 18:03 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 22, 2010 18:03 IST

Assignments usually require a lot of chatting up. They take one to people that one would otherwise miss speaking to. And these informal conversations with absolutely unknown faces, sometimes throw up far more interesting facts than one would have expected. 

A shopkeeper in Ayodhya had a similar gem to offer. The judgement for the Ramjanam bhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit is just two days away. We were in Ayodhya to do a story. As we walked around talking to people, 55-year-old Jeetendra Kumar walked upto me. ``Are you from the press?,'' he asked. When I said yes, he smiled. Adding, ``A lot of you are here these days.''  Jeetendra, has a small makeshift shop in Hanumangarhi, selling CDs, DVDs and tapes of Ramayan. As we got talking about the disputed site, the tension building in the town, forces pouring in as part of the sarkaari bandobast in case of a flare-up, post the judgement on September 24th, Jeetendra quietly slipped in, ``You know what Ayodhya actually means? A-Yodhy: A place where there is no yudh (war).'' The irony was too stark to be missed. Jeentendra went back to his shop, selling CDs to tourists.

We turned around to talk to the PAC jawans sitting by a chai shop. Funny how Ayodhya has turned into a battleground for so long now.

POSTED BY Prarthna Gahilote ON Sep 22, 2010 AT 18:03 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 22, 2010 18:03 IST
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Daily Mail
Digression
5/D-16
Sep 29, 2010
02:42 AM
Ganapathy,

>> the more the knowledge about religion the more the chances of becoming an atheist.

There is a study in today's New york Times comparing the knowledge about religion among various groups. Atheists came out at the top. All it means is that atheists have more curiosity. I am more interested in fighting hate than in propagating any religion or propagating atheism.
Anwaar
Dallas, United States
4/D-128
Sep 28, 2010
09:40 PM
dear anwar
kindly go thru this

http://bit.ly/dnH87c
the more the knowledge about religion the more the chances of becoming an atheist
munusamy ganapathy
chennai, India
2/D-121
Sep 22, 2010
09:17 PM
The author has it wrong about the root of the word Ayodhya. The word Ayodhya is derived from Sanskrit word Ayudh meaning "tool" or "implement".

Similarly, Ayudh Puja is day of worshiping tools.

http://en.wikipedia....org/wiki/Ayudha_Puja

Can I ask author and publishers to remove this article for being incorrect.
pandeyathotmail
Kabul, Afghanistan
1/D-118
Sep 22, 2010
09:06 PM
Interesting view...why can't more people stories like these be done, good research work to find a person who belongs to the old world where hindu's and muslim's could keep religion at bay and be friends almost reminds one of shatranj ke khiladi. Should such people be talked about then i doubt if riots will ever take place. As for the politicians instead of asking for calm and restraint which reflects that they expect us office going hindus and muslims to fight over it, they should simply tell the people 'do not worry about the allahabad verdict it is anyways going to be contested in the supreme court so reserve your energies for another 10 years'
leela
delhi, India
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