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The following Mooj newsletter was originally published in July 1998:
Written and Edited by Sri Mujaputtia Umbababbaraba, The Baiju Bawra of Cell Block B!
No. 24, July, 1998
The Enlightenment! is published by The Friends of Mooj Society. All rights reserved. Copyright 1998 by Grizzly Duck Publications. Published monthly. Annual subscription rates: US $27; Canada $37; elsewhere $57. All material in this newsletter is written by and for followers of Sri Swami Mujaputtia Umbababbaraba (aka, The Mooj). If you would like to be included on our mailing list, please send your name, address, and a large donation (cash only please) to "The Mooj," Inmate Number 45-4578, C/O Chester County Jail, East Chester, PA 19382. All donations kept confidential, unless, of course, you're a real cheapskate. Then we'll post your name under our "Slackers" list. The Mooj is an equal opportunity Swami.
Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate!
Pehlela kaam pehlay. Greetings beloved devotees and minions. How wonderful it is that I can sit here in my dark and lonely cell and reflect not on the misery of my unjust incarceration; but on the brightness and joy that your love brings to me each day. Though I may rot naked in jail I am never restrained from walking free outside the gates of this prison if but only in my dreams. And when I walk free in my dreams you, my many minions, walk by my side. If only I could hug you. Actually, come visit me on visitation day next month and I will.
Attaining to other matters of the heart I have just learned from minions living in the Sturgeon Falls area of Quebec that I have been selected as their town's prospective Grand Marshal for the upcoming Canadian Multiculturalism Day Parade. How wonderful! I'm not sure If I have to be there in person or not. If so then I guess I can't make it. If not, then I'll send a full length poster of myself posing with one of my really enlightened looking stares on it for them to use as they see fit.
Hey, who keeps sending me fruit baskets? I welcome this noble generosity; however, as stated in last month's newsletter, I cannot accept perishable food items from the outside world. The guards tell me that I get anywhere from one to five fruit baskets a day. After admonishing me about Chester County Jail regulations the guards then restrict my TV privileges. Normally I wouldn't care except that it's NASCAR season. So please, minions, stop sending me fruit baskets!
Good news! The rumors you heard circulating throughout the Pennsylvania Hinterland are true. Chester County Jail inmate #49-6986 has just been paroled! What? You do not know who inmate #49-6986 is? Shame on you. Why he is our old pal Solomon R. Stoltzfus. Most of you know him better by his "stage name" Lance Worthy. Sol (or Lance) spent the better part of a year occupying the cell next to me and assumed assistant editorial duties whenever I needed him to. Though rude and crude at times, he was, never-the-less, a jolly chap and loved by most of my reading patrons. We will sure miss young Sol or Lance or whatever he's calling himself these days.
Anything else? No. Let's examine the minion mail now.
Mooj Minion Mail
I am humbled as I write this letter. How I long to come and touch your feet. The next time I'm down in Chester County and it coincides with one of your visitation days I will. To be honest I tried to visit you last month but you spent all your visitation day doing conjugal visits. I never had a chance to meet you because there were so many women in line. But, anyway, here's my question for you: I read somewhere that you gained your enlightenment by way of a lightning stroke from Heaven. And then I read somewhere else that you were enlightened while being caned in a Singapore prison. Can you enlighten me on the Truth? Can I gain this kind of enlightenment, too?
Ramoo Rahul Kaloo,
The Mooj Answers: My enlightenment was not given of its own accord but was received from within. As, my mera nashila yaar, shall it be for you. All you have to do is begin your journey. Look onward brave soldier of truth! Do you see the path that stands before you? It is the one that has been trampled down by others seeking truth and wisdom. But beware! There are many paths to chose from. Some crisscross and wind back and others end in utter disappointment. But if you remain true to your purpose in life then the path you choose will be correct. It is your dharma to begin the journey now. One step. Then another. Baby steps at first perhaps. That is it. Keep walking. Good. Now walk faster. But don't just travel focused on the end of the journey. Look around! The path toward enlightenment is surrounded by things that are just as important as what lies at the terminus. Oh, and another thing: what is all this crap about me being in a Singapore prison? Who's spreading these lies? The Mooj was never in a Singapore prison. The Mooj was only held for questioning in regard to a matter of minor importance and was cleared of most charges pending against him.
I have followed your teachings for many years and I still haven't found a good way to explain to my friends and family why it is that I give money to some guru in jail. Can you help me explain this? First of all, can you tell me why you're in jail? It might help to win my friends and family over if I could at least answer that question. Thank you in advance for your help!
The Mooj Answers: Is it not better to ask why a soul yearns for fulfillment? Is it not better to ask why a heart yearns for love? Is it not better to ask why a mind yearns for wisdom? These, my mera daru peenay, are the type of questions you should be asking. How and why some poor Servant of Mankind is held captive within the heartless legal system of American injustice is not important. Asking unimportant questions will lead only to unimportant answers. I will meditate and fast for you, such that those who call you friend and family member will likewise be enlightened. I will also abstain from drinking that grape juice concoction that my cell mate is currently fermenting in our toilet to help you focus better on what is most important in life. I suggest you abstain from all vices as well. Dil kah bhanwar kare pukhar!
Dearest Mooj Bhai-ji,
I am old and feeble in my ways. I need some holistic medicinal advice. Since you are my guru I trust only you. Can you recommend a good stool softener?
Nargis Waheeda (in need of constipated relief)
The Mooj Answers: Han-gee, I welcome your medical question. But, be forewarned. I am not a medical practitioner in the literal sense. I help people heal their minds and souls rather than their bodies. But you cannot have one without the other. Your problem is a minor one at best. It is understandable that when one ages one seeks comfort in sitting. To soften your stool I suggest you place a pillow or pad on the stool before you sit down. Or, perhaps, instead of sitting on a stool or chair, why not just sit on comfortable pads that are laid upon the floor? That is what I do.
[entire letter omitted due to vulgarity]
The Mooj Answers: The Great Poet Parseval once wrote that a fool cannot be expected to drink from the fountain of knowledge without getting his lips wet. This is as true today as it was in the late 1500s when Parseval was conducting his math and poetry experiments. Concerning your letter, I am sorry that you feel this way about me and my newsletter. My staff assures me that you were removed from our mailing list months ago. But, to be honest, a man with such anger in his pen must also have anger in his atman. Not anger toward others, perhaps, but anger at himself. Thus, it would be wrong of me to abandon you when you need me most. So I will keep mailing you this and other Mooj publishings. I will also send you an official Mooj minion coffee mug and tote bag. I do this because I care.
Most Gracious and Noble Teller Of Truths,
Normally I wouldn't ask you for such a thing but I just learned that my eldest son got accepted into college. He is the only person in either my wife's or my family to go to college. We are so proud of him. But, here's where lies the problem. I am working three jobs and my wife is working two and we cannot make ends meet. I would hate to tell our son that we can't send him to college because of cost. It would break his heart (and ours). So here's what I propose. If you told me who wins this year's World Series I could place a bet and use my winnings to pay for both my son's college and then donate the balance to your Save The Eastern Pennsylvania Rainforest Fund. How's that sound? Others out there who would also like to contribute to this noble cause may do so by sending a check or money order to The Katmal Chopra College Fund, c/o Passaic County Community College, One College Boulevard, Paterson, NJ, 07505. We must never let a man's dream of being educated die for lack of want!
The Mooj Answers: Baazi! Under most circumstances I would never allow my enlightened visions to be used for the ill-gotten gains of gambling. However, I am a supporter of education. That is why I act against my better judgment and say that I do envision this year's upcoming World Series. It's a great one, too. Lots of homeruns and hits. Part of my vision makes sense because I see the NY Yankees there. They win every game. But the other part of my vision doesn't make sense at all because no matter how hard I meditate and try to focus on who the other team is I keep seeing the San Diego Padres. It is absurd I know. Your best bet is to just place your money on The Yankees without being specific. Although this information is for Madan Chopra's use only I see no harm in allowing others to use it if they realize the source of their great bounty and contribute to my works accordingly.
Sri Bubu Mooj,
I am in love with Bhola. He is boy in my village. But my father has arranged my marriage to Karorilal Funtoosh. I hate Karorilal Funtoosh. He is old, smelly and ill mannered. What should I do?
Belu Khopra, age 16
Dakshin Pradesh, India
The Mooj Answers: Dil Deewana! Curse these damn prison walls! Oh, my beti chhoti, how I wish I could come and stand at your side while together we fight for truth, harmony and justice. Just as the Punjab is crossed by five mighty rivers would the five mighty fingers of my hand close to make the mightiest fist to bludgeon all that stands in the way of true love! I don't mean this literally, of course. Because you can't really fight your parents. They have clothed and fed you and taken care of all your needs. They ask only that you respect and obey them. So what is the big deal? Besides, what do you know about love? You're only 16.
I have no idea who you are but I saw a guy wearing a rainbow wig on TV last week during the big game and he was holding a sign that read Free Mooj. I was curious and made a few calls and learned about your recent problems; as well as your struggle to enlighten people. Count me in, brother.
Dr. Peter Boyle
Labrador Flats, PEI
The Mooj Answers: Yes, it is an honorable thing you do by coming to the aid of those who struggle for self realization. But, sadly, when I opened the envelope containing your letter the donation you enclosed had gone missing! I can only hope that it was pilfered on my end and not by you.
You're pretty clever sitting there in your cell interpolating people's dreams and such. I had a real weird dream last night. Maybe you can help me figure out what it means. There's this guru-like fat guy sitting in jail. He's big and hairy. He runs this scam Enlightenment newsletter that takes lots of money from unsuspecting idiots. What does my dream mean?
The Mooj Answers: Far away and many years ago in the village of Simla-chhota arrived two shoe salesmen. When the salesmen saw that no one in the village was wearing shoes the first of the two shoe-wallahs thought: "This is awful! These people don't wear shoes so how can I sell them any? But the second shoe-wallah, a more enlightened chap, thought: "How wonderful! None of these people have shoes yet so look how many I can sell!" You, my kathor nila purta, should be like the second shoe-wallah not the first! This is what your dream is telling you! That and to give more money to The Mooj.
Be it known to all that The Mooj Poetic League is still collecting poems for this year's Annual Poetry Showdown. To wit, only six poems have been received. That's nothing to be proud of my poetic minions! And, without being too bombastic, may I point out that most of the recent poems were awful. Or marginally awful at best. But then wait! Yesterday I received a videotape in the mail. At first I was excited because I thought it was one of those love offering tapes I get from my many female admires. But it was even better! It was a videotape from some Bengali-wallah named Sher Singh performing his latest interpretive poem. Sher Singh claims to be from Mangalore, India. Does his name sound familiar? It should! This fine outstanding poet was once awarded the highest known honor among all deserving poets in the family of Mooj minions! Sher Singh was the winner of last year's Minion Poet of The Year! Larka tez hai!
For this month's poetry feature I will describe what I saw on Sher Singh's tape. I will have to make some adjustments, though, since the performance was recited in Munda, a Mon-Khmer dialect spoken principally in Eastern India. Portions of the poem were also orated in Greek, Santali, Latin, French and Bengali. I assume this was for artistic embellishment since it wouldn't make much sense to do so otherwise.
Apka Gana Sunana Chahti Hun!
(or, in English, it means something like, "I Sing From My Cavity.")
poem begins with Sher Singh walking onto a brightly lit stage
He shields his eyes from the light and then kneels down
He then speaks:
(These, of course, are translations)
Sher Singh stands up, does some kind of kick, and begins disrobing
Now he stands there naked, exposed
His arms and legs stretch outward
He speaks again. This time in a softer voice:
Now Sher Singh takes a whip out of a bag that is
hidden off camera
He flogs himself gently
Now his beating intensifies!
Now he's really beating the hell out of himself
He is bloody and hardly recognizable!
He speaks, yet again, even more softly than before:
Now Sher Singh crawls out of view of the
Off stage you can hear him whimper and moan
Then the camera is turned off
Minion Story Time
Rather than waste your time with something ridiculous, how about I skip this month's minion story? Not that all the stories sent in this month were ridiculous. It's just that The Mooj Mail Department wasn't in the mood to deal with all the negative feedback that they would surely have gotten because of how stupid some of the stories might seem.
There was, however, one story I liked. I wanted to include it but was talked out of it by prominent members of The Enlightenment! editorial committee. It was a story by minion #648 entitled The Tell Tale Foot. It was about how when he was in high school he used to love to drive his '69 Dodge Charger all around town dressed like Wonder Woman doing burnouts on people's lawns. I'm sure this was a metaphoric tale about his struggle with immortality and the difficult choices he had to make as a child. Or, maybe minion #648 really drove around dressed like Wonder Woman doing burnouts on people's lawns. Who knows.
Keystone State Trivia (Sponsored by the The Historical Society of Pennsylvania)
The Mooj Pennsylvania Heritage Trust (same mailing address as this newsletter) is pleased to announce that the winner of last month's Keystone State Trivia Contest was Kharab Chakarborty of Schuykill Township, PA. Young Kharab is only six years old we're told. He's quite a smart fellow if he really is. The first person with the correct answers this month will win a Black Banana Club T-Shirt (I have no idea where the Black Banana Club is but someone sent it to me and it doesn't fit). Here's The Quiz:
1) T or F: Delaware County, PA split from Chester County, PA during the Civil War because people in Delaware County wanted to side with the Confederacy.
2) At the top of City Hall in Philadelphia is a statue of William Penn. Whose statue was up there first, before it was replaced by the pompous William Penn?
3) Which of the following beers was called "Raging Fire Water From Hell" by infamous Susquehannock Chief Blackhoof: Schmidts, Ortliebs, Ballantine or Yuengling?
4) King of Prussia, PA was not named after the king of Prussia. So who was it named after?
5) T or F: Forget Pat's or Geno's. You want the best cheesesteak in Philly go to the snack bar at the Franklin Institute.
Mooj Note: The above questions were collected from various unreliable sources and so I have no idea if they can be answered or not. The truth is we here at The Enlightenment! could care less about Pennsylvania Trivia. The only reason we have to address it is because we accept grant money from the The Historical Society of Pennsylvania under the guise educating people about Pennsylvania history. I suspect they have no idea who we really are or what we're really using the money for. Since it would be bad karma to just take the money we at least do this.
Whenever I sit down to write and edit this newsletter I put aside a large margin of time for a feature I like to call "Insightful Thinking." Each and every subscriber to this fine newsletter knows that when he or she reads this newsletter he or she will be a wiser, more enlightened person. And most importantly those that call me Swami know the meat of what wisdom I shall dole out each month is found here. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where it all comes together. This, my multitude of minions, is why you have chosen me as your Guru.
I don't mind if you skim the Mooj Mail, brush over minion-submitted poetry and stories, lightly touch upon other topics--BUT ALL, each and every one of you, knows that when you reach this portion of the newsletter this is what really matters. Who cares about minions and their problems? Who cares about stupid stories and ridiculous poems? It is for my "Insightful Thinking" that you support me as your guru, mentor, and guide along the path of self-realization. This, here and now, is why you fork over your hard earned money to keep me fed and thinking. This, my humble minions, is where you learn what it means to be Mooj-like. Here you will find my reflective thinking! My Insightful thinking! My Enlightened Thinking!
But, then again I am a busy guru and so I didn't actually get around to writing my Insightful Thinking feature this month. I will try to write something next month.
Okay, that about sums it up for this month. I have already begun working on next month's newsletter and I can safely say it should be a little more enlightened than this one.
Blessings and such,