Sunny comes from a Jain family. When they greet each other they say ‘Jai Jinendra’. How awesome is that? The first time I heard of it, it sounded to me like a battle cry or a cry of victory similar to ‘Jai Hind’ or ‘Sieg heil’. I drifted into my own world, imagine, you meet a fellow Jain across the street and you shout with your arm pumping in the air, Jai Jinendra.
I couldn’t wait to.
We were invited to a big family function. Everyone was there, from his oldest grand auntie to the youngest nieces of the third cousin. Everyone was excited to meet me, naturally, (because I am awesome, *clears throat*). There was a grand prayer session going on and Sunny came up behind me, he said “You must say Jai Jinendra at the end of it.”
This is my chance, I thought. My first ever battle cry, and it was going to be remarkable.
It ended up being probably the most embarrassing time of my life. The prayers finished and I raised my fist in the air, with full energy and might I shouted, “Jai Jinendra.”
Everyone stared, shocked that a new person in the family would even dare to do this. I couldn’t tell which way it was going to go.
Were they going to laugh it off and see it as joke, or be offended? It turns out they were all full of humour and laughed it off.
But I think of this way, when can one ever give a battle cry like that in public, and especially amongst a group of the most harmless and peaceful religious people.