I hadn't seen much of Laxmi and Gita, the two cousins we'd met before, this week, until they found me lying on the beach today. They reminded me that last time I'd promised to buy something from them but didn't... The jewelry they were selling was made by their family in Mumbai and sent to them to sell in Palolem. They had lots of earrings, toe-rings, anklets, and bracelets. I picked out a whole bag full of stuff, figuring it would be nice stuff to send back to my sisters. Once that was over with, I asked them if we could just be friends now, and have to worry about buying anything from them. The agreed, considering I'd just bought more than they'd probably sold all week.
I actually had to go into town, to the ATM, to take out more money, so Laxmi said she would walk with me. I thought it was too far to walk, but she said it wasn't very far. Along the way, we passed the old decaying church that seemed about to crumble any day. Walking by, Laxmi traced a cross along her head, chest, and shoulders, then put her palms together and whispered a prayer.
"I didn't know you were Christian, I figured you were Hindu," I said.
"God is God," she answered, "It doesn't matter whose."
In elementary school, I was taught that Hinduism (Brahmanism) is a polytheist religion, but in India I learned that it is actually monotheist. The millions of gods and goddesses are just aspects of the one source.