Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Fall from heaven
One fine day I found myself teleported to someplace which in fact cannot be called a place as everything including the concept of time and space was so alien that my sudden and complete amnesia left me feeling dead. But then I was not dead and whatever it was, it felt like a place. It looked like a cave or a medieval underground prison. How the hell I ended up here ? No matter how hard I tried I could remember nothing of my past life except bits and pieces of the basic nature of the world I came from. It was made up of places, things, people and time. And they always influenced each other , changing the world itself .
There were people in my previous world and to my absolute horror there were people here also when I looked around, all equally confused and stoned as me. But they all looked friendly and harmless, maybe because of our mutual bond of common suffering or because from the realization that there was no harm anyone can cause to anyone at this place. After all, there was nothing left to harm.
After the initial horror subsided, we all started to look at each other more freely and attempts were made to socialize like humans tend to do. Some people tried to speak , exchange greetings, ask names but all of it was such a hilariously futile exercise. There was no language to communicate and we all spoke our different blabbers like new born children or samples of different species. The only language was silence and once we fell silent in desperation, we found our common language. We could read each other’s mind or whatever is left of them. Can a better language exist ? Since the grammar was silence, the message was never distorted, amplified, rarified or crucified by words. And also, since we can talk in telepathy , no one had any secrets. We were even more intimate with each other than passionate lovers in bed can be. This made us become one big soul. The eternal utopia of universal oneness finally realized.
What now ? What to do with this newborn awakening or what is left of our old ones. Since there was no way of going back, we have to find our purpose here. Maybe we all had the same purpose or maybe different ones or maybe there was none and we just happened to be here.
But in any case we had to keep on trying. Because frankly, there was nothing else to do. So we wandered off in the cave. Some felt the walls, what kind of bricks they were made of, looking for some kind of secret inscriptions. Some examined the floor hoping to find some kind of door to some underground passage out of here, while some like me just stared at the ceiling emptily.
We all did whatever we can without doing anything at all.
Then there was a sound which startled us all. Somewhere a door opened and we all looked towards it like open mouthed newborn chicks in a nest who cannot fly and were looking towards their mother to fetch some food.
This man who entered was no man at all. Something was not right about him, something extraordinary , something unmanly. Yet he looked and walked like rest of us did. And he spoke like a prophet. Yes he did speak and we understood.
"Don’t be afraid. It’s not a punishment but a gift. You are in heaven, so be happy about it. "
This calmed us down, made us more peaceful perhaps. But we all were still confused so when he walked out back again without saying anything, we knew we had to follow him.
And we followed.
We didn’t expected the splendors that lay before our eyes once we were out of that gloomy cave. The prophet was right. We were indeed in heaven. There were all kind of trees, flowers, lakes, rivers, even seas and oceans, all kind of mountains, trenches, plateaus, all kinds of suns and moons, making all kinds of sunrises and sunsets, all kind of rains and snowfall. In short there was everything.
And once we saw everything we started to remember everything. How our past lives were, whom we loved and whom we hated , how our successes and failures tasted like, all those who used us and all those we used. And once we remembered everything , we realized that we have been here before. At least I did.
Oh how I miss all the wines I ever tasted, all the women I slept with, all the places I went to, all the friends I hanged out with, all the work I have done. How I miss my mother who made me feel miserable by always making me believe that I was destined for greatness and my father who always made me miserable by always making me believe that I was destined for gutters. Everyone who loved me made me feel miserable in someway or the other in the end. But anyways it all means nothing now at this place.
And now finally I can happily tell all my miseries to shut the fuck up as I am in heaven and you are not invited here, bitch !
It was such a serene feeling to feel nothing at all finally. We didn’t needed each other anymore, we didn’t needed our guide , we even didn’t needed ourselves anymore. We finally didn’t needed absolutely anything.
This surely must be either heaven or hell.
So why did we still walked together and followed our guide ? Why did we still were ourselves ? Why we still needed existence of some form or the other ?
But anyways we followed our guide who never spoke. Maybe he knew every time he speaks some of us will lose faith and stop following him.
To tell the truth, I was completely alone in that dark cave. I was completely alone with all the people, the guide and the heaven around me. Maybe that’s the reason for that need I was talking about. The need of people, the need of our past, the need of a god, the need of a heaven around us. We don’t need all of these .We don’t even need ourselves. All we need is to get away from this loneliness. It’s never about a woman or a man or parents or friends or something we wrote or sang or painted but about this loneliness and this loneliness is itself alone. This loneliness is ours and ours only and no matter who or what we approach to get it away from us it will always remain ours, even without ourselves. No one or nothing can do anything about it. And what’s even worse is this loneliness is itself lonely. That’s why it is called loneliness.
In order to deal with my loneliness I started talking to people. And I started talking very freely. Became completely naked as I thought once I get everything out of my system in the open, empty my house completely and throw all the furniture and things outside till only the walls remained then I would be able to get rid of my loneliness. It was my self-exorcism of some kind to drive the devil away.
"You know I have been here before."
And since the guide remained silent and people listened I continued.
"It’s such a wonderful place. One can get everything here he or she ever wants without even working hard to get it. .One just has to wish for it."
Initially they took me as a lunatic but there are no insane or sane, no winners or losers, no saints or sinners in heaven.
"One can be a rockstar, movie celebrity, sportstar, politician or millionaire only by wishing to be one. One never has to try"
I could have stopped right there and be like everyone else but the guide kept walking silently, though he smiled from time to time. And since people started to pay attention so I continued.
"Not only that, in heaven you can fulfill all the desires you ever had .all the desires you always dismissed as mere fantasies. You can get any women or any number of women to love you, as long as you want and as much as you want them to love you."
Someone interrupted "I want Madonna". And everyone laughed. Now I have got everyone thinking about their celebrity crushes and their unrequited loves. The girl or boy they always wanted but never had. I was enjoying this. My first victory over the guide. We were following his steps but we surely were all following my words.
"Can I do skydiving in heaven. I always wanted to do that" - someone asked.
"Of course my friend. You can do skydiving, scuba diving, bungee jumping, play ice hockey, climb Mount Everest, you can be any of your childhood heroes you ever wanted to become in heaven."
I surprised myself with my new found knowledge. And all this while I was trying to fire people's imagination, I myself was thinking about my own unfulfilled desires and fantasies. I always wanted to be an astronaut. Now I can be one , travelling to galaxies farther then any Armstrong on earth can ever dream of doing. And then there was this girl. There always is a girl. She had the most beautiful hair and most charming smile. I used to secretly spy her but I never confessed my love to her. Because she was too beautiful and I was too ugly for her. Yes I was afraid of her refusal.
And finally the guide glanced at me and smiled as if reading my mind. There was definitely something not quite right about him. I can always sense that. I agree he was helping us. He brought us out of that depressing cave, was leading us to the kingdom of heaven, even was allowing me to speak and take all the glory. Still I didn’t liked him.
And all this while I was talking and wandering I didn’t realized that we have walked miles and miles and the scenery have changed. The blue skies, endless oceans and wild but spectacular nature have given way to equally serene but more habituated settings.
There were endless fields of tulips, roses, jasmine, daffodils and all kind of flowers. I can see birds flying in the sky and ducks floating on the patches of lake below. I can see a castle vaguely. We can’t make out how it looked but it surely must be grand and kingly. Everything giving the impression that we were getting closer.
"And it’s not only that. If ever you were dissatisfied with the ugly and imperfect body god has given you, you can look like anything you want to look like. You can wear rough badass bastard one day and charming chocolate hero the other. a slut bombshell one day and cute girl the other. You can even be a tiger or dinosaur if you died as a kid on earth brought up on video games. After all body is just a cover, like cloths we change everyday. It’s the soul that remains. Isn’t that what we have been always told ?
"I want to look like batman" - and everyone laughed again.
The guide could have nodded in agreement or shaken his head in disagreement at least. But he did neither which meant that either I was totally right or totally wrong.
"Can we die in heaven ?". This time it was a girl who asked the question. She was very beautiful and charming but with the emptiest eyes I have ever seen. They were not gloomy as there is no place of gloom in heaven but they surely had hangover of one from her past life..
"No ,you can’t die in heaven. Even if you jump off from a cliff, eat poison or chop your own head off. It’s millions and millions years of uninhibited bliss". And I don’t know why I said the happiest statement one can ever imagine in a slightly unhappy way.
While everyone else was ecstatic with my answer, some even rolling in grass like mad joyous kids, this girl became silent and solemn. She didn’t said it but one look at her and I can tell, she was disappointed with my answer. I can partly tell that she had committed suicide in her past life.
Is it really true ? Can we really die in heaven and if not heaven , is there any place we can actually die, never to wake up again at some other place or time. I thought it out aloud so that the guide can hear me and answer my query.
The bastard still walked silently.
So what is death ? I surely must have died in my past life, that’s why I am here. But if not here I would have been in hell or some other place where one never dies or even if death exist there, it just means teleportation to some other place we don’t know of , only to exist again in some other form. So is death only a made up word just like god. Both gives promises of peace from the constant struggle existence anywhere is. And is it possible that both exists. It can’t be. It’s simply impossible. As if there is a death, there can’t be a god and if there is a god , there can’t be death.
But then the guide stopped. I woke up from my musings and everyone else woke up from their fantasies. The scene that lay before our eyes cannot be described in words, but then any scene can’t. It only has to be seen and felt. I don’t know what to call it but an amphitheatre would be the closest word, the grandest, most intimidating, most unworldly amphitheatre all the roman empires put together cannot build. The walls were so high that they disappeared into the sky before we can see their top. It was not stone, nor wood or any metal. they were made up of some kind of divine material giving us the impression of being stared by a million eyes. Yes, that’s what it was actually. Millions and millions of eyes, maybe the eyes of all the souls ever created, the eyes of the entire universe , piled over one over other giving us the most penetrating stare one can ever imagine. I realized that the arena didn’t needed any spectators. The wall itself was the grandest gathering of spectators that can be ever imagined.
And once the guide led us inside the amphitheatre ,it was even more captivating and spell bounding. We can’t fully comprehend what it was but what we made out of it, what we were able to comprehend was it was a stadium of some kind, set to hold Olympics of some kind., only that it wasn’t one. There were different playgrounds made to host different sports. some seemed familiar to the ones on earth while about others, we had no idea what they were about.What was even more mindboggling was when we marveled at the arena in general, it became infinite, big enough to engulf the entire universe and when we tried to estimate the size of that infinity, all we realized that we were at just at a point in that infinite circle not being able to see anything beyond our side of the wall. But when we focused on any particular playground the wall narrowed down and it became a small stadium hosting that sport only. For one particular sport which we didn’t recognized what it was, the entire stadium compressed down to a single point, we all being inside that singularity.
While we still were busy marveling at the scene, trying to assimilate what lay before us, the guide finally turned to us and spoke.
" People ! the kingdom of heaven is not for everyone. Only some of you will be able to go beyond this point to enjoy all the riches of heaven. While the rest of you will have to go back"
This crushed some souls. Most definitely did.
We all were so sure that we have gained an entrance into heaven. We were even jubilant thinking about all the good deeds we have done in our past lives, completely ignoring the bad ones. After all, those good acts, those selfless acts we did came to some use and were not so selfless as we thought they were. After all, love exists in this world or another or wherever it exists.
But the guide made all our dreams crumbling down to dust. How many more tests we have to pass. How much more I have to prove myself, in this world or another, to be accepted. I spent all my life on earth passing tests, test against myself, test against the world, test against the god and devil. Now after all that torture, all that agony, all that suffering I finally am in the kingdom of heaven. And there is still one more test to pass.
Come on man, give me a break.!
"There is no need to worry my friends. These games are very easy, just like the daily routines you follow, like taking a shower or riding a bicycle. You all will pass very easily"
Isn’t that what a guide is supposed to do. Give everyone something called hope. Maybe that’s why we always followed him. Maybe that’s why anyone follows anyone. But still something was not quite right about him.
ok enough, let’s get down to business. The first game was very easy. It resembled bowling beside the fact that it was much easier than bowling. All we were supposed to do is to roll a ball much lighter and much smaller to a much smaller distance. Everyone did it quite easily, even the suicidal girl. So when finally my turn came, I walked nonchalantly, picked up the ball in carefree arrogance and rolled it.
I remember once my girl took me to a bowling alley. I must have had one too many drinks that day as after a while I started puking all over the place and made a complete fool of myself. Never went to a bowling alley again. Anyways ,whose bullshit idea it was to make a game out of it. Must be the English. They always comes up with some crazy shit.
What happened ? I tell you what happened. I was being too proud, too confident, too casual. The ball didn’t rolled to the distance it was supposed to do. Nevermind, it won’t be my first failure. what I didn’t knew that it won’t be my last either.
The next in line was hurdle race, except the fact that it wasn’t a race and there was hardly any hurdle .All we needed to do was to climb a tiny hurdle, which we do all the time while walking on an uneven road without realizing it. Yes we do. We cross so many hurdles in our life without realizing it. And when I finally failed to cross that tiny hurdle, failed to do what everyone else did so easily I realized one thing.
There used to be a mango orchid near my school , full of juicy mangoes whose taste still lingers in my mouth. Ah ! Those were the days when me and my friends used to bunk school and sprint away to the orchid. There was a trench on the way with a wooden plank over it acting as a bridge, which we had to cross. One day the plank was gone. Since all we could think of was mangoes and the trench wasn’t wide enough, it was decided that we will jump across it. After my friends jumped across and it was my turn , I became a bit skeptical. What if I am not able to jump so far. I will fall right into the muddy waters below and would be the butt of all jokes of my friends for days to come. And that’s exactly what happened.
Self doubt is not a good thing. It crumbles down the mightiest castles, the strongest armies and the bravest warriors. And more greedy and hungry one is about conquering the world, the more one wants to be an Alexander or Genghis khan, the more this devil reveals itself to him in its true powers.
And since this devil of self doubt had clearly crept into me, I had to fight it somehow. And I fought it with plain simple logic. The logic that I am simply the best or am capable of being the best. I hastily patched some self belief over self doubt. That’s the only weapon that works against it.
The third event was a kind of archery but at a point blank range. I can say it was the easiest of all but I won’t. I won’t be over confident this time. I won’t be in doubt also this time. I won’t give way to any of my devils this time and just focus. Yes I will try to focus the best I can. After all, I badly wanted an entrance into heaven and fuck all those bitches.
Have I ever told you about my time in the army. It was a torrid period. The routines were backbreaking and the training was harsh. All I can say is my unhealthy frame was more suited for sitting in an air conditioned room and sign papers than this hardship. Once in the shooting range when I failed to hit the target repeatedly with the captain shouting obscenities all the time, I completely lost track of the target and the people around me and only wished for this nightmare to end soon. Thankfully those were my last days in the army.
And no one can tell you how a failure feels like. Not of a simple kind one gets any given day when he misses a bus, or loses a job or is dumped by a girl. I am talking about a total, complete and absolute failure .Having not only failed everyone who ever cared, loved or believed in you but also having failed yourself. And knowing that you have to live with it for the rest of your life. Like a scar on your face that can never be treated with surgery. It will haunt you during your days like being ridiculed by everyone around and haunt you like ghosts in your nights in form of nightmares. And even if you can somehow go back in time and given a chance to correct it , you will fail again. Now that’s a failure in its purest form.
There were many more games, all seemed to be custom made to exploit my weaknesses. And the ones I was really good at like the table tennis lookalike arena lying at the center were completely ignored by the guide. I never had a say in the games I wanted to play. But wasn’t that the way on earth also. We never chose the games we played there, rather the games chose us. Doctors wanted to be engineers, engineers wanted to be actors, actors wanted to be painters, painters wanted to be doctors. It was a funny world which made fishes to climb trees, monkeys to swim in water and elephants to fly.
After sometime I had given up and was just going through the motions, waiting for it all to end. And when it was over , I looked at the guide for some sympathy as losers always tend to do without knowing or wanting to do so. And strangely he finally gave me some.
It was the last day of my life. Dark decrepit underground passageways of my city were never safe at night. Dark decrepit underground passageways of any big city are never safe at night. I can see the sadistic gun he was pointing at me nice and clear. I realized that he could have ended my sorry existence any time he liked with just a pull of a trigger and all the insanities, merriments, anxieties and above all dreams, dreams of my past and dreams I hope to dream in future rushed to my head like a herd of panicky civilians dropped in a war, urging me to act, begging me to do something for the sake of the years I have spent with their surreal lives. But all I can give them is condolences. What could I have done anyways ? He was a lowly thug with a gun who got lucky enough to find me walking towards him in the dark. But he wasn’t strong , almost half my size. I could have dashed in a moment of glory to snatch the gun from him and be a god myself. But in that case, he would surely shoot me if I failed to give him the surprise I hoped for. So I decided to play it safe. Not to enrage the man with the gun as I was scared of what he may do. I have failed and it’s a failure that lived with me every day and night but it’s only now, at this hour of judgment that I feel it’s cold and unsympathetic skin. I could have acted and become a hero but instead I decided to live a slow and painful death.
"Do you know why you failed." – the guide said.
As I looked into his smiling face I knew the answer instantly. I also knew why I always felt that something was not quite right about this guy. His face suddenly transformed to that guy with the gun who ended my life.
He smiled his most brutal smile
"You were right when you said you have been here before. You have been here millions of times. You were right about what you said about heaven. heaven is all that and much more. but you were never able to gain entrance into heaven."
"You failed because of me."
It’s because of my fears I always failed and it’s because of my fears I am now kicked out of heaven again.