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Wake Up

Why us?

Wow. That’s too generic. Give me some context.

Why were we burdened with conscience? This dreary sense of existence is overwhelming.

Dreary, is it? I thought otherwise. I felt your lot loved the sense of being. Many of you are in eternal love with the pointless pursuit of the purpose of life.

You feel it’s pointless?

If you ask me, you would be better off living our life rather than pondering over its meaning.

Well, there lies the problem. You see, living the life is not as easy as it sounds. Thanks to the superior intelligence, we are in a state where we have to make informed decisions in every minute of our lives. Some decisions are easy. Most are not. We have to weigh the benefits against the damages and arrive at a trade-off.

And that’s the beauty of it. A decision you make has the power of transforming someone’s life entirely.

Which is why deciding is difficult. Birds have it easy. They just fly around all day, and go back to their nests when they are tired.

You feel birds have it easy?

At least they are free.

And you are not?

Free choice is a myth.

Could you elaborate?

I could write a poem on it.

No, thanks. Poetry is not my style. Anyway, consider this. Your free birds build their nests on trees, which you cut down to make frames for your windows or tissue papers to wipe yourself dry. One fine evening, the bird flies back only to find that the nest no longer exists. So much for their freedom. You talked about how you are a victim of your intelligence. Turns out that you have made good use of it. Cosy homes, super fast cars, smart devices, delicious cuisine...all this when the mighty lions lay naked in the cold nights and the majestic elephants still eat raw palm leaves. You undervalue what you possess. You are…

The predator and the prey?

In a way, yes.

But where have this intelligence taken us? We are fighting each other all the time. We keep coming up with newer things to fight over when we grow sick of the things over which we were fighting in the first place. We fight over land, over gold, over trade, oil, space, race, nuclear deals. You name it, we fight over it! Of all these, you are an all time favorite. W never grow tired of fighting over you. I have lost count of the number of names we have given you. How do you look at it?

I find it interesting. Here is what I did. I learnt all your languages - Hebrew, Latin, Sanskrit, Greek, Roman, Tamil, Japanese - so that I could manifest myself in the different forms you have given me. It is funny, you know. No matter in what name I am invoked, the needs remain more or less the same. Happiness, love, money, health, peace - almost everyone asks for these. You might ask for love in English, and this other person would be asking for inner peace in Malayalam. I listen to all of you. Yet you accept me in the way you like, and reject the other forms of me.

I am the believer and the non believer?

Not just you. The whole lot. Yeah you get the idea.

If you are as powerful as you claim to be, why don’t you grant us the virtues we all ask for?

I do. All the happiness, health and peace you see around? They are all my doing.

Oh Really! What about the other side? Bone cancer in infants! What about it, eh? The volcanoes in Japan. Hurricanes in America. Earthquakes in Indonesia?

You know who to blame for that?

Who?

We do not speak that name around here.

Are you going to blame the Devil for all the miseries?

Speak of the Devil.

Why don’t you just destroy the Devil, then?

Devil is essential to my existence. We lay perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

Can I ask you something?

You have been asking a lot today.

Is the Devil for real? Or is it a simple lie you sold us to explain your ill doings?

My ill-doings! What do I have to gain by causing you pain?

I don’t know. Some  just want to watch the world burn.

Not arguing with that. So you assume there is no Devil. You mentioned nuclear wars, didn’t you? What about those? I don’t remember making any nuclear bombs. Oh wait - it was you.

What are you suggesting? That we are as much Devil as much as you are?

Maybe you and I are not so different.

Would you stop quoting movies?

Why? Movies are a reflection of the human minds. All art forms are. And it was you who came up with art. Music, dance, pictures, sculptures, books - all of it came from you. You composed melodies, and built worlds and characters just like I did. Tell me this. Would Krishna be complete without Kamsa? Judas had paved way for Jesus’ resurrection. Julius Caesar would have been just another ruler had not Brutus betrayed him. Ram and Ravan. Harry POtter and Lord Voldemort. The Batman and The Joker! All these are as epic as Laila Majnu, or Krishna Radha, or Romeo Juliet. Name one great piece of art that you made which is devoid of evil.


You see?

I do, indeed. You are me.

No! I am bigger than that.

You are a part of me. Or I am a part of you. Perhaps it's all inside my head.

Do you really feel so?

I am the Devil. I am the God.

That’s quite a statement.

                ***

(Fifty six year old Jagannath woke his wife, Bhoomi, up. The clock ticked past two.)

Bhoomi: What?

Jagannath: Do you hear that voice?

Bhoomi: What voice?

Jagannath: Listen. It’s from Adi’s room. I wonder who he is calling at this hour of the night.

Bhoomi: I do not really think that he is on the phone. I guess he is talking to himself.

Jagannath: Again! Should we take him to the counselor?

Bhoomi: Don’t bother. He might just be having a bad dream. I will ask him to pray before going to bed. The boy questions faith a lot these days.

Jagannath: God help our kid!

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