All my life, I wanted to once experience how it felt to fly high up in the sky. Well, now I am here gliding in the clouds, only ruse is that I am no longer alive. A few moments ago, my bike's front tire got stuck into a water filled pothole in one of the busy roads of Mumbai. My life on earth ended thanks to the great work by BMC (Bloody MCs).
As I was gliding , involuntarily , the wind carried me towards an office of sorts , an impressive edifice with huge doors . The walls had a heavenly white glow. On the door was written ‘ENTER’, not welcome or anything, just ‘ENTER’. If my MBA friend was around , he would have told these folks how bad such language is for business, but then this particular business is immune to all MBA principles I guess.
I slowly entered through the gate to find a young looking guy, sitting behind the table working diligently on his laptop. Initially I thought he was one of the visitors like me, but his comfort in this place made me think he has belonged here for some time. I gingerly walked towards him and he as on cue looked up and me and smiled, a little forced smile but a smile none the less. He showed me a chair to sit on. I sat and spoke for the first time since death.
Me: Hi, I am....
before I could complete my sentence he spoke still looking into the laptop.
HIM: I know who you are. You are 198212080615.
Me: Am I?
Him : Yes, don’t worry you can now forget about your earthly details ,you have a new identity here.
I did not know if that was a good for me or bad.
Him: You know, I don’t like you much.
Me: (nervously) why is so sir.
Him: You software engineers live your life working on off days and you even die such.
I had absolutely no clue what he was saying. I did work a lot on weekends but I died on a Friday.
Him: It’s an off day here.
Me: You have an off day here? I can come later if you want.
Him: Yea you can, just that your body has already been taken care of by your family. So you have nowhere to go back to.
Me: Really, so soon, I have been dead for only a few minutes.
Him: One min here is a few days of earth time, so you don’t see any service unavailability as far as death is concerned.
That sounded a bad dialogue from a worse gangster movie.
I did not know what to say or do next, it was my first time here. As I was going through possible topics to talk about in my mind , I looked outside a window and saw some huge buildings , magnificent and extremely regal . There were a few others still under construction. I looked back at him, still busy with his laptop.
Now I had his attention.
Me: Are these the places where you put us.
Me: You seem to be building quite a few new one out there.
Him: Yes, the Indians seem to have a lot of spare time of late . We even sent a few of our best men to sell contraceptives to them. But they seem to love the natural way.
Me: But aren’t kids God's gift.
Him: They sure are, and Indians seems to be spending all their spare time trying to get one.
Some thing came to his mind and he took his eyes off the screen and towards me.
Him: Where did you say you are from?
I was in a fix now, I had not a clue who he was but I wasn’t ready to be in his bad books. And my death surely relieves me of my patriotism. But ,I wasn't ready to lie , not here at least.
Me: I am from Bombay.
He grinned, a sarcasm filled grin.
Him: What do you think my name is? Thackeray. I know Bombay is in India. And if I was Thackeray, you would have died once again for calling it Bombay and not Mumbai.
Me: I guess dying once again is not logically possible. Is it?
Him: If I was an Indian politician, what makes you think logic concerned me.
He was right, and that brought a smile on my face. I guess I was warming up to him. I had a few questions to ask. I was just waiting for the right moment.
Me: Sir, do you mind me asking you something.
Him: Go ahead.
Me: Which ones of those buildings are heavens and which ones are hell.
Him: All of them, floors 10 and above are heaven, floors below 0 are hell. Floors 0-10 are for people we don’t know what to do with.
Me: Where do I go?
Him: I am still on with your life file. Let’s see.
Me: Do you realise I shouldn't be dead. It wasn’t my time yet. I haven’t seen anything yet. I am still a virgin.
Him: Well, it’s entirely your fault, not mine.
Me: What do mean? You think I should have paid for it like my friend.
Him: No you crack head. I meant that you had were Genghis Khan in your last life. You had your share of fun for 7 lives in one lifetime.
Me: What The Falooda . You mean I will die a virgin for the next 6 lives too.
Him: Actually 6.49 live.
Me: 6.49? What is this? A Bata showroom?
Him: Actually, this was kind of a premature end for you, so you will carry on in the next life.
Me: And how will you do that.
Him: My guess is, you will be born in India and would be something like a 35 year old virgin.
Me: Kill me, please, kill me.
Him: In your own words 'Not logically possible'.
I wanted to scream to 'Logic my behind'. But then he was going to put me on the floor . So I controlled my anger and started looking out of the window. After some time I got bored and wanted to talk again.
Me : So , you know who would be going in to the new buildings ?
Him: No, we decided to build them keeping in mind the toys people like to play with down there nowadays.
Me: Proactive..... Guess there is no democracy or democratic decision making here.
Him: Not yet at least. Gandhi has been busy in hell.
Me: What The Fungus.. Gandhi in hell.. What god forbidden substance do you smoke? Did you lose your brains betting on India beating Zimbabwe?
Him: Easy with your language boy.
Me: Seriously man? Gandhi in hell is like Hitler with Nobel Peace Prize.
Him: I know. Nobody put him there; he has a free pass to go where ever he wishes. He just chose to be in hell trying to improve living conditions there.
Me: ohh.... well I can imagine that. He must really be God's favourite child.
Him: Frankly, He isn’t anymore. Last time he met God, he lectured him on the power of forgiveness and wanted hell shutdown. Since then God has been running away from him. And I mean that literally. That old man can surely work up some pace.
Me: I know he can.
Him: Since then, God has put a board outside his gate saying 'Gyan dena mana hai'.
We shared a good laugh after this. Then suddenly something struck me.
Me: You have been referring to God as Him.
Him: Stop there. I am not answering that question. I don’t want any women's organization shouting my name outside my door.
I couldn’t stop laughing at his predicament.
Me: So even you are afraid of women.
Him: Don’t you guys down there have a saying 'Hell Hath No Fury like A Woman Scorned'. I can confirm that to you.
We laughed heartily while he still continued to peek into my life. After a while I thought I will get to know him.
Me: How old are you? I mean in earth years.
Him: May be a few thousands.
Me: Really? You don’t look so.
Him: Well our anti ageing products out here are much better than what you have down on earth.
Me: Women on earth would be dying to get here.
Him: They do still.
He smiled at his own observation. I was still looking outside the window.
Me: Tell me something sir, what are these people, working as labourers on the new buildings. What were these people on earth?
Him: These guys were special. They spent their life building magnificent places of worship on earth and some similar God's work. So we let them do more God's work here.
Me: So if these guys are here, who is on the top floors of the buildings?
Him: Mostly Atheists and Politicians.
Me: What the Frooty ? Atheists and Politicians?
Him: Well I can’t explain completely why God loves atheists so much but I know why politicians are up there.
Me: Enlighten me.
Him: The politicians are there to be punished.
Him: The politicians spent their lives giving false hopes to people, so we send them to the top floors with the hope of spending the afterlife in heaven. The atheists who have very little faith in God's judgement anyways throw them out of the top window, and they fall straight into hell.
Me: Very interesting.
Him: Come here now. Your calculations have been done.
I was nervous now.
Him: You go to the 5th floor, in a room without windows and doors.
Me: What? Why?
Him: All your life you have done everything for yourself, insulating yourself from things around you . If you did not put anyone in misery you also did not help anyone out of misery. So it’s only fair you be put in place where you are isolated from the rest of the world.
I was sad, but it was fair, I was indeed too busy with my own self.
Him: But I have a special thing for you. I will set you up in a room where you have a blast every once in a while.
After a few minutes I was there with 71 other guys in a white washed room with no windows. And true we did have a blast once in a while. Every once in a while there would come a guy with some big weird vest with wires dangling out of it , and on seeing us ,the 72 virgins , will cry out something and boom , will explode into many pieces , which i am told would end up in the lowest floors.