Readers Write In #321: Tell Me More

Posted on January 10, 2021


(by Sanjay NM)

They say that time heals. As the days trickled, some earthly beings and a few loved ones, who had both mind and body, moved on after my death. I, having only a mind by now, had to follow them. I wasn’t complaining though. The place that awaited me was filled with wonders; some called it a digital cloud space, some referred to it as eternal nothingness and some believers proclaimed it as Heaven.

One arrived at this heaven with baggage, not of worldly belongings but of memories. It is heartening to know that bad moments can be flushed away and mundane moments that form a major part of your life are omitted. It’s funny to think that in an entire human lifetime that lasts almost a century, there are only a few moments that are noteworthy. Those moments can be played back on an endless loop, giving a high that chemical hormones fail to do so. I have had my share of moments too; tributes and praises showered on me after my death being the icing on the cake. One would think why none of it comes to a person who’s living. But then, what could be the incentive to die when you can live for a few hundred years without physical pain and suffering.

I had used the word “arrived” earlier on, but the cloud space wasn’t somewhere you arrived, at least not in the physical sense. It wasn’t a place, it was a state of being that transcended space and time. Claustrophobic people might have nightmares imagining this state, but then divorcing ourselves from the natural senses can be a good thing. The smell of stale air during monsoon rains and the feeling of a sun burnt skin during summer are not things one needs to worry about. To put it in lay terms, it was akin to a Radio Jockey being on air, except that you never get off it. You could summon a person by merely thinking about them, although celebrities could never be summoned unless you knew them. Trust me, I tried it the moment I arrived. After sessions with a couple of ancestors and an important family member (I can’t tell you who it was lest they are summoned again), it was time to meet my Guru.

A great artist himself, his obsession towards his art form was inspirational. He harped on the fact that there was nothing worse than wasted talent. I was eager to proudly show him my achievements and prove my worth to him. I was nervous, working hard to keep him out of my thoughts till I was ready, but…………………………

I could feel his presence. He had arrived.
“Hello Sir! I have waited for this all my……life”

He did not respond, but I could definitely feel his presence. It was not like he was heaving a deep sigh and making his presence felt, but I knew. After all, I was a ghost now.

“Sir!! The spark that you provided made me what I am today. And in my last moments, I knew that I had lived a full life, achieving everything that I wanted to. I did not see my talent get wasted, I did not let my goals be incomplete and I did not leave any checkbox unchecked. I aced my life”, I almost shrieked.

There still wasn’t any response from him. And then I realised!! I had been a fool, going on and on about myself. Here I was, in front of a legendary artist’s soul and I was talking about myself.

“I am really sorry for my incessant rambling. But I have some news for you as well. The other day, you were given the highest civilian honour of our nation. Your family was present on your behalf. Thousands of people, not caring about the incessant rain, came together to recognise you. Your hard work, your sacrifices, your contribution was not forgotten”

“What was that? Can you say that again?” , he quickly exclaimed.

It worked. Every human being on earth was self centred. I was happy to know that souls were no different.

“You received the HIGHEST honour sir! Your name will be etched…”, I stuttered.

“No, the other thing”, he snapped back.

“Ahh your family? They are fine. They are…”

“No no the other thing!” , he said rather annoyingly.

“Oh yes!!! The prime minister was present too. He..”

“No you imbecile!”, he yelled.

What was I missing? I knew he was an obsessive megalomaniac but I wasn’t prepared for this.

I started to go over it again and when I zeroed in on the “rains”, he stopped me.

“Yes yes!! That one”, he said.

“The rain?” , I asked.

“Yes. Tell me more”, he remarked with a childish curiosity.