Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Enigmatic Answer

“Do you believe in god?”
“I asked do you believe in god.”
“Ya! I do. Why do you wanna ask me that now?”
“Nothin man! Just like that. So you think god exists?”
“Shut up and pass that cigarette. I dint bunk my class today so that we can sit and discuss theology!”
“Ya! But still don’t you think its something… something…??”
“Something what?”
“Mysterious! Or something strange. Like look around, so many people believe in him, pray to him so many times a day, even spend so much money trying to please him, still none can actually give a proper answer to his existence.”
“…and how does that bother you?”
“It doesn’t actually bother me. I mean, don’t you want to know whether he is real or not?”
“Why should I want to?”
“C’mon ra! Just now you said you do believe in god.”
“What do you mean so!? Don’t you want to know for sure? Like completely and totally sure whether you are right or wrong.”
“The only reason I said that I believe in god coz’ that’s what my parents have been telling me… my grandmother has been telling me… see those people erecting the tent for ganesh puja… what they have been telling me! And now you too… who wants to disturb my quiet afternoon smoke!”
“You mean you don’t know whether he is real or not?”
“I don’t care whether he is real or not.”
“Arey! How can you say that? We need to know whether there is a god or not. Or at least something like a supreme power or something. You know…”
“No I don’t.”
“Give me one good reason why I should care.”
“I can give you many!”
“Okay. I’m waiting…”
“Don’t you want to know who made this universe? Who controls the elements? How were you born? Who made this huge ocean… and this bench?
“I’m not totally sure, but I think it’s the GVMC.”
“Ha Ha, real funny! I am serious ra.”
“Chill! Ok, it’s true, I don’t know who made all these… and my subject happens to be medical microbiology… so in what way do you think I need to concern myself with the Big Bang theory? I deal with disease causing microorganisms, not with Origin of life!”
“What if you have to go back to the basics? Like with your germs and all. What if you need to research about how these organisms were created in the first place? Where did they start and when did they actually start affecting people and all that? Then what?”
“Hmmm… good question. I guess then I would sit and analyze all the technical data I have with me. Interpret all the options I see. Use my logical abilities to find an answer. But how can that be a concern for me now? First of all, I know I don’t have to go that far. Secondly, even if I have to, I can’t do anything about it right now coz’ I don’t have all that information. How can I worry about something, without even having a go at it? How can I conclude anything now itself, just like that?
“Maybe… but that doesn’t answer anything.”
“Coz’ you are talking about god like you are talking about some scientific thesis. I am talking about having faith in god and his influence over us. You and me ok. Not all people will do research, trying to find out whether there is a god or not. Believing in god is a matter of faith. Not of experimentation and inferences!”
“So you mean to say we shouldn’t go by our logic?”
“Not exactly…! Like see, there are so many things that happen all the time, which go beyond our understanding. Even for the smarty NASA guys. Logic somehow doesn’t answer everything.”
“True! There are things that go beyond human comprehension.”
“Hence people turn towards god regarding things that are not in their control. Pray to him. Follow religious customs and all. All these stuff for his help.”
“So we need god, since we need his help?”
“You don’t have to look at it that way! I mean all don’t go the temple just because they have a tough exam tomorrow. Oh, shut up! I only went twice, that too it was math, and I managed to pass too. See, it works!”
“Okay! So I wake up early. Dress up neat. Go to the temple. Offer my puja to god. Request him for an easy paper, or a first ranker beside me, or at least a blind invigilator! Right?”
“Well! Not exactly…”
“…and that too, irrespective of how I studied last night for the exam.”
“No! That too is important.”
“I wake up early. Dress up neat. Go to the passport office. Talk to the passport officer. Offer him some money, so that he will speedup my work, or ignore the discrepancies in my paperwork. How about that?”
“How can you relate that to this? This stuff is illegal!”
“I thought if we can do that with god, I guess it can be done the same way with my dear passport officer too. I guess his name is Mr. Babu Rao or something like that. What you say?”
“That’s different man! See, I study my best for the exam and I go to the temple and take god’s blessing. Like we take it from our elders before we do something important. Not every time we pray to god to ask him something. We like him as such, and thank him for all the good things he gave us. What’s wrong with that?”
“Good man! You are on the right track. I think that’s how it should be. But again, that doesn’t apply to me.”
“Coz’ I don’t care either way.”
“As in?”
“Like, I do all that I can do. I give in my best whenever and wherever I can. I need no other help. Be it a blessing or in any other way.”
“Man! You are too conceited.”
“I guess you can call it that.”
“Since you dint take the blessing, what if you fail? I mean asking god for help has its own advantages you know.”
“I’ll take my chances. I am not worried about that. I fail, I fail with no excuses. I tried hard and lost. Fair enough. I never said ‘help me’ when something went wrong. I won’t say ‘thank you’ when I win. I take things as they come. I like that way, and I am pretty much cool with my life.”
“What! Are you some kind of a free spirit individualist or something?”
“Hmm… maybe. I dunno. Never actually thought about. Any more cigarettes left?”
“No ra. All done. You know something, even if tomorrow we come to know that god is real, he won’t be of any use to you. Coz’ I see there is no reason why you need him! Haha! Imagine tomorrow god will appear in front of you, and ask you what do you want, and you will be like… ‘Don’t disturb! We have enough door mats. Go to the next house.’ Man! That would be so funny. What happened? What are you thinking?”
“Nothing… Chal! Let’s go. Let’s go and eat something, and go for a matinee. I’m in a mood for a celebration!”
“Celebrate what?”
“Your second girl friend’s birthday! Shut up and come. Nothing to do for today kada… let’s roam about the city. Where are my bike keys?”
“Here. Where are you running off to? Ok fine, but we need to be back by 9, or my parents will screw me! And I have those assignments to complete for tomorrow too.”
“Chill dude! Tomorrow is another day. Here I start! Last one to reach the noodles stand is a rotten egg!”
Damn! This guy is fast. Wait ra idiot! I am coming…”

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