Friday, June 20, 2008

An offer you cant refuse

Scene 1: The setting is all white, the audiences see a white back ground spotlessly clean, as the lights go up, a dark man dressed all in white, white shirt, white blazer, white bow, white shoes and white socks is carrying a white book and writing in it with a white pen. Beside him on the floor is another man naked to the skin, kneeling in front of and facing the man in white, with his hands folded almost like pleading.


Man in White (GOD): Well! I am sorry....but all the slots are booked! we don’t have any after 2 years.

Naked man (Man): Are you sure Oh Lord! Oh creator of heavens and earth. Oh the Great almighty, are u perfectly sure. I need some time I don’t want to be born yet , I have not exhausted my enjoyment account in heaven. I want to spend some more time. May be 2 Heaven years more. I have 35, 73,478 Heaven hours of joy in my savings account. I have 34,377 Heaven pounds of laughter in my current account. I need to spend them my Lord. Give me some time.

GOD: My son, I understand your request. But please understand I have a waiting list of 120,239 dead humans at Peter's gate. They have accrued at least 6 billion heaven hours of happiness with all their good deeds on earth. They have been waiting for more than 300 days now. I can't push this any longer. I have my orders to start rotating joys and laughter to keep the cycle running.

GOD sighs.

GOD: My son, I can see your pain but do you see that the dead humans at Peter's gates are starting to get frustrated. They have waited long enough and now if we don’t reward them, they might find it useless to be good humans. Evil will prevail on earth and people will prefer the Hell because at least they are being accepted there. Hell has acquired 70,000, 000 Sq light years of space to accommodate evil doers. The Devils are fighting hard. If we don’t somehow start rewarding the good doers they will convert to evil.

Man : But at what cost my lord? I was promised eternal happiness for all my good doings on earth when I entered Peter's Gates 7 years ago. Eternity was converted to 50 years then reduced to 20 years and now, I am asked to leave immediately. Is this what I get for having served your cause in earth for 59 long earth years?

GOD: Do not fret my son, remember that GOD is with you and knows all your pain. When time comes you will be rewarded.

Man sighs,

MAN: (to himself) Now that’s a tough argument to debate. When my time comes I will be rewarded ..Uhh!.....

GOD interrupts

GOD: …Did u say something my boy? Were you being blasphemic? Blasphemy wont take you anywhere dear lad. Praise the Lord and happiness is all yours.

Man: I’m sorry…Fine Fine (stands up) tell me when do I have to be born?

GOD: 23rd June Monday 07:45 PM Local time at Addis Ababa.

Man : Addis Ababa?? What on earth is that?

GOD: Well!! It’s a nice place. Mountains, lions and deserts…. Its scenic beauty has always been a pleasure for me. Untouched by humans, no pollution pristine beauty of GOD.

Man: Fine good …thanks for that!! But where on earth is this place? …Addis Ababa is it somewhere in Turkey or something? Or in Brazil?

GOD: No...No my boy, It’s in Ethiopia. The diamond of the African Mainland.

Man: What??? Africa? But I saw yesterday in the cosmic news channel that there is a lot of violence out there. People are being robbed of their money and there are poisonous snakes in Africa.

GOD: Don’t worry..the snakes wont harm you . You are scheduled to live for 92 earth years in Addis Ababa.

Man: (appearing shocked) what??? 92 years!!

GOD: Yes!! Aren’t you thankful?? This will be your gift for having agreed to sign the contract for releasing your Heavenly joy days to go back to earth. You see!! GODs never forget when you help somebody. The reward is immediate.

Man: Oh yes!! Sure. Ok now tell me what will be my objective on earth?

GOD: Objective …”Aargh’….(Clears his throat)…well it must be somewhere in the book (turns the pages around) …or….maybe….Ahh yes….Nothing.

Man: Nothing??

GOD: Yes!! That’s the great news… No objectives for you at all!! Your aim will be to follow all the sets of rules laid down by the society and your family on earth.

Man: But …what does that mean??? I mean don’t I have to achieve something like.. Maybe form a religion or maybe start a huge business firm or become a great entertainer or a famous person or something ? ..I mean cant I work hard and become something important.

GOD: No No don’t say that we have run out of slots for important people on earth. The waiting list is already 350.

Man: (grinning sarcastically) well!! Hell is having a huge number of slots for important people. They are issuing “Important” identities to almost everybody going to earth. The number has gone up drastically after some human called Osama ran flights into some buildings… and here you say you have fixed number of slots.

GOD: Well!! If you are so unhappy maybe you should search for your own objectives when you reach earth. We have run out of objectives at least.

Man: (puzzled) was it not the case that everybody was put on earth by GOD for a purpose or an objective.

GOD: Yes! That’s true. But that was before 1945 when we had those wars in earth and had a lot of space in heaven for good people to come. But now we can’t keep waiting for objectives to put you on earth. That is something you have figure out yourself. If you want. Objectives are not mandatory.

Man: But then what am I supposed to do?

GOD: easy…Anything. You can do just about anything. You are not expected to achieve anything when you reach earth. Just be a good guy. Be good to your family your friends and help the cause of GOD. Just follow the rules laid down by your society whatever they are. That’s very important. Love your wife and your kids. That’s important. If you are bored, you can find some objective yourself .Like maybe you score 100 goals in football all your life or maybe train your son to become a doctor or something.

Man: Fine… I just hope that I have something to do for 92 earth years.

GOD: Don’t worry use the time to accumulate joy Hours in your Heavenly account. And relax. GOD will take care of everything.

GOD raises his hands and closes his eyes

GOD: Now I erase all your memory… have a good Life.

Lights dim……

Scene 2: The setting is a small house. The interiors of a mud hut a small closed window

Lights go on

A dark bald midwife is squatting on the floor with a sweet baby. The mid wife is wearing shells around her neck, she is beaming with pride. A dark woman is tired and is lying on a straw mat. A short dark man extends his arm and accepts the baby.

The baby cries. Everybody is happy.

Black Man: It’s a boy. He will bring a great name to our family. Glory be to Lord.

Lights are dimmed


The Transit Lounge

He was sitting alone in the Transit Lounge. Watching intently at the television screen. The images moved past his attention. He was a lone face in a midst of a thousand faces staring at the screen. His face was the normal face not any more identifiable, not any less recognisable. It was a perfectly true honest and completely normal human face. His features did not lie his feeling . His attributes did not reveal any secret. He was alone and had just enough ambition to be able to make him just what he was -- "Himself".
He turned around to his fellow passenger in the lounge to exchange some small talk. Petty talk - talk of no real significance. Maybe about the weather, or maybe about the headlines in the newspaper on the racks. The only significant truth enough to matter any one of those thousand faces that had turned to speak to their fellow passengers was the fact that they were all relatives of a temporal nature, friends for a moment. Only for the moment they remained in the transit lounge. The smiles were temporal, the handshakes were short lived, the jokes were trivial, the laughter was phony. But that did not matter to him. The only thing that mattered was that he had to carry on. Carry on away to his destination when his flight would be announced. Everything else was temporal. No matter how true or fake they were.
He had entered the transit lounge alone. The way he had entered this world alone. Completely alone. Loneliness was not a stranger to him, because that was his natural state as he entered the world from his mother's womb. He did not ask for it. Nobody had asked for his permission. But he was on the face of the earth wondering the purpose of his arrival. As if every transit lounge had a purpose. As if every wait was worth the patience.
When he met his friends at school he thought he belonged to them. He thought they belonged to him. But they belonged to him no more than his fellow passenger did. They left him alone when their flights were announced. Left him alone to battle the reality of this world. The truth of the Transit Lounge.
It mattered to him who won the game. It mattered to him what the girls thought of him. It mattered to him which government would rule again. It mattered to him who won the war. It mattered to him how they played the game. But he never belonged to anybody in the transit lounge. He never belonged to his friends,his parents, his work , his wife ,his country or his pride.He never belonged to anybody ,for everybody was just a fellow passenger in the Transit Lounge. Nothing mattered more than the petty talks about the weather that he shared with them. Nothing mattered more at all.
But soon the petty talk was over and his flight was announced. He had to leave. He had to stop his talk. No matter how much they mattered to him. No matter whom he loved or what he wore. No matter how successful he was or how much a failure. No matter what it all meant. He had to leave. Nobody could stop him anymore. His flight was announced. He has to leave alone........again.
Some fellow passengers cried that he had to leave. The others continue to watch the television screen. He had to leave the way he had arrived. ALONE. Even as he closed his eyes and joins the dust, a new face appears in the Transit Lounge.
The world is a simple Transit Lounge!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Rat Race

It was a sea of people! Worn out and hungry. There were no smiles , no signs of laughter. Curved brows, eyes intent on a distant goal, hazy but a certain goal. It was a sea of people on the field. All rushing towards a distant somewhere.
Women held their infants in their arms as they rushed , seemed worried what if they did not make it to the end. Men ran in coats and ties, in cassocks and gowns, in khakis and blacks in battered clothes. They ran in the sunshine, they ran in the rain they ran in the swamps pulled and tugged at each other but they ran. Children afraid of getting tramped on ran with the toy in one arm, the other arm rushed to seek for the nearest thing they could pull down to walk on.
People rushed with a frightening frenzy towards the goal they didn't know how it looked like but were sure it must have looked good because everybody else was running. Some people never wanted to run, but were trapped within the running mass. Held on their balance even as they were pushed along the trial of zillions of people.
Some were strong and they pushed down the people in front of them and walked on them till they found stronger people in front of them doing the same. Some were tired and old, with hair greying in the sides and balding, lost their teeth but ran. Some smoked cigars as they ran and they felt good about all the running. Some ran with the doctor's coat, some ran with knives guns and spades shouting slogans of a unique kind.
The eyes were narrow and looked sinister. The lips curled into a thin straight line, they ran in chaos, never paused for a breath but ran. They didn't have the time to wait for anybody. Mothers, brothers and lovers were all left behind as they tried to run to the finish line. A line they never knew how it looked.
Some died while they were running and others just trotted on them to continue. Some time later they ran so fast that , when they looked for a while at their neighbours they found their vision hazy. Their limbs had claws and their face had whiskers.
They had all turned into rats.
---The bad thing about the Rat Race is that even if you win, you are still a Rat----