Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Atheist Heaven

Everything was dark. A thick peaceful silence. I was in pain. The air was chemical. And I was in chains. I opened my eyes, but I was blinded by the sudden rush of bright light into my retinas. I closed them and opened again. This time slowly, adjusting to the light both welcome and disturbing at the same time. Everything I saw was white, pure white, like milk. I tried to sit up but I couldn’t move. I was in chains.

My dazed vision could only see a blurry image. It was just plain white. I tried to gather my thoughts, my brain working with an unpleased half approval. “Where am I?” I was lying on something soft, fluffy and white. Like a cloud? I was drowned in it. “What is this? The Milky Way? Or am I in heaven”, I wondered. In the pure, serene and plain heaven, sitting on a cloud. It couldn’t be. There is no heaven. Even if there was one I certainly wouldn’t be there. A fog started filling up the place. A thick white fog, getting thicker and heavier and then suddenly everything was dark again.

After an unknown time period, I opened my eyes again. My vision was still blurry and I was still in pain and chains. I saw something moving, a silhouette of a person. I tried to focus. A lady was standing there dressed in white. On her face was a concerned, tired and excited smile. Over her head I saw a white ring, a halo. She was beautiful. I saw her lips moving but there was no sound. Something was moving on both sides of her ribs, like flapping wings. “Is she an angel? Is this heaven after all ? What heaven? No heaven. No angels. They are all fairytales and make believes”. I look at her again, to make some sense out of this mystery but she was not there, shewais gone. Vanished.

An eternity of time passed and my foggy eyes saw people walking. They were coming towards me, lead by a tall, fair and well built man, followed by the angel I met before and another lady, all dressed in white. I looked at that man with a face yelling authority and confidence, radiating assurance and kindness. A black and shiny snake was curled around his neck, like on a demon god. He moved towards me while I struggled to cast a defence against those strange looking strangers. He lifted the twin bodied snake from his neck. With his one hand he cleared the cloudy cover over me and placed the snakes open mouth on my bare chest. Even though it had been years since I had taken the path of rationality, ditching the gods and myths of my upbringing, I started praying again. For the first time in years my belief in disbelief was shaken. I closed my eyes and braced for the painful encounter with the fangs while I mumbled names of Hindu gods.

But it didn’t bite. The sudden fear cleared my head. The adrenaline, pumped as a survival mechanism, cleared my dazed vision and focused my thoughts. I looked again desperate for an explanation to all the madness. “Wait. That is not a snake, I have seen it before”. Then it all came to me, like the realisation after a dream, that it’s just a dream, sometimes saddening, sometimes relieving, and every time kicking in the sense of reality. The bloody snake was a stethoscope. He was a doctor not a crazy demon god accompanied with snakes. Heaven was a damn white and tidy hospital room and my cloud was a fucking sick bed.

“How are you feeling now?” The demon god doctor guy asked me. I parted my lips to answer but nothing came to my head, so I just smiled. The doctor turned to the angels and mumbled something I couldn’t decipher. He turned to me and said, “You are fine” like he was answering his own question on behalf of me. He pointed to the bandages and said something about fractures. Bandages and fractures, which explained the chains. He turned to the angel and again mumbled something and walked off the heaven. The nurse walked towards me and without any courtesy one might expect in heaven, forced a thermometer into my mouth, without even asking me and started preparing the BP apparatus. I started my thought factory, which was working on overload in no time.

I was taken aback by my own reaction to a crisis. I was unpleasantly surprised with myself for taking immediate refuge in the easy path of faith, albeit helped by my physical and mental conditions. I finally realised why, even when Reason stares at their face, Logic tells them otherwise and Evidence points in a different direction, people still hold on to their faith, instilled in their child hood assisted with fear and magic. It’s easier to do that. It’s much more comforting to just believe in some unknown power than to leave our life to time and fate, to chance. It feels better to believe, even if it’s without conviction, that some god will take care of everything. It does not take effort to disbelieve. That everyone can do by default. But it takes effort to discontinue believing in something. The path of a sceptic is not an easy one. Conflicts of interests and childhood indoctrination can prove to be too much of a blockade. But if anything, I realised that reason and science has a big fight in hand. My doubt was stronger, my disbelief deeper. I found out my enemy’s secret weapon. Fear of the unknown. I will be better prepared.

My thought train was broken by the nurse who retrieved the thermometer from my mouth and stared at it for a few seconds. Satisfied with whatever she saw, she smiled a half smile and walked away, promising me that she will be back later. “Excuse me!” I stopped her on an impulse. Not knowing what to do next, I asked her rather sheepishly, “what is your name?” She smiled and replied, “Angel.” I looked at her in amazement. She seemed to be offended by my stare and quickly turned around with her over coat flapping about like wings. The nurse cap of a halo was still on her head.

There goes Angel. Walking, not flying.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Question Marked- revisited.

In life we ask a lot of questions and get a few answers. Although i hated them during my 17 years of educational circus I ask a lot of questions too. What the fuck currently tops my list. It is a very powerful and versatile question with a lot of application in day to day life. My boss asks this question every time I submit my report. It can be rephrased to mean a whole range of things. like "What the fuck am I writing" to "what the fuck are you reading" The variety of online forums I visited had this weird looking word WTF in almost every article. I had no idea what it was and I was like what the fuck. And then it struck me. Bingo. WTF means what the fuck. Talk about discoveries.

But WTF is not the point here. Asking questions is the sign of an earn for learning. To learn new things, to make new discoveries and to irritate the hell out of people. The first one to put this idea into my head was my teacher in school Mr. Satheesh. Now he was a gem of a person. One of those rare personalities who can talk for an hour and say absolutely nothing. He used to preach about the importance of asking questions.

Mr.Satheesh - So class. I am what I am today and in this poistion because I asked a lot of questions.
My idle brain - ( point to note down...never ask questions or you will end up like that)
Mr.Satheesh - If you pay attention and ask questions you will certainly succeed in life
My idle brain- (Contradicting Statements)
Mr.Satheesh - So start asking questions. who has a question here
Me Me Me - OK. So what the fuck are you talking about.

I consider to be thrown out of the class as an honour. And from Mr.Satheesh's class its a privilege and gift.

All through life we come accross a parade of questions. The thought provoking, "makes u feel ignorant", intelligent questions. And then there are the people asking the most stupid and silly questions. And when u dont know the answer follow the Dilbert principle and confuse them with a list of unanswerable questions ( If u want a list of unanswerable questions, my entrance question papers are still with me)

All said and done, to ask a question is a basic right of every human being( this doesnt include asking girls for phone numbers and asking the Govt. for anything) When u have no idea whats going on dont just sit and wonder, ask around. you may feel dumb but i bet atleast half the people around you have no clue either. Nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

My point is ( yes , i finally got there), when some one tells you this is how it is, why believe without a reason. Superstitions and religions included, there are many things that we take in as a fact without ever questioning their credibility. So when you think there is something which doesn't make sense, ask. Ask why it is how it is. Ask why it cant be another way. It would make a lot of difference, believe me. Now don't take that for a fact either, go ahead ask me why.

Now lemme go and ask my next question to boss. When do i get my next pay rise? I know the answer already.....What the fuck.

PS - Originally written while i was working, hence the reference to work and pay and accounts department. Right now am unemployed and pretty jobless.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Killing in the name of....

This is another one. Again written in the classroom. Inspired by a book on the afghanistan war. Both the poem titles are lifted directly from titles of songs by Rage Against the Machine. Not by a prior decision, but they just fit. :)

I wake up, sit on my bed and I wonder
Look around me, why the hell did I even bother
To walk out of my sleep
My fa├žade of solace and peace
I don’t even know how I am supposed to feel
Or if I understand their cries fears and pleas
Not that I can’t understand what I see
But it was me who made them bleed
In the name of senseless creed
What they say, I don’t even know what it means
But I’m still alive, that should make me smile
So why? Do I just sit and cry?
So if I tell you I didn’t want to
Would you believe my truth?
That I was told to
Protect the lie
I’m not fighting my fight
I just want to survive
I kill, because I don’t want to die.

Calm like a Bomb!

I'm no poet. And i really do suck at it. But then here it is anyway. This one was written in my class room, requested and then inturn inspired by my friend who was sitting next to me. This is dedicated to her. :)

Everybody looks at her face, but can’t see through her
Everybody knows her name, but nobody knows her
Like a deep mystery, love lost in a blur
Like that teasing face of a poster girl

She takes you on a ride, merry is her middle name
Will be the comfort, the sweet song in your pain
And when sorrow leaves her a gloomy rain
Still shines on, a blazing eternal flame

The eyes, the lustrous eyes of a magical romance
Leaves the heart, breathless in a dance
Like the fairytale of a mystical glance
A moment, the world lost in a trance

There is truth in her words, love that flows
Pretty as a princess in legends of long ago
The kid in her who refuses to grow
A heart as pure as snow

Her smile like a wild flower, unmoved by the storm
Her laughter, a riot of joyous intone
In her world, crazy is the norm
Sigh, calm like a bomb