It was a tiring day at office. It's almost 10 p.m. and thanks to one hour journey from my office to home, I could take a nap in my cab. But the bumpy roads guaranteed that it's not a sound sleep, just a small nap or a series of small naps.
I struggled to open the lock of my room. It is an old lock and the key had switched many hands and has lost its original shape. Old lock and twisted key made my life miserable each day. Right now, I could not think of anything but to lie down on my creaky bed as soon as possible. Every inch of my body is aching.
As soon as I managed to open the door to my almost empty apartment, I felt proud to have managed to keep it clean, specially the bed. I closed the door and crash landed on the bed. This bed also had switched many owners. My landlord decided to give it to me instead of giving it to the kabaadi-wala.
"Why do you want to throw money on a new bed? I have a spare one with me. Keep it. Young people like you won't settle down with any second hand thing. Look at us. Life is all about saving money. You need to compromise sometimes…", he had said.
That time I also thought that there is nothing wrong in taking a second hand bed only to realize later that it was not the second but close to 5-6 hands old bed. But I compromised.
As I lay on it staring at the ceiling, I didn't realize that I have not even put off my shoes and belt. My body won't move anymore. It needs rest. Desperately needs rest.
Suddenly, I felt suffocated and a thin drop of sweat trickled down from the back of my head and landed on the bed sheet. Though the street was usually empty at this time everyday but still I could hear some racing bikes and occasional trucks. But after the drop of sweat, I could feel the vacuum. No voice, no noise, no air, no oxygen. Do I need to open some windows? The apartment has been closed since last 16 hours. I had been in office since then.
Reluctant to move, I struggled to get up to open some windows. My body is not moving.
I have to get up or else I will choke myself to death…
But it won't budge. The ceiling is turning black. Suddenly, my left arm starts to pain and I start sweating profusely.
What's going on? I can't hear anything or see anything. Gosh, my arm… The pain is terrible… I need to get out of here…
I start searching for my mobile in space. I needed to call my friend-cum-local guardian immediately. I need hospital. I need a doctor…
Wait a minute… Where am I? I can see light. I can move now…
But this is not my apartment. Oh My God!!! Where is the floor? Where is the roof? I am standing on the clouds… What has happened to me??
"Relax dear. You are safe here… "
I turn to see an old man, real old man with long beard and wearing strange clothes. I have seen such costumes in mythological serials.
"Who are you? Where am I?"
"I am GOD…. You have reached heaven"
"WHAT???!!!! Ha ha ha, yes, GOD… You are God and I am dead, right?"
"Right. You died of a heart-attack"
"Listen uncle. I don't know if Ramleela auditions are going on in my area but you have failed in this audition. I am just 26 years old. How can I get a heart-attack?"
"Long working hours, no exercise, junk food, no rest, computers, stress… What else do you need for a heart-attack? You don't need the age but an unhealthy heart and life style to get one. Don't worry, you no longer have to work. You are in heaven now. Wait for some time and I will send you back to earth after a re-birth"
"But you can't kill me. I was doing my job. If my work demands me to work non-stop for 20 hours at a stretch, I have to, else I would be kicked out of my company. Why did you do this to me? I have so much to do… I did not even meet my parents, my family, my friends… How will they come to know that I m dead? You did not give me time to even call them…", I cried
"I have taken care of that. Your parents will call you and you won't respond till morning. They will send your friend to check you out. He will find you dead"
"DEAD… it looks so easy to you, as if a routine affair for my friend to find people dead in their apartments?"
"Calm down. I gave you enough time to speak to your family and meet your friends. But I guess, your job took priority over them"
"If you are God and you had given me enough time to spend with my family and friends, you only must have put my job on priority. Because you are the GOD…"
"Don't blame it on me. I don't decide your priority list and how exactly you are going to spend each minute of your life. I just make a path for you when you are born"
"Oh, in that case, why at this moment did you decide to make me suffer the heart attack and take my life?"
"But that's my job. Your life had to end at this moment. I had to call you up here"
"Who wrote my life?"
"So, why didn't you write it properly? It should have been crisp, clear, detailed and step-by-step process should have been defined for me to follow. I never knew that my life will end at this moment like this and that I have such little time to spend with my family and friends"
"We cannot write it with such details else all of you will know when you will die and so will manage accordingly"
"What's the problem in that? After all, the bottom line is to live a good life. If I know that I am going to die at xyz time on abc day, I would have paid my loans, or not taken them at the first place, I would have stayed with my family rather than moving out for job, everyone would have been happy"
"But if everyone will be happy, how will you humans understand what is the pain, the sadness, the grief and the sorrow?"
"Why do we need to know these things? We would have known only happiness"
"But when you would have lost someone, you would have cried and that may have confused you as to why you were crying on the loss. Oh and how would you have learnt that you have lost someone?"
"I simply wouldn't have cried. If you would not have written crying in my life, I wouldn't have cried. You are making me confused now"
"What do you mean?"
"Simply that if you would have either written my life step-by-step and clearly, it would have been better or you would have introduced only happiness, then it would have been good"
Now he is confused. He is thinking…
"May I ask you something?"
"What job did you have down there on earth?"
"Why? I was a Process Manager. I used to write Process documents and other technical documents"
"I understand. Can I hire you to write step-by-step processes for human beings, other races, planets and all?"
"Hmmm… What package will you offer me? According to industry standards, I expect a hike of 25% but since you are God and this would be a very high profile job with my direct reporting to you, I would want 40% hike"
He has closed his eyes…
"I have thought about it and I suggest, you better go back to your job on earth. I will write an updated version of your life and you may stay there till you are 80 years old. This much salary I cannot afford. I can't stand you anymore. GO BACK TO EARTH NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Tring tring tring…..
"Hey, how are you? I have been calling you since past 1 hour. Your mummy is getting hyper here. Talk to her"
"Ya dad. I was just…"
"Where were you? Don't you have time to talk to us??", it was my mom
"I have lot of time now mom…. Relax. I can talk to you till I am 80 years old…"
And we talked for another hour; I slept, woke up in the morning and went to work…
There I am my dear Processes…. You saved my life… J