What will you do when you find out that the one big thing in the universe, the one force that makes the universe what it is, what we chose to call God is someone with a supercomputer, in a cold desert, concealed inside a big fat igloo of a kind never seen before?
What if you meet him and he is ready for a chat with you, for a very short time? (Of, course he has the whole world to run, all by himself)
It just happened to Tom, a ten-year-old who thinks beyond his age, all on its own. Maybe he didn’t want it but it was his destiny through and through.
There he was in a no man’s land; it was a no man’s land until this moment. He heard someone singing this song, so loud and sharp that every line resonated in his ears for a long time after it died.
Like a herd they come, like a herd they go;
Listening to, the ruins that blow
One or two move out;
They get cursed, through out
Who knows what is right?
Unless I put it straight
It was playing without a break in between; without a pause or a change in tone. Curiosity troubled him to follow the song, to reach the singer. One thing was apparent, the singer was in a playful mood.
While on his way to the singer, he kept contemplating the lines; he was not able to get those lines off his mind. It took him over, the lyrics- an enigma, apparently only a mad man could sing this song, like Mr.Rick in his street. He is a lost man, Tom thought (or he was taught to think). He kept chanting some stupid lazy lines all day. Tom believed, as his Mom said, people who kept chanting useless lines are mad. He believed it, without questioning the criteria for ‘something’ to be ‘useless’. The song changed, louder and faster than the previous one. The mood was angry this time.
No more friends, no more friends
As they try & take all my funs;
No more love, no more love
As it’s always the opposite of now
Let them wither, let them die;
As they were, before their rye
He reached closer to the voice, he could sense it coming from his right, but there was nothing but vacant space to his right. Tom just wanted to find the freak, so he could tell Mama about him; how he saw a mad man singing in the cold desert. He saw a lamp post to his right; he had no idea where it came from.
The lamp post seemed to be a vintage work without the light that could add to the beauty. He wondered what or who could possibly be inside a lamp post. Am I in the world of Narnia, where trees could speak and birds could dance? Tom wondered. He pondered over the idea of him being abducted or fooled into some sort of trick by his friends, too much in his mind but his curiosity lost the war against his fear.
The lamp post moved, more like made a 360 degree rotation, to reveal the stairs beneath it. Tom was not surprised to see those stairs as he was already certain that weird things are gonna happen from then on. He kept thinking about his other adventures, he constantly searched for them in his mind palace, pathetic search it was; he was not able to find any.
He took the stairs to reach the basement of that snow filled land; stairs were old and covered with green leaves. Surprising it was to him as he didn’t see anything except for the white snow when he was roaming above the surface. The song stopped as he reached the penultimate step. It came to an end, out of caution, it seemed to him.
There was a large screen on one side of the wall, covered with green leaves on the periphery; a long room with nothing except for the two tables, with a tea cup and a rod on each of them, on the either side of room. The room didn’t have enough light for him to capture the other minute details of it. He moved ahead, closer to the monitor and he thought he hit something with his leg. He turned to his right and was perplexed to see a naked man with blue eyes that glowed like lanterns. He realized he just hit one of his legs.
‘Oh my God! No— n—o it was by mistake I di-di-didn’t’ he stammered out of fear as he assumed that the naked man was going to kill him with his eyes.
The glow came down and his blue eyes looked normal now except for the striking blue color which was weird. The naked man started moving towards the monitor ignoring the presence of a stranger in his hole. He looked right and left and the room was lit with white light on the both sides. Everything seemed magical for Tom as his class teacher used to say in her moral stories, ‘Remember kids, and the God said let there be light and there was light everywhere’. He always wondered about the magical powers of the omnipotent.
Tom was stunned at what he was seeing and kept staring at the man, observing all his movements still trying to believe whatever he was seeing.
‘So, why did you come here?’ the naked man spoke with a loud and authoritative voice.
Tom stood there, astounded at his voice, convincing himself that everything was gonna be alright.
The voice was loud but not frightening enough, kept ringing in his ears till the boisterousness came again to break the silence.
‘I asked you a question, didn’t I?’ it was frightening this time for sure. Tom’s long thoughts were broken as he came back to his conscious self.
‘Huh, I, uh, I was strolling around, here and I— heard your song, I just followed it to reach here’ he really wasn’t sure what he was doing.
‘Song? Hmmm, you came for the singer, huh?’ naked man asked.
‘Singer? Ah—singer, yeah, lyrics got my curiosity and I think you wrote the song?’ he assumed that the naked man was the one as there was no one around to take the credit.
‘Don’t be afraid kid, I am not goanna kill you’ naked man’s voice was sweet and reassuring all of a sudden.
‘So, you are staying alone here, no one around, I mean no one to help you or something?’
‘I am staying true to my past, present and future. I never cheat them as they never cheat me’ he calmly replied.
Questions were plenty in his vast mind-universe but he didn’t know how to order them.
‘You are naked, that too in this freaking cold, how do you manage to stay warm?’ And I don’t see any heat source in this room’ he added to his last line, just stating the obvious.
‘I admire your observation, I don’t want to attenuate your curiosity but just understand heat stays within, when you help it’. He turned to the monitor and started moving things in the empty monitor, as soon as he gave his answer.
Next came the obvious question from Tom, the one we ask a stranger always, ‘What is your name?’ he asked.
The naked man smiled and said ‘It differs and depends on who you are’.
‘So you are a conman or something? My dad is not a cop you can tell me, if that’s what you meant by who am I?’ a childish reply from Tom. He was true to his age, an innocent, over-dreaming, curious 10-year old.
A warm smile again from the naked man and he replied ‘I am the creator, you can call me God or at least that’s what you have been taught’.
An adult would have called him an idiot and asked him to go to a psychiatrist but Tom didn’t. He went into the awe every child will when he/she meets the creator. A childish innocence everyone misses when they become adults, the credulity they wish they had.
‘So, are you the one my mother and I pray to everyday? I have seen you with a beard and moustache in the photograph, you don’t have both?’ an immature but in-depth question from Tom.
‘No, son I am not the same but you can call me that if you want to’
‘I have seen you with wounds in hands, mommy says people tried to hurt you, is it true?’ he had those definite pauses every child will have when they start getting comfortable with the stranger. He was neither afraid nor too brave about the situation; just had this uncontrollable butterfly troubling his stomach.
‘Wounds heal son, some heal faster, and some take their own time, like you took your time to find me after an eon’ naked man smiled.
There was a silence; Tom had the urge to ask many questions, the naked man was friendly, he felt. But he also had the fear of making the man angry. He didn’t want to push his luck.
‘So my child, where do you think you are?, you never asked me that? I am surprised’, naked man gave a sarcastic smile when he ended that one.
‘Antarctica is the coldest place, teacher said, so I think I am here in Antarctica?’
‘Do you feel cold here? I don’t‘, he moved as he spoke, from the monitor table towards the other side, the darker side. He came to the bright side back with a cup in his hand and handed that to Tom.
‘Have some chocolate, son I think you will love it’. He took the chair and sat in front as Tom was amazed just with the smell of fresh chocolate.
He started tasting it and found the taste the best he ever had. Like every kid he had that unimpeachable feeling of the stranger’s trust when he/she gives a chocolate. After all, he was just a kid. There it occurred to him, why didn’t god create everybody the same, everybody the good, everyone who will happily hand over a chocolate, when they see a kid. He always felt sad about his uncle as he always instructed him to do something he never liked, ‘stop eating chocolates’.
‘God, why didn’t you create everybody the good, why do people don’t help others who are just strangers?’ Tom addressed the naked man as God for the first time as a sign of his trust over the old man.
‘I didn’t create people son, they created themselves. I created a man and a woman, they created children. I created love it was manipulated to hate, jealousy, fear, evil and more. Close your eyes kid and imagine you are alone in a vast desert and tell me what you see’. His question surprised him but he didn’t ask why this, he was obsequious.
‘I see a big desert, me standing in it and enjoying the big and vast desert’ his fourth grade drawing book helped him picture the desert.
‘Why don’t you move and explore and the vast desert, Tom, all by yourself’, God suggested for a tour in Tom’s imagination.
‘I move to the right, it’s all the same, I move to the left it’s the same, vast stretch of desert before my eyes, Ah! I see an oasis, far away from me, but I can walk’, Tom sounded excited. He had seen that oasis in his favorite Jones pic.
‘Great job kid, now imagine you, along with a lot of others, your friends, strangers, and a lot many, what do you see now?’
‘Everybody moving in random here and there, wherever they could find space, I am confused where should I move?, my friends move to the right, strangers are moving forward straight ahead, I am stranded in the middle with no clue’ he spoke his thoughts, all that occurred to him without hiding anything.
Why do your friends move to the right, Tom?
‘Because many people are moving to the right, my friends follow them.’
‘You see Tom, they are the herd, like a flock of sheep, and they follow the majority wherever they go without questions or doubts they just don’t want to be left behind. Some like to sit on the sand but they don’t have the time to feel it, some like to take good warm sleep under the sun but they can’t quite stand there. This is what happens when you lose yourselves along the way following the crowd. They think they can have the same path to the best destination, by following the crowd, yet there is no two who have the exact same path to the denouement. Never lose the sight of you, never. Now Tom, open your eyes to reality’. It reverberated in his ears like his school bell after 3, never, never, never. It faded slowly as he opened his eyes.
There he was with his alarm bell ringing, the time was right to wake up. ‘Tom, TOM’, his mom’s voice. With a brush in his hands, in front of the mirror, he remembered “Never lose the sight of you, never”.