Monday, June 8, 2009


It was night time. Not the have-your-dinner-watch-your-television night time. Well past midnight. The time when staying up is supposed to be obscene. The lights were out and even the late night pubs where the regulars had their regular pints were shut off. Everything lay quiet and content and undisturbed.
At this time, there walked a man from the shadows. One look and you would know that this guy was not used to taking strolls at this time of the night. His every action personified meekness. Dressed in a drab fraying suit with his shirt untucked, he hobbled up the road towards the train station. This, my friends, is the unfortunate and very unlikely hero of our story. He has a name, maybe, but it is of no importance to us. And he would have liked it that way. So let us address him with a common noun with a capital letter in the beginning- In the manner we describe God- Him. He would have liked it that way.
From the time He was young, He showed an extraordinary prowess over everything that required brainwork. A three year old kid solving sudokus in under a minute, now thats not very common, is it? But He did it. He did it when he was two. And He did more important things too. Some really important things which had baffled the leading physicists and mathematicians. They called Him 'gifted'. And He raised His arms for someone to hold Him up and hug Him, but what He got was applause instead. They called Him 'gifted'. The called Him different. His life became a blur of IQ tests and counsellings and numbers. More numbers. He was hailed as a supergenius when He couldn't even tie His own shoelaces. As He grew older, His prowess grew too. People called Him to fix their problems. Huge important people. Physicists, engineers, economists, government officials- Oh they dug on him. They called Him in with their fancy badges on their chests and smirks on their faces- Oh, He cannot possibly crack this one! I've been working on it for the past ten years! And He would come and calmly find a solution and go away. And they would stand there, pulling their hair with a mixture of icredulity, jealousy and relief. He was a whizkid. He was given top protection by the government so that the enemies could not find out about Him. People fought over Him. The scientists demanded Him to fix up some hitches which Einstein had created. The technologists tried to pull Him to build some huge rocketships. And the investigators tried to catch hold of Him to grind His nose for the location of some terrorist. He was put in a top secret government facility. He was their secret weapon.
But he wasn't a weapon, you know. Not atleast in the strict sense of the word. He was a man, an individual. And He began discovering this. Maybe for the first time in his life, He started thinking for himself- for satisfying his own curiosity. And boy He was curious. He leapt into the metaphysical universe and dug deep. He read more and more, He would sit for hours, days at length thinking. One subject especially held his wonder. The idea of God. He read that the buddhist Monks gained the answer of this ultimate question in the universe by not actually thinking. He couldn't believe that one could find a solution by 'not thinking' about it. Maybe it was a cretain amount of overconfidence He placed on His own abilities, I don't know. But He was confused, that is for sure. He knew that He possessed the most powerful brain ever seen by man, and He thought if someone could find an answer, it was Him. A worthy challenge.
Now what happened was, He denied to solve anything but His current predicament. He wanted all His attention on His own problem. He stopped working for the government. They begged and they threatened but He was caught by an obsession. He would'nt eat, He wouldn't sleep and He got fits of paranoeia. They had to let Him go. And in a way, they were happy to see His back. He was relocated in this quiet place with a monthly pension. But He was obssessed. He travelled around the world- to India and China to study the oriental philosophy which, He thought was closest to the answer that any other. Years and years He travelled. He met saints and monks and rabbis, but none could answer His question. They would give a religiously political answer which would be enough to fool anyone, but not Him. He would look right through it. Sensing a fear of failure for the first time in His life, He grew scared. The people who had admired him, deserted him. They called him a wasted genius.
His obsession grew bigger. He decided to try a different path- the path of physics. He had read physicists saying they had experienced God in their quests. The subject proved ideal for His extremely powerful logical brain and He immensely enjoyed it. He delved deeper and deeper, into its boundaries and beyond them. But then again, He was stalled. He felt like He was being eaten by the space around him. He just couldn't find the answer.
He came back to His home a dejected man. Everyone had forgotten His name now. He was not even the wasted genius. He was nobody. He didn't care though. All He cared about was the answer and it drove Him mad. For the first time in His life He was on the verge of failure.
And then one night, sitting in front of His desk, He decided He had led a wasted life. So He got up and went out of the house. He walked, skulking in the shadows, and for the first time in His life, He felt tired. Tired of thinking, tired of living.
He walked up to the railway track just outside the town and calmly waited for the train. He gave a small chuckle, maybe because it occured to Him that this was the first time ever He was waiting for a train; and not going anywhere. As He heard the horn, He walked up, fumbling a bit- not out of fear, but out of habit- you are bound to fumble when you have done nothing in your life but thought. He stood on the track and closed His eyes and waited. For the first time in His life, He did not think.
And a miracle happened. He did not think, yet thoughts came to Him. They say your life flashes in front of you when you are about to die. His life did not flash in front of him. No. But somthing else did. Something that He was least expecting. Not on the verge of death. Not when He had lost hope. Not when He had abandoned His quest. But it did flash. The answer. And a strange smile appeared on his face. More so of relief, by the looks of it, and of gratitude.

Then the train knocked him out. Dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Of guitars and paintbrushes....(and a few other things too) Headline Animator