Monday, February 25, 2008


“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft.

When you kill a man, you steal a life, You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”

These few lines seem to be the most sacrosanct and pure utterance; the most blissful thought to have ever hit the face of earth.

But even as I use the word sacrosanct, I’m confused about its existence. What is sacrosanct? God? Humans? Or the faith that they show in the almighty?
The highest praise bestowed on humans is by emulating their existence with that of god.

Who is god?
Most of us define him as a supernatural power which exists as a support; even as a guiding light.
If this is true, then it means that he is flawless. Devoid of any sin.

There are millions in this world of billions who pay heed to him every second of their merciless life. Ones who pray to him endlessly, to bestow his glory on their respective lives, even if for just once. Are these prayers always answered?
If the answer to this question is always in the affirmative, then how do you explain the existence of atheists? Are they individuals who were born with disbelief, are they the ones who can only be born to atheists?

Then, what follows from this, is the fact that atheists too were believers who were let down not once, not twice, but time and over again.
If god is considered a parent who is trying to teach his children about varied aspects of life, then why does he compel his children to touch such extremes of disdain, humiliation and disappointment that they not only loose faith in self but in almighty too?
Do parents and teachers make a maniac of their wards while teaching them lessons of life; do they too, like god, force their children to drift away ?
The answer is in the negative.
Does this mean that humans are better teachers than god? Is god’s plan a defective one? Is he himself as human and as capable of sin- of letting people down, as humans are?

The underlying fact is that atheists exist.

If almighty is as kind and giving as he is supposed to be, then why does he force any of his subjects into submission to a phase where everything is dark, where they loose all trust in him.

A tough situation as an excuse of a test is one thing, but when repeated time and over again, without momentary relief is another. And that’s exactly why individuals turn into atheists. They are forced into a situation which is no different than the latter case.

Theists often use the excuse of “paying for sins” when it comes to unfairness in life situations.

I ask:
“What of those who are born on the streets and die there?
What wrong would you hold them guilty of, if they are compelled to rob in order to sustain life?
Do all their sins overcome the sin of god for not answering their prayers?”

The theists, smile and reply:
“it is their past sin, the sin of previous birth, that brings them to their present life.”

Can I ask once more?
“people might be re-born, but with re-birth, does god recreate the same individual, with the same mind? A person with the same thought process? If not, then how do you explain misfortune to one of good deeds?”

The greatest sin is theft.
To each widow, god is the thief;
To each atheist, he is the liar;
And to each man on the street, he is the cheat.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Last Goodbye

“Narcissism seems to be imbibing this day today. The world is almost the same, only the emotions those dwell within me are on the prowl. They are trying to form friendships with everything other than what is I; befriending those who have made them come to be. This pen is their weapon and I, their slave. It is baffling, probably even interesting-the way they seem to control me rather than me controlling those which are imbibed in me. My children, forcing me to produce them, to introduce them to the world. The initial apprehension seems lost; my over-bearing self hates the shape the soul has formed, the pregnant pouch which is difficult to carry as also to feed to a greater extent. Emotions need to be delivered. So far the world has pushed me, now I will push them; see what they bring from the world. Like every new born they too will howl, suppurate, wail and others will enjoy it, celebrate the success of their presence and their arrival. I will be the keen observer, the ambivalent mother.
You might ask what makes me come to be. Hopefully it is the birth of courage too, but I am afraid to admit that it is nothing more than my will to escape. It would make me happy to think that escapism is the biggest sort of courage, of strength to forsake all. I wouldn’t get into the nuances of details which might hold me guilty of vanity; I need to indulge in the means and not the ends.
You might not remember all the times that would relate me with you. I don’t think it is because you too have coddled in conceit but because there is much to be looked forward to, much to be lived for. As such, it is me who would have to keep it alive, the labor of our love. One of us would have to nurture it, to accept it, to look after it. I’m happy it is me, that you live in peace. There was a time when love was forsaken, a time when I abhorred it. Remember how I rushed away from all that brought you to me? My hurried farewells? Your confusion doesn’t leave me even today. I hope you understand it as my need at that time to rush away from the situation in which I find myself this day.
You continued to ask me for my hand, yearning for my presence. There was no time for you to understand my lack of willingness, I think that it was merely because you yourself had pulled out of the phase of resentment, and to counter mine would be to fight your own ghosts once again. Winning me over your conscience and mine was a triumph you had yearned for. You had your ways of talking yourself out of the coup that had formed your past. My past had been similar too. You enchanted me. I was unwilling, but captivated by you. You won once again, this time from me. We were together. It had served the end which was speculated; we found the comfort which none other could provide to each of us.
Life is beautiful. Our optimism soared to greater heights. We were the joyous pilots of our space shuttle. Divinity was on our side; our dreams were exactly the way reality was shaped. There were times, as I remember now, when either one would look back only to encounter the space that surrounded us. The empty, jagged, suffocating territory that would engulf us, which had enslaved our past. We could not turn back. It had been a mad, exciting, adrenalin rush in and about us, and it had been adduced as reasoning for continuance by the other. Those times which had detached you from me or I from you had served as only excuses for engulfing ourselves in each other’s embrace- the warm comfort of our tired core, the recluse of our irate minds, and the abode for our weak delusional being.
We had both wanted to be that which the other had never wished for; we had both been in love with what the other was. But the love for you and me was so immense that we were ready to leave ourselves behind and be the epitome of perfection for the sake of ourselves, to exceed the estimations of not others but us. I gave you as much space as would leave you with fresh air, all it did however, was to leave you lonely and alone. You on your part tried giving up those, which were your only recluse.
Our sacrifices seem to be our faults, the mistakes which we made.
It seems as if, not only did we exceed each other’s expectations, but we surpassed them to come to a position in time where our actions could no longer provide a rationale to our intentions. We had left not only that part of ourselves behind which would be an annoyance but also that which presented as our conviction. At a time when we were unable to understand that part of us which we had grown up with, we were also unable to breathe the air that was present in the vacuum. You will blame me, while reading these last few lines, of acknowledging the phase as a vacuum. But it is not the vacuum of absence of love. Love had been eternal, omnipotent. The air gap was our absence. We were both absent. There had been no one to explain that we both had been missing not because we did not love each other, rather, because we loved each other a bit too much. And in the process we had eliminated ourselves in our endeavor to cut out all that which might have annoyed another.
Our relief was in the peace which we could impart, thinking that the end would serve its purpose, that it would yield calm, if not for us than at least for the other. Our separation seemed as the only means. You asked for it; I could not refuse.
Then began a period in life where I cursed myself, for believing that I had found love. I had been confused and sad. It was not difficult for me to accept that which had happened. It was a kind of triumph of my undying faith in my belief about the despondent state of my life.
I enclosed myself in me, rushing away from all things which would relate to us. I never inculcated the idea that your decision might be the result of your own confusion. For me it had been an end which was bound to everything with which I had formed an attachment to. I remember how you attempted to say something. I still cannot be sure about what it was. At that time I did not know that you were on the other end of the phone call. Lost in my gloom, I never received it, only to realize much later that it had been you.
The excitement had intoxicated me when I found out about your call. Apparently it had been too late. You had moved on to a make belief world. I on the other hand, had found the determination to have you next to me. I would like to believe that you contributed in the attempt too. It was unfortunate that we both had not found the same level of conviction in ourselves or the other as had bound us once. Consequently our steps in the same direction were also ambiguous. Words were contemplated to represent the things which they never proposed. The distances which we covered only lead us to a place farther from where we had started walking again.
I do not purport to know all secrets of life. However, I attribute myself with knowing a few things about my own life. This knowledge is something which might be a hesitation. I want you to know that I find myself incapable of dithering too. Your loss has been the biggest loss. Our love seems to have kept me alive for so long. I know that a time will approach soon, too soon, when you will return for a last goodbye. You will ask for the last thread to be undone and I know I too will agree. I do not know why you will do it; the intricacies are something which is colossal at this point in time. All I know for sure, is that the last goodbye would tear me apart, even though I know that I am torn enough already.
I have forced myself to believe in things which a part of me knows to be present, but they too are an uncertainty, an uncertainty whose truth value I overlook. You will have to return. You will come back. I do not know for sure what for. But there is a chance of you asking for that which I will give without wanting to grant it. As I said earlier, I do not want to give up our love which has been in my custody, which rests in me, of which I am the protector and guardian. If you ask for me to give it up, I know I will. Death will be consequent. I don’t want to turn you into a killer.
I love you. Hope you do too.”
Ahana had left behind the letter which Shahid held in his trembling hand.
The last goodbye was not the letter, but the body which was being consumed by the pyre in front of him.