Friday, September 28, 2007

The Final Destination

When I was doing nothing but sitting 5 feet above the road, breathing fake air and trying to read a book, all the while being displaced at the rate of 60Kmph, road travel was a pain. A pain in the head. All other conditions being the same, I tried not reading the book and realized that road travel was still a pain. This time, it was all over my body. A distance of over 450Kms stretching out in front of me, the prospect of me having a pain-free travel resembled a china bowl which had received a friendly tap from a sledge hammer. I had to just shut up and put up with it since 'Not Traveling' was not an option.

The book lay there unfinished, with a forlorn, neglected look on it and though I longed to pick it up, I didn't because of the constant reminders about the consequences being sent my way by the speeding bus. Resigned to my fate thus, I put the book out of my mind and got busy dividing my time between thinking my thoughts and waking up dozing limbs. And while I was doing one of those (I don't remember which one), I started thinking of death and where people go after they die.

Now it wasn't a surprise I was thinking on those quasi-religious/theological lines because I was, after all, returning from a funeral. The surprise was that, given how busy I was dealing with the pains of traveling, I was able to form coherent thoughts at all. To its credit, this was a line of thought which came closest to shutting down the pain receptors in my brain. Anyway, there I was thinking about where the dead end up once they finished their innings. First I thought they would go back to join their team-mates in the dressing room/bench/dugout to continue watching the match. That thought, unfortunately, lasted no longer than it took me to think it because then I realized that life was not a match between two teams for me to use the player analogy. It then stuck me that there are only two options that most mortals believe they have in this matter. Heaven and Hell.

I started wading into the muck in my brain to dig out what I already knew about these two places. About the first option, I saw that it was also recognized as Paradise and was supposed to have Pearly Gates (probably related to Bill but I couldn't ascertain this) at the entrance. But, as far as I knew, this particular picture differed from religion to religion. This meant that the exact identity of this place was successfully shrouded. Now I didn't have any such problem with the second option because in spite of having other names like Hades and being painted in different strokes by different religions, I knew that Hell was in Michigan, USA.

And that last piece of info answered my 'after death' question for me. Dead people must be going to Heaven. Why you ask? Well, Hell, in Michigan, USA, is just a little town and by nature of being a little town, couldn't possibly accommodate even a fraction of the people who die every day in this world. On the other hand we have Heaven about which we know next to nothing and which has managed to hide itself pretty well over the years. Add to this the fact that it's a straight 'Either-Or' choice between the two and it leaves Heaven as the comprehensive winner in this shootout to find the destination of choice for the dead to head to.

So that throws up another question: Where is this Heaven?

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