My son goes around posing as an authority on the happenings of our lives much before he was born.
“I know that, you don’t have to tell me.”
“You did this because of that.”
“I saw you doing that!”
…and so on.
On being told of the absurdity of it all, he tells us: Where do you think I was before I came here? I was in heaven with God. I could watch all of you whenever I wanted.
An example: Once when we were driving along Old Madras Road, a car trailer passed by. My son told my father-in-law, “Your car also came in such a trailer.” My father-in-law started laughing and parted with the crucial bit of information that the car he was sitting in was bought before he was born. So how did he know? My son folded his hands and gave a knowing glare.
“One day when I was playing in heaven, God called me and told me, “See that Hyundai trailer going down there? That’s carrying your grandfather’s silver-coloured Accent.” Touche!
I decided to end this game. So I caught hold of him once and asked him, “Describe this heaven of yours!”
“Ah it’s a primitive place in the heart of nature full of babies and gods….”
“Gods, I ask, “not God!”
“Well do you think even God can handle thousands of babies together?”
“One god is assigned to 15 babies and…”
“Sound a bit like a school full of teachers to me,” I interrupted.
“No, the gods just watch over us, we spend all our time doing… nothing! We have a clear view of Earth and all the people who live there. We can watch every person when and how we want.”
“And what do you do there?”
“We don’t have to do anything at all and at the same time we can do everything we please. Every thing! Now doesn’t that sound like heaven?”
“OK, OK, then how do you come down to Earth?”
“Well we get to choose our parents. We look down and tell our god: Hey I want that woman to be my mother and that man to be my father and that’s how you two got together!”
(Kids always eventually get their way with their parents. But before birth too…???)
“So I don’t decide who I get to marry and the match isn’t even originally selected by god either. You matched us up?”
“Yes,” he replies smugly.
So there’s God’s Will. Then there’s Wife’s Will. And now there’s Son’s Will. I guess for a poor ole man like me, there really is no such thing as Free Will.
Another example: “Why are you so naughty and hyperactive, can’t you calm down and relax a bit.”
“I can’t,” he says…
(And I know another Heaven Story is coming)
“When god was throwing Naughtiness Dust on us…”
“What,” I ask, “is that?”
“Well the gods want us to be naughty. It’s a positive trait. We become naughty thanks to Naughtiness Dust which they keep throwing on us. Well, I went and raided the whole stock and that’s why I am the way I am.”
My wife looks shocked and asks, “What did god do when he found out?”
“He still doesn’t know,” sniggers my son.
My wife continues, “But won’t he get angry when he finds out?”
My son slaps his forehead and says wearily, “God is not like a teacher or a parent. He never gets angry at us. His job is only to guide, encourage and help us. He never gets angry. How many times do I have to tell you that?”
My son has a habit of shooting rapid fire questions in the night when me and my wife are about to fall asleep.
“What happens when you put a ton of ice in a pool of lava?”
“What if there’s a Black Hole outside our window right now? Can I check?”
“What if tomorrow doesn’t come when we get up tomorrow?”
“What if our whole life is actually a dream? What happens when we get up?”
“Can we go to Disneyland for our next vacation?”
“Can you buy me another Transformers action figure on your way back from work? I won’t ask for another toy for 10 years!”
They keep coming like an incessant waterfall.
Once he broached the topic of death.
“What happens after death? Where do we go? Why do some people go early? Why don’t you check the Internet for that? You check the Internet for everything anyway…”
I got really bugged and asked him, “OK, you’re the wise guy. You came from heaven. You once asked that god be requisitioned to start an email service between heaven and earth. You knew god. You tell me how we go back there after death.”
“But why would you want to go to heaven,” asks my son calmly.
“Don’t we all go to heaven when we die?” I ask exasperated.
“No!” he says firmly.
“Why?” I ask “sleepily.”
“You come from heaven to earth. So why would you want to go back to a place from where you came?”
(My reserve patience runs out at this stage)
OK, you tell me quick: What happens after death?
My son thinks for a second and says, “The soul splits into many pieces and every piece goes to a different world, a different universe and a different existence.”
That’s too deep for me. I can’t take it any more. I have to go to sleep.
© Sunil Rajguru