Life, coming to you live

 

My earliest memory of God is that of a Goddess.

She was clad in surgical grey overalls and was surrounded by angels with nursing degrees. I remember, she cupped my unsteady head in her gloved hands and dragged me out from the comfort of a womb. What I thought was my death as a foetus, turned out to be my birth as a baby.

(Birth or rebirth? I wonder. Is it possible that what we call our birth in this world is actually our death in another world? Maybe there’s nothing called death. Just one birth after another in various worlds. Maybe this earth is a womb from which we shall all be delivered on our due date into a whole new world. Who knows. No one seems to be in a hurry to find out though.)

It was when I saw my dad pay up that I realised she was no Goddess. She was just a doc doing her job.

Since then I have encountered many such Gods and Goddesses in my life. Most of those turned out to be my family. Some, my friends. Some, my work colleagues, neighbours and others. But some were complete strangers. Like the one who sprinkled water on me and asked, “Are you ok?” as I lay collapsed on the floor near the loo, many many years ago while on a train journey alone. Or the one who pulled me out of the way of a cab that sped past me brushing my shirt, while I was crossing the road chatting on my phone. “Motherfucker! You would’ve died!” he had yelled at me. Can’t remember any other time when I’ve thanked someone for talking to me like that.

(So, wouldn’t it be correct to call someone in the right place at the right time with the right intention, God? Or, is it not the people, but their acts that are Godly or otherwise? Don’t know. But I am sort of convinced that divinity okays bad language.)

I had called those instances as “acts of kindness.” But those dearest to me preferred to call them: “Acts of God.”

Excited to have come that close to God, and to have played the protagonist in a real-life miracle, I agreed with them and sought confirmation from a seer.

“No, my son! You can’t call this a miracle!” he deflated my ego. “Miracles are those acts of God that have no earthly explanations.”

Not in a mood to give up my new-found status as God’s favourite child so easily, I ignored his comment and persisted.

“What would you call this then- The boxoffice counter slams a ‘Housefull’ board on my face, and a guy walks up to say he has an extra ticket and if I would be interested to join him?”

“Gay coincidences!” the Seer rubbished my claim. “I mean, happy coincidences,” he quickly corrected himself.

“Alright, the other day I had managed to elbow others for a seat in a crowded bus only to see the losers send a pregnant lady towards me. I pretended to be asleep hoping she wouldn’t ask for my seat when I heard a lot of commotion. People were helping her out of the bus. She had got her labour pains just in time!”

The Seer simply stared back at me.

No?

“Okay, the other day I went to a Government office for a certificate and an official came up to me and asked, ‘How can I help you, sir?’ Now, that surely qualifies as a miracle, doesn’t it?”

He said nothing. Instead, he stretched his hand and plucked an apple from thin air. As if to show what a real miracle is and to say how a miracle maker will always be greater than a miracle beneficiary.

(My first recollections of such miracles go back to a darkened hall in school. God clad in black cape and waving a wand, pulled rabbits out of his black long hat. I remember sitting there wide eyed, mouth open in awe and clapping non-stop at the miracle in front of my eyes. I was five then. At 15, I was hoping I’d become like Him one day, pulling rabbits out of hats at will. At 30, I hoped I’d be the hat from which He would pull rabbits out. At 40, I prayed I become the lucky rabbit He would pull out of a lucrative hat. At 50, I have become like that cynical, disinterested assistant on stage who knows that all this is a big tamasha. That He is just a he. The hat is no miracle box and the rabbit, no lucky bloke. But I regret the awareness. It has taken the joy out of miracles. I am struggling to become part of the audience again, where I can sit with child-like glee and cheer the show without being judgemental.)

I sometimes wonder if all of us are going through the motions of life, attempting to make miracles or waiting for them to happen to us.

The best explanation of this came to me in an article I read recently. It was titled: Yes, there’s life after life!

Here’s the excerpt:

Life is a spectator sport. The whole world is like a stadium where people are waiting for the game to begin. Some are singing, some are dancing, some are tense, some are impatient, some are having a blast, some are brooding, some are coming in, some are going away. And all of it is real-time, live! Just one little problem. There’s not going to be any game. There are going to be no players. Just you and me and the others- Spectators watching each other, and waiting for a non-existent game to begin.

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