It felt like as if I had woken up from the deepest slumber. I was not able to see anything, it was pitch dark. I somehow saw a faint light at a distance. I started to walk towards it. Then I started running. The light seemed to be getting away and away. Finally I reached the source- a room that looked pretty much like one of the conference rooms of our office. I meekly knocked on the door. “Come in”, answered a heavy voice. When I pushed opened the door, I saw a Morgan Freeman look-alike gentleman sitting behind a desk, in a perfect white suit, eyes fixed to a MacBook Pro.
“Any problem, son?”
“Where am I? And who are you?”
He smiled and said, “Welcome to Hell! I am Yamraj’s PA.”
The man got up from his chair and started walking towards me.
“I look after the place and address the grievances of the residents. Coming to how you came here, well, you were caught in a road accident last night. You were driving drunk. Your friend Siddharth also died with you. I am sorry!”
“Horrible! Where is Sid?”
The man pulled a chair for me. He sat on the table.
“He went to heaven.”
“What the… but why? Don’t you keep a track of HIS sins?”
“It is management’s decision. You are not supposed to question management’s decision. You see, Chitragupta keeps track of your deeds on earth, then he has a meeting with my boss Yamraj, and finally I am given the list of people coming here. Nothing personal. You can very well go and have a word with my boss. But if it backfires, do not blame me! You could do better, son. Come on, you have worked in private IT companies. You KNOW the golden rule- obey and oblige!”
“Stop son-ing me!” I was agitated “This is not fair! Just because Sid lights up some incense sticks every morning, does not wash away his sins! There must be some way! I can not rot like this in hell!”
The Morgan Freeman smiled, “Cool down, Mr “Anna” Baruah! Don’t be a kid. Acceptance makes everyone’s life easy. Utter one more word, and you will be locked out. Decide for yourself!”
“Everyone on earth commits some or the other sin. So have I. But otherwise I had been a good man throughout. I have never done bad to anyone. I was probably the most compassionate guy around! What about morality and all? I should be heard! This is injustice!”
“Being Morally or whatever-the-way right does not work. Being diplomatic does. Being hypocritical does. You should have obeyed, my friend. Stop reasoning now! It’s too late. And I’d appreciate if you do not waste any more time of mine. I need to send your assessment report to my boss. Be good. Be nice. Take the first door on the left and you will see the Hell Resources department. They’ll explain you the policies and code of conduct here. Good luck!”
I heard a very familiar music. It’s the IPL Stadium ringtone! Yeah, I know it.
“Switch it off!”
“Your phone. Alarm. Switch it off.”
I saw the missus tucking herself in and rolling over to the other side of the bed.
“For God’s sake! Switch off your alarm on Sundays!” she murmured.