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The Letter – Part IThe man stood near the window with his hands folded. He had a calm demeanor and was smilingbenignly. I couldn’t really understand how he could be smiling on this occasion.A few moments earlier:The charge in my cell had dried up. I was just going to put my cell on charge when the lights got poppedoff. If there is one thing in India which you can say with certainity, it is the fact that when you have animportant work to do, you can trust the electric guys to switch it off... Cursing them for the nuisance, Isat on the bed and spent some time in using well learnt swear words to curse those guys.I presume I was about to doze off when I felt a hand tapping my shoulder. I woke up to see a man with aletter bag at his side. He introduced himself as "God" and took a letter from the letter bag and gave it tome.He then went on to say that You have 24 hours to live and that we will be departing to heaven/helltomorrow.All I did was to keep staring at him. He told me to have a look at the letter and went and stood near thewindow. I opened the letter and saw:“Dear Arvind,This is to inform you that your life validity expires in 24 hours. One of our people will come down to meetyou and you will be sailing in the "Ship of Departures" along with other inmates. Kindly plan yourschedule so that you finish off whatever you want within this time. No luggages will be necessary aseverything will be available in the Home.Your final destination will be decided based on your liabilities and assets which you have accrued overyour life time.Hope to see you tomorrow.Regards,God”All I could say was "Is this some kind of joke"... All he did in return was to keep staring at me. I repeatedmy question again.He asked me "What do you think".I told him "I don’t think people receive termination letters informing about the remaining life time. Andwhat is this, Liabilities, assets. I never knew that material assets and liabilities are valued in after-life."Very typical of humans", remarked the God. You havent heard about the termination letters before
because you get it only once. You don’t live to tell about it. And the assets and liabilities which Imentioned are the good deeds and the bad karma which you earn in your life time."This came as a complete shock to me... I never knew that the final day can come just like that. I had lived24 years of my life time and had never bothered to think about the so called good deeds and bad deeds.I had hardly known any hardships, since I was provided with all luxuries.A lot many questions running in my mind. [As in why he had come delivering this information when hecan send across someone else, What had I done to get this call so early, Wasn’t he supposed to bewearing a white suit, as Morgan Freeman does in Hollywood movies]. I assumed I could guess thereason for his coming alone to deliver the information. After all, it was recession time now, so therecould have been job cuts there also. Currently I was concerned about my situation, so I wondered whatto ask him, when suddenly there was a pop sound and gosh, the man simply disappeared before myeyes...The feeling you get when someone next to you pops off in thin air makes you feel that even you can popoff anytime. You fear to tread another step not knowing when you will pop off. No wonder, the peoplein the medieval ages used to haunt the witches and considered them as outlaws. And the feeling whensomeone has informed you about your demise and has suddenly left you alone gives you no littleconsolation. Well, I never had hoped for this in my wildest dream.I kept the letter in the diary on the bed-side table and then kept staring at the ceiling. Why me. It’s notfair in any way. And why now of all times? Why now when I had found my dream girl. It’s been 3 monthssince we met. It was an instant liking from the first time we met and I knew that if there has to be a girlin my life, it has to be her. She had all the desired qualities which a Man can aspire for in a girl. I hadproposed to her 1 month back and she had accepted it. We had planned up so many things for ourfuture...But, it seems life had other plans. No wonder, people say Life is unfair.This is not fair, this is not fair.... I kept on muttering."Sleeping till 9am on your birthday and saying it’s not fair isn’t fair too" – I heard my Mom say.She tugged the bed sheet and woke me up with a birthday wish and a sweet kiss. I looked at her as if Iwas stunned. Birthday, oh, yes it’s my birthday today. I made up a smiley face and mumbled thanks...Get ready soon, son. It’s your DAY today. Don’t you have plans for today...? Come-on get ready, son...God Bless you, saying so she left the room.I sat on the bed and tried recalling what had happened... What about the letter, the God visit and themessage... Was it a bad dream after all? I couldn’t express the happiness I felt at that moment. A dream,a bad dream, Gosh, it had felt so real... Thank goodness. Pushing the bad thoughts away from the mind,I threw the bed sheet away and put down my leg on the other side.Then I saw it. The letter I had placed inside the diary!!!The white part was visible partly. The whole world seemed to have stopped.
Slowly, with shivering hands I reached across to the letter and opened it.It started "Dear Arvind…To be contd.