I was aware.
I was dead, but I was aware. I could see the white kurta and pajama laden lifeless body of mine. Finally I knew, what it was like to be a soul. I wasn’t expecting anyone to turn up. Not after all that happened. But I saw four unknown people standing in a circle over my body.
“Paying respects?” I thought. “Certainly not. Let’s see what they are up to.”
The four people were all dressed distinctively. One of them even had a hook for a hand and a scar over his right eye. This guy was wearing a simple white under vest and blue shorts. He had a slight drop in his right jaw which gave him an unintended frown. Let’s call him “Frown Face”.
The guy standing to his right was wearing a neat and quite expensive suit and also had a briefcase in his hand. His face was clean, hair neatly parted and he was wearing rimless glasses. Let’s call him “Vyapar Boy”.
The guy standing to the right of the neat nerd, was wearing a white kurta with white pajamas, not dissimilar to the attire my body had on. However, he was wearing one of those white hats they show on tv so much these days. Strangely, his face was nicely hidden with the help of the hat and also his continuous savory towards the delicious mango he had in his hand. Let’s call him “Mango Man”.
The fourth and final guy was short, fat and was chewing tobacco. He was definitely wearing costly clothing and also had a sash over his shoulders. Let’s call him “Political Punk”.
“Looks like a simple guy.” Political Punk broke the tension.
“But with a heavy and dark past I hear” said Vyapar Boy.
“A pirate he was, yes.” said Mango Man.
“Well, is that so?” asked Political Punk.
“Yes. And he is on his way to hell.” Vyapar Boy said, adjusting his glasses.
“Excuse me?” Mango Man cut in.
“This man is going to hell.” Vyapar Boy said firmly, looking directly at Mango Man.
“I don’t think so my man. I will have my men look into his past first and get to know all about him. His family will get benefits and whoever is responsible for his death will be at trial.” Mango Man sounded adamant.
“I don’t think you are quite eligible to do that my friend.” Political Punk now addressed Mango Man.
“But isn’t India supposed to be a democracy?” Mango Man retorted back.
“I am sorry sir, but this man must go to hell. He has committed quite a lot of crimes in his life.” Vyapar Boy tried to sound convincing.
“No sir. I cannot allow you to do that. If you proceed, I would willingly put up a fast with a mob of my men.” Mango Man was still very adamant.
During this conversation, Political Punk was listening very intently. Frown Face was standing there but no one really noticed or wanted to notice him. He was just standing there, staring at my body.
“Very well. You leave me no choice. Political Punk, I see you need to expand your power, don’t you?” asked Vyapar Boy.
“What do you want to say?” Political Punk sounded rude.
“I have a very nice proposition for you my good sir. I was just on the phone with Satan himself and he is quite impressed with my work. Keep it to yourselves but I smell a raise.” Vyapar Boy suddenly sounded a bit childish and there was a twinkle in his eye which lasted for a millisecond. “Sir, how would you like to extend your contacts and which might later turn to territory to a lovely place called hell?”
“Oh really? And you can get through to Satan huh? Would he be willing to talk to me?” Political Punk asked greedily.
“Most certainly sir. Just help me get this man to hell.” Vyapar Boy was as professional as he could be.
“I cannot allow you both to do that I’m afraid” Mango Man cut in.
“But you must. You do not have power. You know what you must do don’t you?” Political Punk tried to scare Mango Man.
Mango Man glanced at him once, stopped nibbling at his mango and looked at my body.
“I guess you are right. Do as you wish” he said.
Vyapar Boy looked pleased and Political Punk felt victorious.
“Would you mind a mango?” Mango Man took one out of his pocket and offered it to Political Punk.
“Why not?” Political Punk smiled back and took the mango.
He took one bite, looked at Mango Man with horror and fell to the ground.
“Oh no!” Vyapar Boy looked shocked.
He took out his cell phone dialed a number and put the phone to his ears.
“Satan sir, there’s been a minor hiccup. I’ll have to come back tomorrow. No sir don’t worry, it will be done.” He left the scene while talking.
Mango Man smiled at my body and left the scene with a sinister laugh.
Only Frown Face remained. Suddenly he spoke.
“I know it has been tough on you, my friend. You might not remember me but I was your best friend in school. I know you couldn’t have done all those things they say you did. Something must have changed you, like some things changed me. Don’t worry about those fools. It is what our society comprises of now. Rest in peace brother. Here I leave you. Goodbye.”
And now I am dead, but I realize, it’s a confusing world I lived in. The leader is corrupt, the guy you believe to be your savior turns out to be a sociopath, the businessman is well…a businessman. And the one you find most frightening, the one you feel does not belong, is the only friend you have in this very confusing society of ours. Choose wisely.