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It was bright and dark at the same time.  I saw my corpse in front of my eyes with my friends and relatives standing around my lifeless body. I realized the journey is over. But have I reached the destination?

“Yes” There was a voice.

I was already dead. There is this strange thing about being an atheist and being dead. The biggest fear of atheist could be pain; physical or emotional. Now I can feel nothing. I had no reason  to fear about hell. So I decided to play along

“Is that….?”

“Yes.. this is the “so called” as you would like to address me when you debate with your friends”

“Nothing personal. I have thought about this. I lived as an atheist. When I die what if I really put into inferno? So that is what it is?”

“Ah! You disappoint me. I thought you were rational”

“Rational?? Do you like those tribe?”

“I love them. I hate the people who use the word atheism as a fashion statement and run like headless chickens”

“I think we have some similar tastes.”

“In fact, we disagree in very few things”

“You know what, I never thought it will be like this after death. I feel so light. I am open to have conversation with anyone. I feel…. how do I put it? Liberated”

“That us why I said yes when you wondered whether your journey is worth the destination”

“I don’t get it”

“See! First of all, you didn’t feel bad about being dead. You didn’t cry and wish for your family to be settled. You took death as easily as taking a bus to a different part of the city. It is actually liberating. The sad thing was there were numerous chances that you could have felt liberation in your life time. I wont blame you. You were busy”

“Now I understand I am talking to God. Such a big explanation”

I heard a chuckle.

“So?”

“So?”

“No punishment?”

“For what?”

“For being a non-believer for my entire life time”

“Dont be silly!”

“Come on! I have been told that you were stricter than my headmaster since I was 3 years old”

I heard the chuckle again.

I continued “If I took one more candy from the pooja room which is kept in front of your photo, people said you will pluck my eyes out. When I was looking at a girl in school in my teen age, she said she is gonna service you, looking at her may bring hell and that hot furnace thing onto me. There were big grounds full of your fan club wanted to me to repent the life I have lived or otherwise you will burn me alive on the judgement day.”

“None of which is my fault. Agree?”

“Agree! But why such negative publicity”

“Let us be clear on one thing. You cannot hold me responsible for what people told you about me. What if someone says me that you are the most selfish person in the earth?”

“You wont judge, would you?”

“I wont and I expect you to return the favor”

“Deal”

“Oh my! I am enjoying this conversation you know. Last night a priest finished his journey. When I started this casual talk like I did with you, he listed all his sins he did right from his time of birth and asked me to forgive him. Such a waste of time”

“So what did you do? You gave him what he wanted?”

“I gave him another chance to live a full life and come back “liberated””

We both laughed together now.

He asked “You dont have any questions? Like seeing my powers? Do you want me to tell your password?”

“Come on! I never believed that you would have such powers. I always thought man is the final form of evolution. A super  human may be the next form in another million years or so. I spent so much of time working. Never really believed in fairy tales”

“Not everything was a fairy tale.”

I sensed some bitterness in his voice. For some strange reason, I felt bad as if I had offended him.

“I am sorry! I can just tell things as far as I know”

“That’s ok. I always get such things. There are so many stories revolving around and sometimes I would have hearty laugh at things being told about me. And what makes me laugh more is millions of people believe that hoaxes” he laughed and I joined him.

“It is kind of tough to have conversations with you man. You dont have questions. You dont doubt me. You dont fear me. Tell me, what should I do with you?”

“OK! I know its cliched but I always imagined asking you this, why there is so many wars, killings, in your name. Are you a single person or you have a group of people who go on and whisper in people’s ears? If you exist, why should there be this much misery in the world?”

“I think we can take a break now for five minutes. Dont mistake that I am tired or something. I just wanted to make this conversation spicy with correct interval blocks and all. What say?”

“I am OK with it after all, this place is not measured and appreciated with passing minutes. We have all the time”

“That is why I love being here”

To be continued here

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