As a columnist in a leading e-magazine it is a routine for me to cover different stories and events around the town sometimes even across the countries. I have done more than 100 stories in last 3 years since I’m in this profession, stories from political affairs to the love affairs of the tinsel town, stories around human rights and sometimes stories from the war zones. Overall it has been an enriching and a rewarding experience till now. I firmly believe that every person you meet in life has a unique story to tell you and trust me this phrase has a lot to offer only if we don’t forget the meaningful ones.
In my neighborhood people know me because of my profession and it feels great when someone tells me that they’ve read a story written by me and that they liked it. And sometimes that conversation grows into a discussion when it is with Mr. Joseph. I really wonder sometimes how he has an opinion about almost everything I write. Personally I really admire this fact that he keeps himself updated with the knowledge around everything, well almost. But this time it’s been 3 weeks since I last met him. I heard he had an almost fatal accident a couple of weeks back. I was told by his care taker that though he is fine now but after the accident, for once doctors had declared him dead but miraculously he revived and is back now.
It was a Sunday and since I did not have much to do I decided to go and meet Mr. Joseph. As I entered Mr. Joseph was sitting on his favorite couch. Upon seeing me he asked me to have a seat beside him and asked the caretaker to prepare two cups of nice coffee. He knows my love for coffee, as a lot of our discussions have happened in the same setup with a cup of coffee in our hands. He seemed to have recovered a lot though but still I could see those marks on his face and arms. One thing that was peculiarly different about him in this meeting was that he was a lot calmer; I have always seen him very restless for things and situations. Most of the times he is someone who is very anxious, impulsive and restless but that day he was very different a lot at peace, a lot calmer and certainly very quiet. May be he was feeling low because of the whole accident fiasco or may be because of that near death experience.
I finally asked him if he was feeling well or not. He confirmed that he’s fine but I felt like he really wants to talk or say something but wasn’t able to. May be he was feeling awkward or something. I again tried and asked “Mr. Joseph, I’m constantly feeling that you’re bit uncomfortable and want to talk about something. Don’t you?” To this he nodded in affirmation and asked the caretaker to go out of the room.
“Rahul, what I’m going to tell you might sound very stupid to you or may be uncomfortable but promise me you won’t tell that to anyone no matter what. “He said. “Be assured Mr. Joseph our conversation will remain just between us.” I said assuring him. He was a little more confident now and said “Do you believe in life after death and all? Wjhat are your thoughts and what is your understanding about the whole thing.” “Mr. Joseph, don’t know much but all the mythological scriptures, studies and books suggest that there is something after death. A soul departs from the body and goes to the heaven or hell basis one’s Karma.” I said. “Don’t they say one sees a bright light across the tunnel.” He asked again. I had no clue why he was asking such questions but I nodded in affirmation.
“But.. there was nothing. It was pitch dark. I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t see probably is an incorrect statement. I couldn’t feel anything. It was all vacuum. Trust me there was nothing, no light, no God, no angels, just nothing. An absolute feeling of nothingness. May be there doesn’t exist anything after life.” His eyes became blood red as he was saying.
I don’t remember what he said after that, I was just numb. As I was walking towards home I thought to myself that may be what Mr. Joseph just said was right and there doesn’t exist anything beyond what we have now in this moment. May be all those heavens and hells that we talk aren’t something which exist after death but all this exists here basis how we live our life. May be God is nothing but the goodness in us and heaven is the world we build with that goodness.