The other day, a thought came to my mind: what will I miss when I die? And immediately I realised I’ll miss my morning cuppa along with the newspaper. I will miss hearing the early morning twitter of birds as well as the chants from temples, mosques and churches. I will miss writing and reading on the laptop. Sharing jokes and bonhomie with friends. The company of my wife, children, parents and siblings. Looking at water: in lakes, waterfalls and rushing rivers. Enjoying the monsoon rain as it washes the land into a breathtaking expanse of green.
And when I die, what will I see? A huge expanse of black with twinkling stars. A puzzling thought: why did the God of light make an universe so black? Why did He not choose the colours of the rainbow?
And what will I do in afterlife? How will I pass time? Surely, there are no movies or sports events there? Will I just stare on for hundreds of years? Or will I be reborn? Will I return as an Indian? Or an Australian or an African? And this life, without a body? Will it be fun to live without sex and companionship? Will women be as enthralling in spirit alone? And will divorced couples continue to bicker in afterlife?
And where will my brain be? Will it remain on earth? Or at the point of death, will the brain move to the soul? Or does the soul become the brain in the afterlife? What am I trying to say is, how do I think? A sudden painful thought: I will no longer have the company of physical books.
And which God is the leader? Of which religion? Surely, there has to be a hierarchy. And, how will religious fundamentalists be treated in afterlife? Suppose a man on earth shoots people and blows up buses and trains in the name of his God, who he says dominates the universe. What happens when the man dies and realises his God is No. 4 in the pecking order? What will the top three Gods do? Will they get annoyed? Will they banish the zealot to the edge of the universe and tell him to rot there for a thousand years? Clearly, it is too risky to be an extremist since we have no idea on earth about who is the No. 1 God?
In afterlife, will we be able to see the greats of the earth like Mandela, Mother Teresa or Edmund Hilary? And what about the monsters like Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler? What are their fates? How are the Gods treating them? Are they in the universe’s version of hell? And what about their victims? Will the Gods let them shower abuse on bloodthirsty dictators to make up for their earthly sufferings? And whose families are still weathering the repercussions of their deaths?
There are so many questions, but too few answers. Nobody knows anything. It seems it is safer to be simple, humble, and respect all Gods, religions and followers. That is probably what the Gods want. But then, really, who knows what the Gods want?