God flipped through the pages as he started addressing a group of individuals. Their fate lied in these papers. He randomly picked a paper and pointed his finger at one of them.
Thunder rumbled in the sky as his husky baritone pronounced the decree, “You are going to rob people for a living.” Damn, I could have done better. There were other professions in the list.
“Could you please elaborate?” asked the naïve mortal.
“Yes, you would start your work late in the night…”
“Hmm, an outbound process for a US client.”
“No, you would station yourself on the road and ask people to give you all the money that they have.”
“Interesting but do you think it’s really going to work?”
“They will comply…in most cases.”
“I am going to face a lot of challenge because I don’t see any legitimate remuneration system here.”
“Challenges build our character.”
“Would it be possible for you to assign some other character building exercise for me?”
“No, the chit which I picked for you clearly mentioned your …umm…”
“Karma” added his assistant, “but can we follow a particular order here instead of picking chits?”
“You mean wheel of destiny?”
“Can we think beyond these lottery systems?”
“And why would someone walk on the road after midnight?” the to be robber interrupted.
“That’s the chance you have to take. Your opportunities and threats need to be assessed before you take up a project.”
“And why would they give me money?”
“Good question,” he turned towards his assistant, “Would you like to answer his query? Exercise your wisdom. You will learn a lot from these sessions.”
“No, it’s ok. You Answer. I will learn.”
“Ok. See manab…”
“Who told you my name?”
“No, manab as in human…ok, well, yes…ahem…see, we know everything. We are the Gods.”
“I have my doubts.”
“What do you mean? Ask me anything and I will have an answer.”
“Ok, then tell me when I will get married.”
“I am God not a tarot card reader,” he paused and then added with a smile, “You will never get married by the way.”
“And on what basis have you arrived at this conclusion?”
“Ok, when will this world come to an end?”
“Stop this quiz-quiz game and answer his query,” senior God intervened, “And please return my 2012 dvd tonight.”
“Ok, coming back to your question. See, they won’t have any reason to give you money yet they will be obliged to. That’s where your expertise will come into play and that’s why you will be called a robber.”
‘Even you didn’t make any sense,’ muttered the robber, ‘I am sure, your list doesn’t have any decent profession.’
“No, there are plenty.” assistant answered with a self-assuring smile as he gestured towards the papers in God’s hand, “Could you please enlighten him about some of the esteemed career options that we have in our list, sir?”
“No, no, it’s ok, he understood.”
“Please sir, read out the list. Let this ignorant mortal understand the complexities of materialistic world and how varied their jobs can be.”
“Umm…” God glanced over the pages, ‘Pickpocket, smuggler…’
“Wasn’t one of our core team members supposed to prepare the list?” his assistant gave him a resigning look, “Anyway, can we give him some other profession as he is insisting.”
“Fine, we will make a one time exception.”
“See, decent is a relative term.” God assumed a divine tone, “Good, bad, ugly are the sides of a coin, it’s how we look at things. Our karma…
“Do we have anything non-criminal here?” assistant pointed towards the list, “and a coin has two sides by the way.”
“Let me see…yes, night watchman, toilet cleaner…” he paused and looked at everyone around, “I think I should read out the next category…”
“Robber sounds fine.” Robber put his hand up.
“Exactly, see you will play a key role in the society,” God interjected, “Let me explain. Do you see this? It’s our society.”
“It’s a pyramid and we will assume for the time being that this is our society. Now, you are here.”
“At the bottom.”
“Yes but you didn’t notice that you are laying the foundation. People at the bottom are the pillars of every organization, group or society.”
‘That’s how they motivate employees stuck in dead-end jobs.’
God then turned towards the next person in the group, “And you will be an auto driver.”
“And my job would be?”
He fumbled with the papers.
“Umm…dunno…take money from people for no apparent reason, preferably post midnight.” He looked at his assistant, “Did you see how I handled the situation with an impromptu answer?”
“You just repeated the same thing that you told him.” The to be auto-driver whined.
“Just keep an auto by your side.”
“Can I get an auto as well?” pleaded the robber.
Since then auto drivers and robbers worked collectively to ensure that no one goes back home with a smile. Unfortunately, despite rendering similar services to the society and despite having a more transparent system, the latter has been discriminated as criminals.
From the corner of my eyes, I looked at the lone auto at the stand. ‘Bloody opportunist!’ No, I am not going to cave in to his unfair demands and encourage this malpractice.
“Listen,” I rolled up my sleeves and walked towards the auto with determination and purpose, “I will give you another 10 rupees. Let’s go.” Yes 110 is the correct fare.