So he came out of this old hangout place high on all the stresses of the world. He had started to be like that all the time now, probably after he had to resign; maybe that was the reason for all his worries, but then again, he was like this even when he did have that not so highly paid job. But it’s easier to live by when you have something instead of nothing at all. His head hung, maybe because of the weight of the millions of thoughts that ran through his head. He had a family to look after, some promises to keep, some debts to clear; and some other things that he wanted to do for himself too. He had nowhere to go. He turned his head towards the dead end on the right as he walked out of the noises and the light, into the darkness and dumbness of his life and waited for a few seconds to stare at the wall at the end of the alley. How spontaneously your mind connects your life with the random things like a dead end : nowhere to go! So he turned his face to the other side and started to walk out of the alley when he heard someone call his name and it had been a very normal thing had the voice not come for the dead end of the alley. He turned to have a glance. An aged man with grey hair, in a shirt and trousers stood there with his hands in his pocket, looking at him and smiling.
” Do I know you?”, He almost mumbled.
“You do know me. But you don’t know that it is me.” The old man said with an unimaginable calm on his face.
“What is that supposed to mean? Who are you?” He spoke, losing to his irritation.
He smiled and started to walk towards him, crossed him and stopped at the mouth of the alley where it opened into a street and turned to look at him, “It’s going to take a little long for you to understand that. Care for a walk?” He said raising his hand towards the street and covering his face with an inviting smile. To his surprise, he felt all of his irritation go down just like that and he felt calm. He walked on.
They took the street and started to walk on the footpath. The old man and himself walking beside each other, the former with a smile on his face and facing the world in front of him, the latter with a frown on his face, his head bent looking at the ground. He lifted it though, to feel the jealousy that arose in him from the serenity on his face. But that wasn’t strange. What was strange was the quietness that filled the street. There were no cars on the street, no people walking, no noises coming from the TV sets in the apartments on either side of the street or any noise for that matter. It was like the world had lost its sound; except for the sound of their shoes clicking on the concrete. It was strange for this time of the evening.
“Strange, isn’t it?” The old man broke the silence that prevailed.
He came out of his reverie and asked, “What?”
“You’re finding it strange, isn’t it? The silence. Don’t you like it?” He asked as if he had created this silence specially for him so that he would be more comfortable.
“No, it’s fine. But it is strange that it is so quiet at this hour of the day” he said raising his hand to look at the time on his wrist and then he let it has hand go back to rest beside him.
The old man turned his head to look at him with a mild smile on his face, “How ignorant you all are, how naive. How smoothly you let things pass by without even noticing. It has been so long and yet..” he shook his head slowly, “You all have such a long way to go!”
He looked at him as he spoke, bewildered. He didn’t understand a thing that he said. “What are you saying? Look man. I don’t have time for this. I have other things to attend to…”
“Your wife and your daughters? I know! And don’t you worry about the time son. You’re not going to be late. It’s not in play right now.”
“How do you even know about my daughters and my wife? And what’s not in play?” He was starting to get frustrated now.
“The time. The time is not in play right now son. You looked at your watch a few moments ago and you did not even realize that your watch wasn’t working. But it’s not your watch that’s not working; it’s the time.”
He frantically raised his hand again to look at his watch and saw that he was right, it wasn’t working and then he started looking here and there, everywhere around him. He could se no one, he could hear nothing; and that is when he realized that the place wasn’t only silent, it had just become still, it had just stopped.
“Calm down, son. Everything is alright.” He said with a face so calm that it made him calm. “You may not know that it is me but I know who you are. I know you all; each one of you. I have created you.”
“Are you… NO! How can that be? How is that even possible! You’re only a man!”
“This!” He said, placing a finger on his own chest, “is a man! I, am his creator.”
“No that’s not possible. How is it possible! How can God be like this, like a man.”
” I am not. But then again, according to you, how would God look like? Or who is God? What is God?”
He stopped, unable to give an answer. He stopped walking. The old man stopped after two more steps and turned to look at his bewildered face. “You don’t have to be like that. Come, walk with me.” And started to walk again. He caught up with him not understanding why he was doing so.
He tried to be calm and composed himself, his expressions, his gestures, everything normal but his breath which he couldn’t stop from being fast. “So you’re God?” He asked with a mixed expression on his face.
The old man looked at him with a smile and nodded with his eyes closed for a moment.
“But you’re not…”
“The way you imagined me to be?” He said half mocking him and continued. “How childish you all are, even in the most mature age of yours. The concepts that you make about things you know nothing of. I must say, at times, I find it adorable.”
“I don’t understand a thing! I’m so confused!” He said holding his head between his palms.
“I don’t expect you to, son. You can not. You’re too young to understand the power, the mysteries of the universe. There’s so much for you to learn to make yourself capable of even understanding what I have so beautifully created for all of you. You still haven’t understood the mysteries of your own world. You still have a long way to go.” He explained each and every single word clearly to him and continued again, “But how exactly did you think I would be?”
“I don’t know.” He said with hesitation, “huge maybe, with white hair and beard and sitting on a throne; with angels around you to serve you.”
“Well that’s an interesting one, but you thought of me as having a body? You imagined me to have an appearance like you, so that you could relate with me.”
“Is that wrong?” He asked.
“Not on your part. No. If it gives you the comfort you require. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I had to come to you in this body of this man; so you could talk to me, be comfortable. Just like I made it silent and stopped the time for you.”
“For me?” He asked, surprised.
“Of course. You’re special. Each one of you. I have created you with so much of love and compassion. Don’t you know that? I created the whole universe for you. I gave you this Earth, made it exactly suitable for you all, so you could live. I designed the universe in such a way that you may not feel the lack of anything. I have worked so hard for you all, because I love you.”
“So you’re not the way we imagine you to be?” He asked confused.
The old man laughed, “No son. Not at all. You think of me as a being. A being has to be born to exist. Isn’t it?”
“But I didn’t take birth. I have always been there. I have always existed.”
“So how long have you been there for? And where? Since there was nothing there before you made it all.”
“I don’t need a place to exist son. And this measure of time that you asked me, I have created it, the time. I am not dependent on it. I never have. I created it for you, for the universe, so it could work.” He paused. “Like you make laws, so that everything is in order. That’s why I made time. So everything would be in order. So it’ll be easier for you all.”
“So when we say you’re everywhere, that’s true?!” He asked curiously.
He smiled, “This might be a little difficult for you to understand. Your kind has not reached that level of understanding as yet. You probably never will. But if I may put it in simpler terms: these words everywhere and all the time refer to a place and a point in time which, for you, are the laws that you can never escape from. You are governed by them. But I am the one who has created these. I am not governed by them or if I must say, I govern them. So I am not bound by them like you all are.”
He looked at his face as the old man spoke trying to understand the things that were too hard for him to understand or for anyone else for that matter. “So if this is not your true appearance, how do you look like truly?” He asked thinking deep about it with all the seriousness on his face.
“Look?” He paused, “you can’t see me; not with those eyes that I have given you atleast. See, when you perceive things by touching or seeing, it is because they have a body, because they can’t exist without one, just like you. But I do not need one to exist; because if I did, I would need things to be there so I can live. But I don’t. I’m not dependent on anything. So you can say that I am merely an existence and you can’t really categorize me or put me in a class of something, because there is no else like me. I was the only one when there was nothing, and I will be the only when there will be nothing.”
He stared at his face, the way he spoke, like he was above everything and everyone. The expressions on his face convinced him more than the words of the old man; and suddenly he broke down, inside. “Why have you been so unfair to me then? Do you not love me? Do I not deserve happiness? Have I done something wrong that I am being punished for?” He almost cried.
“Oh no son! Not at all. I love you all the same, each one of you, even more than the amount of love your mothers could ever give you. You cannot imagine how much for you can never love anyone like that. I have made all of this, this entire universe only so you could exist; and I have made the happiness and the troubles and all of the luxuries of life that each one of you truly deserve but it would still be unfair if I just gave them all to you. Miracles are too simple a thing. I didn’t want it to be like that, so I kept mediums; hope and hardwork, perseverance.”
He stared back at him trying to understand and absorb every word said by the old man. “So my part of luxuries and happiness is out there too?”
“Ofcourse, they’re out there, waiting for you. Waiting that you work for them and open a path for them to come to you. Hope, so that they can live and wait for you. So you see son, it’s all on you. All the happiness and all the luxuries were made for you. Not only this world, but the entire universe was made for you. All you need to do is hope and work and never give up.”
He suddenly felt lighter and hopeful for the first time after so many years. His face lit up with a smile.
“I even made the time for you.” The old man said with a smile on his face.
He lifted his hand to look at the watch once more and saw the second hand moving again. “Hey, it’s in play…” He looked up and no one was there. He looked around; no one. He realized that he was standing right in front of his house.
He turned to go in and then stopped again. Looked at his watch, at the moving seconds hand and then looked up at the sky with a smile on his face, like he was looking at all the happiness waiting for him and he felt filled with all the hope that those happiness needed to wait for him. With the smile retaining on his face, the hopes new in his heart and the ownership of the whole universe, he went forward and knocked at the door. When the door opened, he saw their faces and the happiness that his presence brought to them. He hadn’t realized this before but he did now; the happiness that he was looking for, he was it.