“There was a time when people used to line up for your advice, i don’t see anyone now?” she asked her teacher.
“When i gave advice i wasn’t wise. When i turned wise, i stopped giving advice.” the teacher answered with a grin.
“Can you please elaborate?” she knew something astute was coming her way.
The teacher shook his head, “When i grew wise i realized, people ask for advice but never follow it. In the end people do what they want. The only advice they follow is a teacher called experience. Experience is the biggest and only teacher.
“How can you not believe in God?” wondered the religious man.
“Of course i believe in God. Just not a God of any religion, but that one true God.” said the spiritual man.
“That’s rubbish! Without religion you can never reach God. And do you want to know what is the biggest difference between religion and spirituality?” asked the religious man boastfully.
“I know what it is!” answered the spiritual man.
“What?” the religious man smirked.
“A spiritual man has never killed another human being in the name of his God.” and with that the spiritual man rested his case.
He did all he could but like a thousand others, his father succumbed to the Covid.
“It is an unknown enemy, what can you do?” his friend said consoling him.
“The Covid i can forgive, some humans i cannot.” he said matter-of-factly.
“Humans?” his friend asked confused.
He nodded, “I was desperate to take my father to the hospital, this ambulance driver charged me ten thousand rupees for just two kilometres. I was helpless. I paid, but i realized that the real virus is people like these who profit from human suffering. Unfortunately there is never going to be a vaccine for them.”
He woke up groggy; alcohol at the party. And she was there, his ex, but he felt nothing for her, just an indifference.
And sure enough there was a message from her, “Hi, was nice seeing you yesterday. I saw no hate in your eyes for me after what happened. It should have felt good but it hurt me deeply. I realized that i wanted you to hate me because then i would have meant something to you. You made me realize the opposite of love is indifference. Hate is also holding the person close to your heart.”
It brought tears to his eyes.
“Are you scared of ghosts?” she asked him.
“I am more scared of the living dead.” he answered promptly.
“The living dead?” she probed further.
“Have you heard the news of people killing animals for fun? Crackers in a fruit that killed an elephant? Dogs strung by a rope and dragged around? The ones who do this are the living dead. They have no feeling. Now tell me what is more scary, a soul without a body or a body without a soul?”
She stared at him speechless.
“It’s easy for you bro!” his friend said to him over a drink.
“What do you mean?” he countered.
“You are successful, i am not. I have to prove myself!” the friend explained, deeply melancholic.
He took a sip of his scotch and then lovingly said, “You know, this proving thing does not end. First you prove yourself so that the world takes notice of you, then you have to prove yourself everyday so that they don’t stop noticing. Believe me, the fight to attain will pale in front of the fight to retain!”
The moderator told the students, “We have time for only one more question. Our guest needs to leave.”
A girl in the back row raised her hand and was handed the microphone, “Sir, you are one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time. What would be your parting message?”
The guest smiled and said, “I will tell you a secret, i never believed in destiny. Life is all about choices. Chose wisely. The future is nothing but a consequences of your decisions.”
The old Sufi lay on his bed, slowly dying, and yet through all his pain he could see her pain.
“What troubles your mind?” he asked her.
She sighed and said, “You had forseen that i would find my soul mate but so many years later, nothing.”
The Sufi had a raspy laugh, “You are not looking” he said.
“Of course i am, everywhere!” she responded indignantly.
The Sufi shook his head, “To look for the soul mate, you have to look with your soul. All around me i only see bodies looking for bodies.”
“Why have you stopped meditating?” the master asked his disciple.
“Cause it did not help.” the disciple replied.
The master was appalled, “Did not help?”
The disciple nodded, “I figured that meditation, intoxication, entertainment, these are all ways to escape this life. The answers to the problems of this life are in this life. There is no escape.”
The master found himself unable to respond.
The little girl climbed on to her father’s lap and said, “Dad, i am afraid of the dark.”
The father looked at her lovingly, “That is natural. But the dark is God’s gift to us.”
The little girl stared at her father, confused, “Why a scary gift Dad?”
The father laughed, held her close and said, “You are not afraid of the dark, you are afraid of the unknown in the dark. And the dark is like life, filled with the unknown. So God gave us the dark to get ready for life. When you vanquish the dark you will be ready for the challenge called life.”
“Both you guys work all day and he travels a lot and yet it seems like you just met. So much romance?” her friend asked a tad jealous.
She nodded, “That’s true. It does feel like that.”
The friend probed further, “What’s the secret. Please tell me.”
She giggled like a school girl and said, “He tells me he loves me when i don’t expect it. Out of the blue.”
The friend could not believe that.
“That’s it?” she asked surprised.
She smiled and blushed a bit, “That’s it.”
“Dad i just hate this watchman, he is so lazy!” she complained to her father.
“You don’t hate him. You dislike him. Hate is too strong a term.” her father adviced her.
“What’s the difference?” she asked with shrug.
He put his newspaper away and said, “When you grow up you will know the difference. You will know that more often than not, hate is a kind of love gone wrong.”
She rolled her eyes and disappeared into the room but the father did not pick the newspaper up.