An imaginary conversation between Late APJ Abdul Kalam & Late Yakub Memon – In the next realm.

APJ Abdul Kalam
Declared dead : 27-07-2015 at 6.30 PM
Buried : 30-07-2015 at 12.00 PM

Yakub Memon
Declared dead : 30-08-2015 at 6.35 AM
Buried : 30:08:2015 at 5.15 PM

It is all bright and white there. No shadows! The place is populated with people wandering aimlessly. Some are alone and some are in groups. All of them are fluorescent and glowing from inside. This is a transit station during the travel of the souls between lives or a place before the travel to the final destination. Here all are equal. They still remember their immediate past and reflect on them.

We see, a young and handsome man Yakub in his 30s holding a fresh white noose in his hand and looking around impatiently as though waiting for someone. Suddenly we see Abdul, an old man with shining silver locks flowing over his ears, holding loads of flowers flying in. He is very happy.

Y : Why it took so long, Sir!

A : (with a smile) Oh! Really? I thought there is no concept of ‘time’ in this realm. This means, we are still in a realm where we are ruled by time temporarily. That way, yes. I am a bit delayed. Let us hope we cross this very soon.

Y : (proudly) You know Sir, I reached here almost instantly once I started my journey. And wonder why your travel took almost 78 hours to reach here?!

A : My loved ones wouldn’t leave me at all! They love me so much you see? They took me to my hometown and a huge crowd followed me there leaving their work! In spite of my wish of not leaving their work in the name of my demise, they didn’t stay back. So sad.

Y : (a little sad) My loved ones also love me a lot and they also took me to my hometown. But I was already away from them. Due to the long years, they must have lost their emotions and attachments with me.

A : (cajoling) But then, they received you and took you to your father’s place. That is so thoughtful of them.

Y : (still sad) Sir, the rituals were too mechanical. They had already adjusted to a life without me. Your case is not like that. It was almost instant as you always wished for and everyone in this country felt a huge vacuum.

A : (smiling) That is true but still, look at the status of affairs. I am still saddened.

Y : (after contemplating for some time) I am hoping for an answer from you for my question. I helped the Indian Government big time to bring the whole case into a logical conclusion. Then why this fate came unto me? I agree I was part in organizing the crime.

A : It was not just ‘a’ crime, my dear one! It killed more than 250 innocent people.

Y : But then, that was my first and last. Still there are thousands of others including my brother and his friends at large. Why me, who tried to live a life with my own family, with my wife and daughter?

A : You were learned. You had your own life and living. I will not ask you why you have resorted to this act. But still… why… I don’t want to be judgmental here.

Y : Forget about it, Sir! I don’t understand all these and I don’t want to. Time will take its toll and the show will go on.

A : Yes! You said it. The show MUST go on. My role is over and I believe I played my role pretty well.

Y : Yes, Sir. You have played your role in great magnanimity and ended the same in a dramatic way.

A : (smiling) As I always wanted!

Y : Sir, you always look very calm and without any worries in spite of the fact that you have been doing so many things beyond normal humans. How do you do it? For me it was very tough wearing the mask for so long and live unmasked for many years now.

A : You know what, my dear? You look very handsome without your mask.

Y : (smiling) Absolutely! I was very handsome and I wonder why the hell those media guys showed my old-man-look at the last moment. It was in very bad taste, I would say. I would have remained a handsome young man in the minds of world, especially Bollywood beauties. Even that they didn’t allow!

A : That is media… In the name of showing the reality they end up designing a mask for them to wear. Don’t worry. Everything is over now and you have played your role.

Y : Sir, you know something? We both are equals!

A : (amused) Really? How?

Y : Sir, you made a rocket that can fly a bomb and hit at the right spot and I made bombs that can hit at the right place at the right time even without flying.

A : But my device is supposed to hit the enemy while yours was designed to hit the innocents in our own country!

Y : Who is our enemy, sir? Are we not actually like brothers separated in a Mela? So actually what you made is designed to kill your own kin and mine also designed to kill the same. End of it, all are humans, right? So we actually end up as equals, right?

A : (surprised listening to Y) But yours is of hatred and revenge. And mine is of patriotism!

Y : But Sir, can love and respect be delineated by the so called international borders drawn by humans? Anybody on the other side of the LOC is an enemy? Let us not discuss that, Sir. I know you don’t have an answer. It is very complicated. I know you were on a scientific trajectory all your life. So no complaints. You also made and supported scientific achievements. But, like Albert Einstein, you also knew very well that whatever you create could be used for good or evil. It all depends on who, how, why, where and when they are used. I can understand that.

A : Any scientific invention is a double edged sword, my friend. But because of that I cannot abstain from doing what I was born for.

Y : Let us change the subject…. Tell me one thing. Why you were not subscribing to Death Penalty for criminals?

A : (after thinking for a moment looking at Y intently and smiling) You were lucky at that time because I don’t believe in Capital Punishment. Like many other people, I simply believe that death penalty is not a deterrent. And don’t ever think that there are any political reasons to it. And this is a very generic subject but this came up for discussion because of you.

Y : (amused) But you indeed rejected a mercy Petition for someone else. Why?

A : (sad) I regretted that once I got an opportunity to study all the people behind all those Mercy Petitions.

Y : So what did you do then?

A : (serious) I never committed that mistake again. In the sacred epic Mahabharata, Krishna said to the dying Duryodhana as an answer to a similar question. Do you know what he said?

Y : How would I know? I am born to a Muslim family!

A : Krishna spoke about humans in general not about Muslim or Hindu. I am also a Muslim. No one stopped me from reading or studying Hindu scriptures!

Y : OK. OK. Leave it. You are digressing from the subject. Tell me. What did he say to that dying man?

A : He said ‘No bad man is entirely bad and no good man is entirely good’.

Y : What does that mean? Does it mean that I am also a good man?

A : Yes, of course you are. But the fact is that you are destined to get what you deserve for your actions. Everything is for good. Remember only those moments in your life that made you and the people around you most happy.

Y : (thinking intently) I understand…

A : And you know dear friend? There were so many people supported you till your last moment. I am amazed at the cross section of the people who wanted to save you from the noose. May be due to some reasons which only they can explain. It was like a Court Room Drama in a Cinema climax! The Apex Court opened at the Brahma Muhurtam just to seal your fate by rejecting the final Mercy Plea, your last hope.

Y : What is that?

A : Brahma Muhurtam literally means “God’s Hour” in Hindu faith. And Hinduism is a way of life and not a religion. It is the last phase of the night and traditionally believed that during that time, one gets rejuvenated mentally and physically and become aware of the reality and become wise.

Y : (laughing loud) So, I have become wiser now?

A : Could be.

Y : I don’t know about “God’s Hour”. But I am definitely getting enlightened by talking to you.

A : You should be proud of one thing. You have really triggered a major debate and discussion regarding the need of such a capital punishment. People are trying to argue and say that we need to come out of those primitive ways of punishments which doesn’t actually stop crimes. It only increases the hatred.

Y : (smiling) So I have come of some use after my death at least. God save the country. And if I have a second life I would definitely try to keep away from all these non-sense and go around giving pardons from everyone so that I can get out of the vicious cycle.

A : Anyway, we have a lot of time to discuss these things and reflect on our doings we committed during our life time. Those reflections would decide which direction we go. Forward to higher realms or backward to the same realm to correct the mistakes we did. Here there is nobody to teach us. But if you are lucky, you might come across someone who could really be your master. Still, we just have to learn ourselves. Now let us try to meet others around… and occasionally don’t forget to enjoy the show down there from where we have come. Listen to what they say about us though it doesn’t really matter anymore. That might help us to understand the people next time.

Both slowly vanish into the bright light!