BLUE GODS traces the story of a young MIT Graduate, Aadhya, who searches for the answer to the ultimate question “Who is God and where did he come from?”. On his truth-seeking journey are two souls who fates are inter-twined with his. Does he really find out the ultimate truth. Read On…
(This is a purely fictional story and does not bear any resemblance to any person living or dead and is NOT intended to hurt anybody’s faith or sentiments.)
“Ouch”, I let out a startled cry clutching my temple. What the hell..
“What is this?”, questioned my mother pointing towards the book that had been used as a target missile towards my head.
“A book” I replied calmly knowing the fact that the storm that was brewing inside my mother could wreck my whole day.
“Aren’t you ashamed?” spoke my mother harshly.
“No. Especially not if it is on
best selling book map” I replied casually. India
“Your father would be so proud of you if he was here” she replied sarcastically.
“Nine Gates. What a title?” she smirked. “Don’t know why you have to use gods’ name for earning money”
“Amma, listen”, I took my mom’s right hand and stroked her right hand gently. “Calm down. It is a very simple book. It just speaks about a guy who has to see Lord Vishnu after traveling through the nine gates of Vaikuntam to plead the case of returning his dead girl friend”
“What a crap story?” she spoke again. “I just cannot believe the youth of today are reading your crap book and it is on the best seller list also”
“Amma, I have already garnered a huge amount of..”, my mom covered my mouth. She recited some quick prayer and finished it with “Om Namo Narayana” words.
“Never speak about making money and that too with God’s name” she quite literally threatened me.
“Amma”, I raised my voice a little. “Let me complete what I wanted to say. Don’t pre-assume. I just wanted to say people have liked my book so much that I have garnered a huge amount of respect”
My mom let out a sigh of relief.
“Amma, youth of today are trying to explore our religion, our gods and anything radical like a fictional or mystical story is well received with great enthusiasm”, I reasoned.
“Talk about your crap ideas and conspiracy theories to some stupid person. I totally believe in our divine Lord Vishnu and nobody dare question my faith”
Com’on mom.. Look at the other side of the story..
“And speaking of stupid people, here is one” she handed an inland letter to me. I took the letter and turned it around for the sender name and address.
Acharya Yohan!! Oh my God!! I split open the letter hurriedly and read through it contents.
I hope this letter finds you hale and healthy. It would be my pleasure to discuss whatever questions you might have. Please do provide us the pleasure of having you as our guest.
Looking forward to meet you soon.
P.S: A nice start to an enterprising career for a Harvard MBA. Wish you all the very best”
“Somebody important?” questioned my mother.
I nodded my head absent-mindedly as I re-read the letter again. “Amma, I am going to Sankarankoil” I declared as my mom stared at me as if I had spoken the craziest thing ever.
Finally, I was going to meet the man who could provide me answers for all the questions that I have. Literally all my questions!!
I scanned through the ten names in the list stuck outside the second class A/C compartment. Not again.. I had never understood why not even one beautiful girl would, by chance, book a ticket closer to my seat. It always has to be a crying baby, some oldies or even worse a happy young couple.
As I trudged my heavy travel bag inside the compartment I could hear wails and cries of a many small kids. Not again!! To my surprise my seat lay far removed from the kids and their noisy families.
The two-seater berths were my favorite and I could pull over a screen without being disturbed by vendors or kids. Strangely my co-passenger seemed to be absent for the journey. As I stretched my tired neck and legs and looked out of the double glassed window, I could see hawkers, vendors, hordes of people walking through the crowded platform. The air-conditioner in the apartment started whizzing around, supplying copious amount of chilled air as my drowsiness swept me into a weird dream.
Where were you my son? spoke my dad. He was clothed in a white pyjama and looked healthier than the pics I had seen him in. Come to appa.. he spoke again. Suddenly I heard call out from a deep well besides us.
“Is this seat taken?” I ignored the call and continued staring at my father. My father stepped closer and ruffled my hair like the good old days. Appa….
Beads of sweat ran past my face as I sat back in my seat. I looked towards the long end of the corridor around to see if anybody had called me.
“Can I atleast take my seat now?” spoke an angel like girl standing next to me. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Her brownish-golden skin radiated with the light streaming in from the tubelight above us. Her round face, her doe-shaped eye contrastingly matched with her thin lips. The prominent golden bindi adorned her forehead along with a slash of kum-kum right above her eyebrows.
As she sat down next to me her perfumed hair bristled in the flow of the air-conditioned air. She pushed her bag beneath her seat and adjusted the tee and her jean and pushed back the seat to make it into a chair.
“Apsara” I murmured. Would she have heard it?
She smiled gently as she grabbed a book from her bag and started flipping through its pages. I just could not keep my eyes off her. I looked at the book in her hand and my heart skipped a beat.
“What are you staring at?” came a cold response from the other end of the seat.
“Nothing. Nice book” I tried to shower some praises on myself.
“Ya. Decent read” she quipped nonchalantly and started reading through the book. The next four hours passed treacherously slow as she briskly covered through half the book engrossed deeply in her read, as I tried to unsuccessfully to catch up with some sleep and finally opened my huge dinner box stuff to the brim with curd rice. I could eat it for a minimum of three days!
“I can eat that if you don’t want it” the angel spoke looking at my disgusted face.
“Gladly” I stretched out my dinner box. She took a spoonful of curd rice with a slice of the mango pickle and swallowed it with great delight.
“Hi, I am Aadhya” I introduced myself.
“Aadhya Vasudevan” she spelt out my full name pointing the back of the book to me.
“Did you.. then why..” the words seemed to be stuck in my throat.
“I must admit, you have a decent flair for writing”, she spoke as if she was a book critic on a NDTV show. “Your thought process is good but you need more imagination with words.”
“I purposely keep it simple for my audience” I explained.
“That would be like cloaking your disability with a reason. Ordinary people can understand high funda words through context” she replied poking a deep hole in my ego.
I looked down dejectedly as that was the first time in many years that somebody had run through me. I had faced even the critics better on many TV shows. One hell of a girl!
“Have you written any novels or books?” I tried to open up the play ready to attack her at her slightest mistake.
“No” she nodded. As I tried to get into the mode of attack, she continued, “Being a PhD in English literature, I don’t have much time or energy to write imaginative books like you. I am just devoted to my college and students”
PhD in English Literature.. Holy Cow!! Suddenly my mind swung into motion. “Will you be my script-editor?” I questioned her with a small tinge of hope.
She shook her head, “As I told you before, I don’t have the time”. My last piece of hope had been crushed.
“But, I can read through your manuscript and suggest my opinions if you would want” she replied.
“Done. I will send you my next story as soon I finish it”, I replied with a sense of gratitude.
“What are you writing upon?” she questioned.
“It’s about a conspiracy theory that may shake the fundamental outlook of human life” I replied trying to advertise the story strongly.
“Seems interesting. Tell me more about it” she replied wanting to know more.
“I have a vague idea of the story I want to write. It is still not developed well” I tried to induce a sense of secrecy into my story.
“I am not going to tell anyone” she joked.
“Nah. I need to collect more information for even starting with my story” I tried to fend her off.
“Oh com’on. It seems to be like a Vijay or an Ajith movie. All hype no story” she tried to provoke me further.
“Ok” I collected myself, “It is about gods and their origin”.
She let out a deep sigh of disappointment. “I thought it would be something interesting like a world inside earth’s core or like life at venus”
I let out a laugh. What a crap idea..
“Those are nice suggestions” I replied. “But think about it for a second. Where did gods come from?” I questioned her.
“Hmm.. that really is a tough question” she replied. “According to many Hindu texts gods took many avatars and was born as a common man.”
“Agreed. Apart from God’s avatars there were many great men who were born in different ages like Parashuram or many other sages and warriors. What differentiated these men from Gods?”
“Gods were indeed special because..” he voice trailed off. “Because they came down from heaven to help us in our time of need, when evil took over human life.”
“Now, you are speaking like a teacher, trying to deviate away from the question” I tried to tease her. She smiled sheepishly.
“Ok then, let us move to main topic. Where did gods come from?” I repeated my earlier question.
“Heaven” she replied instantly.
“Look out of the window and tell me if you can find heaven” I replied jokingly. She face hardened and a cold stare crashed into my eyes.
“Hey.. relax. I am not questioning your faith. I am just trying to reason out with you” I tried to pacify her.
“Aadhya, there are many things in this world that cannot be defined by physics like gravity or human soul or how this universe was created” she spoke.
“Have you not heard about God’s particle?” I questioned.
“As much as I believe in humans relating to modern development, I do believe in God and his control over various forces of nature,” she replied.
“I believe we have gone off-track again” I smiled. “The question that I am searching for answer is where do Gods come from?”
She smiled, “Let me hear your theory”.
“Unfortunately you would have to spend two hundred and fifty bucks for it” I smiled.
“So you don’t know about it and you expect me to answer that” she replied with a mock angriness showering her face.
“I just wanted to hear your opinions” I replied coolly.
“Ok. I have had enough for one night. I am going to complete your book and if it is not good…” she let her threat hang in mid air as she climbed to the upper berth and switched off the main light and switching on her mini-light atop her head.
“Am sorry” I whispered to her, “I didn’t catch your name”
“Because I didn’t say it” she replied sarcastically and I could feel my entire nose falling off my face akin to one of the heroes in the movie Boyz.
I groggily half-opened my eyes trying to make some sense of the small commotion happening beside me. What a beauty!!
The angel had turned into a heavenly goddess. The crisp dark green saree with golden border shone brilliantly in the soft blue light. The hair was tightly braided with a hair jewel and a crisp golden bindi still adorned her forehead. Wish I could just keep looking at her.
“Whom are you admiring?” she spoke.
I didn’t want to be snubbed again and kept quiet, as turned my back to her.
“I thought you wanted to get down at Shankarankoil”, she spoke again. “The train will make an unscheduled stop at the signal for two minutes”
“See” I turned and pointed at her “I don’t want your help”.
“Ah.. Didn’t know you would get angry for such a small thing. You can call me Jessie” she spoke more sarcastically.
I smiled. I would certainly like to play your game. “So why will the train make an unscheduled stop? And how the hell do you know I am going to Shankarankoil?”
She placed her hands on her hips and stared at me as if I had asked her about some holy grail. “I know the station master very well and I called him to tell him that I am coming and as for the other part you will get to know when the time comes” she replied in more riddles.
“What if I don’t want to get down?” I questioned her teasingly.
“It’s up to you. Archarya Yohan will be waiting for you” she shot a reply and vanished towards the door.
How the hell.. did she know?
I quickly checked the time and packed my bags and headed to the main door and stood right behind her. Who would wake up before four AM and wear a beautiful saree to get down a train in middle of no-where. Complete madness.
For some strange reason the train slowed down gradually before coming to a grinding halt. She alighted carefully down the steps with expert skill. Nowadays girls don’t even know how to dress in a saree and here was one who had alighted the big steps of train like a pro.
“You can think later. Now get down before the train starts again” she commanded. I stood right there. My heart wanted to follow Jessie but mind was alert to the trap I was falling into.
Suddenly the train jerked forward and I lost my footing and fell down. I lost track of Jessie and the train picked up some speed. I quickly picked up myself and peered out of the main door to see Jessie. Damn, why the hell was she laughing?
In the most stupid move of my life I slung my bag across my shoulder and climbed down the steps of the moving train and land with a thud on the grassy banks.
“You are crazy” spoke Jessie as quickly walked up to me. “Follow me” she spoke as she expertly guided us through the bushes to the platform and then to the station master’s room.
“Peripa” she called out to the old man sitting behind an old desk.
“Oh my god. Why are you so late? I thought you were not coming in today’s train and was making plans to stop the train again tomorrow” he spoke in a relived tone.
“Meet the person who delayed our trip” she introduced me.
“Hi, I am Aadhya” I came forward to shake my hands with the pleasant man with bald head who seemed to be in early fifties.
“Ah, Srini would be happy to see you” he spoke in more riddles. I just shook my head not knowing what was happening there and was all ready to use my black belt skill set if the situation demanded so.
The old man dialed a number and called out a cab driver who took our bags to his taxi. I thanked the old man and followed Jessie.
As we sat comfortably in the back seat of the white ambassador car, the driver spoke in whisper to Jessie. Kidnap plan.
“What did he say?” I spoke with a concerned look.
She smiled gently. “Are you afraid that we will kidnap you?”
“I don’t think you can even match my black belt prowess” I spoke with more bravado than I usually would, trying to scare her off.
She roared with laughter and asked to driver to start towards whatever destination they both had discussed.
“He just asked me to give him twenty rupees more than usual” she spoke through her giggles. She just couldn’t stop giggling making me feel more stupid than ever in my life. I had just been snubbed, made to get off a moving train in complete darkness and was following a girl to a destination which I didn’t know off. There was something between us. A strange connection.. her beautiful eyes had literally mesmerized me!!.
The cab wound into a mud road lane with beautiful old houses lined up on both sides and slowly made a stop in front of a newly painted home. As the driver dragged our bags from the trunk, the front verandah of the house came to light with two light bulbs being switched on simultaneously.
The front gate of the home opened and Acharya Yohan came out. “Hi Aadhya, Come in” he welcomed me into the home. As I recovered from the mini-shock, I took out my purse to pay the driver. The driver signaled at Jessie and spoke, “Amma has paid” and bade good bye to all of us.
As I turned towards the verandah of the home, I saw Jessie falling at Acharya’s feet. Another knowledge seeker.
“You are big girl, sweet heart. Please don’t fall at my feet. All humans are equal” he spoke as he hugged Jessie as I stood bewildered.
“I forgot to introduce you to my daughter” spoke Acharya, “This is my daughter, Bhargavi Srinivasan.”
“And you look beautiful like your mom in the green saree” she spoke to his daughter. Bhargavi’s face beamed with great pride. Ah, that’s why she took the pains to wear a saree in the middle of the night.
Jessie… Bhargavi.. What a sweet name. I would have married a Christian too if she was this beautiful but things had become simpler for me or so I thought.
Bhargavi winked at me as she picked my bag and led me to small room towards the back of the huge home. “This is your room. Take some rest and call me if you need anything”
“So you knew that I was the one meeting your dad and you switched seats and literally coerced me to come with you in the dark” I spoke, finally deciphering all the mystery surrounding me.
“You ought to have been hired for the CIA” she replied sarcastically. “I have woken you up in the middle of your sleep. So sleep well.” she spoke as she walked towards the switch-board to switch off the tube-light.
“Hey Jessie.. I mean Bhargavi” I called out. “Did you like the book?”
She smiled beautifully and gazed deeply into my eyes and suddenly switched off the light and closed the door. What a beauty!! She likes me!!
“How can people sleep for half a day and wake up in the afternoon?” Bhargavi questioned scornfully.
“I was tired” I replied glumly.
“It is so strange that my father didn’t even say a word. If it was me, he would have ripped my skin off” she tried to scare me.
“I am so scared” I whispered in her ear. She giggled childishly.
The head priest glared at us as he offered us the traditional kum-kum of the goddess. “Is this the new boy?” he questioned Bhargavi as if I were invisible to his eyes.
Bhargavi nodded as she led me to the main lord. “Actually we should all visit the Goddess first and get her permission before we get darshan of the main lord” I nodded quietly.
“So what does that mean?”. Her eyes questioned me mischievously.
“That, it is the men who should be fighting for 33% reservation” I joked.
She laughed out loud, drawing glares from the people around. Suddenly the drums and nadeswarams blared drawing everybody’s attention as hordes of people ran towards the main deity, Lord Shankara-Narayanan.
Bhargavi motioned me to follow her through a closer entrance where a guard stood firmly not allowing any worshippers near the special gate. He quickly opened the gate for Bhargavi and me and we stood as close to the lord as we could. The screen between the devotees and God was still drawn on while I could hear the priest chanting mantras in a furiously high pitch.
“You are blessed to see this lord. You would never have seen a God like this” Bhargavi whispered.
As the priest lifted the screen, Lord Shankara-Narayanan imposed himself in the eyes of all the devotees.
Om Namah Shivaay”
Om Namo Narayana”
The chants ranted through the temple as I slowly understood what Bhargavi had meant. Lord Shiva or Shankara and Lord Vishnu or Narayanan had amalgamated together to form this amazing god whose one half resembled Shiva and the other Vishnu. The Shiva was his blue self while the Vishnu’s half had four hands holding conch and the other weapons.
“Why don’t you ask the God what you had asked me?” she whispered again with her voice drowning in all the noise around us.
“What?” I spoke absent-mindedly still struck by the Lord’s grandeur and immense power as the goose bumps on my hands and back of my neck revealed.
“That who he was and where did he come from?” she spoke without blinking an eye.
I smiled sheepishly. With such a grand darshan of the Lord, was this an important question at all?
“It doesn’t matter right?” she spoke literally reading my mind.
We walked through to the main door and put on our slippers and were ready to walk home when Bhargavi suddenly removed her slippers and ran inside the temple, “Forgot to feed the elephant. Back in a minute” she shouted as she ran quickly.
One thing about girls was that one could never guess what they would do in a quick snap of time.
“How can a creature with four or more hands, blue colored body or with a animal head be considered as God or be a part of human system, right?” hissed a hooded figure.
I literally fell off from the impact of that question.
“Who the hell are you?” I literally screamed at the hooded figure.
“Don’t worry about that” he hissed again. “Run away and save your life” he warned harshly.
Suddenly Bhargavi came running in and was very surprised to see my horror stricken face. “What happened?”
“The hooded figure..” I turned around to find not a single soul around me for nearly forty yards. Holy God!!
Who the hell was he and how did he know my question?
Click HERE for next part.