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Don’t you all wonder what happens after death? Oh I need not wonder about it as you come to me after you die. You think that birth and death are destined, but I think otherwise. Your birth and death are not destined, but they are assigned; assigned by me – the Almighty. I have this peculiar habit of writing down everything that happens around me. My each and every day is like an episode. I am the sole writer present here in Hellven. Hellven – a place between heaven and hell – and thus I go by the pseudonym I have been given, of Blogger Almighty, as bloggers write!
I know! Human beings are strange!
I meet so many people in a day. My job is to take care of the western part of India and my largest client is Mumbai city. Each day so many people are born here and equal number of them die. I meet only those who are happy that they are dead (less work for me) and avoid those who don't want to be dead yet (they are a pain, trust me!).
I remember meeting one such interesting person – Duplicate. Sadly though, Duplicate came to me when he was 14. He died at such a young age – at the age when he might not even have thought of a life after death. He was all smiles after looking at his white and cleans robes. I would not blame him. All his life, he had lived in ragged clothes; thus our standard and boring robes were heaven for him. Humans!
Duplicate was full of curiosity and innocence. Something about him made me curious too to know about his life story. He started narrating:
It was a typical Mumbai monsoon evening when my mother went into labor. She did not have enough money to go to a private nursing home located at the end of the street where we had our hut on the Tulsi Pipe Road footpath. She was a poor beggar and lived off the food provided by those traveling in the swanky cars while the money was soaked up by dad’s liquor. She already had had four children before, but two of whom had died within one year of their birth So I was the latest one, to add to the species of beggars in the city.
My birth was the worst thing that must have happened to my mother physically. (Irony eh?) It was raining cats and dogs. Floods made the situation worse for us. There was traffic and chaos all around us. Mother could not go to any hospital and delivered me on the street under a big hoarding. The hoarding was that of a movie – Duplicate – thus the name. Mother died after a few hours of by my birth due to lack of medical attention. I don’t even know whether I had had her milk or not, but my attachment to her was nil (well except the cord) because she had given me this horrible life.
Since the time I remember, I always slept on a half empty stomach I rarely remember having a decent meal at night. I envied kids of my age who went to school and I started with small jobs, begging and sometimes stealing at the age of 7! My first ever brush with the cops was at 9. A failed pick-pocket attempt saw me getting beaten black and blue by the mob and then a night spent behind the bars. That one night in hell made me resolve not to commit any more crimes in my life.
I decided to earn a respectable life for myself. I enrolled in the local government school but the clerks demanded extra money for admission! You tell me, Blogger Almighty, how I could have afforded an extra thousand rupees?
My father was an alcoholic and used to be ill most of the the time. He hardly ever went to work, and lived off the meager earnings of my two sisters and I. My sisters used to work in the local factory manufacturing plastic dolls. They had to work long-hours, in a dim-lit small room along with 100 other girls. They soon contracted some skin disease. May be the plastic was poisonous. My sisters died of skin cancer at a young age, without any treatment.
I was 12 years when I met Ramlal, the local drug mafia. All of us were extremely afraid of him because he would befriend kids, give them some medicinal pills and take them away. They would never be seen again. He noticed me at the traffic signal and asked me to meet him the next day. I was trembling all throughout our meeting. I had made up my mind to tell him that I had resolved not to go down the dark alley of crimes ever in my life again. He asked me my problems and listened patiently. I was wondering why he took so much interest in my life.
I did not have to wait long to find out. In that dark room, He did God-forbidden things to me and my body. “You are a good-looking young boy,” he told me. “From now on, I shall pay for your education, so that you grow up to be a bright young man. But you must not tell about this to anyone”
But this promise was not to be kept. Ramlal died after a few months, of some dangerous disease. Nobody was willing to talk about the cause of his death.
My life as a footpath-dweller, child laborer and beggar continued. Slowly, my health deteriorated. I started getting fatigued easily. Finally, I decided to visit the local doctor. “Go to the health clinic tomorrow and get these tests done. Don’t worry, they will do it for free,” was his hurried advice after examining me. He behaved as if I had contracted some contagious germ.
After the test results, I knew why Ramlal died. I also knew that my end was nearing too. Ramlal had given me the virus which will kill me eventually and then, bring me to you.
After hearing his tragic story, I immediately knew that it was time for me to do something about it. Mankind has been continuing like this for ages now, and if serious strictures are not passed now, time is not far away when they will regret taking birth itself.
- Thou Shall ensure free and quality medical treatment for all.
- Thou Shall ensure that no mother dies during child birth because of lack of medical treatment.
- Thou Shall ensure proper nutrition for all children and bring down infant mortality rate.
- Thou shall ensure protection and preservation of the environment.
- Thou shall ban plastic and all toxic, non-bio-degradable waste.
- Thou shall ensure access to food for all.
- Thou shall ensure free and quality education for all.
- Thou shall not indulge in or encourage corruption.
- Thou shall implement laws to prohibit child labor.
- Thou shall bring in and strictly implement laws regarding sexual offenses .
- Thou shall bring down HIV AIDS contamination through awareness and prevention.
- Thou shall condemn substance abuse.