All I Wanted To Know !

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Being an inquisitive 9 year old, I was always confused about the concept of heaven and hell. If both existed why couldn't we see it? How will I know in advance where I will go? And can we come back to earth if we want to sometimes, like Mahabali does once in a year Or is that only for privileged persons and VVIPs? I knew a person who had the answer for it all, Ammoomma. She knew everything. She knew how Vamanan had killed Mahabali. So logically she ought to know how it was at hell and heaven. So I decided to ask the knowledgeable one.

Ammomma was sitting on the portico singing her bhajans as she always does in the evening. There was a light breeze outside. The hibiscus leaves rustled. Its flowers had just been sacrificed in the puja room.The light jasmine fragrance of burning incense floated in the air. I went and laid my head on Ammoomma's lap.

'Ammomme... Ammmomme... Ee swargavum narakvum evideya?' (where is heaven and hell?) 'Where will I go when I die?' 
'So Appumon, wants to hear about heaven and hell. Let me tell you a story',

And she started telling a fable about the man who lived without hurting a living thing in his life. But he was not admitted in heaven because of his arrogance and bad boy attitude. She told me that the heavens where in the sky very far away from what our eyes could see and that hell was deep underground.
'Wow!! like I didn't know that before', I thought. Just wasted my time asking her. I should find out myself.

Finally after hours of thinking. I came upon a great plan. I will die and then I will know where I will go. Then I will enter into a pact with the Gatekeeper and get a parole to earth every now and then. So firmly focusing on the idea. I decided to die.The hard part was how to die. I didn't want it to be painful.
Lorry - unchecked (no body left if I want to come back on parole),
hanging - unchecked (won't look good when photo comes),
Vein Cutting- No (Out of fashion);
Yes, that's it! I will drown myself. I will be taking a bath and dying at the same time. And drinking water has not been painful so far and thus I will have a great death.

So I decided to die when father was bathing, mom was cleaning the kitchen and ammomma was snoring. And the place where I drown, will be our fish pond. I has fallen into it accidentally three years back and had almost drowned and my Dad had saved me. I was still afraid of the place that I never used to go near it.

The time at last dawned when father was bathing, mom was cleaning the kitchen and amoomma was snoring. I made way quietly outside. I made sure I walked out of the lights so that nobody saw me (thank god for spy movies). I reached the edge of the pond. Only eerie silence accompanied me.

Suddenly a sound came from behind. My heart jumped into my mouth. I was convinced that it was a aathma of some poor chap who had drowned her earlier. I turned back. A big mean frog was sitting there watching me with mean, evil eyes. I took a stone and threw at it with the accuracy of Agarkar's attempt at the wickets. The stone bounced off the ground, leaving the frog unhurt and more importantly he was mad.
The frog jumped towards me and sat on my leg...

I expected the gloominess to settle soon. That's when I realized I could breathe under water. I opened my eyes and saw that I was standing with the water till my chest. Sure I had grown fast in three years and I had not considered my rate of growth over time. Darn .. I was always bad at maths.

I could see the damn frog swimming to the shore. @##$@#$%$% FROG
I climbed out of the pond and decide to end my expeditions for the night. I limped to the house, as I had hurt my leg on a rock while falling. I entered the nice clean house with white flooring, drenched in water , mud on my feet and lilies on my head.

At first sight Mom got afraid on seeing me and let out a faint scream. After my reassurance she sat down. By the time Dad had come down and Ammomma was standing there in shock.

Dad finally asked me what had happened after a few moments of deadly silence. I opened my mouth to say that I had gone to die, when my super intelligent brain interrupted the conversation considering all the factors and deciding that I would be grounded for life if I said so.
The tongue automatically twisted the other way and said, 'I got afraid when a frog jumped at me and I fell into the pond'. My Face put on the crying, innocent expression.

The expression didn't have any effect on Mom. She pinched me hard on my arm. 'Aaaaaaaaa...', I went on like a broken CD player. The house was filled with my song and Mom had gone all guns blazing as to who told me to go to the pond at this time.

It was good that Dad thought I have had enough for one day and broke the connection between my Moms fingers and my throbbing arm. Mom didn't allow me into the room. I had to take bath in the tap outside the house in the cold, with a twitching arm and an injured leg.

Next morning I woke up with a cold. The good thing was that I didn't have to go to school and I got enough time to think over the dying thing. Dying was never a bright idea, I finally decided. I would never be able to taste these pazhampori's (banana bajji) that Mom makes if I die. I had got my reason. And the confusion over heaven and hell can wait for another 80 years or so. :)

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