My son and I were lazily basking in the sun one Sunday forenoon. I was not feeling quite well after an episode of IBS the previous evening, and was reclining on a chair with my legs resting on another chair. The nine-year-old came up to me and placed himself comfortably on my stretched legs and tummy.
I said, “Dua, if you press me like that I shall die and go to heaven!”
Dua said “Heaven is a nice place. I have been there”.
“You? How on earth could you do that!”, I snapped back.
“Yeah, before we were born, we babies were living with God. I remember that quite well. We lived in a big bright hall, next to God’s room, where we spent most of our time playing.
“God has kept a room for Himself? Well, have you seen Him?”, I asked, quite interested at his story.
“Yeah, He occasionally comes to our room, but most of the time He remains in his room discussing heavenly matters with His office staff. He does not talk to us much except when it is absolutely necessary.”
“How does He look like?”, I asked inquisitively.
“He is shaped like a cube and wears a dark robe with golden designs from which light emanates. He does not have any legs or arms.”
Quite shaken by his absurd description of our Creator I said, “That’s quite a terrible shape! Were you not afraid of Him?”
“Not at all. He was very friendly with us. Besides, Archangel Azrail, the Angel of Death was always there to entertain us. He’s quite a lovely angel.”
Receiving a second shock I said, “The Angel of Death entertained you! Isn’t he a terrible creature?”
“He’s a handsome young man in white robes. He played with us so often. We were all fond of him.”
“Have you met Archangel Gabriel, or any of the other Archangels like Michael and Israfil?”
“Gabriel is a boring person. He remains busy with his works. He would frequent God in his room but hardly has any time or interest to play with us. Archangel Michael is the junior doctor there looking after the babies, and Archangel Israfil the senior doctor. Under them we have nurses with wings who take good care of us; they are angels. I didn’t see any wings on the Archangels; they might have small wings which could have been hidden under their robes.”
“What else did you do there?”.
“We would often be shown on a TV-like gadget pictures ofladies from Earth whom we’d love to have as mothers when we shall be born. We get to select our mothers. When Mamu’s face was flashed on the screen I immediately raised my arm to have her as my mother.”
Dua addresses his mother by her pet name, Mamu just as he calls me Baeboo.
“What made you choose Mamu as your mother?”, I asked, amused over his statement.
Dua replied, “As soon as I saw her face, I understood by intuition that she would be the one who shall love me the most.”
“You don’t get to choose your fathers?”
“Well, you noisy creatures must have been disturbing God at his work! Did He often need to come out and ask you to keep quiet?”
“We don’t speak or make sounds there. We communicate by telepathy. We can read each other’s minds and that does the talking.”
“Did you and your friends remain confined to your hall until you were born to some mother on Earth, or were you taken on trips too?”
“We were often taken on trips to Heaven and Hell. There are different gates for the two sites and you can get to see the words “Heaven” and “Hell” mentioned on the top of the gates.”
“But you were babies there and could hardly even walk properly. How could you go on trips like those?”
“Whentaken on these excursions we were made to grow older so that we could walk properly and understand what we were being shown. We were taken in a school bus-like vehicle but the wheels faced upwards.”
“A funny vehicle you have! Well, what did you see in Heaven and Hell?”
“In Hell, we saw bad people getting punishment for the wrongs they committed on earth. I have seen tongues being pulled out, and people thrown into fire. Once they die, they are made alive again and once more thrown into fire. Heaven is like a beautiful park. We used to play around. There are tables spreadall over, labelled by our names, each loaded with six bottles of milk. The milk is from our chosen mothers-to-be and we drank them whenever we felt like. There is also a Super-Hell for the very bad people and a Super-Heaven for the very good people. They are within the same campuses of Hell and Heaven respectively but in separate enclosures”.
“Are there other places to see?”
“Yes, there is a hall where the souls of people who have died come to stay for a while before God decides to put them into Heaven or Hell. We were sometimes taken there too. I met Paathere.”
Dua never met my sister. She passed away a year before he was born. He saw her pictures since babyhood and when he came of age, he nicknamed her Paa. Even as a baby he would stare at his Paa’s picture and smile or mutter something in his own words as if he had seen her before. He would often kiss her picture too.
Quite intrigued I continued, “How could you recognize your Paa when you had never seen her?”
“Over there we can recognize our own people right away. Paa loved me a lot. Whenever I visited her in her hall, she would hug me and kiss me.”
Bombarded with unexpected information, I decided to delve further.
“Well, what did you use to wear when you were with God?”
“Since we were kept as babies in our hall we were wrapped up in white sheets. When we were taken out on trips we were made to grow up a little bigger, around 12 years or so, and then we would automatically see ourselves in white trousers and a flowing shirt like a kurta.No one wore jeans there.”
“What about girls?”
“We didn’t have any girls with us. Probably they are kept separately”.
By now it was time for lunch, and Dua had to leave for his art classes soon after that. As soon as my wife sent our maid to call us for lunch, we hastily climbed down the stairs still submerged in the images of God’s office.
I asked Dua on our way down, “Are you telling the truth? Or did you just confound me with a story?”
“It was all lies!” shouted Dua as he rushed past me to hug his mother.
When Duahad left for his art classes with his mother I pondered. Could this narration with all its intricate details be pushed aside as only a figment of imagination by a nine-year-old? With practically no lessons on religion either at home or at school could a child of his age compose a story with ideas that are to be found in the Abrahamic religious books plus other details that are not be found anywhere? The cuboid nature of God with black robes embellished with golden designs could well be an impression left in the brain duringDua’s pilgrimage to Makkah at age 1 year and 2 months, where he saw the cuboid shaped Kaaba covered in dark tapestry with golden motif. But how do you explain the rest of the details complete with Archangels, choosing of mothers, the purgatory, heaven and hell?
Today when I was typing this article on my computer Dua looked over my shoulder and saw that it was about what he had said the other day.
He said, “Why are you typing all that I said? Will you publish it?”
“Yeah”, I said, “I thought I should share this information with other people too. Well, just tell me again, did you really lie or was all that stuff true?”
Dua quipped, “The other day I was just fooling you by saying that I told lies! I actually spoke the truth. You will realize this later when you will die and go to God!”