Alok came home, tired, exhausted and pissed.
What’s wrong? asked Rashmi. Battle weary already? It was the first day of the great war. Alok was the charioteer of one of the greatest warrior Karun, besides being a master strategist himself. Rashmi, Alok’s wife.
No yaar. This isn’t the first war I’m fighting. Phir? asked Rashmi.
Alok: Yaar you know how preparations for the war began months back right?
Alliances were being formed, so much money spent on resources, soldiers/weapons etc. Everyone knew about the war for months. Some papers are describing this as the greatest war ever.
Rashmi: You know Alok, one of your problems is, you’re too long winded. You write books where just a few sentences would do. Can you please come to the point?
Alok: The point is, Karun is a fucking fool.
Rashmi: I’m waiting…
Alok: So both the armies are lined up on the battle field, the guy who blows the war horn is looking everywhere nervously, and this Chutiya suddenly had a philosophical crisis. ‘I’m not sure if I want to fight’ he says.
Rashmi: What?????? Also, easy on the expletives please. Do us all a favour and use expletives based on your own organs.
Alok: Acha yaar. I don’t think slurs are something feminists ought to fret over. But we digress.
Rashmi: Self serving much? Like all your other theories. But please continue.
Alok: He said he doesn’t want to fight, he doesn’t feel right about killing his cousins for land etc.
Rashmi: *Interjects* he’s not wrong.
Alok: Sure. Par ye saari baat wahan khade hoke hi yaad aayi? They didn’t become his relatives this morning. The war wasn’t announced this morning. The entire army is banking on him. What stopped him from saying sorry boss, I’m not doing this last night? Ye nek khayaal pehle kyun nahin aaye?
There I was wearing my armour, worrying about the day and this guy starts saying all this. You can’t complain about how cricket is a futile game once you’re on the crease facing the bowler.
Rashmi: War isn’t a game, and anytime is a good time to say I don’t want to kill. Phir Kya hua?
Alok: You know, Karun isn’t a fool. I personally feel he was only too eager to kill. Just wanted someone to split his guilt with him. If not, if one month back he had said I’m not fighting, there would be no war happening today. When there are millions of soldiers standing to die for you, many believing they will win only because the famous Karun is fighting from their side, you can’t start talking this nonsense. If he had backed off today, everyone would have continued with the war. The difference being that the forces would have felt betrayed, they would have thought their leader a coward and many more of our men would have died. He didn’t have the right to have self doubts at this juncture for fuck’s sake.
Rashmi: So you talked sense into him?
Alok: Not really. I talked nonsense into him. As the great Amitabh Bachchan said in Agneepath, ‘Jawaab usi bhaasha mein dena chahiye jismein sawaal poocha gaya ho’ Bhaasha was chutiyaap and chutiyaap I spoke with a serving of extra cheese.
Alok: I told him he should do what he has to do without care for results or consequence. Actions matter, results don’t.
Rashmi: What? And he bought this crap? Aren’t all actions towards intended results?
Alok: *Sheepish grin on his face* Well not at first.
Rashmi: Oh dear. What did you do now?
Alok: Well, you know how I’ve bluffed my way out of life don’t you?
Rashmi: Yes, unfortunately I do.
Alok: A lesson I realised early in life was, great bluffs sometimes need props, assistance.
Rashmi: What did you do?
Alok: I lit a joint. Finest hash from kasaul.
Rashmi: And that was that?
Rashmi: Will you please end the tease!!!!! What happened then?
Alok: Well. I gave him more of the consequences don’t matter, action does bull. I asked him, what’s your caste bhai? He said kshatriya.
I said dude, you were born to fight man. Kshatriyas fight. Punjabis drink, etc. I told him how famous he would be after this. Bhai tu Bhai hai bhai.
Alok: He still didn’t buy it completely. I told myself I need to up the ante. So I threw at him the biggest bluff ever thought of.
I told him I was God.
Rashmi: YOU DID WHAT??!!!!
Alok: It was a stressful situation. I couldn’t come up with anything else!!
Rashmi: Again, he bought it? Didn’t he say well if you’re God why don’t you just transport the other side to fucking Antartica? Or simply change their minds??? Cast a memory changing spell Harry Potter style? Create more land, everyone goes home happily ever after?
A: No man. He was too stoned by this time.
Rashmi: Dear lord Alok. Thank god you don’t really believe you *are* God. You might just convince yourself. What *did* he say?
Alok: I said dude, I’m God, this war is pre-destined, it is my will , you just have to do your thing, you’re powerless. He was like. I’m sorry God. I am really powerless, please forgive me. He was only too eager to believe that he was powerless actually. Isn’t everyone? Everyone likes to think ‘we’re just puppets’. Fate, destiny, God. People invent excellent excuses to shift blame for their actions.
Rashmi: I don’t even…
Alok: Oh c’mon, people believe far more absurd things when they’re not stoned and this poor guy was on hash.
So he bought it. And we went to battle.
Rashmi: Wasn’t anyone else listening?
Alok: No, I made sure no one was. Don’t want anyone else believing the consequences don’t matter, you are powerless crap. I can’t imagine the things people will justify if they start believing in this.
Don’t think anyone else would have bought me being God though. I mean it’s just ridiculous.
Rashmi: after today, I won’t be surprised at anything people believe. And you, you should have been a lawyer.
From outside the door, Sanjay, the butler quietly tiptoed away.
(C) Dushyant Arora 2014