A Date with Omega – Part 1
“Why are we here?”
“Why do people die?”
“What is the time and date in your watch?”
“How old are you really?”
He had been sitting at his study desk for an hour now and that’s all he could come up with. “Come on, you’re better than that”, he thought to himself. “I’ve got to put him in the spot.”
This was perhaps the most defining moment of his career. That one opportunity to create a magnum opus, other journalists would give an arm and leg for. “Or even sell their soul for…”, he thought out aloud with a hearty laugh, marveling at his own sense of humour. Yes, this was the moment he’d been waiting for. This. “I’m going to make this one THE historic event they’ll speak of for centuries. I can already see headlines – The Almighty, Arjun Swami”. He laughed again.
“Besides”, he murmured to himself, watching his cat leave the room, “I’m tired of listening to those religious pundits and soothsayers like they’ve always known for years. This should settle the score and refresh those otherwise traditional conservative beliefs… if they really are traditional and conservative after Wednesday, that is.” He gripped his pen tighter realizing he maybe in for a shake up of his beliefs as well.
It was by far the most extraordinary week he’d had. Last Thursday he received an email from God. In the email, God said he’d like to oblige to Arjun’s request and grant him the interview. God specifically mentioned he’d been busy a lot lately and it was only fair to make time and grant him the audience.
Just yesterday, the IT forensics team had come up with the report that the email was truly from an unidentifiable untraceable IP Address, completely off the grid. It had an embedded coding that was causing “system errors” on supercomputers. The Western States as always were still analyzing the data, maybe trying to the find the “terrorism” angle and perhaps planning to invade the Studio premises. “Just what I need, more publicity before the day”, muttered Arjun, while pouring himself another peg of bourbon whiskey.
He glanced at the wall clock. It was half past midnight. Just 10 hours ago he had been called into the Producer’s office. Some members of the Board were there too. They were discussing sponsorship revenues and media campaigns for the scheduled show. There was going to be an elaborate stream of stories with guest speakers from politics, religious groups, NGOs and major corporate. All these stories would create the lead upto the main event – the Interview with God on Wednesday night primetime.
Almost every hour the broadcasting centre received threats – sometimes on emails, sometimes through a smashed window on a paper wrapped around a brick. “Such drama” … The Board had decided to record and telecast the show from a secret location. Arjun wasn’t to be informed until the last minute. They had assumed God would know anyways how to get there.
As he took another sip of the bourbon, he couldn’t help but wonder what Avatar would God present himself (or herself) in. Would he look like an Old Wise Man, a handsome guy or perhaps like an ordinary average homeless man – just to mock preconceived notions? Why… what if God chose to look like Miss Universe?
“But I can’t distract myself from my mission. The truth. In true journalist style.” Arjun thought to himself. “Appearances I don’t care for much. I’m going to be prepared to corner him – we deserve to know what’s on his mind.”
“Of course”, he leaned back in his chair looking up at the ceiling, “if he is a fake, I’ve got to still make it sensational and get the expose at the final moments of the show.” The Producers were banking on this one for their once-in-a-lifetime zillion dollar opportunity.
But there was little reason to believe the email from God was fake.
Since the email came in, there was a frenzy of divine sightings and miracles being reported from the world over. From monks levitating and having visions to some reports of sight being restored in the blind to hovering images of Christ and Krishna in synagogues to even some reports of UFOs and strange lights at Mt.Fuji. Everything was happening at once. Even if these occurrences were to be discounted as coincidences, the sheer number of reports coming in was overwhelming to say the least.
One thing that a hardened journalist like Arjun noticed right away – there were no doomsday messages, no “the end is near” march on the streets or even disasters or calamities being reported. In general the world was getting happy and shedding a blissful tear for faith and prayers were being answered.
“Ha. He’s upto his antics just like a mediaperson. He’s putting up quite a show. Managing his own TRPs leading upto the event.” Arjun leaned back over his desk, pen in hand. “But I’m going to ask you questions which may or may not rattle you, but surely will your followers. And since you’re going to be in human form, you will be subject to limitations of human emotions my friend.”
“Why do you cause pain and suffering?”
“Why do you create natural calamities?”
“How would you like to be called a mass murderer?” – as he wrote this down he felt his hand shiver. Memories of his coverage of MH 370, the Srinagar floods, the Japan Tsunami and several other stories flashed in his mind. Not to mention the numerous lives he had reported lost due to the war in Middle East.
The watch beeped. It was an hour past midnight.
He closed the notepad and swigged the last sip of his whiskey. The morning was going to be quite hectic.
End of Part 1.