--BY MADAN LAMSAL
Once upon a time, there was a Prime Minister of a country. He wanted to see, while he was still alive, what Heaven looked like. So, one day he went there and knocked on the door to Heaven. After sometime, a doorman opened the door and asked him – “Who are you and why are you here?”
The PM replied, “I am the Prime Minister of a country. As I am doing a great job in my country, I hope I will get a berth here, after I leave Earth. So, I wanted to see what the place looked like before I come here eventually.”
Then the gatekeeper asked, “Where have you come from?” The PM answered, “I have come from Earth.”
The gatekeeper said, “There are infinite number of earths in the universe. Which earth are you from?” The PM said, “I am from that earth where Trump, Putin, Xi and Modi are not only ruling just their own respective countries but also, in a way, running the whole world!”
The gatekeeper looked thoughtful for a while. Then he asked, “Which country are you ruling?”
“I am ruling the country home to earth's tallest peak, which appears to be resting there forever.”
The gatekeeper said, “Your earth looks no bigger than a marble from here. Even through the best telescope, the world’s tallest thing you are talking about cannot be seen from here. Everything looks the same from here.”
The PM gave a brief explanation – “I am from that country where the ancient sages and saints - the Rishi-Munis - used to meditate. A country which many consider to be a small heaven on earth. It has mountains, hills and thousands of rivers and rivulets and streams. It has one of Earth’s best climates and is full of minerals, herbs etc.”
Then the gatekeeper said, “Hey, listen! You better tell me the 10 really good things you have done so far for the people you rule so that I can recommend to Chitragupta to let you in.”
The PM couldn’t say anything. Then he tried to remember the good things he had done for the people. But nothing came to his mind immediately. After sometime, he felt like mentioning a few things such as the railway, ships, piped cooking gas to kitchens etc – some of his tall promises to the people. Then he realised that he hadn’t actually done even five things worth mentioning. And that those promises of his were aimed at diverting the people’s attention and deceiving the opposition parties.
He also realised that big talk alone perhaps wouldn’t work in Heaven. And that making tall tales to the court, journalists and the people is not as easy in Heaven as it is on Earth. So, his silence continued as he was unsure what to say and what not to. He spent hours in that state. The gatekeeper, too, was bored by now. So, he closed Heaven’s door. Dejected and hopeless, the PM turned back. Meanwhile, the loud bang which was made when Heaven’s door was closed woke the PM up. He realised that he had just been dreaming.
The PM had to deliver a speech later in the day. So, he got up and went out. He delivered a rousing speech in parliament. Most of the things he said in his speech were quite different from reality. Because though he looked awake, he was still dreaming away. Daydreaming!