It was the 40th day of my diet. Except that it was not actually diet. I had been drinking only water in an effort to control my weight, which had been out of control over the past few months. I had put on 40 kgs over the past six months, doing nothing but eating junk food and sitting on the couch devouring the sports, movies and music channels following my decision to take a sabbatical. And cut off all contact with the outside world except for my grocery shop and my ICICI bank account. I had changed houses immediately, got my phone number changed and got into a mega TV watching mode. And reading too. I had not seen any person over those months except my maid and the cook, who also delivered the grocery. The decision was taken in a particularly depressive mood after I had been dumped yet again - by the same girl for the sixth time - and while the depression had lasted only a month, the extra weight made me stay inside for fear of looking ridiculous. Which I am sure I did when I had those extra 40 kgs.
When my weighing machine broke while I stood on it, I finally woke to the state I was in. I knew I had to lose it all, if I had to go back to normal life. Hence, the crash measure. I drank only water all day, and nothing else. No fruits, no juices, no carbohydrates. And finally the results were beginning to show. I had lost the weight I had put on and more over the 40-day period, and was ready to take on the world. Looking thinner than ever before. And with a Jesus like beard.
Which is when I heard it. The voice seemed to come from the kitchen of my one bedroom flat where I had been hibernating for the past seven months. It was around 6 in the evening and I was alone, as I often was at that time. The maid and the cook were there for around 2 hours between them in the morning, and the cook didn't come back before 8 in the evening. Although now he was the water delivery guy.
"Hi Zubin. How are we doing?"
Those were the first words, of English anyways, I had heard spoken to me over the past seven months. I wondered who could it be. The funny thing was that the voice sounded feminine. And familiar. How many women did I know, I wondered? I could count only till 3, before I went to the kitchen, and saw her. The first word that came out of my mouth was WOW. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I mean if you were to combine the best attributes of Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Katrina Kaif, Jeniffer Lopez,Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai and Drew Barrymore, you had still not be anywhere near the beauty I saw. She was tall, had green eyes, black hair, and a skin and body that are indescribable. The voice sounded like Priyanka Chopra I decided. Only that it was better. And she was standing in my kitchen. Wearing a long white robe. The only sad thing, I thought, was that the robe was not transparent.
After gawking her for what seemed like a second, but must have been an hour, I finally asked, "Who are you? And what are you doing here? How did you come in". And I added, "But you are so beautiful" with a gasp.
Suddenly, I also noticed she had wings. Little wings on her back, but even these wings suited her to the hilt.
She giggled, "What do you guess? Me with wings and all? I am Gabriela, the angel. Or more specifically, the sister of Gabriel".
I said, "The Gabriel of the Bible fame?". And I gasped again looking at her. But she was beautiful.
She giggled again, "Yes, and of the Koran fame. And yeah, I am a 10000 miliHelen. And you are the first human who is seeing me, and I can see you are impressed." She looked at me seductively and eyed my pants. "But all that can wait. I have a message for you."
I looked at her, again, and gasped, "Wow, you are beautiful! And message, what message? Message from whom?"
At last she stopped giggling, and said, "Message from God. You have been chosen the new prophet. And I have been chosen over Gabriel finally to deliver this message. Wow, I am so excited."
I said, "Me, a prophet? But I don't even believe in a God. I am an atheist, or something. Except that I do not believe in atheism also. You must have made a mistake. But I am happy that you did. You are so beautiful, I can look at you all day and night"
Her eyes twitched, and she looked at me and asked, "Are you not Zubin? And are you not on the 40th day of your fast? Then it is definitely you."
"But why me", I asked her, and said, "You know I can't even argue with you. You are so beautiful. And what does a prophet have to do anyway?"
"To tell the truth to the people. And who have been chosen because you are among the 1000 people our computer had chosen as potential prophets. We needed people who could play Age of Empires but were not very good at it, knew about different religions but did not actively practice any of them, did drugs but did not overdo it, and were creative and had the potential to imagine things. And a certain charisma. And your masochism has swung the decision your way. The time is nigh too, you have to act fast"
"Drugs, religions, Age of Empires? My masochism? What are you talking about?" I gasped. She was perfect, even with the wings, and the fact that she was an angel.
"You are the only one of those 1000 to pass the 40-day fast test. Jesus did it, Mohammad did it, and now you have. So you are the new prophet. If you ask me, it does not really matter, but God wants someone who has the capacity to bear pain."
"Pain, I didnt feel any pain...and ..."
"So now stop arguing. I need to go, my time is finishing. The message I was supposed to deliver to you is this, get ready to become a prophet. Do not shave your beard. And you can start eating from tomorrow. I will come back tomorrow, and will tell you the truth of life which you will propagate. Wait for me, tomorrow same time."
And she disappeared in front of me, vanishing into thin air. And my conversations with God had started.