As always, the cook came at 8 that day, and when he was about to leave after leaving the two bottles of water in the fridge, I asked him to cook food. For that is what Gabriella had told me. To eat normal food she had said. So I asked him to make three chapatis, a bowl of rice, mattar-paneer and scrambled eggs. The cook was surprised and a bit angry, for I suspect, the quick one minute job at my place (replacing my water bottles), had allowed him to take another cooking job. My new state, then, meant loss of revenue for him. He tried to reason with me, "But, bhaiya are you not only on water diet? Should you stop yet? There is definitely still scope for you to get thinner." This angered me, and rudely I told him to do what he was being told, which made me feel guilty. But he soon apologised, and so did I, and I ate the best dinner ever.
I was sure the Gabriella thing was a dream. There are no angels, I told myself, and that I, a prophet - the thought itself was laughable. I tried to imagine me living a life like Jesus lived, turning water to wine, or the one like Mohammad with 12 wives. I will manage with 4, and turning water to wine would be a great power to have, I thought, grinning wickedly. And then I went to sleep thinking of Gabriella. She did seem so real, though, I was sure.
But when I did not dream anything, or anything I could remember anyways, that night I just thought maybe the entire thing was real. And so I just started preparing for Gabriella to come, as she had said, at 6 the next day. So well I just decided to read through wikipedia of what prophet actually meant, and then started reading The Game. Devouring it actually. If I had to have any chance with Gabriella, I needed to know every trick in the book. And who had better tricks than The Game? I know, you guys might be thinking, "this guy is sick", but believe me, had you seen Gabriella, you would not have thought about anything else as well. Except the part about being the Prophet. I was sure the Gods had made a mistake, but I was not too keen to rectify it, as it meant I could meet Gabriella. And probably hit off with her.
The wait till 6 p.m. was tough, and by that time, I had already mastered a card trick to show Gabriella and impressing her.
And then suddenly I heard, from the kitchen, "How are we doing today?". Ah, the sweetest voice ever! And I said, with confidence, "Hi Gabriella! How are you doing?" in my best Joey Trabianni imitation. She didn't look too impressed with it though, and asked me, "Are you ready for the truth?"
Me: "Is there an absolute truth?"
She: "Well that is interesting - there is not. But this is a truth - and as absolute as any."
Me: "I already know the truth. The truth that Gabriel preached. Everyone knows it. About how there is heaven and hell, how if you are good, you go to heaven, and if you are evil, you go to hell. All religions more or less say the same. By the way, Gabriella, do you realise I am a Hindu? My religion does not believe in Angels. We believe in Karma, which come to think of it, is the same as what Christianity and Islam preach. Even Buddhism preaches similar things, about how through right meditation you can achieve Nirvana. I wonder then why do people fight over religion then, it is pretty useless, is it not?" (The Game believes that girls are impressed by your knowledge, and the compassion in the end is the clincher.).
She: "No no. I mean you are right about all religions being similar and stuff. But God screwed up. A bit. And hence we need a new prophet to rectify."
Me: "Screwed up? How? You mean there are no heaven and hell, and that all religions are wrong. Is there no judgment?"
She: "Well yes, sort of. You know, God thought a carrot and stick policy would be a good way to let people work according to his plan. So he first sent Krishna to India - he was an angel, too, who delivered the Bhagwat Gita, which introduced the concept of soul. And then there was Buddha, who was an angel who stayed here for a long time, delivering the concept of Nirvana. And then as you know, Gabriel came in. But God just let you know what he wanted you to know. And that is not the truth. Not the entire truth anyways. And you, Zubin, are going to tell them the real truth. It is not going to be what you want to hear, but it is going to be the truth. So tell me, are you ready?"
Me: "Geez! That is kind of scary. So you want me to go out and tell the world that whatever religion they have been following is based on a lie? And that there are no heaven and hell. This is going to be tough, Gabriella, and I am not too sure I am ready to do it. And why this sudden change of heart from God?"
She: "Well we had new HR policies introduced up above. One which says it is always good to be honest with your employees. So God has decided that He will be truthful with his people. And you have been chosen his agent for change, by a lucky draw. Moreover, the carrot and stick policy has gone so wrong. Noone wants to be good anymore. Everyone wants things in this life. And the only people who believe in God nowadays, and the kingdom of heaven, are the terrorists with their 72 virgins promised - which, as even you might have guessed, is a big hoax. God definitely does not want this. And do you not want to know the truth of life, the universe and everything. The truth is..."
And she told me. Which I had suspected, in a way, but hearing it from Gabriella, just gave it much more worth. But I still was not too sure it was such a good idea preaching the truth to people.
Me: "Gabriella! You know why people follow a religion? It is because it gives them hope? Religion gives hope to my parents, for example. I do not think it is a nice idea to tell them the truth whatever it is. I wont do this. I am sorry, I just do not think the world is ready for this."
She: "Well I have my orders to persuade you in whatever way. And will this help" and she came near me and kissed me.
Me: "I think you just persuaded me a bit." And as we kissed, her robe came off.
And I agreed to be a prophet. After some hours of persuasion.