The Divine Comedy

[Thud Thud Thud] ‘Carla, Please open the door!!’

Carla and her mother woke up in the middle of the night to the desperate knock on their door and a soft commotion outside their house. As they climbed down the stairs from their bedrooms to the door, the commotion grew louder and louder. Carla’s mom opened the door with her brows furrowed and shouted,

‘Who the hell is it?’ ‘Can I speak to Carla, please?’

Replied a young man softly who stood in front of the whole mob. It looked as though the entirety of Jonestown High was at her door, which made her regret her shouting just enough to knock the sleep out of her. With a feeble nod and a nervous smile, Carla’s mom shut the door to look for her daughter. Carla opened the door with the same brows as her mom but only more crooked.

‘Stephen, What are you doing here? Why is the whole school here?’ ‘Hey Carla, we’re here to tell you that we support you!’ ‘For what?’ 'We were there for your presentation, and we were enchanted by it.’ ‘Okay… Great… Thanks!’ ‘Can you let us speak to him?’ ‘Umm… Sorry… What?!!’ ‘Can you let us speak to him?’ ‘Sorry…It’s kinda late. Take care… Bye…’ ‘Carla… Wait!!... We have to….’ ‘Bye…’[thud]

Carla shuts the door with a peal of nervous laughter on before and a relieved sigh after. As she contemplated this fiasco and what she said in her presentation yesterday, she saw her mom pacing back and forth in their kitchen.

‘MOM!! What are you doing?’ ‘Why are those people here?’ ‘I don’t know!!’ ‘What happened at your presentation?’ ‘Nothing… Everyone loved it… I think I will get the extra credit.’ ‘Something must have gone wrong there. And Who is ‘Him’?’

Let me stop it right there. This is the point where my existence is revealed to Carla’s mother. Although I am grateful to Carla for creating me, to understand what is going on, let me take you back to the genesis.

Carla and her mom lived in a city called Jonestown, one of the earliest human cities on the planet. This town was, in its essence, the living testament of logic and reasoning. People there were so used to the concept of logic they never did anything without askin’ ‘Why?’. Imagine a city with ten times what you, the now humans, call technology. That was Jonestown.

Now Carla was the kinda girl who was a genius but was as lazy as a high sloth. She always was a student who liked to ride the deadline; she never once completed an assignment ten minutes before the deadline. Carla always struggled to ace tests at her school but always found it easy to stay above the 70th percentile. She found out about an annual event held at her school where people associated with the school, mainly students, pitched their ideas for making the school better.

A panel of judges, usually the school administrators, selected a few excellent ideas, and the people who presented them were awarded extra credit. This year Carla couldn’t even score what she usually does, so she bet on that event to get through. Carla being Carla didn’t even think of ideas. She just registered for the event and forgot about it. At last, the day arrived, and even as she walked up onto the stage, she was as blank as a mid-day summer sky. After a few seconds of awkward silence, Carla started speaking:

‘Let’s talk about all the bad things in the world, our world is wrapped in theft, famine, greed, lust, murders and what not? Our people suffer every single day, and this has been going on for generations. What’s worse is that there are still people outside our city who aren’t even aware of civilization's benefits and beauty.

*I propose some acts, some dos and don’ts, that we have to perform for the betterment of humankind: I believe some things called spirits reside in wood, so we should knock on wood to get them to protect us. I believe when a black cat crosses our path, we shouldn’t walk on that path anymore as it will do us harm. I believe a broken mirror in our vicinity will bring us bad luck. I believe there are some places called heaven and hell that we go to after we die. Heaven is where we prosper, and Hell is where we suffer. I believe that the number 13 is an appalling number, and anything associated with it will harm us. And there are many more….’* The whole crowd was dead serious. It was as if every one of ‘em despised Carla for her sheer dimwittedness. I don’t know what the hell happened to one of the judges, but instead of getting her off the stage and deporting her from the city, he decided to ask a question.

‘How did you formulate these ideas?’

This was the question that raged on the whole city. In its rise, it hasn’t left even a cell alive in the city, albeit this was the question that was the ultimate reason for my existence.

Instead of saying that those phrases were just her thoughts, she said

‘I had a dream and in that dream, there was a man who told me everything and encouraged me to propagate his message all over the world. This man said his name was ‘God’ and that he was the saviour of the world.’

The crowd suddenly went into an uproar; it was as if a switch flipped in their brains. They scooted from their rationality like a lizard from its cut tail. They all were cheering for her, the judges gave her a standing ovation and she knew that she scored that extra credit and that she is gonna get through this year of school. It seemed as though everyone present in that auditorium just instantly started believing in what Carla said.

‘People who wish to be part of this divine purpose, join me and him in our club Religion.’

The people in the auditorium went crazy. They were screeching like they weren’t gonna use their throats for the rest of their lives. This y’all is how I was created.

After her presentation and after navigating through all those people and their screams, Carla finally got back home, and after having some dinner with her mom, she went to sleep with an assurance that she scored the extra credit. Then, Stephen came knocking on her door. Let me tell y’all what happened after her mother asked about me.

‘Stephen wanted to speak with some guy I created called ‘God’ during my presentation yesterday.’

‘Just some guy’? Ouch, Carla! You have no idea what will happen to me in the future. After her denial of how big this issue was, her mother said

‘Why did he wanna speak to him?’ ‘‘Coz I told everyone that he is the saviour of the world.’ ‘WHAT?!! Are you crazy, Carla? Why would you do that??’ ‘It was for extra credit, mom!! I didn’t mean to start a cult!’ ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah…’

Just as they were talking, the phone rang, it was the local newspaper wanting to know more about the story of Carla and her Religion. They requested her to be at the studio for an interview. Carla’s mother was really insistent on Carla giving the interview, albeit Carla was not very sure. She thought it was Carla’s responsibility to clear up all this fuss and set the record straight.

That night Carla and her mother set out for the news studio, and getting out of the house was a challenge. Their whole front yard was swarming with people, and they had to sneak out through the back door. All through the ride to the studio, Carla had to hide her face just so she wouldn’t be bombarded with requests to let people join her club. Within twenty-four hours of Carla’s presentation, word got out to every nook and cranny of the city, and people started forming clubs and communities that were pro and against Religion. Those clubs had already started fighting among themselves, and the streets had already started to fill up with people fighting each other.

With a look of utter fear, her mom says

‘What have you done, Carla?’

Carla just replied with a troubled look peering through her almost entirely covered face. They finally reached the studio just in time as the two anchors of the show prepared for the introduction of Carla. The two seemed to be having a debate on the hottest topic in the city, Religion.

‘Well, I think Carla is just any other girl from high school just having some wild dreams. I don’t think we have to go along with this kid’s fantasies. What do you say, Jim?’ said Harry, one of the anchors. ‘I don’t agree at all, Harry. I think it so happens that there has to be someone who lifts the world out of this misery.’ says Jim with a slightly annoyed look on his face. ‘Before we bring on the talk of the town, star of the evening, just one question, Jim. What about all the theft, rapes, murders and many other offences happening in the world? Do you think some guy who we can’t even see will solve all of this?’ said Harry. ‘Well, if you don’t wanna be mugged, then don’t bring your wallets onto the streets right?’ said Jim with a nervous smile included with a dash of irritation. ‘If you don’t wanna get raped or murdered, then don’t get out!’ Jim continued with more frustration packed into it. ‘Ohh… Ohh… Ease up, man!’ After a brief scoff, Harry added, ‘Either way, I think we gotta believe in reason rather than Religion. Now let’s call upon our guest for toni…’. Sadly, Harry didn’t get to complete that sentence. He was shot by his co-host right in the middle of his sentence. After becoming a murderer, Jim started shouting, ‘Religion is the only thing that’s real. His disciples will kill anyone who defies God, and they shall rot in hell!’

Flabbergasted, Carla and her mother ran out of the studio for their lives. They figured that they would not be able to get back to their home, not with hundreds of people waiting for them. They decided that they would live at their abandoned farmhouse outside the city. As Carla’s mom tried to race through the streets quickly, Carla looked out the window to see that the unrest in the town had increased exponentially and that people had started killing each other over Religion. The Mom and daughter somehow manage to get to the secluded house and thought of spending the night there. ‘It’s gonna be alright. Don’t worry, hon!’ said Carla’s mom to her crying, scared daughter as they stepped into the farmhouse.

What started as an overnight stay lasted three days. ‘Good thing that we planned a holiday here, right? The supplies will last for another week probably. Everything probably will settle by then. Don’t you think?’ asked Carla’s mom, trying to spark hope in her daughter as well as herself. ‘Probably’, said Carla in a dull tone. That night when they both were sound asleep, the cavalry of civilians came barging in with whatever could-be-weapon they could find in their hands. At the front was Stephen, again. ‘What are you doing, Stephen?’ asked Carla, startled awake from her sleep. ‘I’m sorry, Carla, but the whole city wants to speak to God, and you are not letting us. So we’re gonna send you back to him and look for another one like you. Blame god for this.’ said Stephen with a dagger in his hand, itching to get blood on it. As Stephen swung his dagger at Carla, she said to herself, ‘Humanity is fuckin dumb!!’ and whoosh went the blade through her neck like a knife through a cake.

The red hot blood on Stephen’s face was the only funeral all the rationality in the city got. Stephen’s face that didn’t have even a scintilla of regret was the only testament that a switch flipped in the auditorium that day. The people who were left in the city started searching for a new person who could speak to God, but they, of course, couldn’t find any. The disagreements between the people grew about who the new ‘Carla’ was and them being the irrational humanoid murderers, couldn’t control their tempers and started killing each other. It was as if the word ‘thought’ had never existed in their dictionaries. They were no better than the savages that preceded them. Stephen was one of the very last ones to be killed, and he saw himself in the reflection of the blade that had its mouth wide open to eat up his life, and it was in this moment that he knew he fucked up. At the end of this debacle, the city was only populated by dead bodies and the vultures feeding on them.

That’s it y’all. That’s how Carla and Jonestown, the ones who created me, lived and died. It is what it always is with humans. They do some real shady shit and pin it on us. They’re never gonna realize it is how they are. Even if they do, they are still gonna pin it on us saying that we were the ones who created them. Like, did you drop you lose a nut up there. Anyway, what happened, happened, lemme tell you somethin’ about the next guy. He’s the one and only, my greatest enemy and my greatest friend, the concept himself Science! Thank you guys that’s been my time! Peace out!

Content by Sashank
Design by Pushparanjan