“Guess what the leader of any democratic country, a despot, a terrorist and perhaps even a construction site engineer have in common – they build their dreams on the lives of the young.” Then he stopped randomizing, his audience was already hooked. Some were uncomfortable, others ready with jingoistic claptrap, and a few nodding their head vigorously. But nobody could ignore him…..
And then he went on, “The crashing, perhaps faulty MIGs in the Indian skies , the unimportant American soldier fighting a causeless war, undernourished girls giving birth to future workers and suicide bombers barely sixteen years old,” Radical enough…he thought. Meaningless too, who really cared…..and then he stopped. Hands rushed up in the air, someone told him about the greatness of the army, others about freethinking democratic leaderships, there were of course the apparent arm chair radical who vociferously thumped the anti-established line.
The moment was over – ageless as he was, he really wondered at the shallowness of this century. Such intense thought, over as soon as the voices mellowed down. He looked around….
And there she sat, unmoved....rare, usually humans are give to spontaneous combustion. For a minute, he wondered…
So he stepped out of the darkened auditorium with her, “You have nothing to say about war and the sons who die?” he asked. She laughed, “Humans have always sacrificed the young…nothing new, why am I expected to react.”
“Women’s love, motherhood and such like…” he said.
“New research say that the important reason for a mother to defend her young is to ensure her genes pass on,” she replied.
“Same reasons the lions eat the young of another male,” he added.
“Why blame the lions, the Greeks, Romans and every capturing soldier clubbed the male babies, making the women and girls their slaves,” strangely she was still grinning when she said so.
He was beginning to get uncomfortable, difficult when you see a woman with such lack of motherly love. “True, but it doesn’t seem to bother you, after all love has made our species the great protector.”
“Hmmm, about a thousand years back, perhaps more, many sent a young man; we claim to love to the cross, calling him a traitor, so that he could take our sins. All human love is essentially selfish,” she said in the same careless tone.
“We did,” he agreed, “But some would say that it was an act of redemption, and we were supposed to learn forgiveness from his act,’’ This was getting weird…he had to see where it was going.
“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us,” she recited, a memory from Catholic school. "This was said on the cross you know." Then adding with the same careless grin, “We never do forgive do we; instead we let someone take on the burden of sacrifice.”
“So the young are sacrificed, so that we can redeem ourselves,” he asked, “Now that’s a strange view.” Then he asked, “Who are you?”
“The same as you are, the harbinger of evil. Only you are ageless, and were the first to fall. Look around, the darkness has set in, the apocalypse has begun way back, and it is never going to end. The little man with the horse will not come, nor the archangels....we have sacrificed too much of humanity.”
Changing into his mythical form, he looked around, and saw the business suits, the party wear, and even the apparent casualness disappear, there was a metamorphosis…the difference was in the degrees.
There was neither heaven, nor earth anymore.