I was at peace. Calm. My mind seemed to be stable, more than ever. I could hear my heartbeat, loud and clear. I could feel the nerves relaxing, stretching for comfort as if on the verge of retirement after a hundred years. I never felt this relaxing since the last time when I completed my graduate course.
A silent music from one corner of my mind began to resonate. It felt comforting like a massage. I could only stay still and observe the play inside of me. When you are in a comfortable state, you begin to recall the beauty in life. I never really admired my life, but this sensation of completeness made me think of every single person from my life. I wondered what my life would be if it were not for them to have helped me in my worst times.
I began to think of my friends, without whom my life was as bad as an empty heart (without feelings). I think about my parents, who always stood by my side, holding my hand whenever I was about to cross a difficult situation in my life. Since childhood, these people have stayed in my life. Never did they leave me alone. I just can’t believe how lucky I am, to have them in my life.
The vow to never give up and to treat people equally helped me connect with people.
As I think of all the important people from my life, I recall it was not just the people but also many other things that made me what I am today. My dreams; the never ending thirst for knowledge that made me an Engineer and allowed me to embrace the beauty of science in all its glory is something not everyone in this world is blessed with. My beliefs; the vow to never give up and to treat people equally helped me connect with hundreds of people in my professional and social world. After five years of fighting with myself and the opposing forces inside of me, I have finally reached a place worth calling a success. I couldn’t be more happy.
Slowly, as my mind travelled through all these images from the past and one by one enjoyed the feelings flowing through my heart, I began to appreciate the circle of life more and more. All this time, I could not see a thing in front of me. I had no idea where I was, or will be. It was a dark place, filled with nothing but darkness. A few moments later, as I tried to force my eyes open I could finally see some images, though blurred. In a matter of seconds I figured where I was standing, the situation I have gotten myself into, and its consequences! I was standing at the tip of the roof of the tallest building in the city. Hundreds of feet below, the world was still functioning, without a slight clue or idea if I were alive or about to die. The life beneath me seemed to function at the same rate as my heartbeat began to rise… What is going on?
Who are you?
My name is Pranav. I am a Computer Science Engineer from Delhi. I am also a photographer – part time. I love my life.
A moment ago, I was praising my life – feeling blessed – and a moment later I find myself in the most cursed situation ever. What am I doing on the rooftop? How did I get here? When? Almost a dozen a questions crowded my mind as I tried hard to come up with a valid hypothesis that would explain my being here. I couldn’t think of anything. The breeze at such an altitude was cold and fierce as hell. I began to feel the stroke and knew that if I were to stay here any long, bad things might happen. I tried to calm myself down but it was worthless. The pressure up here never felt so life threatening, my senses began to shut down all by themselves. I could not feel my body. The nerves that retired just a moments ago surged back to life, to provide some life-support in my last minutes. I was terrified at the very thought of life-support. Is this really the end? The images of all of my friends, family, parents raced through my mind in a blink of an eye. I thought about my dreams, the obsession of being an Engineer and my beliefs to never give up in the path to success. This was not supposed to end like this? I can’t – believe – it.
What do you think about your parents?
My parents? – I love them. They have always stood beside me, helping me on every school project and backing me up in the face of difficulties. In my childhood, they use to hold my hand and walk beside me. Since then, I believe they never left me alone.
I was going unconscious. I was already not able to feel my body, I realized the next part of me to stop functioning will be my heart. How could it end this way?
What do you think about your friends?
Well, I don’t have many friends but the few that I have in my life – did really changed me as a person. Parents and family stood beside me when I was at home or near them. But the real struggle began when I was away from them. That’s when my friends came to my help. There are countless little experiences from my life where I could not have been successful if it were not for my friends. We have laughed, cried, did many pranks together and these were the real gems of my life. I am lucky to have them in my life.
There it is! The moment is here! My heart suddenly stopped responding, or so I thought. My body feels numb, no nerve sensation, no heartbeat, nothing that would provide me a life – support. I never imagined things to turn out like this, it all feels like a dream and yet I feel so alive – about to die. Just then a voice echoed through my consciousness. What if… YOU ARE WRONG?
What are your beliefs regarding your life?
I have always believed that I was born to make this world a better place. I have been blessed with great family, great friends, enough wealth to see my dreams come true. I have always trusted the destiny, it will lead me to better and amazing places. Even if I fail, something will always turn up for my help. God loves me. God loves us all.
Out of nowhere, a strange voice blocks my stream of thoughts! Who are you? What is this voice? What do you mean? I was unable to handle myself calmly, one after the other the occurrence of strange events has destabilized my entire system. But what was this voice? Am I Wrong? About what? Who is he? The voice seemed to have dissapeared somehow and I was back to the sensations that almost forced me to death. I was still not in my conscious, when suddenly my body began to push itself further! WHAT? NO!!! I knew if I take any step further ahead, I would be jumping off the roof – a sudden death.
What are your dreams for future?
I read a lot of books and biographies. People from across the globe narrate their success stories. I know that no two people are the same, but someday I would like to be one of them. Someone, who is a successful person, who will have his biography be written after death and who will inspire millions. Its just the kind of dream I wish for – the ultimate salvation.
“What if… YOU ARE WRONG?” echoed the voice again! There was already a lot going on inside my head. I shouted back..
WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU WANT?
“I am YOU. The Conscious YOU.” said the mysterious voice.
I was amazed by his response. He is the Conscious ME? How can that be? How can he be me? I am as conscious as I know I am. I know myself better than anyone else.
“Listen. Whoever you are, just tell me how did you enter my mind? What is your objective? Why are you doing this?”
“This is a Test. A Real Test. As I said, I am the Conscious YOU so I know more about you than you think you know about yourself. This is a regular test, given by every single person on this planet to determine if he is capable of being a human – or not.”
What is this person talking about? A Test? What kind of Test? Why is the human thing have to do anything with me giving a test or something. I was about to respond just when he continued…
“I know you are confused. In a situation like that, every normal person would behave that way. But this is necessary. I’ll explain everything about the test now. The Test contains one question – just one. You have all the time in Universe to answer that question. There are no limits. If you give the correct answer to my question, you pass and you live. However, if you give the wrong one, you jump!”
I was speechless! I had no words neither any idea on what this person, this mysterious voice ‘my conscious being’ just told me. What is the question? Will I really die?
“So what would you do?” said the voice
“WHAT? WHAT DO YOU MEAN?”
“I asked you a question. Answer me.” said the voice.
“WHEN DID YOU…. ” As I said these words, the initial words from before echoed through my mind. WHAT IF – YOU ARE WRONG? I realized he was talking about the same question! But it didn’t make any sense to me. Wrong about what?
What if YOU ARE WRONG about everything you ever said, ever heard, ever believed, ever trusted and ever wanted to be true!
“I know that humans are run by their desires and beliefs. Like everyone is, you are bounded by yours. A while ago, I peeked inside your mind and heart to know what beliefs and desires you hold into them. I asked you questions, your subconscious answered me. You feel special, someone who is born to make this world a better place. You feel blessed to have your family, parents, and not many but few very lovable friends. You believe GOD loves you and is always watching over you. You trust your destiny and believe that in the long run, nothing devastating will happen to you. You love your parents for all that they did for you. You love your friends for being with you in your difficult times. You trust everyone you love, and you are sure that people whom you love will never break your heart. You think your dreams will come true, and that one day you will be remembered by the entire world for your deeds. You picture yourself as someone who will be able to do good to many different people – the heart of an angel. I came to know a lot about what you think you are, and what you believe the world is – or will be. However, what if everything you planned, doesn’t happen? What if the parents whom you love are the ones standing in the way of your success or dreams? What if the friends whom you love, just chose to forget all about you one day? What if the destiny that you trust upon, suddenly changes its wave and decides to throw successive difficult situations in your life? What if the desires you possess, take you on an entire different journey than what you planned? What if there is no one watching over you? What if everything that you believed from childhood, turned out to be a ghost! – just a fake substitution – a nightmare! What if . . . YOU ARE WRONG about everything you ever said, ever heard, ever believed, ever trusted and ever wanted to be true!”
There was a moment of pin–drop silence! What is its all just a nightmare? What if I am wrong? How could this ever be true? My legs are trembling and so is my entire body. Why would my parents ever be a hurdle in my own success? Why would my best friend ever leave me? Why would they do this? They can never do such a thing to me. This is just nonsense! I don’t believe this voice, maybe its just a dream. I should just pinch myself, maybe this never happened!
“You cannot escape this test. I told you its something every human is supposed to go through! Either give the correct answer… or die!”
What do you mean when you say die?
“Those who fail to pass this test are supposedly trapped in a situation where every time life introduces a crisis in their life – the person would never be able to get out of it. This test projects the single most and scariest of all questions in life. We all love comfort, we all like to be around people who love us, we all wish for the same things. Material prosperity, spiritual peace and psychological stability is all a human need to spend his days of life in eternal happiness. I am the conscious YOU and therefore I have observed life better than you ever had. I have witnessed sadness, happiness, fierceness, cowardliness, anger and various other emotions. When we were born, we were no different. As we grew, your vision got diverted farther away from mine. At one point, you began to crowd yourselves with people – lots of people. One fine day, this guy who called you a friend – betrayed you. Another day, the girl you loved – rejected you. When you asked the permission to continue photography, your parents didn’t liked the idea – they opposed you. Following day, you prayed to God to make your birthday special, but the same day you get scolded by your professors – God ignored you. You believe you are sent to make this world a better place, but that makes me sad because every evening I find you smoking with your friends – you contradicted yourself. Similar to these there are lots and lots of events in yours and others lives where practically they are wrong. After everything you and me have been through, what if we end up in such a trap. Just because a person refuses to see beyond the desires and sticks to his obsession – doesn’t mean the remaining possibilities doesn’t exist. People who live in a world of self imposed beliefs, self centered desires and overall satisfaction will always find themselves in a huge trouble in the face of calamity. However, it’s the very act of acceptance and being neutral to every single possibility that allows for a better and a strong foundation.”
Material prosperity, spiritual peace and psychological stability is all a human need to spend his days of life in eternal happiness.
I was patiently listening to all his words. Indeed, he was my conscious being. I never really paid any attention to the little details of life or thought about anything other than what I wished for. I love my family, but its true there have been many incidents when my family opposes me. I love my friends, but a lot of times our ideologies differ. Many of my best friends from childhood are no longer with me, just because something happened in the past. I never wished for that then and I never wish for that now. But there is clearly a possibility that all my friends part ways from me one after the other, and I am alone all by myself in a few years. There is clearly a possibility that my parents disapprove of me and my dreams and never talk to me again. I get goosebumps thinking of the very idea. Surely, I feel I am special. However, so is everybody else – or so they think they are. I trusted on God for every single step through my journey but what if God is busy somewhere else, what if he is not watching over me all the times, or the worse possibility – what if there is no God. As frightening as it may sound, it is still a possibility. When I was a child, I used to believe that the twinkling stuff in the sky are actually the dead people transformed into stars. The brighter one was supposed to be the one who was very close to us, one whom we loved the most and who loves us the most. As a child, I used to stare hours at the night sky – talking to myself and my grandfather. I used to tell him everything about my day at school and at home. I used to narrate to him all my nursery rhymes and often complain about my new friends. Every night I used to sleep by greeting him ‘Goodnight’ and hoping he greets me too. But as I grew, I came to realize, it was all a fake story! I cried a lot that day, the thought of never being able to talk to my grandfather again was heartbreaking. Things have changed since then, every year a new secret and a new bond would enter my life overwriting the scars left by the ones who left me. I never believed anything of it to be true, but sadly it was. And strangely, today here I am talking to my conscious being of whom I had no idea. I clearly understand the question now. Having said that, I will never be the same person again.
“I see you have clearly got my question now. So, what would you do if something doesn’t really fits into your life. What would you do if you are wrong about your beliefs? What would you do . . .?” said the conscious ME
I stayed calm and quiet for a while. I was deep inside of me, searching for answers. My body no longer trembled, instead I felt at peace. The breeze suddenly changed its form as if responding to my state dynamically. It was low and comforting as opposed to fierce and disturbing a while ago. I focused all my attention deep inside to go beyond my conscious level and figure out the answers by myself. If my conscious being is this powerful, I wondered if I was beyond him. If he was conscious enough to come up with a question, being the primary force of action I should possess the ability to come up with an answer. When I searched deep inside, I saw nothing just the emptiness. As if it was seeking to be filled up by something. I couldn’t recognize that sensation, or the place – from where the emptiness was calling out. A moment later it all clicked! This was my conscious soul, the place where my conscious memory is stored. But why is it empty? For a moment, I thought it was empty because I never really did anything consciously but just when I was about to fixate up on my opinion, I got my answer.
“So, do you have any answer? How would you deal with these situations?” asked the conscious ME
I was smiling. I finally grasped the truth.
“I searched deep inside of me. I was looking for any possible answers. Deep inside of me, I found a place – dark and quiet. It was my conscious brain. Your brain. It was all but empty. First I couldn’t figure out the reason, but then I realized something. You remembered everything from our past but never did you fixated upon anything. You just told me and moved on further. Even though we share the same people in our lives, even though I was hurt as much as you, even though we shared the same pain – you never cried, laughed or ignored me. The empty storehouse symbolized your true identity. You never really stored anything. You never gave me any power over you. You stayed at the conscious level, the highest level of existence and so you controlled your emotions and nature perfectly. On the other hand, I was never really conscious about my life. I just enjoyed stuff, I never really lived my life to the best possible circumstances. The answer to you your question is now simple. If I am wrong, and the future turns out to be totally different from what I believed it to be, I would never store it. To do that, I would have to master the conscious level and follow in the footsteps of no one but myself. There is no way, I could stop anything from happening to me. I cannot stop my friends if they chose to dislike me. I cannot ignore my family if they oppose me. Instead, I would chose not to be affected by such events and stay focus on my life. Sure things will be hard and painful, but it was the same before and it will remain the same ahead in future. If one needs to grow, he has to deal with the hurdles on the way to the top. I understand my position and my responsibility as a human. If I am really the one who is born to make this world a better place, I must prove it – to myself. This is my answer.”
As I said these words, I felt a sudden change of air around me. The conscious me was nowhere to be heard. Is he gone? Is my answer correct? The roof-top below me began to shake and with a sudden blow everything around me was shattered into pieces. The building was falling apart and I could not do anything but watch myself as I fall from a hundred feet! It’s just a matter of few seconds now, before I die. I closed my eyes to this horrifying incident that was about to take place.
Three… Two… One… BANG!
I gasped for breath as I fell off my bed! DAMN IT!
I knew it was a dream! I should really must have pinched myself before – clever conscious me! I walked to my desk, and realized it was 6 o’clock in the morning. I sat on the chair and had some water. Looking out through the window, I could see the sun rising above the horizon. The conscious me left without saying another word. I wonder if my answer was correct. Nevertheless, there are other possibilities, right? What if . . . I AM WRONG?