The night was darker than usual. The rain pattered against the window and there was lightning and thunder in the distance. From a dark corner in my room, a tall, dark, well-built frame appeared in front of me. It was as if he had just emerged from inside the wall. He stared down at me with his flaming red eyes and spoke like the thunder itself.

Yama: So I see that you are ready!

Me: Yes, I am.

Yama: Unlike others, you don’t seem worried at all. Usually, people are terrified to see me. Looks like you have failed to recognise me. 

Me: I know who you are. 

Yama: Good. I am the God of Death. Yamaraj. You should be scared of me.

Me: I don’t see why that’s necessary.

Yama {Visibly shaken}: And what makes you think that?

Me: I am not really afraid of death. It’s just another natural process like breathing or ageing. 

Yama: You make it all sound very simple!

Me: I think it is indeed simple. Plus, I have lived a full life and that’s why I am not worried at all. I have discharged my duties as a father, a husband, and also as a member of this society through my philanthropic work. I should say I am a contented man. 

Yama: But, this is your last day as a mortal. I am going to take everything you have. Your body. Your soul. Even the smile that you have on your face right now. I will take that too.

Me: Maybe. But you won’t be able to take everything that you just mentioned. And I think even if you do, I can still live on in this world.

Yama: What makes you say that? You are forgetting that I am the god of death.

Me: Yes you are. You can definitely take my soul. But my body or whatever will remain of it will go back to the inhabitants of this world. I have donated my eyes, kidneys, skin, bones and all other organs. Those will continue to live through various people who need them to survive. Once processed, my mortal remains will be placed in the ocean, and there it will belong to millions of sea creatures. 

My children and great-grandchildren will continue to serve the world through the endowment I have given. I will then live on in the hearts of thousands of people for whom I have done philanthropic work. My soul will leave this world, but my deeds will definitely stay back.  

Yama: I agree. Still, I will take away whatever is left. 

Me: Yes, but I think you are getting a bad deal here. Most of me will never come with you in any shape or form.

Yama {Pauses to think}: Then I will have to just settle with your soul.

Me: Of course! But now you seem a bit disappointed about all this.

Yama: Well, it isn’t exactly going the way I imagined it. You can smile all you want, but now your time’s up. Let’s go.

{Thunder strikes again loudly in the distance.}

Suddenly, there was a loud knock on my door and I woke up to find myself in bed holding a book. It was all a dream. But it was very close to reality too. I think whenever the day comes for me to meet Yama, I am sure that I will disappoint him in many ways.

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels