God resigns

(All credits : Amit Varma )A version of this piece was published today as the 15th installment of my weekly column for Mint, Thinking it Through.

This is the text of God’s resignation letter, which has been leaked
to us by highly placed sources. The author wasn’t available for comment
when we tried calling. If anyone would like to fill the vacancy, please
write in to invisible@pinkunicorn.god.

Dear Humans

This is to inform you that I quit. I have enjoyed being God for an
eternity now – thank you for the opportunity – but I cannot bear the
thought of going on and on like this. Enough is enough. I have informed
my angels of my impending resignation, though I didn’t expect them to
rush off to buy horns and black clothing right away. This Sunday will
be my last day in office, after which I intend to spend some time with
my family. (Ok, I’m kidding about the family. Heh.)

I started off badly, I confess. I was a beginning God and there was
no roadmap, so what do you expect? My brief was to create a star, a
planet and a satellite with a golf course. The rest of the universe
wasn’t in the plans – that’s all the failed attempts. I was finally
told that I could stop when I made earth, even though I got the
golf-course wrong. Still, I’m sure there are other entertaining things
you can do on the moon.

Then I was asked to populate the earth, and that’s when I had the
most fun. I tried various funky things – I thought bacteria were pretty
cool, and would rule the earth for sure. I also thought that of all the
prehensile organs I gave my creatures, the penis of the whale was much
more useful than the opposable thumbs of humans. I mean, how much fun
it must be to grip something with that?

But you guys triumphed, largely because I gave you greater computing
power. Had I put in a few trillion neurons less, it could all have been
different. (And perhaps I should have worked harder on the dinosaurs.)
I admit I got carried away by you because you were the first creatures
to notice that I existed. Look, validation matters, period.

Then, when you were just beginning to come out of caves and get
civilized, I decided to take a nap. It’s hard work, all this creation,
especially at the level of detail involved, and I was tired. And
really, what could go wrong while I slept? Humankind was on the rise,
using all its neural computing power to create new things, and I
thought I’ll wake up refreshed and see a better world, and maybe I’ll
get back to work on the moon after a snack or something. Golf is good.

Well, it may seem like I’ve been absent for a long time, but a few
millennia is nothing in galactic terms. So I wake up, rub my prehensile
eyes, wrap them round the world, and what do I see? I see that you
humans are running the place, which is fine, no issues with that. But
then I see what you’ve done to me. I look here and go, “That isn’t me!”
I look there and remark, “I don’t look like that!” I hear myself quoted
and say, “I didn’t say that!” It’s a mess.

Now, I don’t want to get into details, so I’ll just take up three
broad points. One, I was supposed to make you in my image. Instead,
while I was napping, you went and cast me in yours. I protest. I am not
bigoted, misogynist, genocidal or egotistic. I look at how I’ve been
portrayed in all the major religions and I’m appalled that anyone would
even consider worshipping that.

The talk of worship brings me to my second point: Why have I been
portrayed as corrupt? If I am supposed to reward people for their
behaviour, why should prayer matter? I am not so insecure that I need
to hear praises of me all the time? Or that I need temples or churches
or mosques built to honour me, or any of the ritualistic things that
you people do? You do not need to bribe me, ok? Just behave well.

Three, why do you assume I need your puny protection? If anyone
insults me and I’m petty enough to want to take action against them,
there’s always lightning – or less subtle punishments such as Himesh
Reshammiya music videos. Stop getting offended on my behalf, please.
Especially the more devout ones among you, who embarrass me hugely.

I could go on forever about how all notions of me are corrupted, and
used by men – yes, mostly men – for their own selfish purposes. But who
will listen to me forever? The one good thing I did was make you
mortal, which I now realize is a feature and not a bug. Anyway, I
accept culpability for creating a flawed product in the first place,
and then for falling asleep. I’m disgusted at my failure, and the only
honourable option I have left now is to resign.

See you in Hell.


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