Ladders to Heaven
One random day, A very gentle, soothing and godly male voice talked from the sky.
“This is the retribution day. I, through my religion, my faithful servants and my writings, have clearly conveyed my expectations on how a man should lead a life. You people did not make me proud. At the end of this day, people who believed me, associated themselves wholeheartedly with me and my religion, will be taken into my heavens. Others will be thrown into the sun and kept alive forever. I am everywhere. I am everyone.”
That was it. Following that announcement, thousands of ladders fell from the sky precisely touching the earth.
No one sane human being was completely happy about that event. People were able to exclude 50% of the religions that did not have a male god, scriptures, servants, heaven/hell or a judgment day. But almost a thousand matching religions comfortably fit into those points.
Many major matching religions started celebrating the day in their own way. People who were not deeply into any scripture based on male goded religions started investigating. They thought, if they can embrace that real religion before the end of this day, they may be spared from hell.
One such family is grandpa’s family. That includes a grandpa, grandma, dad, mom, and a son.
“Yes, this one is good but the problem is, the god in this religion sounds too polite and matured to be the one who spoke today.” Grandpa just like that eliminated one religion from the list.
Everyone in the world publicly or privately was researching religions. There was no shortage of resources online about every religion ever founded.
“If this is the real religion, that must be the first one ever founded right? The real god will not come up with the “religion” idea after some other guys were already doing that. I found something called Hasphignie which started 4000 years ago in western Europe. It has got a male god and everything.” Mom added Hasphignie to the list.
“No, Hasphignie favors cannibalism. It has human sacrifices and weird rituals.” Dad did not like Hasphignie.
“Dear family, You guys keep filtering out things based on your personal morality. We don’t know!”. Mom is the cautious one in the family. “Hasphignie stays as long as it matches the requirements.”
“I vote for Kurmahbaagi, the most populated religion right now in the world by a margin. 30% of the entire population follows that religion! That is already the people’s choice, right? Let us please just go with the wisdom of the crowd.” Dad sincerely suggested everyone consider it.
“Kurmahbaagi says, Its god carries the sun every day across the sky. His wife carries the moon. They sometimes meet to kiss each other and hence we all get eclipses. There is also a story for why clouds form and hide sun and moon sometimes.” Grandpa never liked Kurmahbaagi.
“For god’s sake, you got to get rid of that quirky attitude right now!”, Dad lost his patience. “It is a life or death situation we are in. You have lived your life and you can talk anything. My son needs to live his.”
“Yes please cooperate with us.” Mom sincerely told. “Also, Today he mentioned sun in his talk. Maybe the script says the truth.”
“Sun! So you think the sun and moon are close enough to kiss each other?”
“We do not know. Maybe they are.”
“No. I will never join Kurmahbaagi in my life. I can not live the awful life they lead. I would rather die.” Grandpa was adamant.
“You are not asked to live as a Kurmahbaagi. First, there is no life hereafter. It is just one day.”
“It is not one day. It is for eternity. If he is the one, we have to live under him as he says for eternity. I can not do that for unlimited coconuts and pineapples.”
“He is clearly going crazy, Mom.” Dad was irritated.
“So, You want everyone to burn in the sun for eternity? Is that better?” Mom asked.
“No. Actually, burning in the sun is definitely worse.”
Mom was looking at her phone. “A huge number of people have actually started to embrace Kurmahbaagi. That is what the exit polls are saying too. Let's go with the crowd then?” She turned on the TV.
“We grew up following Batista. It does not have a male god and hence we decided to embrace Kurmahbaagi. But... But... *starts crying* we feel so… great instantly *sobbing* better than any day in our life. Kurmahbaagi!!!! Kurmahbaagi!!!! *chants continue*”
The telecast abruptly cut to show a few Kurmahbaagi leaders already climbing the ladders.
“Woah. Look at this!!!” Son exclaimed.
“Is it even allowed? It’s tomorrow right?” Grandpa came closer to the screen and had a good look. “He is Yustishuda. The guy on the top. He is the most important leader for Kurmahbaagi now.”
“Ladder is for a genuine Kurmahbaagi. Kurmahbaagi!!! Kurmahbaagi!!!” Yustishuda chanted for the whole world to see and started aggressively climbing the ladder. He signaled everyone to get on.
Thousands of people in their traditional maroon with pink attires started climbing the ladders all over the world chanting Kurmahbaagi. A few minutes got past and new breaking news came. “New ladders falling from the sky!”
“This is it. We are saved! We are saved!” Grandma came inside laughing with tears. “There is a ladder fell near the temple square. I saw it from the balcony!” It is around half a kilometer from Grandpa's house.
Everybody went to the balcony. There was a new ladder there and people have started to climb wearing something that resembles the attire and chanting.
“What are we waiting for?” Dad asked. “You will get used to the coconuts and pineapples Dad. Come lets climb.”
“It is too crowded. Let’s go in the evening.” Mom said.
“No, let us start at night. This is a great day.” Grandma felt wonderful.
People all over the world started moving to their nearest ladder and started waiting. People were given food and everything. Most of the world was celebrating like a festival chanting the one god name. The news channels were covering the ladders in helicopters. Yustishuda was seen climbing at full speed at the height of 10,000 feet.
“How is that nobody is falling down?” Grandpa was intrigued.
“That is the power of God. Nobody is fighting to get in the ladder too. It is a divine ladder.” Grandma smiled widely kissing his grandson’s forehead. “It is going to be awesome.”
Hours passed. Yustishuda and thousands of the pioneers in climbing the ladders reached the top of the ladder. Eventually, The climbing stopped in most of the ladders. People were waiting patiently. Some were thinking about heaven and seeing God himself with their eyes. Some were panicking remembering the bad things they did to other human beings. It was emotional for everyone. They kept chanting the god’s name nevertheless.
Are heaven’s gates closed? Breaking news was running.
“Stupids. They clearly told it was tomorrow. Now hang on there.” Dad said.
”It was estimated to be around 100,000 ladders all over the world with a height of around 20 kilometers each. So, the full capacity of the ladders at any time must be about a billion people.” Grandpa quickly did rough math and shocked himself.
“That is not even close to the number of people worship Kurmahbaagi!” Dad added.
The ladders started lifting up gently. The whole world cheered. People from the ladders cheered. A whole sound of human beings shouting together echoed everywhere. The ladders moved up to 30 feet and stopped there. It did a brief wobble. People on the ladders did a brief ‘Aw!’. The wobble stopped. The ladder continued moving upwards. It did the same at 50 feet. A brief wobble and continued moving up. The ladder stopped at 100 feet again and started wobbling.
“Some technical fault it seems.” Grandpa smirked.
“This looks bad.” Grandma.
“Oh my God! What the hell is this???” Mom shouted looking at some people falling down from the ladder.
The wobble stopped and the ladder started moving again smoothly. The whole world was watching with an eerie calm. The ladder stopped again at more than 300 feet now.
“What now!” Mom felt pathetic.
The wobble started again and quickly grew erratic. People were thrown down in thousands in all the directions. The TV announcer announced “You are looking at a very shocking live footage of our fellow beings being thrown down from the ladder. People on the earth are advised to go to safe places. There are human debris falling at massive speeds everywhere. It is a very dangerous to stay outside. It is important to stay confident and show our courage at this moment.” — “We are getting reports that electricity supplies are being terminated due to the falling debris. Do not roam outside. Stay close to your loved ones and share this wonderful day with them.” — “We will try to keep you updated as long as time permits. Stay connected. No ad breaks today though.”
The wobble continued for 12 more minutes until everyone on the ladder was dropped. The ladder came down to the earth.
We are doomed the breaking news read.
“It looks like it is not Kurmahbaagi.” Grandpa said.
“I have no clue. I give up.” Dad gave up. Nobody had anything to bring him up. There was no reason to feel positive or confident. The powerline went down. The house already had closed windows and doors to avoid debris.
Grandma cried in the dark. “We don’t know you, God! We could not find you! We could not find the right religion you came up with, God. Just tell the rules of life in simple words from the sky. What should we do? What should we eat? What should we wear? How should we worship you? Just tell who you are? What do you want from us? What makes you happy??”