As I walked down the road to Heaven,
I suddenly stopped to ask.
Why am I here? How can I be?
Where’s the good in all my past?

The angels groaned and told me
Flashbacks are so clichéd.
Please, please, they begged of me,
Simply look ahead!

No, I said, and I sat down there,
The only girl grumpy in heaven.
Fine, they growled, be like that.
We’ll see what can be done.

So then they brought forth my mom,
Who said I’d been a ray of joy.
She said, we’re judged by the love we bring,
And I had filled her life.

Hah! I said, dismissing that,
Why’d I believe my mom?
She loves me, I know she does.
She’d lie to get me in Heaven.

The angels looked at each other
Realising, this would be hard.
They looked at each other, wishing I would enter
The gates within which I belonged.

Next they called my brother,
Quickly appraised of the facts.
He looked at me long, looked at me hard,
Then delivered his advice.

Why are you such an idiot?
He asked of my immortal soul.
Whatever the reason, you’re almost in Heaven.
Can you ask for anything more?

Yes, I said.
And I waved him away.

The angels groaned in frustration.
Look, they said, ‘most hysterical now,
We’ve never failed before.
Take our word, you’re good enough,
Now please, please pass through those golden doors?

I cannot, I explained, until I know why.
Why am I here?
What means this life?
What lies beyond those gates?

I should not be here, I insisted.
I am not one of you.
My name can not be on the parchment scrolls
That stand in front of Heaven.

Standing before those shining gates,
With a reluctant heavenly entrant,
The white winged women snapped.
They could simply stand no more.

We have had enough, they said to me.
Decide now, or part in peace:
Will you walk into the glorious halls,
Or leave them behind forever?

I stand there still, in spirit,
Staring at those closed doors,
Beyond which lies Man’s final goal.

I stand still on that grassy path,
Wondering what to do.
Wondering, Do my loved ones lie?
Or am I just a fool?

I stand there still, on that perfect day,
Wishing for advice, for guidance.
Do I dare to enter where the free spirits dwell?
Do I dare to trust myself?

First published at and performed at the Prakriti Poetry Slam, December 2009; Egmore Museum Theatre, Chennai.

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