Intelligent Design

The very first rule on good parenting

Any decent psychologist will give you is

‘The consequences of the act should be clear to the child

Reward or punish the behaviour immediately and consistently

And make the connection obvious’

 

And when my friend bought a puppy the other day

The kennel owner gave him the same advice

 

Which brought to my mind a question

‘How come God doesn’t seem to know this rule

Which so many mere mortals seem to understand?

How come in His world

We do not see wicked deeds being punished

Or good ones rewarded?

On the contrary

The wicked seem to flourish

And seldom is good returned for good’.

 

Oh! Maybe I just don’t get it

Maybe I am an ignoramus

Maybe we humans are supposed to be so evolved

As to do right

Because it is right

And shun wrong

Because it is wrong

And not bother about consequences and rewards

Yes indeed! That in fact is what the Gita tells us

 

But for me

I am not at that high plane

I don’t know if there is a world or a life

Beyond this one

And, as a rational being,

I do not see why I should do right

If it is not rewarded

Or not do wrong

If it is

 

Without getting into the debate

On intelligent design

I would say

That this is

Not Very Intelligent Design!

–Meena

I Have Met God—He’s a Bureaucrat

My God is a bureaucrat

In the best traditions of Indian bureaucracy

 

I pray and plead

But He has no time

For petty, individual sorrows and requests

Because He is looking

At the bigger picture

 

I rant and rave

Against the unfairness of the order of things

But His look tells me

That He can only worry about

The overall order of things

 

If you and I and a little ant

Feel aggrieved

That is really our problem

For the macro-indicators

Are showing a positive trend.

 

I try to make sense of things

But when I ask Him to explain

He tells me that it is not for me to understand

All these things are decided ‘at a higher level’

 

I try to get in touch when I need him

But He never responds

Maybe because He is in meetings

Or on tour

 

And so I have learnt

To cope with my problems

My tragedies, my questions

Because though

Right to Information is now an Act

God won’t respond if he doesn’t want to

And usually, he doesn’t.

 

–Meena

Justifications Believers Could Give

In the old days, it seems from all reports,

That Gods of all faiths performed many, many miracles

 

THEY would save believers from the jaws of death

THEY would heal lepers and give sight to the blind

THEY would grant riches and victory to the righteous

And take the time to wipe the tears of widows and orphans

 

But it seems THEY are slipping up badly these days

I can see no miracles around me

In fact, THEY are performing ‘Below Expectation’ (a term from my appraisal process!)

Even in their core function

Which is to reward the good and punish the bad

 

Well, when you think about it

I can find some excuses for THEM

How do you expect THEM to cope

With the kind of rise in population

The world has seen from the good old days?

So many billions of souls

Calling out to them for

Miracles big and small

 

Agreed THEY are Gods

But even THEY, surely

Must be stressed and over-worked

Poverty, hunger, AIDS

Terrorist attacks, the War on Terror

Nuclear proliferation

Stock market booms and busts

Dictators and trolls

Floods, droughts, tsunamis

Child trafficking, porn sites

Violence against women

 

In between sorting out all this

Do you seriously expect THEM

To make the time

For a personal miracle for you?

 

Get real!

 

–Meena