It was his last day on earth, after this, he didn’t know what was about to come. He closed his eyes and whispered goodbye to the world, ready to enter the afterlife. As his eyes opened again, he found himself in heaven. A beautiful place with a picturesque view with some lovely fragrant aromas prancing in the air. He immediately fell in love with it. At the gates of heaven was an old man waiting for him. He asked him, "So good sir, are you comfortable around here?” Sachin said, "yes, indeed it's beautiful out here, the fragrances, the beautiful scenery it's remarkable!” The old man had a file with Sachin’s name on it and after going through it he said, “Ahh! I know just the perfect place for you to spend your whole eternity! Follow me.”
Sachin was still amazed about his surroundings, but he followed the old man to a beautiful Palace. " What a magnificent palace" he thought. It was at least 10 times bigger than Buckingham Palace. Sachin was delighted. He said, “Thank you sir for this amazing place, I am really glad I got to be in heaven.” Sachin was a non-vegetarian, religious man with a family. He was passionate about his work. He detested atheists and people who loved alcohol. He wanted to ask the old man something but he was afraid. Somehow, he gathered the courage and asked him,” Is the whole palace for me? Do they serve non-veg food here?” The old man laughed and said, "I was expecting a question like that. You will be accompanied by a fellow roommate or should I say heaven mate, ha-ha! and yes you can eat all sorts of food here.” The old man left Sachin in the big shining Palace and left.
Sachin was excited to meet his fellow heaven mate and was eager to know whom he will be spending his whole eternity with. After a few days, the old man came to the palace again with a young lad named Chintan. Sachin was in the pool swimming. He saw them enter the pool area and went to greet them. Sachin was excited to meet his heaven mate. He always wondered who this person might be.
The old man left Chintan at the palace and went back to his place. Sachin was excited and wanted to know about Chintan, but Chintan was tired and went to bed early. They both met at the breakfast table the next day and Sachin had prepared a special breakfast for his heaven mate. It consisted of meat items that Sachin was fond of, from chicken salads to bacon. As soon as Chintan saw this he was distressed. He told Sachin that he was Vegan and how he viewed consumption of meat as animal cruelty. Sachin was a bit disappointed but he was alright with it.
After Breakfast, Sachin showed Chintan the palace and then they entered a big prayer house. Chintan didn’t enter this room. Sachin asked, “Why don’t you come in? This is my favourite place in the whole palace.” "I am an Atheist; A non-believer. I spent all my time on earth following that and I am not going to change that now.” Chintan said. Sachin got more tensed, he was anxious now. He was thinking, "how can I spend an eternity with a person who does nothing similar to what I do?” He still swallowed this and went on showing the palace.
After few days Chintan said, "Let’s have a party today, I will arrange everything for the party.” Sachin was excited. He wore a nice suit took some of his hand made kebab for the party. As soon as he entered the party, he saw one thing that he hated the most in his life ‘Alcohol’. "That was it!" Sachin thought. He stormed off the party and went to see the old man and started ranting “You have made a mistake. Chintan doesn’t belong in heaven! He doesn’t believe in God. He even consumes alcohol. Even if he does belong, he doesn’t belong with me. We are so different, I can't even imagine spending a single day of my life with him, how can I spend the whole eternity with him then.” The old man stood up from his chair and said in a very soft voice, "My son, Co-existence is the way to peace. You cannot achieve peace unless you co exist with someone who is the polar opposite of you. If you want peace, you need to learn to Co-exist.”
Sachin listened to this and was shocked that his whole life he hated people who were atheist, who didn’t like nonveg and who loved alcohol. But now he understands that if he wants to attain peace, he doesn’t need to fight for his existence. He needs to Co-exist with Chintan for peace and accept his way of life. After this, Sachin started accepting new ideas and he lived a life not fighting for existence but learned to Co-exist in peace
We are so busy in our life to prove everyone wrong and trying to propagate our worldview that we don’t even realize that we can Co-exist and live in peace.
Author: Chirag Kajale