I met him on the street once. Old he was. I helped him cross the street. I asked him what he did in his spare time. He said he started his career as a ring master in circus.
‘The excitement of the scene, the meekness of the ferocious animal (who by the way would never hurt) yet the credulity of the audience.. they made an impression on me,’ he said while gesturing a motorbike to stop. He continued walking casually recounting his tale, I meanwhile stole a glance at the biker. ‘As I was saying’, he lingered, ‘That made an impression on me.. and I started writing quotations for newspapers. To my surprise they became popular. So I wrote on and on and then they collected it all and made a book out it.. see.’ He showed me the book.
By this time we had crossed the road. To be polite I read one or two and praised the content. It was a sweet little pocket book – the kind in which one gets Gita and Bible these days. He was almost gloating about it ‘I always thought I’m no good, Nothing,’ he mused, ‘but now look at this thing. I feel I’ve done my bit’. I asked him if he believed in God. He said he didn’t.
He asked me what I did. I said ‘Presently I’m trying hard to not become what I despise. Yet I end up not despising what I become.’ He looked bemused. ‘So,’ I continued, ‘I talk in paradoxes and write in metaphors, preach faith to apostate and doubt to believers.’
‘You astound me,’ he said somewhat taken aback. ‘Don’t worry about it,’ I said, ‘Pressing his hands between mine. You don’t see Him but you see me, don’t you, flesh and blood. I’ve a better technique and wouldn’t be as conspicuous.’
PS: have to work on it a little more