‘So…is God really big?’, my son, about five years old and growing mischievous by the minute, asked me yesterday. ‘Yeah….I think so’, I answered very very carefully, trying to gauge the race track his mind was galloping on. ‘Is He bigger than me?’ ‘Yup…certainly’. ‘Is he bigger than our house?’ ‘Ahan…’ ‘Is he bigger than everything?’ ‘Oh yeah….!’ I breathed a sigh of short lasted relief. That was easy. ‘Will he burn me in fire if I am a bad boy?’ Huh! ‘Why do you say so? Who said that to you?’ The overprotecting father in me sprang to the front. ‘Qari Saab’, he answered nonchalantly. Okkaayyyy….., let him come again and I will clear his doubts. My silent fury was interrupted as he asked again, ‘so is He going to burn…..’. ‘Hey buddy…you know what….God is just like your mom’, I hurriedly cut him short. ‘Fat…?’, he asked with a glint in his eye. ‘No…..not fat….’, I answered while desperately looking around to check if the lady of the house was within earshot, ‘He is kind and loving and…’ ‘Okay!’, was the only response and the matter was solved. I looked at him playing happily with the water pistol and thought, ‘you don’t know it yet little man. But most probably that’s going to be the biggest question, you’ll ask yourself one day’.
Anna is sitting naked on the high-backed chair looking in the cheap aluminum framed mirror. It is a small room in a grey depilated apartment building and almost nude with sparse furnishing: two simple chairs in a corner, used more as a resting place for dirty clothes than for idle gossip. A small TV mounted on the wall, on mute with its screen alternating between static and a music video featuring a few garish characters from hell. A double bed in another corner covered with a dark purple quilt and presently occupied by a naked hairless man whose only principal physical feature seems to be a bulging and pale beer belly, obscene with the singleness of a prominent dark belly button. Two lamps on metallic side tables on each side of the bed are visible; one throwing a red glare across the room and the other indecisive in its flickering. The room smells faintly of cheap sex and sweat: both man sweat and woman sweat and the smell of their unwashed bodies. The room smells of used condoms and dirty bedsheets; the room smells of sin and of the basest of desires.