One often wonders what happens after we die: do we really walk into the afterlife? The answer of whether our journey ends at our funeral or whether we begin a new journey the day after our funeral is an endless one.
Many have tried to crack the mystery with several theories and experiments but nothing can be said for sure. There remain so many questions that are yet to be answered, so many puzzles that are yet to be solved. But that doesn’t stop us from imagining the afterlife from our own perspective – one that arises from the faith and the beliefs that we home within ourselves.
Nikhil Kushwaha presents us with a vision of the afterlife in his book “The Day After My Funeral”. He neither intends to question any religious beliefs nor desires to preach. He simply wants to bring awareness to readers of the ticking clock – so that we live our life to the fullest, enjoy every moment and die in peace without any regrets.
The story centres around Arpan, a corporate employee who loses himself in the rat-race towards happiness, all the while missing out on the real reason behind happiness – freedom.
All he cares about is his job, money and colleagues – which sometimes compels him to ignore his family. Still, he lives a guiltless life, unaware of the ticking clock that was slowly bringing his death close to him; until he suddenly finds himself dead, waiting for judgement. It is through his journey in the afterlife that Arpan discovers the answers to several unanswerable questions and comes out with a deep insight into life.
Besides the spiritual tour into the inner recesses of the human mind, readers will find in this book a taste of the author’s imaginative capabilities in the portrayal of the afterlife.
*The rest of this Book Club post contains spoilers*
Most impressive is the depiction of Hell which is projected in a completely different light. Hell is portrayed as an apartment with eleven floors – where the first floor is for the worst kind of sinners while the eleventh floor is for the sinners with small sins.
The punishment that one receives in the eleventh floor is that they have to relive their worst memories again and again for decades like a time loop. That’s the most liberal punishment of Hell. The first floor, guarded by the Guardians of Hell, is like a vast ocean, but only with burning lava and heat waves. The sky is bright red here with demonic vultures hovering over it. The screaming, begging and pleading souls have a human figure with no face and their bodies turned black from the extremely hot conditions.
However, Hell is not portrayed entirely in a negative light.
The fire burning in the Hell is actually the Oodle of Creation—the thing that created the Universe and brought life to existence. Before everything that God made, He created this place first. Considered as the mighty God’s greatest invention, its purpose is to bring life, to heal everything and to purify souls. The liquid is so divine that if one pours even a drop of it in an empty place, it has the power to give birth to a whole new star and solar system — echoing the Big Bang Theory.
Yet, the liquid is found in Hell and not in Heaven, because Hell isn’t a place of torment – as it is deemed to be – but a place for purification and healing where souls burn in heat while the sacred liquid heals them and cleanses them of their sins. After they are completely cleansed, the souls feel no pain and start to celebrate.
This remarkable depiction changes our entire view about Hell.
Within all these mythical manifestations, the author mingles the modern concept of time travel when Arpan travels back in time to watch the flashbacks of how he died. And while on it, Arpan discovers another remarkable thing—he can now hear people’s thoughts as well.
Mariece – the angle who is in-charge of his afterlife – explains that it’s because he is now a spirit. Just as humans can hear other humans, spirits can hear other spirits. When Arpan attends his own funeral ceremony, it is through this thought-reading ability that Arpan understands who truly loves him and who just pretends to do so.
The ultimate climax of the story arrives when Arpan finally gets to meet the God—something that the readers have been waiting for all along. The chapter where God answers all the questions that man ever wanted to know from Him is remarkably well- written.
He explains how we don’t value even the most precious things in our life just because we already own it, how humans dig their own graves and then curse God for the drastic consequences, how they pray to God but never follow the path He made and how hard-work and struggle is everything that one should strive towards.
Arpan comes in contact with many such teachings and lessons that make his journey through the afterlife as well as the readers’ journey through the book “an experience of a lifetime”.
About the Author
Sanchari Das is currently pursuing her Masters in English. She devotes her free time to writing, painting, singing and enhancing her photography skills. The author of three books, Sanchari dreams to inspire millions through her writing. Born with a Piscean heart beaming with creativity, she is ever ready to embark upon new ventures and discover all the hidden sides to her personality.