The clouds parted, revealing a new-born baby, crying feebly, and kicking its legs.
“Is there anything in its hands?”
“No, they’re empty.”
“Now look there,” the old man commanded, pointing in another direction.
A dead body lay in a casket, fully dressed like a man about to step out, on the edge of a freshly dug pit. A few people stood about, looking bored, and talking in a low tone. Both the body and the mourners were vaguely familiar. Instinctively, I looked for the diamond rings on the dead man’s fingers, the expensive wristwatch, and the golden chain around his neck. They were all gone.
A priest said a prayer in a solemn voice. A couple of bystanders paid brief tributes to the man in the casket. It was then lowered into the pit and the mourners left after throwing handfuls of soil into it. A man filled the pit with practiced hands. The place was deserted in a few minutes, except for some birds that descended from the nearby trees in search of food.
“What did he have in his hands,” the old man asked suddenly, bringing my attention back to the present.
“Did you recognize the baby and the dead man? Both were you.”
I had no doubt about the man in the casket.
I did not know where I was or what I was doing above the drifting clouds with this mysterious man in white with a flowing beard. What I did remember was the shattering blow I had felt when my financial adviser told me about the crash in the market and informed me that I had just become insolvent.
I had switched off my cell phone, locked myself in my room, and swallowed a fistful of sleeping pills.
“You spent a lifetime chasing name and fame, when all that you needed in the end was.....”