When I was a kid, whenever things didn’t quite pan out as I had hoped for, I would shout out to the sky, “Had enough, you bastard?” (Come to think of it, calling God a bastard – considering it’s theologically sound – was remarkably perceptive for a seven year old.)

Over the years, however, I became a steadfast agnostic, though there are times when I have seriously considered the existence of God. Like when I cleared the paper Theory of Elasticity and Plasticity in Semester V, though perhaps that can be attributed to copying Valsaraj’s answer sheet than to divine intervention.

Here I list three events that have made me question my long held beliefs.

1) Death of Sanjay Gandhi: When Stalin passed away the BBC approached Bertrand Russell for a sound bite. Lord Russell, never the one to call a spade a symbol of the working class, refused to eulogize him. Instead, he said something to the effect that it was a good thing that the sonofabitch finally kicked the bucket. (Nehru, incidentally, praised Stalin to the skies.) Morarji Desai is reported to have expressed a similar sentiment on hearing the news about Sanjay Gandhi’s death. Did God answer the prayers of millions of Indians and caused the plane’s engine to go kaput?

2) Death of Rajiv Gandhi: The man who dismissed the killing of more than 3000 Sikhs with the words “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes a bit” found out that the earth does shake a little when a bomb goes off too.(Unconfirmed reports say his last words were, “Wow, this chick is a real bomb!”) Did God have a hand in dispensing poetic justice? I am not suggesting that God appeared in the guise of a human bomb, but often I stay up late wondering whether He did relax the security cordon a bit and allowed it to happen.

3) Death of Pramod Mahajan: A thug, a bully and one of the most corrupt leaders ever, finished by his own brother. (How I wish more of our ruling class had brothers like that!) If only Praveen Mahajan could finish his tell-all book to reveal God’s possible role in it.

So here I am willing to suspend my disbelief and make a Faustian pact with God. All I need is one more sign. Dear Supreme Being, finish off Bajarangi and Togadia and throw in a few more hardliners, preferably in a ghastly accident, though plague will do fine too. And in return I will join a faith of your choice. Though if you insist that I sign up for a religion that is against eating a certain kind of meat, drinking beer or watching porn, it’d be my turn to show you a sign – the finger.