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The Oracle from Oslo

The Oracle from Oslo
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First Published: Wed, Oct 14 2009. 10 16 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Oct 14 2009. 10 16 PM IST
In the beginning, as God created heaven and earth, there was the word, and the word was Barack.
Barack came to the shining city upon a hill, with a halo around his head and wings on his feet. Floods ravaged the earth, the land was writhing in agony, the trees were barren, the sun scorched the soil, a man called Al ran around the earth showing lurid images of hell and fire, saying the end was near, a man in a cave sent burning rocks destroying chariots and castles, and a wounded man in a wheelchair was taken out of his bunker before he could destroy the sacred parchment. An ill wind blew over the Potomac.
And then the snow fell, fresh and light, pure and white, innocent as a hare, on a day so rare. And Barack rose to the mount and raised his hand and said, “So help me God”, and God helped him.
And then followed the first day.
Barack smiled, and there was sunshine, separating darkness from light. Birds were singing, people were twittering, leaves began to rustle, unions showed their muscle, dealers went to hustle, and the world remained a puzzle. Enemies had begun to shiver, as Barack turned to his quiver, but as was his habit, he produced a rabbit. Barack was about love, and his messenger was the dove.
And then followed the second day.
Barack went out and spoke to the good men and women on the hill. He said he would send his doves of hope everywhere, to the sandy desert where on a darkling plain ignorant armies clashed by night; to the jungles where soldiers stole gold and silver to buy more machetes and swords; to the hermit kingdom where an unruly child sought attention by firing crackers. And he said there shall come a day when he, too, shall lay down his sword. And the wise Magi of Oslo saw that as the First Sign.
And then followed the third day.
And in the city without Two Towers he told those who ate cake that they must eat bread, and he turned wine to water, and he glanced with his steely eyes at the big wounded bull panting for breath and the growling bear crawling towards him. And he told the goldsmith to make more coins and he turned the coins to honey and fed the bulls and the bears, and their animal instincts returned and the kingdom was happy ever after.
And then followed the fourth day.
And then Barack declared that men in orange shall be set free but, even though unchained, these men could not fly to freedom because no one would receive them, and Barack said he had at least tried. And for the Magi, that was the Second Sign. There were other men in orange, in a city of pagodas, where unarmed orange-robed men went seeking justice, but the pagan gods cracked their skulls, and Barack’s messengers said they would break bread with them. For the Magi, that, too, was a miracle, for the faith of the orange-robed promised rewards only in the next birth.
And then followed the fifth day.
And there was an old monk in saffron robes and Gucci shoes who came to the shining city, his eyes twinkling as he smiled, with the hope that he might be able to see Barack. But Barack worked in mysterious ways and he told the old monk that rewards befall only when the cycle of rebirths was complete, so he must continue to meditate for deliverance from suffering, from the Yellow Emperors with the Little Red Book. And Barack could not help, because he had many bills to pay to the Yellow Emperors with the Little Red Book. And the Magi understood.
And then followed the sixth day.
And then Barack spoke to the people—on their Apples and through Orange, on BlackBerrys and in boxes with images—his calm voice reverberating through the ether. And he spoke at the seminary by the pyramids, and then in the city of the playwright who believed in Living the Truth, and men in hoods had taken him away, for Disturbing the Peace. That town then chose the playwright to heal their wounds, but the playwright’s miracles, the Magi of Oslo felt, were not good enough.
And then followed the seventh day.
And then a white warrior in blue restrained a black scholar at his home, and Barack invited the warrior and the scholar to his garden, and offered them strong waters made of barley, yeast, malt and hops, bringing to an end years of mistrust and harmony. And the wise Magi of Oslo looked at the sky and clouds had parted and there was light.
And the Magi of Oslo nodded and said Barack, he be the One.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed.
Salil Tripathi is a writer based in London. Your comments are welcome at salil@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Oct 14 2009. 10 16 PM IST
More Topics: Here | There | Everywhere | Salil Tripathi | Barack |