The phone rang.

“Hello, Joel, this is Gould. What is this, I hear, about your going to India?"

“Yes, Gould, it is true. I'm going to visit God.”

“What do you mean, you’re going to visit God?”

My thoughts flashed: Go easy; you have a real heathen on the phone; in 20 minutes, all your friends will hear about this and donate a strait-jacket to you.

“O, nothing, Gould. How are things going for you?”

His reply was no surprise.

“Terrible Joel, everything is going wrong! Speaking of God, I was brought up as a Catholic, and it is strange, but, when I used to go to church and pray, things went much better for me!"

This really shocked me. The playboy of Los Angeles talking about God! I never expected to hear these words from his mouth. As his voice wandered off into the distance, I was thinking, 'may be I should tell him about this book and see what he thinks about it'. His voice penetrated my ear-drums once again.

“Why are you going to India, Joel?"

“Well, Gould, I just read a book about a man who claims he is God. He materialises things.”

Quickly 'I thought, I better give him some more examples, knowing how materialistic Americans are. So, I gave some examples. There was silence on the phone, as I waited for his reply.'

"Well, Joel. You have been everywhere else in the world, and met almost any one of any importance; why not God?"

I felt he was trying to be polite, to avoid the, subject.

"Joel! If he can do all these things, what are you going to ask for, when you get there?"

"Gould, there is nothing I need, materially. May be, I'll ask him for a rainbow over India! At least, it will give some people something beautiful to look at…. Gould. I want you to understand one thing—I’m not a great believer in God. I certainly don’t believe in these Voodoo type of Indian Characters."

That morning, I called a friend of mine S. J. who has been like a father to me. I felt he has a sound and stable approach to most things and may be he could clarify my conflict. We met for lunch at a restaurant. After the usual banter, I told him about the books (Schulman's and Murphet's) and my impending visit to India.

I was astonished, when he said, "Why not go? It should be quite an experience."

As we were saying good-bye to each other, and started going our separate ways, S. J. smiled and said, "Write to me; I’ll be interested in what you find; and, if he is what he claims to be, may be he can solve my problems".

"I will, S. J! I'll write to you. Take good care of yourself, till I return".

As I started to walk towards my car, his voice interrupted my direction.

"What are you going to ask for?"

I turned and shrugged my shoulders.

"I don’t know, S. J.! I think I'll ask for a Rain bow."

I could hear his voice laugh, over the noise of city traffic, as he replied.

"If you are going to ask for some thing as big as that, you might as well ask for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."

We waved at each other, as I climbed my car and drove off.
(to be continued...)

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