A Journey with Ravi Gupta into Meaning.What is the purpose of life? A question that continues to fascinate some and lead some to the abyss of madness. Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Albert Camus and now Mr Ravi Gupa has fallen prey to this. Through his thought-provoking fictional narrative ‘When God went to hell’, Ravi Gupta impresses upon us to question our very foundation. By challenging the concept of Heaven or Hell, he questions the religious ideals that we are taught from our cradle.
From the overview he provided, his narrative seemed to be a satire on the concept of Heaven and Hell. When he posed the question, ‘Is God a creator or creation’ I was transported to Foucault’s, ‘What is an author?’.Chandini Sasha who moderated the discussion provided few glimpses into this narrative. She says how in the course of reading the book she inferred that Heaven and Hell are treated us, big corporate giants, vying for people’s soul. From her reading, she felt that the book is a corporatization of heaven and hell. She pointed out that years of working in the corporate might have influenced it to an extent.
In the session, Ravi Gupta expressed how the question which he failed to get answers prompted him to partake on this narrative. He along with Chandini Sasha is very clear that this is not a scholarly endeavour. From the session, it became clear that the concept of an afterlife, the vulnerability of the soul after it leaves the body to begin the journey to the unknown is something that frightens Mr Gupta and something that has influenced in this particular creation.
The following verses from Milton’s Paradise lost seems to have had an impact on Ravi Gupta.
“The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n”
He says how as we are unaware of the journey that awaits in the afterlife, it is better to null your hope of Heaven or Hell and focus on creating the heaven that you desire, here on earth.
Though Absurdist might shake their head, in response to Ravi’s search of meaning through ‘When God went to Hell’, I sincerely hope he is able to answer the ever rearing questions that life metes out to him.
About the Author – Vibhuthi Viswanathan is a Potterhead and chocoholic.Curling up with the ‘Balabhumi’ and spinning out tales from its illustrations to her little brother was her first interactions with a book. Although she has moved on from good old BalaBhumi, she still hasn’t stopped twirling words and pauses. She currently writes for Bookstalkist.