I always was greedy.
I wanted more than my fair share of goodness.
I promised I'd do good things with my goodness:
I'd gift my goodness to those who needed a bit of good in them,
I'd share with everybody when goodness sauce fell short at a summer barbecue,
I'd barter virtue for sin wholesale at an imaginary exchange rate,
I'd even wrap goodness in little good hearts with nifty bows
And leave them by doorsteps.
Apparently, it doesn't work like that.
If you give it for free no one treasures it, I'm told:
Something to do with the perception of value.
Besides, I haven't really done a proper market study yet -
What if the demand just isn't there?
I try to say I'm not looking to profit
And I have no interest in cashing in on pain and evil to drive up revenues
From the increased perceived value of goodness,
But they brush me aside.
Pffft! They say. Who doesn't want to make a pretty penny?
Me, I want to say,
But I've been laughed at too many times now.
So I'm working on analytics and market research now.
I need to understand and present to archangel investors facts and data
How much goodness is there in the market already?
How much of it is expired stuff -
Leftover remnants of past generations with no net present value?
How much of it is spurious,
Really only desperate deathbed measures for a heavenly return on life savings?
How much demand is there for goodness in the market?
Is the demand real or mostly virtual,
Imaginary like uncashed share market returns?
I point at the blue neck of Nilkanth and say,
That's Proof Of Concept right there!
Without His self-sacrificing goodness, nothing would exist.
He carries the moon in the wrap of his hair, they say,
He is the source of life-giving Ganga herself.
He can afford to drink poison and do good without hope of strong returns.
I think Ganga looks less clean and life-giving than she used to be.
I think my cigarettes are poison too,
That I consume to save others from burning themselves up,
But keep my thoughts to myself.
There is no demand for my observations here.
That's why I'm here to ask if you feel you need goodness in your lives,
Or if you have enough of it already.
I promise this is a short survey that won't take more than one lifetime.
You can discuss and debate in lounge bars and on open streets if you like,
But be aware that your sessions may be recorded for future generations.
Every question has multiple choice options and there are no right answers.
So, all set?
Question One. If goodness were a cake, would you agree that icing sugar is injurious to health?
Ok, if that's too cryptic, here's another.
If goodness came in saffron and green, how many crosses would be enough to mark the path to salvation?
From your blank stares I think I should wrap this up quickly,
And leave -
A pity, though, I had so much to give.
Maybe, I'll leave the questions in bullet points
Across the earth and the sky,
And you can ponder over them in your own time.
I'll be back a couple of centuries later, give or take.
Hopefully, you'll have figured them all out by then.
In the meanwhile,
I'd rather not carry all this goodness back with me,
If that's okay.
I think I'll just dump my goodness in the waters of the Ganga.
Hopefully the children won't get to them before I'm back.