Kids Corner


When Indiro Stood Before Dharamraj




Twenty-six years ago, Indiro was sent packing from this earth.

Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where she stood in line for her attendance before Dharamraj, the Gatekeeper of Life Eternal, and the processing that would follow.

"Welcome to swarag - heaven!" says Dharamraj, when Indiro finally stands before him. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says Indiro.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher-ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in narak - hell - and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really? But I've made up my mind, I want to be in heaven", says Indiro.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, Dharamraj escorts her to the elevator and she goes down, down, down to hell.

The doors open and she finds herself in the middle of a sprawling garden, just like the one at 1, Safdarjung Road back on earth. In the distance is a grand shamiana and standing in front of it are all her friends and other politicians who had worked with her. And of course, young Sanjay, and old Jawaharlal too!

Everyone is very happy and in freshly laundered dhotis and saris, and polished chappals. They run to greet her, welcome her within their circle and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They played a friendly game of badminton and then dined on pooris, jalebis and the finest toddy.

Also present is Shaitan, the devil, a very friendly guy - wearing a Gandhi topi too - who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before Indiro realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives her a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises ...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven, where Dharamraj is waiting for her. "Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours passed with Indiro joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing on their dilrubas and taus and singing shabads. They have a good time and, before she realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and Dharamraj returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven.  Now choose your eternity."

Indiro reflects for a minute, then she answers:

"Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So, Dharamraj escorts her to the elevator and she goes down, down, down to hell..

Now the doors of the elevator open and she finds herself in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

She sees all her family and friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to her and puts his arm around her shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers Indiro. "Yesterday I was here and there was a shamiana in the middle of a garden, we ate pooris and jalebis, drank warm toddy, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my son and daddy and all my friends look miserable.

"What happened?"

The devil smiles at her and says, "Yesterday, we were campaigning. Today, you voted."


October 31, 2010 - the 26th anniversary of Indiro's descent into hell!

Conversation about this article

1: L. Journo, December 08, 2010, 5:55 AM.

The end was nice. However, I had thought that being a Sikh website, the punch line would make fun of Indira Gandhi, but I was pleasantly surprised that instead it made fun of leaders altogether. Thanks.

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