Hello, Michigan and Planet Earth! Hello, Transdimension Beings, hello! Daughter of Godcast Episode 115, in which we offer a short play, "Welcome to the Kali Yuga," which is based on a true story.
Welcome to the Kali Yuga is written and narrated by Dan Kelly, aka Shri Fugi Spilt, exclusively for the Daughter of Godcast.
VOICES: Any of the four ages... I didn't realize... You said it would be... Like this?!
We are swooping along library shelves, close enough to read the titles on the densely packed books. In another room, a conversation is in progress between a man and a woman, single words and snippets of sentences. Now a stack of folded towels, a claw-foot bathtub, a clothing rack hung with shirts and blazers passing by. We're taking a visual tour of a house, perhaps seeking the people talking. The disembodied voices become louder, clearer.
WOMAN: Fucking Kali Yuga.
MAN: Four ages to choose from, and you're like, c'mon — Kali Yuga. I was thinking Satya or maybe Treta, but you're like, don't be a wimp...
WOMAN: Making a sort of keening growl
MAN: I'm not the one complaining. I was like, if you're sure, Kali Yuga then, fine. The worst age of all, only assholes and badasses show up for the Kali Yuga. "And we're definitely badasses," you said.
WOMAN: Wikipedia was a bit vague...
MAN: Whatever! Going to Wikipedia... "Hinduism," "the four Yugas, or ages." OK, I'm reading, ready? "Satya Yuga (also known as Krita Yuga 'Golden Age'): The first and best Yuga. It was the age of truth and perfection. This Yuga has Zero Percent of Crime and Hundred Percent of Kindness. The Krita Yuga was so named because there was but one religion, and all men were saintly: therefore they were not required to perform religious ceremonies. Humans were gigantic, powerfully built, honest, youthful, vigorous, erudite and virtuous. The Vedas were one. All mankind could attain to supreme blessedness. There was no agriculture or mining, as the earth yielded those riches on its own. Weather was pleasant and everyone was happy. There were no religious sects. There was no disease, decrepitude, or fear of anything."
WOMAN: That sounds nice.
MAN: Nice?! I could have been forty feet tall with a huge golden penis, erections on command. "Nice" hardly comes close.
WOMAN: No religious ceremonies, though. I like ceremonies.
MAN: Well, it's not like ceremonies would have been illegal or anything. You could've had ceremonies.
WOMAN: But they were not required. I enjoy a sense of purpose. What's the next one?
MAN: "Treta Yuga: In this age, virtue diminishes slightly. At the beginning of the age, many emperors rise to dominance and conquer the world. Wars become frequent and weather begins to change to extremities. Oceans and deserts are formed. People become slightly diminished compared to their predecessors. Agriculture, labor and mining become existent."
WOMAN: Agriculture exists. Doesn't say anything about gardening. What about gardens?
MAN: Agriculture includes gardening, I would think.
WOMAN: Agriculture feels more like an activity sanctioned by the state, whereas gardening implies individual autonomy. I imagine agriculture being sanctioned by a priestly class. Gardening was probably illegal. Your average Jane would be skewered by the minions of the local emperor for an unauthorized grow. Plus oceans are just showing up. So they probably don't figure out how to sail until the next age. You certainly would've missed sailing.
MAN: If sailing wasn't even invented, how could I miss it? Even though Treta is only half as long as Satya or Krita, at a mere 1,296,000 years, there still would've been plenty of time to invent sailing. I could have invented sailing!
WOMAN: Sluggish old triremes with oars sticking out the sides? Please.
MAN: Your Greco-centric indoctrination is showing. The freaking Polynesians had wave surfing catamarans! I could have been a 15-foot-tall Polynesian with an above average mahogany penis.
WOMAN: And *you've* seen Moana too many times. The PornHub version. Read the next one.
MAN: "Dvapara Yuga: the third Yuga. In this age, people become tainted with Tamasic qualities (lethargy) and aren't as strong as their ancestors. Diseases become rampant. Humans are discontent and fight each other. Vedas are divided into four parts. People still possess characteristics of youth in old age. Average life span of humans is around a few centuries."
WOMAN: I remember now. This one sounded pretty boring. Unless you're a doctor.
MAN: Or a lawyer. And just 864,000 years long, hardly even enough time to settle in. This one didn't do much for me, either, but for sure it's an upgrade from Kali Yuga. Here, check this: "Kali Yuga: the final age. It is the age of darkness and ignorance. People become sinners and lack virtue. They become slaves to their passions and are barely as powerful as their earliest ancestors in the Satya Yuga. Society falls into disuse and people become liars and hypocrites. Knowledge is lost and scriptures are diminished. Humans eat forbidden and dirty food. The environment is polluted, water and food become scarce. Wealth is heavily diminished. Families become nonexistent. By the end of Kali Yuga the average life span of humans will be as low as 70 years."
WOMAN: It's way worse than all that. Hemorrhoids. Mansplaining. Faux stone.
MAN: Are you talking about people going for the rustic fireplace look on the cheap so they use that weird cement veneer instead of actual rocks?
WOMAN: So awful. Remember in the '70s, when pretty much everything came with fake wood grain? The obligatory ersatz stickem of idealized oak on EVERY, FUCKING, THING. Faux stone is the wood grain of the early 21st century. Fucking Kali Yuga.
MAN: You chose the fucking Kali Yuga! Nobody made you manifest here. The scariest roller coaster in the whole theme park. You convinced me to come with you. Do you hear ME complaining? No, you're the only one complaining.
WOMAN: Of course you're not complaining, you're a man! You've got all the privileges — higher pay, diverse opportunities, uncomplicated genitals...
MAN: Look, you women are super powerful, you just pretend you're not. You can get pregnant, assemble new human beings — men can't get pregnant. No matter how big I dream I can't get pregnant. Swami Bua says that women are 10 times stronger than men. Women are smart, creative, magical... you're overflowing with talent and insight, you're loved and respected. You can do anything, once you get clear about what you want.
WOMAN: But the fucking Kali Yuga!
MAN: Look. I incarnated here in the Kali Yuga with you, and I guess the only reason I did was to remind you that not only did you choose the fucking Kali Yuga, you were super eager to get here and be a badass. Your excitement was infectious; you got me all excited to come here, too. And why did we come? Because, you said, this is the most exciting time to be alive, this is where we can dream the biggest. So what's our dream? That's the point. Go ahead and complain, but then? What the heck are your complaints pointing to? What would you like to experience instead?
WOMAN: You're mansplaining. I'd like to experience less mansplaining.
MAN: State that in the positive.
WOMAN: I love when men remind me of who I am nonverbally. I want you to remind me of the entire cosmos without talking.
MAN: That sounds fun, but I'm not sure your boyfriend would appreciate that.
WOMAN: Always the last word.
And that's it for Kali as in Yuga, Daughter of Godcast Episode 115, Summer Vacation. One and a quarter watermelons remaining. I'm not rationing the watermelon; yesterday I found another watermelon that I'd left in my mom's garage. She definitely won't get around to eating that last watermelon, so we can stretch out Summer Vacation for... who knows? Our trees are mostly leaf-free now; they've spread a sodden carpet of rust and gold. Under a textured cloudscape, steady rain. What does summer in November feel like? A lightly garbed gallop through the aromatic forest, splashing barefoot into my chill lake to fill the water buckets, more time with the genius locals. Summer slides into other, on a slippery glaze of beauty.