NO HEAVEN FOR GUNGA DIN by Ali (Gunga Din) Mirdrekvandi


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In 1943, when the war had extended to the Middle East to the farthest reaches of the smallest village, and the British and American forces were stationed in Teheran, a peasant from Lorestan presented himself for duty: his aim, he said, to learn English. His persistence gained him the post of mess servant, under John Hemming. Many talks ensued, and much writing, and from Gunga Din's hand (for that is how he was called) came this present parable. It tells of the time after the third world war, the Harvesting-Living-War, when Democracy finally defeated Communism, and when a group of officers proceed toward the gates of Heaven ""with General Burke their commander in their front and with Gunga Din their servant in their behind."" They meet and pass judgment on the five Holy Commanders, make their way to the Judgment Field where they are in turn judged. After strenuous defense by the Holy Agency they are forgiven their sins and receive their Freedom Passes to Heaven. Only Gunga Din remains behind, sentenced to Hell. Eventually the Children of Man under Adam in Heaven rebel against the treatment of the Hellishes; the upshot of their actions remains in doubt except for the words, ""God loves all his creatures in one measure."" Ali Mirdrekvandi's sly humor, superb sense of character, and imaginative inventiveness inform this unique Pilgrim's Progress... a derisive enchantment. Still, special.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1965
Publisher: Dutton