Waiting for Godotara

Vichar Mohio
7 min readJul 13, 2023

An Unexpected Invitation

Estraz and Vladys found themselves standing before the mysterious mansion, an invitation to meet the enigmatic deity, Godotara in each of their hands. As they entered the grand compound, they were met by eight others who arrived at the same time.

While waiting, Vladys and Estraz struck up a conversation and were surprised to find a string of commonalities — they had both grown up in comparable environments, pursued similar hobbies, gone to the same grand schools and had similar dreams of outsized success for their futures. One look at the others would be enough to suspect that this similarity extended to everyone present there.

Each had, of course, heard the rumours. Their anticipation, therefore, was not unreasonable. It was commonly known, within the right circles, that a meeting with Godotara set one up for life — the lucky pilgrims guaranteed a life of meaning & success beyond their wildest dreams. Legend claimed that even Alexander the Great was a fellow pilgrim.

A guard, charming and persuasive, began his introduction, “You are about to behold the divine Godotara, the illustrious sovereign of happiness and fulfillment! She, the eternal wellspring of joy, bestows her blessings upon those deemed worthy, unlocking the gates to a realm of unending bliss and unparalleled achievement.”

Just when everyone was primed for their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the guard revealed a twist. While they had all received invitations, the meeting wasn’t set in stone — as Godotara was very selective in who she met. Therefore, each individual would compete for the honor of meeting Godotara.

While the competition would be simple, there would only be one winner. And the winner would walk through a door marked with a smile — to meet Godotara herself.

The rest of them would have to go through the door marked with a frown. The silver lining? Each losing participant would get another chance. In fact, the loser could continue taking chances till they themselves decided to give up.

The ‘not so silver lining’ was a demonstration of what lay in store for quitters. It wasn’t life-threatening or dangerous, but for the people present it was a fate worse than death. The grounds of the compound were littered with men, both young and old, who had given up on meeting Godotara mid-way through. In doing so, they seemed to have lost their hold on sanity– working feverishly on things that seemed to serve no end or would not lead to being remembered by history.

Despite the disturbing sight, the group’s resolve remained steadfast, nay was even strengthened. “Surely,” thought both Vladys and Estraz, “that is a fate reserved for other, less capable men.”

The guard presented the first challenge — the trivial game of tic-tac-toe was the inspiration for this challenge. It was simple, each player would play ten games against the guard. The participant that won most would win their chance at going through the smile door. The group agreed readily and our story began in earnest.

The Frown Door

Unfortunately, Vladys didn’t emerge as the winner of the tic-tac-toe challenge. Having lost, he reluctantly passed through the “frown door”. To his surprise, he found himself in an almost identical hall with another group of people, a different guard but the same two doors. The guard, yet again extolling Godotara’s virtues in a style reminiscent of a medieval royal chamber.

After the usual praises, the guard explained the rules of the two doors to all present and things were off to another start.

Determined to prove himself, Vladys participated in the second challenge, a similar task to the tic-tac-toe challenge that he had attempted earlier.

Unfortunately for him, he failed to win again and was forced to pass through the frown door a second time. As he moved forward, his determination to reach Godotara only intensified.

The Smile Door

Estraz emerged victorious in the first challenge, and eagerly entered the smile door. Expecting to meet Godotara as the guard had promised, he too was taken aback to find himself in a very similar hall to the one he had just exited. Surrounded by new faces, yet another guard and the same two doors.

The guard elaborated on Godotara’s greatness, but was even more generous in his praise than the guard in the first room, “All hail the magnificent Godotara, the transcendent empress of serenity and triumph! Her boundless splendor, a beacon of light, has inspired the most illustrious rulers and the fiercest champions. She, the everlasting fountain of ecstasy, graciously confers her favor upon those deemed deserving, revealing the secrets to a world of infinite delight and unrivaled accomplishments.”

His exhortations seemed to border on exaggeration, but unsurprisingly the eager participants failed to pick up on that.

The new guard acknowledged that all who were present had won the first tic-tac-toe, but he also informed everyone that this by itself was not enough. They would have to complete one additional challenge before meeting Godotara — and this would be harder than the tic-tac-toe challenge.

A short while later, Estraz managed to prevail once again. He could feel himself becoming more confident in his abilities as he walked through the smile door yet again.

The Turning Point

Months had passed, and Vladys found himself trapped in a never-ending cycle of challenges and frown doors. The constant setbacks took a toll on him, and he began to question his self-worth and the integrity of the guards. He noticed that with each failure, his sense of self diminished, and a growing sense of despair took hold.

Yet, he continued to compete, fuelled by the sincere belief that success would solve all his problems. Each night, he lay awake, haunted by memories of the smiley door and the life he could lead.

In rare moments of self-reflection, Vladys pondered the true meaning of happiness and fulfillment, as well as the nature of Godotara. He wondered what the true purpose of these tests was.

But these were fleeting moments at best, and he did not dare to ponder over them too much. When he looked around and saw the determination with which all the rest of the competitors were attempting the tasks, he quieted his own doubts & approached the competition with renewed vigor.

He was sure the keys to happiness lay through the smile door — after all, so many other people can’t be wrong!

The Smiley Streak

Estraz, on the other hand, continued his winning streak, growing addicted to the adrenaline of besting his rivals. It wasn’t clear when it happened, but one day Estraz realized that the desire to meet Godotara had been replaced by a constant desire to win against other worthy competitors.

With each triumph, he felt an insatiable craving for more — having convinced himself that the path to true happiness was an endless series of wins against worthy competitors — Godotara be damned.

The Path Less Traveled

Years passed, and Vladys had changed significantly. Defeated and dispirited, he began to believe that he was destined to remain on the losing side.

One day he heard rumors that the smiley door may not have been all it was cracked up to be. In the quiet moments between challenges, Vladys found solace in observing the madmen, noting their genuine sense of fulfillment. He began to explore the depths of his own mind, seeking answers and solace in introspection.

As these moments of self-reflection grew more frequent, Vladys found himself stopping to care about greatness. One day, without thinking about it too much he walked out towards the grounds.

As he left the great hall, he didn’t even think to inform the guards that he was quitting. After chasing greatness & eternal happiness for so many years, he was fed up. Instead, he just wanted to taste and experience life as a mad man.

The Divine Encounter

Many years passed and Estraz, now an older man, felt the monotony of the unending cycle of challenges and victories. The thrill of competition had lost its lustre, and he began to question the purpose of his quest. He recalled the deity Godotara and the promises of eternal greatness, wondering if he had lost sight of his true goal.

Driven by a desire for deeper meaning, and suspicions about whether there really was an Godotara, Estraz ventured towards the grounds as well. This was his first outside visit and he saw that he was among the oldest people exiting the house together.

Upon seeing the mad men of the grounds, he approached the one closest to him. He felt a pang of envy as he neared the man, for the man seemed genuinely happy, absorbed in the simple act of painting. Estraz noticed a small dog by the man’s side, seemingly content in the painter’s company.

On closer inspection, Estraz realized the man was none other than his old friend Vladys. The two locked eyes, and Vladys greeted Estraz, “Looks like you have been entirely too successful — I was wondering whether you might join us at all.” Without saying anything else, he handed Estraz a paintbrush, inviting him to join.

Estraz began painting, his strokes clumsy and unpracticed. He wasn’t going to win any competitions with his painting, that was for sure; and yet he found a sense of joy and fulfillment he hadn’t experienced in ages.

As the small dog licked his hand affectionately, a question seized Estraz’s mind– what the hell had he been doing all these years?



Vichar Mohio

Writing about topics I find interesting & original. Usually a mix of philosophy, evolutionary psychology & technology