Sunday, June 28, 2015

The American Myth Buster

I haven't written in last 8 months. If you are a regular follower of my blog(which perhaps means that you are a friend and I shove my link into your inbox and implore you to read my new post), I apologise for being a lazy bum. If you are reading my blog post for the first time(which means you know me for less than 8 months), please don't judge me!

Okay, cutting the chase short, I am writing this post obviously because I went to meet Uncle Sam and came back with a lifetime of an experience, good, bad and amusing. There were a lot of advises given to me before I left, some stereotypical, others complete bull crap.

1) Americans are dirty, look at their toilet habits: Since we are on the topic of crap, how about getting this out of our heads? I will prefer euphemisms here, for obvious reasons. Imagine a plate which had served chocolate syrup, now you have two choices, wash it with water and bare hands, or, keep wiping the plate with napkin, until there is no chocolate syrup left on it. And when the time is right, run the plate under running water. I am not saying it's the best way to wash the plate, but it may not be as bad as we think it is. You get the drift, don't you?

2) It is unsafe in some place, because you know, there's a bigger African American population: It was said about Atlanta, and many other cities with high concentration of African American population, that the crime is high, wherever they are. It was said in hushed tones, but said nonetheless. Guess what? Race has nothing to do with crime. Education and poverty certainly has. Any community which has higher school dropouts and poverty(and not to mention history of extreme injustice) is bound to have higher crime rate, but to associate an entire community with crime is akin to saying all Indians are computer engineers and all Chinese work in factories.

3) No poverty, awesome infrastructure : America, like every other country in the world, faces problems of not always having adequate infrastructure. A quick visit to NYC downtown, and you will notice pot holes on the roads(yes, your heard me right), Taxi drivers jumping traffic lights, and lot of homeless people and over population. The NYC subway has stations which are so unkempt that you really wouldn't miss India. We have really good infrastructure there and here, and equally bad infrastructure there and here. Perhaps what differs is the ratio of good against bad.

4) It is really easy to hook up with a person of opposite gender: So basically, what Indians mean by this, is that American youth are slutty/casanova(which BTW is very condescending). Sorry to burst your bubble, the fact is, if you are not good enough, just like India and every other country, you won't be taken. If you are good though, you don't have to wriggle your way in. In a way, the girl wouldn't empty the first glass of water on your face and say, "How dare you approach me?". Americans are far more liberated than us, and do not hesitate in mingling and/or making the first move. How is that bad?
5) Amoral society, high divorce rates : My uncle just read out a joke, which went like, "Father's day is the most dreaded day in America, because 80% of the people don't know who their father is, and the rest 20% dread that one from the 80% may turn up at their door to wish em". I have seen so many successful families there (even though it was just a month, my social interaction was high) that I don't even find this funny. The American parents give far more freedom to their children, than we Indians could ever imagine, and yes, they do not abandon their children, even if the child is born out of a wedlock or from a previous marriage. The divorce rates may be higher than India, but this is because they marry by choice(oh yes! They do) and when it doesn't work, they don't sulk and drag a failed marriage.
6) Americans hates Indians, are racists : They certainly hate us much less than the hate we have for each other. Americans in general are one of the most friendly people I have ever come across. They don't judge you for what you do and where you from. An average American is far away from vagaries of technology industry(in which most Indians are employed), and do not care about the supposed 'job snatching' we do. Oh, and about racism, I didn't see American mothers put up ads on matrimonial site asking for a 'fair' daughter-in-law for their son. They also do not refer anyone who is dark as 'Kalu', 'Kaaliya' or 'Koyla'. And the Chinese, or anyone with oriental features is definitely not called 'Chinki'. So who's racist?

Having written everything that I wrote above, Indians too are stereotyped, but I will leave it to an American to visit us and be the myth buster.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

A little over quarter life and the crisis

When I turned 25, I used to smirk at the posts talking about quarter life crisis. And why not? I had just turned 25, and realised that I could now officially consume all kind of liquor in Mumbai(legal age 25). Why feel sorry about it? Why feel so low-brow about it. Two years down the line, I am not particularly going through a crisis, but I think I understand the exaggerations called the quarter life crisis. Let's talk about some of the points mentioned in the famous and forwarded-many-times e-mail. I promise, I will keep it short.

You hate your job and you wonder why you are doing it:
No sir, I do not hate my job. I have a desk job, agreed. I do not go out like the hosts of discovery channel or MTV into the wilderness or the most happening party in town. I also do not get to travel a lot(forget about earning a living out of it). Neither do I make a living out of tasting the best food around the globe. On the flip side, I am not in a hot industrial warehouse, working on a machine,I am also not cleaning the streets(no disrespect to the ones who do, rather they have my respect), neither am I playing a nanny and cleaning child poop. I love driving, and I am driving my own car, not someone else's car. I have got a lot to complain about my job if I compare, and yet, I have got a lot to thank for, if I compare. I am making a living, I am financially pretty much independent and doing some interesting and challenging work occasionally(Yeah, before you raise your brow, I know I am not a scientist).

"You don't have great friends anymore" paradigm :
Over the years, I have been to various institutes and made a lot of friends. There are the school friends, then the high school friends, college friends and then work place friends. Even at workplace, I made friends in various projects that I worked on. I trained a few people in some college as a part of my company's initiative and I made friends there too. Guess what, I am always in touch with the ones who really mattered. I may not get to meet all of them all the time, but when I do meet them there are no awkward handshakes or nervous 'hellos'. It is generally a tight hug and a volley of curses for how fat I have become or how I didn't get them the birthday present. When I meet my friends from school, with them, I am still the person I was in school, not a 27 something, mid tier corporate employee. Your body ages, friendships don't( Disclaimer: not giving a quote there).

The Dating issues:
While in college, approaching an unknown girl was simple, it's either a hit or a miss. Consequences generally didn't matter in an Engineering college, but in a corporate environment, you are more careful about whom to approach(if at all). The 'Indian' quarter life crisis suggest that, it is a bad time to be a single guy, because the girls your age are all committed or getting married. But hey, are these girls not hooked to guys older than them. So stop scanning your age group and widen the horizon, the dating crisis may just be a figment of imagination of a frustrated soul.

 You compare yourself to your peers and family and be sad about it:
Human mind can never be appeased, I certainly cannot be. That is something which keeps us going. Yes, I compare myself to my peers, my family and sometimes I am sad about it. But the fact of the matter is, I don't do it because I am 25(plus), I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. I got really upset when my cousin got an A, and I got A- in kindergarten, but no body said I was going through 1/25th life crisis back then, so why now? Comparison within a peer group is what keeps a human mind to strive for more(again, not giving a quote here), why associate it with an age? And besides, for every more successful 27(or younger) year old person that I meet, I know more than one less successful 27(or older) year old person.

Turning 27: 
Alright, this part of this post has nothing to do with quarter life crisis, but it's important, because this is the reason I wrote this post. I was wondering aloud on Facebook about how singers like Kurt Cobain had done almost everything before they turned 27(and dying), and here I was, only able to talk about them. I also wondered, if it was a devious plan(a-la-Matrix) that some greater force took away all the talented people at 27, which made me more sad, because that meant, I am not talented enough for that greater force. At this point, Shivani, a great friend of mine wrote these beautiful lines.

"You might end up being slow-and-steady and you might end up winning a long long race...

Bottoms-up are not always fun you might end up relishing every drop of life's expensive champagne... u might end up telling loads and loads of awesome fun stories to kids in a neighbourhood park...You might end being the only go-to-guy n know-it-all for guidance on almost any topic related to teenage-quarter-middle-full life crisis situations...coz you know what... you'll see it all...with awesome cinematography, full zoom and in the finest of fine details"

The word quarter life crisis in itself is an improbability. It conveniently assumes that we are all going to live 100 years, for it to be a quarter of live that we have lived. My life will often be in crisis, and I will always be cribbing about it, and at the same time, my life will also be awesome and I will be happy about it. These events, and my age are mutually exclusive.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

So much for love

"Why hasn't he turned up yet?"
I think aloud, sitting in my room all by myself. I have been expecting him today, especially today, but he doesn't show up.
"He must be busy with work, you fool, he has a lot of work, unlike you"
I think aloud again, knowing that there is no one to hear me or my thoughts, not even him. But it is true, he works so hard, I understand, he may not have all the time for me in the world. He is an important executive in a big bank somewhere, I don't know much details, but he is pretty important. Sometimes, he goes to work early in the morning and yet never return at night. Of course, I don't stay with him, but such details don't escape, do they?
"Those times...."
I let out a sigh. I did stay with him for a long time, until one night he came home,

"I got a job, with a big raise" He said with a glitter of happiness in his eye. Of course, that glitter made me happy too.
"Wow, that is amazing, when are we moving then?" I said, a little loud, the prospect of exploring a new city showing up in my voice.
"Uh, ermm, I don't think we can move together, it's an expensive city, and for me to make some money, I need to go alone" He rued.
I won't be a burden, I say, but he simply bends down, kisses my forehead and promises to come back and take me soon. I know he means it, and I don't want to be a hurdle in his career, so I reluctantly agree. He did make it big in the new city. He climbed the corporate ladder very quickly for his age and at least now should be the time, he promised he would come back.

"Hush, I hear some footsteps, it's him, he is finally coming"
I am trying to silence my thoughts to hear the footsteps approaching the door, but my heart is racing, and I can't hear anything but my own heart beats. I cannot stop myself. I get up,open the door and shout out his name in the corridor, only to see a stranger passing by, giving me a look, with his lips forming the word 'crazy'.

Embarrassed, I shut the door, run into the pillow on the couch and lay there for a while. My thoughts again returning to him. It was around a year ago, when he had showed up after a long absence. He looked nervous and little jaded. He started,
"I need to tell you something, I am....I got...married" He finally blurts out. His words hit me, pinch me, but I still love him.
"I still love you" I say with a smile and hug him. "Promise me that you will take me with you, I know you can't stay with me any more, but we can be in the same city." I add, trying to empathetic.
"I will continue visiting you" He says, evading my question with a smile.

Still clutching on to the couch pillow, I realize that it is now warm and wet, probably with my tears. But I was warned.
"I am telling you sister, he doesn't belong to you anymore. He won't come for you. He may visit you sometimes out of guilt, but it's not him anymore. He belongs to another woman, let go of him." My sister had tried to explain to me the situation.
"I still love him." Is all I could mutter.

I have almost given up any hope of seeing him today. I reach out for the refrigerator to get some water, and that is when I hear the door bell. I drop the bottle from my hand and rush for the door. I am panting, but it doesn't matter. I hit the couch on my way to door, but it really doesn't matter. I reach out for the door knob to open it, but my vision is getting blurry, and the door is spinning in front of me. I am trying to hold out for the knob, but it is trying to run away from me. Finally I grab the knob and open the door, to see him standing. But I am being dragged down by something, some invisible force. And now I am lying down, I see a frenzied look on his face, everything is getting dark around me.

"I am sorry, I am late, mother" are the last words I hear from him.

Image Courtesy - 1)

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let there be (En)Light

A few months ago, before the start of a popular quiz show, its adverts showed a middle aged lady starting a wedding planning company, ignoring the need for knowledge, and eventually, how her business suffers, due to lack of proper knowledge. The advert ended with the host of the show explaining, how there is no age and limit to the extent of knowledge one should posses, as it always helps. The advert sure struck a chord with the intellectuals, and the teacher at my home, my mom, impressed by the advert, also started preaching a similar line. My sister shrugged off my mom, "Whatever".

It was March 29, 2009. We were returning home from an exciting and adventurous industrial visit to Udaipur and Mount Abu(Yeah, apparently BSNL have some cell towers there for us Telecom engineers to check out, which we did, by climbing atop them and clicking pictures). The economist in our group suggested an Auto-rickshaw ride, because individual share in a BEST bus would eventually amount to same cost for 3, as a single Auto-rickshaw would. Surprisingly, without having to strike a bargain, we got into an Auto-rickshaw driven by a humble person(of course, he didn't charge us extra, that is enough for me to brand him humble). Five minutes into the ride, he struck a conversation with us.

"Sir, you all look to be educated engineers, from your conversation" He said in Hindi, accent clearly northern.
"Yes, we are educated, but not engineers yet"  I replied with a smile, while my friends winked at me. Clearly, this man was in an unnecessary awe of us.
"Since you are educated, can I ask you a few questions I needed answers for?" He asked. We were taken aback. Here is a rickshaw driver who was keen for intellect. "Yeah, sure, go ahead"

"What was the name Flight number of the Indian Airlines plane which was hijacked and taken to Kandahar in 1999 ?" He asked, in a tone which suddenly resembled that of an interviewer.

"IC 814?" I replied, with some self-doubt, while my friends looked at me shocked. "That is correct, congratulations, you became the first person to answer that question" He replied, smiling back from the rear view mirror.

"Okay, When did the Titanic sink?" He continued.
"April 12th!" I said jumping in my seat, " Oh no, that is when Jack sketched Rose, it is night of April 14th", I said, correcting myself.
"You do watch movies, huh?" He replied with a smirk.

My friends appeared shell shocked, and were silently cheering me, as if I were playing the actual quiz show, and a million Rupees were at stake.

"Who was the last Mughal king, and how was he overthrown?"
"Bahadur Shah Zaffar, he was imprisoned after the 1857 mutiny, in Rangoon" My friend replied, this time with some confidence.

"You seem to know your history well, can I ask you a question at another level?" He asked and saying 'No' was not an option for me. "

"Suppose you are in a sinking boat with your parents, and you can only save one person, your mother or your father?" He asked in an emotionless tone, with a straight face. And this time, not wanting to be left behind, my second friend jumped in.
"I cannot choose, I will commit suicide" He said, in an obviously emotionally stressed voice.
"So, are you telling me, that when you have an option of saving two lives out of three, you will let all three die?"
"I think, I will save one person for sure at that moment, but I will be sad throughout my life for the other" I replied, trying to gauge the trick of the question.
"I am sorry, but this is a trick question, frequently asked in civil services exams. You are not suppose to answer this question ,simply ask the interviewer to move on to next question, because they want to judge you on the basis of your reply" He said, in a back-to-humble tone.

"Are you a journalist, driving rickshaw by the day, judging the so called intellectuals of Mumbai?" I asked, with a hint of sarcasm in my tone. Clearly, this was way beyond a simple Q&A. A mere rickshaw driver couldn't have driven us to our wit's end.

"I am a rickshaw waala, sahab, sorry if I have offended you, I like having such conversations" He replied, in the humblest tone, since we boarded his vehicle.
"Then, how come a man of your intellect is still driving a rickshaw?" I asked, perplexed, more than ever.
"I am a 10th grade pass out from Jhansi. I ran away after that to make a fortune in this city, and this is my fortune" He said, pointing to his rickshaw. "I always wanted to learn, but could not. Because, I could either learn or earn. I chose the latter. However to make up for that, I often visit scrap paper dealer to buy books which is thrown away by the rich, and immerse myself in those books. It also helps that my wife shares my passion" He finished.

"Well, you could try night school or something" I said fumbling.  "Sir, I need to earn, so that my kids can earn degrees, just like you. So that they will have an attestation to their knowledge, which I lack." He said, his smiling turning into a grin. His reply gave me sudden sense of satisfaction and grief. Yes, I was glad to have parents who could afford my education, yet I was sad for people like him who were not so lucky.

How important is knowledge and the zeal to acquire it? Apparently, not quite. People with a keen interest in some field are often called upon only using the quiz show's life line or when some sort of information is needed, and then thanked with the words "You are an encyclopedia" appended to it. Being branded a geek ,'gyaani' often means you are not welcome in the group of normal people. Do not be fooled by the appreciation you get, because behind every appreciation, is a hidden mockery- "How uncool is he?". A discussion started by you, may often end with somebody pitching in with the lines- "Let us end this boring discussion" or "Let us talk something else" or worse still, very subtly, the topic will be changed, making you a pariah. Sitcoms and other shows often portray geeks as socially awkward individuals, only adding to the popular notion. Somehow, the world seems to have taken the idiom "Ignorance is bliss" at a new level altogether, and quite seriously at that. People cite Dhirubhai Ambani as a person, who created an empire without education, but does that mean, he created a business empire without having any know how of what he was doing, was he ignorant? So again, how important is knowledge and the zeal to acquire it? After my meeting with this rickshaw driver, a lot.

If someone sounds pedantic, he is not being ostentatious. And, if some of the words I used here were a little hard to grasp, I only mean to enlighten. *Wink*   
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Incredible India

Like every year, the fervour of patriotism is at its peak during the Independence week. Most of the display of patriotism is by remembering our glorified independence struggle, the wars we fought with Pakistan and out victories in them, and more recently, cleaning up the society of corruption. During one such display of patriotism on a reality TV show, I was reminded of an old song from the film "Purab aur Paschim", particularly the first stanza, which talks about how it was India which gave the world '0' and that without it, we would have had practically no new invention and no further discovery.The song lead me into some retrospection about us..

So yes, starting with the discovery of '0', it was the field of mathematics we indeed excelled at. Practically, a big chunk of the fundamental mathematics we learn today was discovered by Indians. Aryabhatta discovered 0, to signify the absent, and so important was this discovery that we sing songs about it. Going a step ahead on it, it was the Indian Mathematical school of thought which gave the world its modern numeral system, Hindu Numeral system, otherwise, we would still have been using the big, inconvenient Roman numeral system. Going forward from primary grade mathematics to higher grade, Aryabhatta again is famous for approximating the value of constant Pi up to 5 digits and even suggesting that it is irrational, an insight, which did not occur to anyone else outside India until the 17th century. The entire field of trigonometry was discovered by the Indian mathematicians, and very recently, according to a sensational discovery, contrary to popular belief, calculus was first used by Kerala school of mathematics and not Newton. However, mathematics was not the only thing we excelled at. Indian Ayurvedic system had already made breakthroughs into invasive cataract surgeries before the dawn of Christ. Historical travelers have written odes dedicated to India and its rich culture, where people respect each other, where the cities have perpendicular streets and houses have no doors, where there is abundance of food and wealth. Where the intellectual levels are incredibly high and the essence of humanity at its epitome.

In the modern times too, after Independence, after a period of a long socialist era, India opened up and so did our services sector. The IT industry has reached $100 Bn and is still expanding. India is one of the fastest growing country in the world. With every passing census, our literacy rate increases, and so does our Per capita income. Our middle class purchasing capacity has increased many folds, with easy availability of credit and high salaries at young age. Our capital, New Delhi hosted the common wealth games in all its glory, showcasing to the world the infrastructural glory it has reached.

Speaking of New Delhi, it was recently in news for the merciless rape of a girl by a group of guys. So brutal was the assault, that the girl was thrown on the streets naked, to die. The guy with the girl was confident, someone would help, but no body came forward, too busy, they said. Nature unleashed its fury on on hapless pilgrims in Uttarakhand, leaving even the Gods in slush. Many died, some survived, but in all this there are a lot who thrived. The hotels which had some supplies left, started selling their stuff for a profit, as they say. Chapatis cost Rs 400, a bottle of mineral water cost Rs 300, a bowl of Dal for Rs 450. All this from the people who have just lost someone or something very valuable and dear to them, from the people who may have lost their entire life's saving. Some bureaucrats responsible to handle the free food supplies for these people found themselves more hungry in their comfortable home and were caught stealing and selling these supplies. Stand on any street in Mumbai and watch a disabled man trying to get a cab back home. Many of them will refuse fares, one cabbie will surely stop by and act like a good Samaritan, but for double the fare. Aboard any Indian bus, elders have to 'argue' with people to vacate seat meant for them, no woman can go not being groped. A braveheart is killed, because he argued with some local bullies to stop them from harassing his girlfriend, however, the police is still busy implementing the archaic laws, arresting young party goers or girls who make 'insensitive' facebook statuses and her friends who likes it, but is too scared to arrest local dons and mafia lords, who openly commit crime and give hate speeches or even the bullies who killed the braveheart. Hygiene and cleanliness is a term which has become restricted only to ones own home, because every place other than home is a trash can or spitting bowl. Because every public utility which is installed or deployed, is up for some vandalism and destruction or at the very least a place to litter. A country, where girl child is unwelcome, so much so, that it is let to die or killed. If she still survives, she made to lead a life of suffering, first at the hands of parents and then the husband. A country, where honour is more important than the life and love of the child.

The problem with us, is what I faced in the first para of this post, retrospection. We dwell in a time which is past us and cannot return. We feed our ego with the fact that we gave the world most of its stuff. We are unwilling to let go of the past because we have nothing left of present to defend ourselves. We get offended when we are called third world, and cite cities like Mumbai as example of India Shining, but no on cares to acknowledge that it is the same city which has 52% of its population living in slums. We clean up and fix our roads only when a foreign dignitary is to ride over it. And like every other entity in country we blame, we, ourselves react and wake up from our slumber only when the house is on fire. India is not united by a billion people, but divided into a billion people. We are truly, albeit unknowingly on the verge of self obsession.          

It is introspection, and not retrospection that we need, after being independent for 66 years. Time to wake up! 

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Timeless Invasion: Final Chapter

Chapter I and Chapter II  of this series, before you read this.
"God, there has to be something to stop these demons. Help us please." Tiwari was pleading, in front of a Ganesh idol.
His PA appeared discreetly and spoke once Tiwari was done praying.
"Sir, we have an incoming from the CIA chief, he says he has information which might help us"
"Put him on immediately" He said while running out.

He went into the Indian embassy in Nairobi and headed to the communications room. The communications room was a small dingy room with a computer, a typer, a small radio unit and a telephone in it. The cobwebs all round showed how often this emergency room was actually used. Today, it was all going to change.

"Mr. Tiwari, if I am not mistaken, this is a secure line, isn't it?" CIA chief asked, in a somewhat mocking tone.

"Yes, it is, even if it wasn't, I don't think you have anything to worry about right now. Please enlighten me with whatever you know about the situation at hand"  He replied, sarcastically.

"It seems your guests are from a different time and nation altogether. They are humans, not aliens, but Humans from a newly created African country"

"Newly created country? Are these people some kind of rebels, where did they get such machinery from?" Tiwari almost shouted his questions

"Calm down my friend. These people are from future, they come from the year 2500, from the North African  Union. They are heavily advanced, as you can see, and pretty intelligent" He added.

"And I am supposed to believe you, because you are the America ?" Tiwari snapped.

"No, because, we have a guy, a white American, who has been enslaved by these North Africans, and who has ample evidence to prove that he is from year 2500. Switch on your computer, I am sending over the pictures." He paused for Tiwari to boot his machine. "Now look at the machine we found him in. He says he stole it in his master's absence. Who apparently was hatching plans attack India, Pakistan and China somewhere in the past. He just came back visit his land in its glory." He sighed as he finished. Apparently appalled by the fact that his future generations will be enslaved. "Karma" thought Tiwari.

"That is indeed a lot of staggering information. We know what we are dealing with now, but we still don't know how to deal with them" Tiwari said thoughtlessly. He looked at picture of John, looking delighted at the Sun and visibly excited at the sight of Hudson river. " What is with your future man looking so excited with Sun and a flowing river?" He added.

"Ohh, that. He says, he has never seen Sun and a water source. These people survive on basic synthetic water, created in labs. By the way, we have sent our F16s and Stealth bombers to assist your airforce. Let us all pray to God(that the attack doesn't come to us)." And he hung up the phone.

"Sir!" His usually calm and composed PA barged in. "Our Airforce, combined with the USAF, PAF and Chinese PLAAF were doing a great job in holding back these demons. But, it seems, these artificially intelligent humanoids have developed aircraft out of nothing and are giving our pilots a very tough time. Given the rate at which these humanoids evolve, it won't be long before the combined air force is driven away."

Kokala and Matsuba were relaxing in the luxury of Presidential palace in New Delhi. They had everything going according to the plan. They had just heard the news of the termination of General Musharraf and the Chinese Prime minister. The major cities in these three countries were dusted.

"It seems like, Rain, something we studied as a historical phenomenon, did occur till year 2000" Matsuba said. looking at the approaching rain clouds. "Are our humanoids capable of handling water?" Matsuba got up alarmed.

"Relax Matsuba, we had tested these humanoid under humid environment of our synthetic water generation facility. They will be fine" Kokala said, while breaking an Indian bread. Something he took liking to on this sojourn.

While they were gorging on the natural food, it started raining outside. The weather turned pleasant. Kokala and Matsuba were not missing home. This is what they imagined world looked like, and now they were living their dream. They wanted to feel the rain. They went out and saw that one of the humanoid guarding them stood still.
"Go and close the gates" Matsuba ordered. The humanoid didn't move.

Matsuba noticed a few red spots on the humanoid. He moved closer and noticed that the humanoid had stopped functioning. He was shocked. His General had just mentioned that these humanoids were tested under humid conditions.

Kokala understood what Matsuba was thinking. The humanoids should have been working. It may be a defective one, he thought to himself. He opened his mouth to taste the water and spit it out the moment he had it on his tongue.
"Acid!" He exclaimed.

"Welcome to the BBC 8 PM. In the recent turn of events in the strange attacks in Asia, the humanoids in New-Delhi just stopped moving after the heavy downpour last night. It seems the first monsoon showers over a thickly polluted Delhi produced what people call the Acid rain. Some of the captured humanoids who had some, as yet unknown alloy, corroded under the acid rain so quickly, that they were immobile within 5 minutes of the rain. The interim Governments in the affected countries have quickly deployed cloud seeding in  the affected cities and success is coming their way. We are expecting an update on this attack soon. Stay tuned for more updates"

Matsuba switched off the television in the hotel they were staying at in London.
"We have to go back Matsuba, we lost the battle we were so confident about winning" He said in a soft tone.
"I am sorry sir, we were under prepared." Matsuba said, as he deployed the Super Car'uba'.

They took off, seeing the world of the past for the last time. Knowing that they failed. But happy that they weren't caught

"Your Highness, we are sorry, we failed you" Kokala said, with his head low.
"You did a great job general, do not worry" The king said, laughing out loud. Kokala was surprised. "Do you not see what you have accomplished? You have laid the foundation of modern Africa. After your departure, the Asian countries would reverse engineer our humanoids and become very powerful and form alliances. Your little trip will be kept a secret or made out to be an alien attack, while the our ancestors would have found out by then, that it was us who did this. Making them confident that they can rule. Soon, by year 2025, African Union would have been formed. The Americas and the west will oppose them. Asia will support us. A world war will break out, Asia, having now acquired power, will support us, to fend off the western supremacy, which had laid its eyes on growing power of Indian and china. This war would continue for nearly a century. The whites were already fearful, when your little servant John sneaked out after you to see his glorious lands."

Seeing Kokala startled at the revelation, he added

 "Don't look surprised, you read about him in the military history we taught you years ago, you just didn't think it was your John."

"So, we actually triggered the events which would lead to our current position today, our supremacy?" Matsuba suggested

"Yes, and now that you have accomplished the revised mission objective, lets gather ourselves and decide how to defeat India and China. We should start with..." The king was cut short by his emergency beeper. It was from the research lab. He answered it.

"Sir, we had attacks on our Research and Development division by what looks like Indians.They came in something they call as "Samay Yantra". They took  some our super car'uba's and destroyed the rest , even the humanoids, and are probably heading somewhere...". The voice just went off, and so did the electricity.

The words by the technician were the last, the king, Kokala and Matsuba ever heard. This invasion too, was timeless.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Timeless Invasion chapter- II

Note- In case you haven't, before you start with this part, why not read Chapter I
The super 'Car'uba was a first time experience for Kokala. He had been in 'Car'uba since as long he could remember. But this was new, travelling back to the modern medieval age, where they still used Airplane and Cars, all the precursors to their modern invention. It has been sometime since they have been travelling in this and this has been the longest he has been in this metallic cockpit. Suddenly, he had to shut his eyes, it became very bright. He realised, he was seeing the Sun, for the first time from Earth's surface. It was beautiful, but he knew that this sight would last only a hundred years more.

"Sir, we are about to land in a minute, location coordinates 19°2'32"N   72°54'21"E, current name, RCF colony, chembur" Matsuba said in a Military command.
"Any nearby place, whose criticality will help us?" Kokala replied, returning from his train of thoughts
"Yes Sir, BARC, RCF itself and some old world oil refinery" 
"Let us plant our stuff then quickly"

They got landed exactly where they thought they would. Their landing could have caused a stir, had it not been for the disguise the 'car'uba was designed to take. It was now resembling a Daewoo Cielo, and no body bothered where it came from. They got down from the car, their attire still the new world, and they realised the mistake.

"Aey Kalu, Where did you get this car and fancy dress from?" A middleaged potbellied policeman stopped them while they were at it.
"From the year 2500, I suppose" replied Matsuba, smiling at Kokala, their job was done, they could now announce their arrival.
"You think I am a fool, come with me, I will lock you up and you will remember exactly where you got this stuff from" He replied, crashing his stick on Matsuba's leg
"I don't think I would like that" Firing his laser impulse on the constable.

"Let us do this quickly sir, we have covered all the cities we planned to, lets send the message back to start it. We should not delay this" Matusba said, looking at Kokala with a sense of urgency
"Don't you remember, the time conversion which was taught to us, we have been gone only for a second, but yes, every second counts, lets do this" Kokala replied with an easing smile.

He had to rush in, and rush in quick. He had no idea what was going on, and he wanted some ideas, even if it came from some old brains running this country. He barged in to the Home minister's room.

"Tiwari, do you realise, this is midnight, and I am in an important meeting" the HM said.
"Sir, I am the RAW chief, and if a RAW chief is barging into your room, he knows exactly what he is doing" He said in an authoritative tone. 

Calming down he added "Sir, some strange activities have been taking place, starting with Mumbai. A few explosions were reported near the RCF, BARC, Oil refinery, Borivili national park, Mulund Yogi hills. When the police and CISF reached the spots, expecting a lot of chaos, they were ambushed by strange men. Men who looked like men, but acted like robots. And they are many. They have destroyed half of the city and killed numerous people. The Army from Nasik cannt was called in, but they just walked into a death bed. These robots are so agile, that they cover distance of miles within seconds. Our soldiers, our artillery none of them survived. Currently, its only the airforce which is inflicting some damage on them. However, these robots simply evolve to avoid and defend an enemy attack.

"Before they move out of the city and spread, contact the PM and prepare for nuking the city. I don't think we have a choice left" HM said in a tone of despair.

"How many cities will you nuke sir? They have spread to New Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai. And they have got the PM and the president. Their offices and residences were blown to bits.

"What am I supposed to do now, the PM and the president are dead, and I am sitting far off in this African continent?" the HM replied " It surely must be a ploy by the joint Pakistani and Chinese defence to destroy us" he added in a jolt of anger.

"Sir, these robots, wherever they are from, they have got Lahore, Karachi, Beijing, Shanghai and many other cities in China too. I have got in touch with General Musharraf  and we are working on a strategy to thwart this, although we don't know where to start." Tiwari said in a helplessness tone.

General Musharraf was in his new acquired office when he got a call on hotline. He wondered why someone would call on the intelligence hotline directly to him and not the ISI chief. He was shaken to hear the RAW chief at the other end. However he had to pause the call, as his domestic hotline now started ringing. When he was done with the domestic line, he picked up the RAW hotline and blasted " You will pay for this, you have destroyed my cities, this is an act of war, and we know it is your new technology". He could be pacified only when he was told that 5 Indian cities had been nearly destroyed, and equal number of Chinese cities had suffered too. He knew he wasn't dealing with a regular enemy, but an enemy of the entire race. He used the best and the only possible choice, collaborate with the Indians. Though, he could only stand amused that he was collaborating with a nation with which it had gone to war 4 times and as recently as an year ago at Kargil 

John's curiosity had got better of him, he wanted to see the glorius lands of Americas and how superior his race was. He knew how his master had got into the Super 'Car'uba and he knew exactly where the other one was parked. He had to get some stuff though to prove his identity and to prove where he was from. He took a map, a book and some sketch his master forgot on the table and got in. He entered a date, exactly 500 years ago. 13-11-2000.

You would want to see this Mr. President, a video of a strange man, but his strangeness shockingly is authentic.

"Sir, let me ask you again, where are you from?" Asked the cop,
"I am John, I come from the North African union of the year 2500. Glad to see a white in command"

To be continued in the final chapter...
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