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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Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Timeless Invasion- Chapter I

A few days ago, after a lot of pestering by my mother, I sat down to clear my old books rack. It has been a mess and I had avoided getting into that mess for years now. Grade after grade and year after year, the pile of books just went on increasing. The rack had books since Grade 8th till my Engineering final year.It was then that I came across an old note book. Its first page had a date from the year 2000 and written for some pages was a story. A story I had written in 8th grade, lost and forgotten!

It was around 13 years ago, when I, a brand new teen had started reading a lot of sci-fi fantasy books. H.G Wells, Issac Asimov were my inspiration and I started imagining that such a future would come, that such a thing as time machine is possible and that there are invisible men around us. I thought, that yes, I will write a novel and get it published. All at an age of 13! Obviously, I wasn't capable enough to write even a 150 page novel. I ended up with a short story. So here I am, publishing the short story. All I have done, after 13 more years of life and 9 years of more education, is to simply proof read the original text, divide it into 3 logical chapters and iron out some of the obvious grammar errors. If you find the story, a cheap science fiction, remember it was written by a 13 year old.


"Hey you" He shouted
"Yes master" John replied, the tray in his hands shaking
"You white dog, why is the drink so cold?" The glass in his hands shaking, but not out of fear
"Master, you mentioned 3 cubes of ice, I did exactly that"
"Look John, this is not southern Africa, where white slavery is being abolished" He took a sip and continued "So you better keep that tongue of yours in check"

He heard a voice from his tele screen mounted on the ceiling
"Sir, I wanted to have a word with you in private, may I come in? I am currently only a few 100 miles away" On seeing John, he added " No whites either, Sir, they are dumb, but I don't trust them"
"You may come in Matsuba, it will be an all black talk, don't worry" He replied.

Within a minute, the door bell rang. He said "Allow access" in a microphone and the door opened. In came a  7 feet tall lean guy of around 27 years of age. He was wearing a dark grey uniform with white skull cap. Scars on his face indicated that he is a man who has seen battles, and more than one battle.

"Sir, if this white can move out of the room, can we start the discussion?" He said, while giving a look of disgust to John.
"John, go to the kitchen, and put your hand in the cooling machine, till it becomes blue. You would then know what cold is" He instructed John, in as cold a voice, as his drink was

John left the room for kitchen, but not before seeing Matsuba opening his holographic projector and projecting a 3D image of a world map dated 28-05-2500. He enters the kitchen and sees the cooling devices, which he had used moments ago to create ice for his master. Since water was no longer available naturally, the machine chemically created water using hydrogen and oxygen and then freeze it instantly.  His hand will feel pierced, like needles piercing, but he had to do it, his master had ordered him. He put his hand in it and closed his eyes. He remembered his grand father telling him a story.

"Let me tell you a story, which my grand father told me, about the land we belonged to, America, a prosperous and a very rich land. 600-700 years back, our ancestors had enslaved the people who had enslaved us now, however we freed them soon after. However, some 400 years ago, the people from Africa conquered our land of America, which put up a brave fight, but were outdone. Many of us were brought over to the African continent as slaves Since then we have been working relentlessly for our masters. It is our destiny John.."

 He opened his eyes and saw his hand had swollen and turned blue. He took out his hand, he couldn't feel it. It was time to serve hot piping food to his master. The prospect of serving hot food enticed him, or rather his cold blue hand. He took the freshly fried latest synthetic food in his right hand, which was still blue, outside. He was about to enter the room when he heard his master talking to Matsuba and realised he shouldn't have been there, he was told to stay in. But his instincts told him to stay there..

"Sir, China has now joined hands with India and they have set up bases in Quetta" Matsuba was talking with a tone of concern. "It is even rumoured that China and India will soon become one nation. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka had already become a single unified nation 200 years ago." He added

"Hmmm, it is concerning, we need to do something about these Asian nations who have been a thorn for us." He said, while smoking a cigar made in African colony of Cuba. "It was so much easy for our ancestors to conquer Americas, they should have conquered these nations too, before they became powerful, we treated them as allies" He added while puffing out a plume of smoke.

"To be honest, not underestimating the might of our emperor, however, such a huge landmass with such diversity simply cannot be conquered" Matsuba said in a helpless tone.

"Then I think, it is time we pushed our latest invention to its first use, let us get them, when they least expect us" He said thoughtfully. "Let us contact his highness right away and seek his blessing"

He opened the door and looked at the beauty that was waiting for him outside. One of the latest inventions by his team of scientists, he got into and keyed in the location coordinates of the emperors palace in former kingdom of Congo, he did not notice John watching him and Matsuba depart. As soon as he pressed enter, he was whizzing past the space time continuum, covering the distance of thousands of miles in matter of minutes. He could have had a holographic call with the emperor, but with the Asian intelligence on toes, he couldn't have risked it. As he came back from his thoughts, he saw his 'Car'uba in his highness's garage. He intimated his highness on the personal messaging device of his impending arrival and entered the guest room.
He saw the Emperor waiting for him there already.

"Your highness" He said with a bow of head, " I come to you with a matter of great concern"
"I know, India and China will soon be one nation" The Emperor said with in a low tone
"So may I use the.."
"Yes you may use 'the' machine" The Emperor cut in," but remember it is still under development, be very careful"  he added
"Thank you, your highness" He said in a low bow "The Emperor already knows too much, does he keep a watch on me too?"
"General Kokala and Major Matsuba, I hope when you return, we would have conquered India and China in under a minute" The Emperor added and departed to his palace.

Kokala turned to Matsuba, " Get ready to go back 500 years in time Matsuba. Prepare our army, this new machine has given us an edge, they couldn't think off. We can now teleport an entire army through time."

"Yes Sir, I will get the super 'Car'uba ready to land in Mumbai, date, 13-11-2000" Matsuba said with a salute.

"I wonder if there were any whites in India in year 2000"  He thought to himself, a thought which brought smile on his lips.

To be continued...

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Story of Offence

People think about me day in day out, they feel me every day, but are afraid to talk about me, if they do, they are made a pariah, but today I will talk about myself, I deserve a hearing. I am probably the most misunderstood feeling, I am felt by everybody, but everyone is scared to talk about me. People talk at length about love and the emotions which come with it, why? Because its the in thing? I say, even in love, I am the most common emotion. I have the ability to break every other feeling. And when I strike important people, I have the ability to break nations, bring about wars. I am the only one who can trigger myself everywhere, even love cannot do that, then why me, a powerful feeling is looked down upon?

In the past, people who instilled me in others, suffered. Some 2000 years ago, a guy named Jesus of the Nazerath instilled me in the people of Jerusalem, and look what happened to him. He really should have stayed shut than face the wrath of an incited mob. Further down the time, a few people who claimed themselves to be intellectuals, played their hands a bit too much and got duly punished by the Roman church. My presence in some Southerners in the USA in 19th Century, had almost led to breakup of what you call today, the superpower. It was my presence in a young Serbian student in 1914, that led to the first great war, and it was my presence in a slight, but extremely strong willed man in 1939 that led to the second great war. In the recent times, I have caused civil wars in Ireland, Yugoslavia to name a few.

However, the biggest boost in my CV comes from the Indian subcontinent. I really come out easily in people of such varied demography herded into small landmass. Even the religious texts, where even the Gods acted on my trigger, are replete with my presence. Shiva's father-in-law, on feeling me, decided not to call him for an event, and this triggered me in Shiva's wife, who felt me at such an act by her father and jumped into a pyre, and this triggered me in Shiva, who almost destroyed the world. Duryodhana on being insulted by Draupadi, and under my influence started the greatest war ever and required an immortal God to bring it to a logical end. Coming to the real world from the realm of epics, it was under my influence that some of the powerful Muslim rulers invaded and probably plundered India. It was my presence in the people at helm of affairs, that they decided to divide the country of India on religious lines. And since then, my presence and power has only increased, and documented, and sometimes even made a law.

When MF Hussain tried to make some paintings out of his artistic expression, he was reminded, by words and by actions, that I won't allow him to do this, because I was present in the people who mattered, their representation not withstanding. When Shekar Kapur made "The Bandit Queen" and Deepa Mehta made "Fire", it was I who reminded them, that I am above the law of land. If I am present in people, the law cannot protect you. Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan also realized this, when they did/said something to instill me in people. My presence became a law, and Aamir Khan's film faced a ban in Gujrat, while Shahrukh Khan lost  money, the law bowed to me. I also led the lesser mortals like Mumbai University VC to withdraw a book from curriculum hurting some party's sentiment. And recently, it was me who reminded two girls from Palghar, that you may not see me coming, but I am always lurking there. I achieved all this roughly through the same set of people of course. Salman Rushdie came to know of my fear, when his book "Satanic Verses" was banned without being read, first in India, and then the rest of the world, only because the leaders feared my presence in people. Already facing my wrath in Bangladesh, writer Taslima Nasrin really should have known, I traverse boundaries, for they don't stop me. She has never rested in Peace while here. Currently, I am trying to ensure that Kamal Hassan is unable to release his movie in India. The people who are doing this for me, I am sure will not be influenced by feelings like reason and freedom, my foes. Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar would know by now, that Sikhs do not trim their beard or sport tattoos, not even in Movies.

And it is not only religion which triggers me these days. Some people cannot see their favorite sports person being called anything but God. While others are using me in their campaign against the condom and AIDS awareness advertisements, calling them vulgar. And then there are some, in whom I show up when public transport is not on time!

Although I am basking in glory right now, with all the achievements behind me, I wish I could have been present at many more places. I really wonder why no body feels me when they see a thin man being bullied by a group on streets. No body feels me, when they see a lady being sexually harassed. And very recently, I could have had an awesome head count, had people felt me when a girl and guy lay naked on the busy streets of New Delhi, but strangely, nobody felt me! Alright, I know, I am being very demanding. I have had a successful run in the last few decades, and I should not be complaining.

A big thank you , to the people of this nation for keeping me alive.
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