Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is that the Superman?

“Hey, is that the Superman?” I ask in an animated manner, as I notice a human being flying away in the sky. “No! Hell NO!” answers a passerby, thoroughly bewildered by my ill founded inquisitiveness. “That’s MY grand daughter. She is learning to fly” he said with a hint of pride.

“What?? Your grand daughter!!??”

“Yes! She is the 1st child to have been born in my clan in over 5 years” more pride from the old man.

“One child in 5 years….and… is learning to”

“Look around, my friend, every one flies in here!”
I look behind and … presto! 10s of Humans flying…. Gosh! So many supermen…

“You look confused” said the old man.

“I surely am Sir… what’s happening around here? Humans can’t fly, only bird can! Isn’t it?”

“Hmmm… where are you from – in terms of time and space” he asked.

Time and space eh! I thought and blurted out...“I am from Nasik. Jan 2010.”

“That explains it! You surely have something to catch up on my friend” he said coolly, “This is 31st Aug 2037”. My jaw fell wide open, as the wise old man continued. “Come lets walk, I will explain”, he said placing a hand on my shoulder, we started walking.

“You would know that since the late 1990s research on cyborg technology and mechanization of the human brain had commenced. But no concrete results could be achieved. You Homo Sapiens have a very complicated brain, hence it took a long time for Laboratory science to catch up with the biology of the brain.”

The word ‘You Homo Sapiens’ stuck to my mind, as the explanation continued to unfold “By around 2013 the Scientists around the world accomplished the complete mapping of the Homo-Sapien brain. Meaning, that we now COMPLETELY understood how you brain works. Which parts are used for which purpose, which parts register which experience. The revelations were astounding. Did you know that the neocortex in you brain registers and records each of your memories, by memories I mean not just the memories of your past, but also of your future…”

“Memories of the future...” I was stunned… “Yes my friend. We discovered, to our delight and chagrin that the TIME machine, the most enduring mystery of your age, was already contained in that little area – the Neo cortex… which records the past and future. By connecting the brains of the entire homo sapien race, the scientists were able to create the future… the ultimate discovery – the presence of the future in the present! Now, in my world there is no such thing as a past, present and future. We don’t have these time zones anymore, for us they are mere places – places that we can visit at our will.”

“Your brain, my friend, records all your experiences, your feelings etc. through a complex interplay of chemicals and electrical signals. Brain mapping enabled the AES – Artificial Electrical Simulation – i.e it became possible to simulate any feeling by giving appropriate electrical stimuli – be it a feeling of peace, sereneity, spirituality , security even the feeling of an orgasm!”

Simulating an orgasm … I wondered why this invention wasn’t made earlier!
“Brain mapping allowed the scientists to invent effective Human Enhancers (something that was, again, being attempted even before the 1990s) and invent a SUPER DNA. The mapping allowed also the scientists to invent the biggest breakthrough of all times – the Cyborg. The 1st cyborg was invented in 2020, but it wasn’t good enough. It was more of a machine than human. It didn’t possess emotions, awareness, conscious and spirituality as your race did. Your eminent futurist Mr. Kurzweil had predicted that we will pass the ‘Turning Test’ in 2029… well he got it wrong, we passed it in 2024… The world then beheld the Super Human – the Cyborg - a golden mean between man and machine – the epitome of Artificial Intelligence, a life from which was immortal, powerful, peaceful. The Cyborg could achieve anything with the push of a button. He was always connected with all the cyborgs, making him much more potent and sensitive.”

“Yours was a most intelligent species, but you were heartless, selfish, exploitative and power hungry. Unlike you, we respect our planet and our fellow habitants, and we are never in conflicts. Now there are no countries on this planet. No boundaries what so ever. No wars. We are connected; we all peacefully co-exist and help each other toward our higher aims in our unlimited lives. We, sir, are more human than the humans” 

An immortal race …. No fights – no disputes – everything available at the push of a button… I wonder what their higher purpose would be. How about the concept of freedom from the circle of birth and death? These guys have achieved that, isn’t it? They will never die, and they will never be born again….there is no difference between the past, the present and the future…Have these people, through science, achieved the ultimate objective of spirituality … they are all connected – with all the living and non-living forces… they are one… is this the Einsteinian concept of singularity…

“Ring ring ring….ring ring ring…. ring ring ring….” Went my alarm!!

I wake up and look at my clock, it’s 6th Jan 2010. I realize that I still live in a power hungry world of selfish and exploitative people… I get out of my bed and prepare for the day ahead.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Planet of Swines.

It was September 2009. Now those were the days when Swine Flu had wrenched havoc in Pune. Ironically, I was reading a book called ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell. This was a story wherein Pigs, after having had enough of the human atrocities, fight the humans off the farm. They then take over the farm and run it by themselves! It was a wonderful story – to say the least, and eerily relevant to the present situation.

Dad switched the TV on to check out the latest news…. “The swine flu count in Pune is over 100… Stampede at the Naidu hospital… wear masks… don’t sneeze or cough in public…” said the beautiful reporter with as much seriousness as her cute face could muster. “At last some animal has decided to get back at the Homo Sapien” I thought! It bought a smile to my face.

“What are you smiling about?” asked my Sister. “Nice gal” I joked. “What?? You looking at the news reader? Over a 100 people are dead in your city and all you seem to be interested in is the news reader! How very insensitive!” she said and gave me an exasperated look….I looked at her sheepishly and wondered why ladies over-react so much…

The word insensitive lead to a flurry of thoughts…. the Human race seems to be the most insensitive one to have walked the face of the earth… we are insensitive toward the fellow animals, toward the plants and vegetation, toward the Environment, toward the Earth itself. We dump, we pollute, we de-forest, we kill and do all sorts of pathetic and irresponsible things.

Through my window I looked at the street below, all people were wearing masks. Masks of various shapes and colors. Right from the traditional ‘Hospital green’, to the aqua blue to yellow. Irrespective of the colour, I noticed an unmistakable pattern: on wearing the masks, the humans in the street looked, undeniably, like swines! How weird!

It seemed to be a scene right out of some Steven Speilberg ( or Mithun Da ) movie, wherein the Swines decide to attack and conquer the Earth. The smart swines are aware that they won’t be able to beat the Homo Sapien at fire power. So, they attack humans through the H1N1 Virus (Technically a Bio Warefare!  Hey did they steal it from Saddam??!!). Now, the H1N1 is just like the common Type A influenza virus, with the exception that it contains unique ‘swine & bird strains’ ( genetically formed from Pigs in Euratia, North America and Asia) that makes it immune to the traditional influenza vaccinations, while retaining ( in fact magnifying) the contagiousness.

The H1N1 attacks America 1st ( is that the country where Swines are ill treated the most?) then spreads to the rest of the world. The WHO officially recognizes it as a world wide epidemic. Governments across the world are put on high alert, clinical cures are attempted but to no avail!

The H1N1 ,in the meantime , continues to vandalize the humans across the world. The treatment facilities are very few and the suspects numerous. The toll rises day by day, even as little ailments (like coughing and sneezing) start getting un-precedented attention! The innocent coughers and sneezers suddenly start getting treated like criminals! Pigs start inspiring a certain amount of awe and fear! Riots break loose at testing centers, which in turn become the centers for spreading the H1N1!

6 months from the date of the attack on America, the king of Swines sends a video taped address to the Humans through the Al Jazeera TV ( I wonder where they get all that footage from!). The Swine King emphatically says “Very soon all humans will be dead. You have ill treated us , exploited us for far too long. The Earth will once again be ruled by 4 legged animals in general and Swines in particular. The Earth will again become a place where all the life forms will live in harmony. Green will prevail – the Homo Sapien – the most destructive species to have walked the Earth will be wiped out… But you are an intelligent race…So, only those of you who are ready to eat the Humble pie, by becoming one (by wearing that silly ‘swine look alike mask’) of us will survive. All others die. Today onwards we proclaim the Earth to be the Planet of Swines! Hehhahahhahahha!!” ( laugh like a typical Hindi film kidnapper).

The governments across the world meet in light of the Video Tape, even as it is learnt that the Al Jazeera reporter has contracted H1N1! Some decide to give into the demands of the Swine King. Others decide to fight…. Violent protests start across the globe. The communists start various animated rallies against the stands taken by their governments ( irrespective of what the stands were – it doesn’t matter anyway!). The Left front pitches in for making subsidized masks for poor. The HR ministry ( lead by Arjun Singh) propose regulations for caste based reservations in mask provision….

“ Where is the Curd that I had asked you to get from the Kirana dukaan”, Mom yelled, interrupting my chain of thoughts… “Shucks, I forgot” I said (the 2nd sheepish expression in 1 hour). “ Then, go get it! We need it for Lunch! Get going NOW…and don’t forget to wear your mask”…. The Mask… gosh… I look at my mask, its another one of the ‘Swine look alike” ones. I wear my mask and become one of the Swines, as I walk into the Planet of Swines….