Friday, November 12, 2010

The Escape (FICTION)



With a mischievous glint in his eyes, the little kid looked beautiful – cute - serene. Despite all that they had been through, the kid smiled as if smiling was the only expression known to it. The kids expression bought a weary smile onto the wrinkled face of the freedom fighter. They were being chased down by the Raj. Day in day out his comrades were hunted and shot down by the government.

The Freedom fighter was tired – he had gone without food for the last three days; and had undertaken travel along a most hazardous route from Nasik to Bombay. But now, despite the fact that he was tired, bruised and battered, he knew that he was on a noble mission; He had reached Bombay… But so had his pursuers, they knew that he was here and they were thirsty for some more blood.

The government had already killed 7 of his comrades – mercilessly. However, he had, with the little kid, escaped... but he had been battered…There were clots all over his aged body, his muscles pleaded him for rest… a bullet had brushed his shoulder – rendering his right arm motionless – useless.. .another bullet had brushed his thigh... Bullets – were they the most dangerous things invented by man… Bullets – using them a guy as weak as a lame goat could kill a man as well built as he had been, that too from a distance of more than 20 feet – ridiculous! … He did not like bullets, nor did he like any fire arms. He liked swords and maces. Bullets always reduced the room for manliness in a fight… the modern fight was not a competition of competence, but that of resources. And right now, the government had far better resources than he did.

He looked at the serene looking kid again – it had been with him since a long time now. It had even accompanied him in the jail, the kid was the freedom fighters biggest moral support. He wanted to be never separated from it. His comrades had rebuked him for his attachment with the kid and had asked him to leave it behind – but he wouldn’t listen to any of that. He was clear – where he goes the kid would go. And it had caused him grave inconveniences – having the kid with him…

3 days ago, the freedom fighter had escaped from the high security Nasik jail, with 8 of his comrades and the little kid. They had a mission and a very simple one at that. They had to deliver a map to one of their friends who had been working from the outside. The map would give his friends the location of the huge consignment of weapons that was hidden somewhere near the western coast of Bombay. He ( and his friends ) did not believe in the non violent form of agitation that was being pursued by some illustrious persons. No movement could be achieved without blood – look at the French Revolution, the Russian revolution – everywhere martyrs like him had shed their blood for a higher good. His people would be proud of him – very soon they would be an independent nation. His countless comrades, friends would be recognized as being “Shaheed”. He smiled, ignoring the pain in his jaw…

The next morning he would have to reach the appointed place – by 4am in the morning. Just 5 more hours, and his calling towards the independence of his nation would be complete. He would then die, even kill a few of the white well built young men – he allowed himself to chuckle at that.. but he did not realize that he chuckled too loud…

A strong young white man heard the muffled chuckle – he had been searching for the old escaped convict. He had travelled from Nasik to Bombay chasing a rogue gang of prisoners ; he and his team had hunted them down – and he had enjoyed it! He enjoyed the sight of the rogues withering in fatal pain, and witnessed their last breath. His job demanded mercilessness – but that was something that came to him naturally. He was a merciless, heartless killing machine. He signaled his men to close in on the target…

The freedom fighter picked up a sound, then some more and then some more! They had found him! It couldn’t be! How on earth! The frigging whites! God Damn them, their 8 generations! He struggled to his feet, the kid seemed very heavy now.. he just couldn’t carry it… He must leave without the kid. He must, else he would get killed and his mission would get compromised. He needed to make that sacrifice.. He kept the kid down, bowed and did a final namaskara to the ‘Bal Krishna’ Photo that he had been carrying all along. He looked at the Lords face again – and tried to extract the last ounce of faith… The Lord smiled at him – for the last time…

The freedom fighter ran with all his might – the white soldier saw him and smirked! Took aim and bang….bang… bang…

The next morning news papers reported “ Major terrorist attempt on Mumbai foiled. The Army hailed by the president of India for leading yet another Anti terror operation”.

The news paper also featured a picture of the White Soldier – Major Kaul – from Kashmir,India; and that of the freedom fighter - the terrorist...


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A departing thought : A similar picture of a martyr ( or a terrorist depending on the view point ) and a white man was published on 23rd March 1931... Martyr or terrorist - Good or bad is a matter of perspective...


Monday, November 8, 2010

The Choice ( FICTION )


The Choice…
(My 1st attempt at writing a short story ).

The stagnant ceiling fan greeted him as he woke up - sweating… “ Damn – another power cut! ” he cursed… his mind then shifted to the recent pleasant event that had taken place his life. He smiled, he was happy – very happy in fact. His childhood dream had come true… very soon the world would know – they would know about the most enduring mysteries of all of our times… Something that even Einstein had failed to answer…

He looked around the house… the house was bathed in utter darkness…he was alone – that’s the way he had been since a good amount of time now. Normally he never missed company, for his research kept him more than busy. However, now in his elation he missed some one to talk to. He missed his parents – who stayed in another city… Very soon they would know about the success of his mission. They would be proud of him!

He had always welcomed power cuts when he stayed with his parents. That was when ever one was free at the same time. He played the guitar, and sung, as Mom , Dad and sisters applauded . Dad narrated his stories … he winced as pangs of loneliness pricked into his being…

He looked outside, the trees and their leaves seemed dead still ( he could judge from the sounds – lack of them), as though they had been stuck to that position – it felt pretty odd … He looked at his wall clock to figure the time out – the glowing wall clock showed 10.30 PM.. “that’s odd” he thought, he had slept at around 12Midnight… the battery might have run out, he said to himself, and groped his way to his study and found a candle… He then went to the kitchen to look for a match box… cocooned in the darkness, he couldn’t see a think – he noticed that no light what so ever creeped in from the outside through the windows – there must have been a major power outrage he thought…

He fixed himself a pot of coffee, and went into his balcony… the wind, the breeze, the sounds produced by the trees, the howling dogs and the purring cats – all were conspicuous by their apparent absence…

His cell phone beeped –some light at last! He looked at it – nothing ( no sms, no call, no alarm)… he wondered why and how it beeped… he was about to put it down when he noticed the time on the cell – 10.30.00 PM… Strange he thought… He turned on the cell phone torch and… he couldn’t see a thing – the neighboring buildings, the ground, the trees – there was nothing there – the light didn’t hit anything at all – it kept travelling in a void! While he turned to go back into the house, the light from the torch fell on his building – rather the place where the building had been! There was no building… his flat was floating on the 18th floor…

He fell back and pinched himself – again and again – on his wrist, to be sure this wasn’t one of his adventurous dreams, his wrist started bleeding…
“Are you afraid doc” a voice boomed out of no where… He felt a spine chilling fear … cold adrenalin started flowing through his nerves…“ Yes yes yes” he wanted to yell – but somehow he could not… he shut the balcony door and ran to the little Mandir in his house… Profuse tears of fright filled his scared face as he looked at Hanumanji’s photo…
The voice again boomed in his mind, with no apparent physical origin “ don’t worry Doctor, you will not be harmed in the least ”, the voice seemed tender – almost a feminine one… “ Who is it ”, he asked in his mind , firmly perched near Hanumanji – the protector - as he felt the kind of fear that he never had … whatever this creature was, it could converse with him thought thought.

“ I am here to discuss your latest break-through, Doctor.”
“But who are you?”
“ You have already heard about me, my son..”
“But you are a myth!”
“You are interacting with me now.. aren’t you? ” the voice said, with a certain amount of mirth “Shall we discuss your breakthrough now?” came the thought, was it growing impatient?
“ But if you can speak into my mind, you already know about my work.. why ask me again?”
“ I want to give you the pleasure of speaking about YOUR work with me. Now, speak up pls”.

“ Ok”, he said still fearful… he thought that it would be better to tell the voice as SHE knew already… would she steal his invention and claim it as her own… he did not know, but the sheer fright of death made him talk , “my work revolves around the theory of ‘Quantum Leap’ of electrons. The basic structure of an atom is analogues to that of the solar system. The nucleus is formed out of protons and neutrons ; and the electrons revolve around the nucleus in a number of rings ( again –just like the solar system). The position of each electron around the nucleus is determined by the strength of its charge. The electrons with lower charge revolve closer to the nucleus, and the ones with the higher charge revolve away from the same.

It sounds pretty simple till this point, however things get complicated when we take cognizance of the fact that the charge of a particular electron is subject to change – both ways ( i.e – it can get higher and lower). The change in the charge of an electron affects its position around the nucleus, and the electron ‘leaps’ into its appropriate place around the nucleus. It leaps – meaning it vanishes from its former position and re-appears into its new position – there is no ‘in between state’.

This process( the Quantum leap ) causes all changes/randomness of the universe. We say that ‘Nothing but CHANGE is permanent’ and it’s the quantum leap that is responsible for keeping the universe in the steady state of change.

Also, we are aware that the Physics Laws of time and space don’t apply to subatomic particles, i.e they can move freely between past, present and future. The Quantum leap is also responsible for the time variability of the sub-atomic particles.

Scientists around the world, including Einstein, have tried to decipher the patterns of the quantum leap. But till date none were successful. Now, for the 1st time Humanity will know how the Quantum Leap works – because I have figured out the formula for the same! Now, we will be able to predict the future - we will be able to go into the future; into the past - Correct the errors, and create the perfect world!” he said beaming with energy, in the dark pooja room. He hadn’t moved an inch from the mandir.

“ Well done, my son. You indeed have done the unthinkable. But however, let me tell you this, you aren’t the 1st one to have figured out this formula … There were others before you”

“ What?” he said, scandalized, “ You lie! No! I am the 1st, I am the creator of this formula! You can take my life if want to, but you cannot deny me my work!” he yelled at the top of his voice. Yelling at the top of his voice might wake the neighbors up, he thought for a moment, but then he realized that he seemed to be the only person in this weird world – his house was hanging in the air…

“ Calm down. I am not denying your genius. Hear me out – please” said the voice.

“Ok” he said, trying to keep his nerves in check. An outburst of an anger could prove fatal here…

“There have been others who have come across this realization. Right from the Sage Vishmitra, to King Ashoka’s Scientists, to Einstein. They discerned and discovered this formula.”

“Then why did they not publicize it? Why not it put to service of Humanity”

“ I talked them out of publicizing it”. The voice said coolly. Still communicating through thought.

“ Why?”

“Do you understand, Doctor , that time is one of the fundamental pillars of this world. If people come into possession of tools that make time meaningless, then this world itself will get destroyed. All the people that I just mentioned understood this fact, and they co-operated with Us in maintaining the balance of this world.”

“ You are denying me the rightful recognition that I deserve”.

“ You will no doubt earn the accolades, but your invention will become the curse for humanity. The way a similar invention by an Atlantian Scientist cost the Atlantis dear… This formula destroyed the Atlantis…”

"Atlantis existed?" He asked, bewildered...

"Yes, and a scientist there refused to heed me..."

“But this is my childhood dream… I will not give up on it. I deserve my recognition. I deserve popularity for my hard work, I deserve a Nobel prize..”

“Over thousands of years, greatest people of your species have kept this a secret. If you abide by me, you will gain THEIR recognition ( which I believe will be much more valuable )– for they still live – in another world – another place in the space-time continuum. Their scarifies in this world have earned them the right to understand greater mysteries of greater worlds. Your childhood dream was never to win a Nobel price, but to know the mysteries of the universe. A very select and secretive club of highly refined individuals awaits you. The Choice, my son, is yours. I will take your leave now...."


He woke up with a start! “Phew! was that a dream?”, he thought , he checked his wall clock, his cell phone, the trees and dogs outside, and smiled. It had been a dream… He smiled again.

He started readying himself for his presentation that was to be given to the scientific community of the world. History was about to be made in the matter of a few hours…When he was just about to leave, he saw the news paper – a UFO had been sighted the last night in his area… he noticed the pain his wrist (where he has pinched himself) and the blood clots there … All of a sudden, the haunting voice came back to him one last time, “The Choice is yours”... he left for the hotel where the presentation was to be made – now unsure whether to make the announcement…