Posted in Fiction, Short Story

Earth 21000AD…

Planet Earth, Terra or Prithvi, a home for all of us. What a beautiful blue planet this is, so peaceful from up above… No borders, no conflict, no politics just pure serene beauty… A wonder in its own self, with those vast lying seas and high mountains… At the right distance basking in the Sun’s radiation! The cradle of Human civilisation…

Suddenly! The alarm starts ringing, there is an warning displayed and I exit out of my VR, wondering what’s the matter? I hear 3rd officer announcing, we have reached the war zone, the Solar System… we the Terrans (another branch which broke away from Humanity) who had left the its cradle long back, about 21000 years ago, to explore the newer worlds out there in the distance… Today we are back to fight against the other colonies, who are claiming our holy Earth, all for themselves…

One after one we take our positions, the engines go online, the main weapon systems online, warp drive to 80% and climbing, 85%… 90%…. As for me? I am wondering about the outcome of this war.. What will happen if we claim this world for ourselves? Would we even be able to salvage anything from its surface? Have we forgotten the only reason we left in search of new worlds? Were our ancestors not the ones who depleted it of all the resources? Snatched away all its beauty? Turned a thriving planet into a dead rock??!! And yet here we are again, in the same solar system, same humans, divided  by technology and beliefs, fighting for a ruined planet… proving once again, no matter where humans go, how many worlds they conquer, war will always remain a part of their DNA…. But as the first officer, I was the one to drive the fleet of 12000 carriers and about 50000 cruisers, and a total of 1000000 soldiers for this holy cause…

The formation is ready, we prepare for another jump… this time, right into the heart of the arena, near the 1st Lagrange point… my heart is racing, my palm sweating, I see the entire fleet right in front of my eyes… I look at the captain of the ship, he looks at me… We are ready to leave New Terra… I can see if beneath the deck…
With a heavy heart I have to command them, keeping my doubts aside…

Warp drives are charged 100%…. I initiate the countdown, 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…!!

Posted in Life, Short Story

Reunion

“Hi there, do you remember me from the class of 85 ?”, she asked the  guy behind her in the queue for name tags, a broad smile on her face.

She was in her late 40s now,  hardly any resemblance to her 16 year old self. But then, that  was true with most of the people gathered in the hall.

It was their 30 year school reunion.

They took the name tags, only first names with their pen names in quotes, pasting them on their chest starting to mingle with the crowds. It was good to see some of them, hard to recognize some of them and very difficult to remember, that some of these people were actually ever in the same class as them.

It is common, to have very few people from your school to be still in touch, but it seemed that they had forgotten a lot of their own classmates.

Eventually, they ended up sitting at the same table.

“Do you remember how you used to throw colour pencils at me?”, she asked him.

“Of course I do. You used to be very good at art and craft, I was just helping you out”, he answered with a sheepish smile on his face.

His hair was grey now, she noticed,  but he still had that mischievous sparkle in his eyes that he had even when they were kids. It seemed time was not able to touch that aspect of him.

“Well, I did help you out once or twice. When the teacher was not looking, remember ?”, she asked.

“Well, drawing a mustache on the face of queen Victoria from our history books, does not count as helping out”, he remarked.” It cost me a week’s worth of detention . My parents were furious. Dad thrashed me like anything that day. And this was all because of a girl ! That thought kept me awake. I had to take my revenge”, he said while filling up her glass with water,a grin on his face. ” Well, I don’t think that revenge should have included me sitting in the library for a month as detention, for allegedly throwing a chalk at the teacher while she had her back turned to the class. I did not even have a good aim, and I used to sit next to the captain of the cricket team, famous for his accurate aim at throwing the ball onto the stumps from great distances. I wish they would have made that connection”, she said, responding to his grin with a smile .

“Well, I definitely was very good at cricket back then. I loved to spend time on the field.  Joining the national Cricket team was my live goal back then, but life had other plans it seemed”, he said. Looking down at his bulging stomach. He missed playing cricket .

“You know, that was the day, I developed a small crush on you”, he confessed.”To be honest, I had a crush on you from that day as well. Maybe a teenage crush for a rebel, but a crush all the same.”, she admitted.” I wished I had proposed that day, but I was too scared and proud for it”, he confessed. ” When I was in the library, I spent most of the time day dreaming about how I could have spent time with the team captain”, she said and blushed. I was a long time since he had seen her blush. He missed it so much.

The conversation went on for hours, they did not notice that the other people on their table had a completely different conversation going on between them. It was as if they were immersed in their own world, they had traveled in the past, re-living their school days.

Now, the party was coming to an end, it was time to bid a goodbye to the batch of 85. The host called for an attention from everyone. Lightly banging the champagne glass with a spoon, he announced,”Ladies and Gentleman, fellow classmates, it has been 30 years since most of us saw each other. During this time, we have changed, we have grown, we now have separate lives which we share with loved ones. Some of us are still good friends, but some of us were less remembered by us. Some are just a memory and some, a missed call”

“However, most of us here still remember our “Head-boy” and “Head-girl” , who were always loved by all, during their school days. A strong example of how strong love is. Please welcome, Mrs and Mr… ”

She touched his shoulder and said,”Honey, I think they want us to go on that stage and give a speech. Think you can manage it ?”. “Sure”, he said” Just help me with the wheelchair.I see they have a ramp , just push me onto the stage, will you ?”. “You should have  a lot of practice by now darling. After all, it has been  31 years since the accident. ”

They started going towards the stage, accompanied by a thunderous applaud . The high school sweethearts remained so, even after being married for 28 years.

Posted in Article, Life

The balancing act…

My transition from childhood to teenage to an adulthood, has not been that bad, but not that good as well… its somewhat been like where in the difficulty level settings for the life have been preset to medium… Oh well…

The memories are not that vivid, but quite faint of me being a child and being in the first grade, I was one of those introverts, trying to cope with the chattier ones, (what a pain those kids were…).. As being an Asian (Indian for that matter) there has always been a pressure to perform in the academics, but, since I knew my own capacity, I always used to manage to stay in the lot of top 20 kids of the class… and soon this became an balancing act for me to keep the same pace till my grade 10… (but little did I know that this pressure to perform would stick to me in the coming years as well…)

What a relief it was, when I joined in the junior college, and as a freshman I was pretty much able to choose the subjects and branch of my liking, (options, being, science, commerce and arts) looking my well balanced marks, was able to get a seat in the science branch, along with subjects of my liking. Little did I know, this will initiate another set of 2 in the balancing act.. this time it was, balancing the marks, completing the assignments, completing the experiments, (for me, I had 4 subjects) spending 7 out of 4 days just completing the experiment sheets… rest of the 3 days, studying hard to keep the Asians standards or just staying at the edge of them…

Then with all this balancing was able to graduate and join a good company and start another journey… initially all was good, able to learn new things and was happy about the progress as well.. Seems that Life was set and then would just go with the pretty good Life that I had always wanted in those yesteryears…

But little did I know that I have entered one of the grand schemes ever!! Still being part of it, but this time the stakes are pretty much high and pressure and the time all seems to have mingled together…

This time around, it is huge, its time to balance, work, work pressure, money, the finances, relationships and still there is Asian standard of performance, the balancing act has never been this huge and it has become more intricate.. no matter what…

The conclusion would be, Life itself is a one big balancing act!! sigh….

Posted in Article, Life

Old tech…

I know that this has been said by many and many more times, that the old tech was the best tech… or old school as they call it…
Came to a realization this Dashera, why the old tech or the old school as you may call it, is called that way and why its the best way?

Let’s take small trip down the memory lane, shall we..?

During 80’s, with every Diwali, Dashera, or any big festival, there used to be this hustle…
Which included, (as some of you may recall), head to the post office, get a dozen or two letters… Come home, sit at the study desk, make list of all the relatives, start writing well wishes and all the pleasantries, and that too mind you in really, really and I mean really good handwriting the best ever…! Finish the writing, put down the addresses accurately (you know India post, ahem!) In a week or a two head back to the post office and post them…
Phew! Come back and wait for the responses…

Then came the 90’s, the telephone had started to become the house hold appliance, but still not that common… An entire area of 100 house hold would be sharing one phone number… Then there were also those STD booths, where in people used to flock during the night, for the lower call rates and so they could have those really long conversations with all the relatives and friends… Still this was exciting and magical, to listen the person, who was hundreds of Kilometers away, but felt like he was just besides us…

Enter the 2000’s or Y2K as they called it.. hehehe!
We had the intrusion of phones and sms messaging was just gaining popularity, but was not main stream.. the call rates were pretty low as compared to 90’s and the conversations used to last a little longer… the best part was that only the required person could be reached out and no one would even know, wink wink…

Enter the 2010’s, Internet is a common thing, the “smart” phone is in every person’s hand…. Now we just wish each other by sending a mass text, or an image or just a gif, searched and downloaded from some heck of a server, we don’t even know…?
Or best, just put a greeting one of many Whatsapp groups and you are done… The hassles of calling, writing have become a thing of past…

This type of communication has lost the personal touch, which was there during the 90’s and well late in the Y2K… but, these days, all seems pretty mechanical, there is no personal touch, heck! your friends so called close friends as well, will not bother to memorise your birthday, they heavily rely on online services…

Still there are so many other who are still going with old school way… but, they are just the endangered species… seems that this is how the future, pretty non-personal, and mechanical… sigh…!

Posted in Short Story

Spoils of …

The family was eating their dinner together.

It was a custom that all family members eat food together. But the dad kept looking at the empty seat in front of him. The usual clatter during their diners and lunches was absent. His wife and daughter were eating the food in silence, sobbing silently.

He kept going back to the day of the riots, the day his son was arrested. Just 15 years of age, he was there in the midst of it all, throwing stones at the cops. Someone had told him that people from other religion were torturing people from his cast, which had sparked a fire in his young belly. – A fire which should have been used for society betterment was now being used to nurture hatred.

The father cursed himself for allowing this to happen.After all, it was his task to protect his children from such negative elements of the society. It didn’t occur, nor did it matter to him, that he spent more than 14 hours per day away from his house, working hard to put food on the table. It was, he thought, his duty to shield his kids.

He slowly put the morsel of food down. Prayed silently to God, for forgiveness and left the table.

Although the son was arrested, the family died that day.

All falsely, in the name of religion.