Tag Archives: short story

Unwanted Metal

It was a hot and humid summer’s evening in Kolkata.

Back in 1995 me being only 7 years old my desires were limited. After visiting a relative’s place, on our way back home we stopped at a newly opened restaurant. Since it was a pure veg outlet it was swamped with Marwari’s and Gujrati’s.

“Papa why are people carrying their own plates?” I inquired pulling my dad’s hand.

“This is a self-service outlet son. No waiters here” replied dad looking for a place for us.

“So people place orders and take their food themselves” added my mother.

“Wow, they must be saving a lot of money this way” I replied impressed by the business module.

The restaurant was also running a lucky draw contest whereby anyone whose billing amount was greater than Rs. 500/- was eligible to participate in the contest.

My father placed the order and asked me to join the line where people were standing to take a chance at their luck. My mother joined along saying, “Go son go”.

“See son, there is the list of prizes from one to ten. Remember you will WIN the FIRST prize”

“No I don’t want a gold coin. I want the third prize; I am going to win a bicycle”

Both my parents laughed at my innocence.

Anyway, there were approximately 7 to 8 people, mostly uncles and aunts ahead of me and a person in black suit was helping them with the lucky draw.

I was discreetly praying god to help me win the third prize because I was sure my parents wouldn’t buy me one. The most heard excuse was – “We live on the second floor in a building. There is no place to keep a bicycle dear”.

As my turn came, the nice person in the suit cheered for me and placed a chair. I stepped on it carefully while my dad held my hand and mom whispered best wishes to get the first prize.

It was a big card-board box covered in birthday wrapping paper with a hole big enough even for a fat man to put his arm through. The gentleman asked me nicely to not see inside the box and made sure that only my arm goes inside the box. I was abiding all rules with a single thought in mind – ‘God please give me three’.

Inside the box I swiped my hand around like a broom and tried to pick up the small circular papers which had numbers printed on them. I picked up one and threw it away thinking ‘Oh this doesn’t feel like a three’.

The gentleman asked me to hurry as the ten second limit was approaching. So I picked out the next one which touched my finger. I slowly pulled it out of the box still praying to god. As my arm was completely out of the box and I showed the number to my parents, the gentleman picked me up in his arms and shouted in joy, “He is the first one today to win the gold coin. Everyone clap for the young chap”

My parents happiness knew no bounds as people around congratulated them praising my luck and everyone cheered.

Among the approximately 200 people present in the restaurant, I was the only one disappointed for bringing out ‘1’.

As the gentleman put me down back on the floor while congratulating me and my parents again, I said to my father, “But I wanted three!”

“It’s better than three beta. You will understand it in the future. Happy Birthday my champion”

Gold coin is still there but a bicycle never found its way to my home.
Back then Iron had more value for me than Gold.

It’s time to join hands

The year is 2100. Humans and Aliens are living peacefully right here on Earth – Mexico, USA to be specific. Although, according to few recently released documentaries and articles, humans and aliens are already living peacefully, secretly, but for the sake of argument let’s just say that it’s far off in the wonderment.

The aliens and humans have signed a treaty to cooperate with each other, exchange technologies, and conduct inter-planetary experiments but never to fall in each other’s way of governing their respective planets.

Planet Earth as we have known and lived and survived, is covered in dense clouds. Antarctica has reduced to the size of Hawaii. No one living in the city has seen a single star for over a decade now. Special trips are planned where people go in the middle of ocean, just to view stars and show the younger generation that there is life beyond our existence.

No doubt the Homo sapiens have gone crazy, trying to dominate each other with power; hardly any food is grown on the fields, coz there aren’t any.

At the annual meeting conducted in the secret conference at Area 51, USA, where humans and aliens exchanged words, the aliens stood up to finally speak on a topic they have been willing to discuss for decades.

The green eyed alien, nicknamed as TV, short for The Viking led the charge.

“Humans, for all the years we have lived here, we have never discussed a word about how you should manage the resources made available by your own planet. But seeing all that has been going on around, we feel we should advice you without intervening in any way in your future course of action“

*After presenting few facts with graphic illustrations*

“Humans are trying for survival of the fittest whereas they should be learning to co-exist. Humans have invested trillions of dollars in manufacturing and procuring weapons of mass destruction, rather if they used even 10% of it then none of the fellow humans would be deprived of the basic necessities. They are always on the look-out for capturing each other’s land, devouring each other’s culture, tearing away forests – your only source of oxygen – one of the key to your survival.

Even in the smallest of the trivial matters humans declare war, instead of helping a fellow human in trouble all they do is make and share videos. I request you highly intelligent humans to ask yourself a simple question before executing anything – Whatever be the outcome of this, will it help mother Earth in any form or will it harm her?”

After much pondering and discussion amongst the army chiefs and other agents, the naval army chief was chosen to reply.

“What you have pointed out is precise and thought provoking. We humans have definitely not been grateful for the gifts given by mother Earth. Truth be told, we are centuries late in restoring the global balance; some of us are definitely marching in that direction but the ratio of such people compared to entire human race is ridiculously negligible.

However, not all of us have the same kind of mindset; the anti-social elements present amongst us pose a greater threat in restoring the global balance. We have tried exterminating these kinds of people but it only aids in increase of their number. Can you care to venture a solution for such humans?”

After a brief moment, the alien replied

“Once you identify an anti-social human, tag that human with a specific device we will provide you with. Using the device we will elevate that human to 20ft above the ground and will make them stay fixed, afloat in the air. Humans will think he has some kind of superpower while the anti-social human itself will have no clue how it is happening. Also we will make sure no human can click a picture or make video of the floating anti-social human”.

After careful investigation of the device, it was secretly deployed in all nations. Millions of people in every nation were just staying afloat. Nobody understood why or how was it happening. It drove humans crazy that they couldn’t click pictures or videos of the strange phenomenon. News media had the epic news but there was no proof available.

The time period of staying afloat was 7 days, after which the ‘anti-social humans’ were gradually floated down on land. Even prime ministers and presidents of certain nation were in this list.

The trend continued for over a period of two months within which it was slowly evident amongst the masses that ‘anyone who is a criminal in the eyes of USA will be floating in air for 7 days’. The number of people staying afloat reduced each weak, although no one could give any conclusive answers about how such a mass action was being executed.

The aliens soon figured out that the ones being tagged to afloat are those whom USA considers threat for them; so without any prior notice they shut down the device, claiming it as malfunction due to overloading.

Simultaneously, one person present in the secret conference fled away from USA and revealed to media the whole operation and reason behind the weird phenomenon. Many leaders of the world turned up against USA and a war was declared.

Question:

Did aliens know such an occurrence would take place and humans will eventually go for war?

OR

Were aliens actually trying to help but our inner animal instinct to stay as the dominant one led us down?

Whatever be the answer, I believe it’s time to start restoring the balance so that our future generations can see stars from their home.

It’s time to join hands in peace with one another and lay off the weapons.

It’s time to give back nature what it deserves rather than crapping it all over.

It’s time to act civilised and be humans.


Happy Diwali guys! Stay Safe and Stay Blessed!