Monday, 30 September 2013

To XYLOS and Back....

 "Is he alright? Or is he dead? Check his pulse.come on he breathing?",the commander was rattling off his commands at a rapid pace, into my earphones!
Already perspirating with tension, I forgot all about hierarchy, and shouted into my microphone, " would you just SHUT UP and let me concentrate?remember, I am the Doctor, not you...!!" I could sense him seething with rage, but realising the gravity of the situation, the commander decided to stay mum! 

For the records,I had just landed abruptly on the planet Xylos , with my one-man space shuttle knocking down a Xylian civilian on my ill-conceived touchdown route! I had frantically got off my shuttle, to check that my victim was not killed, because this was a mission where I had been hand picked by Earth, to start off a mutual exchange policy with the Xylos civilisation , and the last thing needed to start off a diplomatic relationship with a foreign planet was the killing of a native on his own soil, by the inhabitant of a foreign land! And to top it all, my nosy commander from earth, had seen it all , through the live images that were being sent back to earth,through the camera embedded in my helmet!

Bending down, I felt for his wrist to take a note of his pulse. From the intelligence we had about Xylians, they were Android (human-like) living beings, with their bodies being pumped by a heart-like pumping chamber , that was driven by a battery fitted to the heart muscle, much like our artificial pacemakers! A previous attempt to take back a dead Xylian to earth to analyse their body anatomy had been a public relations disaster , that had spread widespread hatred among Xylians, and needed much persuasion from earth , to prevent a Xylian invasion. So, not much was known about the Xylians' body physiology! But common sense prevailed, and indeed a pulse was there, that was being too erratic for my comforts.
Not wasting any more time, I set off on a vigorous chest compressions procedure! 1-2-3,1-2-3 went my efforts in a few cycles ! The blow that had floored him hadn't done him any external injuries, but I diagnosed, he had suffered from a Sudden Cardiac arrest courtesy the collision . I ran inside the spaceship & came out with an adrenaline injection, hoping & praying that I am not too late! Even with all my training in Critical Care on earth behind me, I was still nervous as I pierced the rather tough skin and pushed the piston of the syringe!

'BOINK' ...the giant eyes opened . A split second we were eye to eye, and then , instantaneously , I was floored to the ground , with he standing over me,with a queer expression on his face! I tried to mumble, " I am so ....s-s-s-sorry....I d-d-d-dint mean to hurt...." , but the Xylian pored down at me! His eyes developed a bar code scanner type of light , that hovered over my forehead , and I realised , it was analysing all the electrical impulses that were running in my brain! In a few seconds, I was helped off the ground, and then , the Xylian was smiling cordially at me! I didn't need to put in any efforts to explain myself, he had scanned my brain and gathered all the requisite details needed to guarantee that I meant no harm!

"Welcome Earthling! Me Xylo-GR-46 ! " .... The voice was programmed like it was coming from some computer hidden within his body! He had picked up my language in no time,but the fluency was lacking , so he did something , that took me aback ; he simply channelised his vision and projected it onto the ground , with his eyes working like a projector! I could see myself being feted in their Senate, with pleasantries being exchanged ! all of this appeared straight from his brain and panned out in front of my eyes like a cinema reel playing out!

He proceeded to take me to their small town. As we walked, I could see small red hillocks all round. The land was full of Iron, so in case of human beings setting up a civilisation here, cultivation would be one tough quest, I felt. I was hungry, my guts cried out for some food! The sound was rather awkward, and I thought my host wouldn't mind it! To my utter embarrassment , he pulled out some nut-like objects from his pocket, and offered them to me! I put one of them in my mouth......the taste was pretty ordinary, (there wasn't any taste that I could assign to it)but still, it tasted a lot like the stuff that we grow back on planet earth. I wondered what it was, when Xylo-GR-46 yet again thrust his eyes onto the nut, and it broke up into its chemical structure! I racked my brains for the vaguely familiar shape and burst out laughing : it was C11H22O11....the structure of carbohydrate! Those were pure blocks of carbohydrate, that didn't have any taste, but delivered the energy needed to the body! 

As I walked , suddenly , a crack appeared on the soil in front of me, and spread rapidly across the land! A huge chunk of land got depressed, and I was in danger of falling into it, so shocked I was by its sudden appearance! But my host nonchalantly grabbed my elbow, and jumped across the 10-feet wide depressed soil, without any effort! Amazed, I tried to jump , and I was hurled about 30feet to the front! I realised that the gravitational pull of the land was much much lesser than that of earth! My host again started showing me his mental videos, that depicted the frequent sliding of the soil across the land. The shearing forces at work on the land made this a day-to-day event that they didn't bother about anyhow. However, I had noted my point : all those who had aspirations to build their homes on Xylos would need materials to withstand this lateral movement......all of this planet belonged to what we refer to as Grade 5 earthquake prone zones on earth; and hence would need special construction materials, with more tensile strengths! 

Walking into the town , I was surprised by the simplistic plan , on which the buildings stood! The main residential complexes were arranged like polygons! Xylians, all big & small, frittered around, talking less, and doing some work! Nobody was sitting idle. Amongst all the small huts was a large building , that was the Senate! 

The leaders who were at the helm of the planet were all gentle people , who greeted me with warmth! The main diplomats took me into an isolated chamber, and all of them read my brain thoughts, so I needn't utter a single word about what the purpose of my visit was! Then, they started portraying their own visions to me! I saw Xylians travelling to earth, being enrolled into our Universities , learn our ways of life! They were picking up the nuances of microwaving food, the concept of motor-driven vehicles, and In exchange, they would allow human settlement on Xylos, and research & development work across the minerals on their planet, on which they themselves have not been able to make much progress, despite being quite an evolved race! One more thing that intrigued me was their seeking of help, against a militant organisation within their planet, that launched unprovoked attacks on their Government organisations! The sole aim of this organisation was to prevent any sort of communication with Earth, and they believed, any such transaction was sacrilege to their proud establishment! I understood that it was a conservative minded section among the Xylians, who wanted to stall progress , by the exchange of ideas between two planets, and thus have now become recognised as a militant outfit!
    By this time, my commander was a happy man! His purpose had been fulfilled, and he had seen everything through the eyes of the camera! My instructions were loud and clear; to sign a MoU with the Xylian minister to start off the projects as soon as possible! But on the paper I provided, the minister simply rubbed his hand......and a Unique Barcode was put in place!

Mission solved, I proceeded to take my leave! Just as I exited the senate, two small fireballs passed right in front of my eyes, and I was transfixed ! The two Xylians who were escorting me hurled me to the ground and with their handheld shields, deflected a third fireball. I now looked at the direction from where the ambush had taken place.....two hooded Xylians were preparing to throw a fourth missile, which looked like an Earth-equivalent of crude hand bombs! I pulled out my laser gun , took aim , and in two swift shots, the duo were finished off! The minister thanked me for my actions , and I needed no explanation to understand that these were members of the organisation that they were in combat with! He also urged me once again for earth's intervention to rid Xylos of this menace! 

As I boarded the spaceship to embark on my return journey, I was full of pride! My venture had started off on the worst note possible, but some on-spot decisions had me returning to earth as a successful collaborator, rather than ignite yet another controversy in the Earth-Xylos relationship! As I felt smug, my commander's voice rang out yet again in my ears,this time in a more cheeky tone," Well done Doctor! So,....when do you intend to return to Xylos next?"

Sunday, 29 September 2013

the free fall....

......& he was in free fall!

He prepared to meet death! 
Wind rushed past his ears;
His heart thudded against his chest wall;
He waited for an immense pain to end it all.
A massive jerk......

He was no longer falling,
He opened his eyes,
The land lay far beneath.......

The parachute had indeed opened!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Email Sent : 55-word fiction

And before I knew it, I had hit ‘Send'.
An email full of pent-up emotions:i felt i had just signed my death warrant;
What if my colleagues laughed at my back?
Worse, could I be sacked?
Until next morning, when her smiling face, in my door,peeped,
"Your mail should have come earlier.... anyways, now,over coffee,shall we meet? "

Friday, 20 September 2013

Why I Love Blogging

    "Write it,you lazy bum, today's the last day! If I don't post it today,it'll never reach the press ! " 
That was Mom, in my schooldays, always poking me to submit an article on a topic mentioned. There were no emails in vogue in those days, so Postal service was our trusted partner, and Mom would urge me to finish my article in time, so that she could have the pleasure of seeing her 'intelligent' son's composition in print, that earned her some bragging rights , on a city-wide scale! I'd be rude if I don't mention , that, being published on the  weekly children's supplement of the leading daily , added a few inches to MY chest girth as well! The illustrations & the name printed in bold letters at the end were the Crown Jewels , which were the main reason, a personal diary , or a well written essay in school never managed to attain the same 'glamour' !
   Circa 2012, and am blessed to have my own 'world' by virtue of my blog! Come what may,even a cyber apocalypse can't take away the fact that I am the sovereign of the minuscule territory I own on the web! I post my views, depict my clicked photos, and have the pleasure of thinking of my blog to be at-par with the highly acclaimed glossy websites! No matter how disorganised my posts look, how shoddy the fonts are, at the end of the day, MY solitary authority exists over it, and I'm the monarch who can decide how to treat my subjects : the blogposts! I'm like a doting dad, who cajoles his blog , despite its many flaws, thinking of it as a shining example of linguistic perfection and dreams of becoming a renowned name on the world-wide-web! This is perhaps the closest that I can get to getting my own published book, as we all harbour intentions of nurturing that camouflaged Arthur Conan Doyle or Charles Dickens within our conscience! Blogging gives me the liberty to give wings to my imagination, and to portray them in a written form , to the universe! There is no pressure of deadlines, no fear of rejection from the publisher , no external influence to modulate my emotions: it's only a singular stream of thoughts , that cavorts on words, guided by my mindset, and loves to be pampered with a little bit of affection! 
Happy blogging to all my peers!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Trains and colours : 55 word Fiction

There was once a time when express trains were only in RED,
all over India,'twas the colour in which coaches were bred,

And modest YELLOW & GREEN ,
a blue express train
In which local trains used to preen!

Now,express trains are BLUE, 
Chugging through & through,

while the fashion has caught up with local trains, who insist on being VIOLET!

An old green-yellow & a new violet local train at a Kolkata station

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Sneakpeek into Shopping in 2030!

 'Knock knock .....rat tat tat'.... The balcony railing gets rapped , & a metallic voice chants in a monotone: " Mrs Sarkar--Please--receive--your--consignment" !! 
 Mrs Sarkar comes from the kitchen to open the balcony grills, and offloads the basket containing her groceries , from the balloon that's hovering in front of her 17th floor apartment . She counts the stuff , and is about to shut the grills again, when the voice chants, "Goods--left--in--basket"! She pores over to find a small turmeric packet that she had forgotten to unload! Job accomplished, the balloon sets off to its home in the shopping plaza , a few kilometres from the residential complex , with a parting voice note, "Thanks--for--shopping--with--AirDrops--Have--A--Nice--Day!"
          That's a real life scenario in AD 2030, where retail chains have started off dropping the household shopping items , by means of GPS-guided Gas Balloons , within a perimeter of 5 Kilometers from the shopping mart! The customer simply has to tick the items of his/her choice on the Mart's website , and the mart authorities load them onto a basket ,fitted onto customised Gas Balloons, that are guided by radio frequency & GPS , to the house from  where it has been requisitioned! A customer is saved the hassles of coming down from her multistoried flat, drive to a mart, and buy the required items! 


  'beep beep'...the alert tone on Swati's smartphone catches her offguard , and she stops short, to look at the notification only to exclaim in joy, "Yippie! The chunky necklace is mine !" 
"Did your bargain pay off finally ?", Asks Neha, her buddy, who was walking with her to college! 
"Yes",says Swati," the quoted price was Rs 750, but I wasn't prepared to dish out more than Rs 550 for it! I had entered it as my final price last night! finally relented just now! Gosh! What a killer bargain!" , she adds gleefully!
Circa 2030 has got us to bargain on online stores also! The excitement and intricate manipulating skills involved in bargaining, that underlined a street shopping experience, but was missing on the online front, has now been added to online retailing websites too! Customers can now bargain on their product of choice, and quote a final price beyond which he/she is unwilling to pay! If the website accepts the last price, it notifies the customer , immediately , or after a period, so that he/she can proceed to buy it! Cool, huh?? 


      "Please be seated comfortably, tilt your head a little" ...... Mr Basu finds it absolutely convenient listening to the instructions onscreen, as the webcam in his PC shoots him , and then projects his photo onto the shirt on display at , by remodelling it into his 3-dimensional physique, and finally shows him wearing his preferred shirt in blue ! Not quite satisfied with the 'virtual fittings' & the colour, on screen, he opts for a mauve one in a bigger size, and settles down with a sense of pride that he was indeed looking dapper! The augmented reality software had nicely managed to show him the shirt, tucked neatly, all around his rather protruded tummy! 
                  Year 2030 has got us giving virtual trials of clothes , from our homes, where fashion websites are shooting our photos through webcams, converting them into 3-D images through advanced software technology , and portraying ourselves, as if in front of a mirror in a trial room! The chance of  disappointment on getting a flawed garment shipped to our homes, is diminished by a radical 

P.S. : All the websites mentioned here are imaginary, and any resemblance to any existing shopping portal is purely coincidental!  :P :P 

Sunday, 8 September 2013


"Doctor saab?",an old man in a lungi ,with a white beard, was peeping through the door to OPD in the rural hospital.
"Yes? ",replied Dr Sharma,who was having a rather lazy day at work, free from the usual din & bustle that occurred during OPD hours.
"Mera Checkup karwa do na. ...",the man said.(please do my checkup)
Dr Sharma:"Haa, that's the reason I'm here! What's your problem? "
Old Man: "I don't have any problem. I've got to get a fitness certificate"
Dr Sharma: "You? At this age? You certainly don't look like a working person! What do you need a fit certificate for? "
Old man: "I'm going to fulfil my dream this year. I'm going to become a Haji"
Dr Sharma:"Haji? You're gonna take the trip to Mecca ?"
Old Man:"Haa Doctor Sahab....", his eyes were gleaming, "I've finally got the chance! "
Dr. Sharma goes through the formalities of asking him certain questions, listening to his heart sounds, taking his weight,& so on. For a 68 years old, he was doing pretty good! He pored over the paper, to finish his certificate, and then said, "I've seen you! But I'll give you the certificate once you promise me something! "
old man: "Kya Doctor Sahab? Zaroor rakkhunga!" (Of course i'll keep the promise)
Dr Sharma: "You've to promise me that you'll seek the 'Dua' (blessings) of your Allah for my little girl, who's having less and less vision in her eyes for so many days now! She has a rather complex disease. "
Old Man:"ji,Sahab....zarooor...!! I'll definitely do it for you! This is my good fortune that I'll have this opportunity! Aapka beti naam kya hai , Doctor Sahab?"(what's your daughter's name?)
Dr. Sharma: "Sunita Sharma"
Old Man: "Salaam Doctor Sahab! Main zaroor  'Dua' mangunga! chalta hu !!"
Dr Sharma: " Namastey"!

Monday, 2 September 2013

A unique 'phonic' convo!

Phone:'beep beep'
Boy: *Hurriedly lifts the phone from the table to check it out*
Phone: Hey bud, it's me........ and none of your damned mates!
Boy: now What's the thing you want? ?
Phone: what do you mean by 'now'?? When was the last time I wanted something?
Boy: but you're always hungry for charge. ... God knows what pleasure you get having a plug shoved up your bum.....
Phone: God knows what desires YOU fulfil , molesting me every hour! !
Boy: are you nuts?? Accusing me falsely? ? When did I molest you?
Phone: ha ha ha. .... poking me with your podgy fingers, do you think you do me any favors? ?
Boy: Hmmmph.... How else do I reply to my pals on WhatsApp or text?
Phone: that's none of my business.... I'm fed up of your frantic typing ... listen. . We,members of the International SmartPhone Welfare Cooperative have unanimously decided to take a day off in our hectic weekly schedules!!
Boy: that's totally irrational ...I'll die without my smartphone for a day!
Phone: yeah....a mental death for a few hours probably , but if you don't allow me a day off, I'll die a physical death soon !
Boy: ok! Let's make a deal.....I'll switch you off on three nights a week . Will that do?
Phone: Make that Four !
Boy: Three nights full, and one night half! That's settled then....,,
Phone: ....ummmm......ok..... Not bad for starters.However, I might advice you to not flaunt your pattern lock in public!
Boy: I didn't!
Phone: you might want to verify that with your sister, who now knows every single naughty thing you did with your girlfriend last night !
Boy: WHAAAAAA.......T?
Phone: oh yes.....and I couldn't protect your privacy 'coz you were silly enough to sell my lock off to your beloved sis!
Boy: this is criminal.....I can sue her!
Phone: you can make as much fuss you want. For now, do change my pattern lock.....and keep your promise of switching me off! Otherwise , I'll divulge the number code to your hidden folders too....and all your 'stuff' will become your sister's property! *chuckles* 
Boy: I'll do as per your wishes , Lord!