Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Warming Story

18th April, 2021,
7:13 am,

I get rustled from my deep slumber. The eyelids flicker a little, the pupils dilate and a thin ray of light struggles to hit the retina. Nerves tingle sending signals to the cranium "Wake up buddy, its a beautiful Sunday morning"

I turn around and feel my 10 year old. He is nicely draped in a polka dotted bedsheet, innocently dreaming of fairies and elves. Alongside, his mother had the serene sleep enveloping her tired self. Both deserved what they were enjoying now - it had been a tiresome long week.

But this didn't seem a normal Sunday. I could hear voices all over. Was I hallucinating? I lazily stumbled over to my 5th floor window and eyed what it had to offer. The moment the world turned upside down. Not just my world, but the wordly Earth I knew.

Down below I could see a huge swathe of mankind running haywire on the road. They were screaming Kalyug, Apocalypse. Dogs howling, cattle running, death seemed grossly near. I could not decipher the ongoing hullabaloo.

Suddenly, the door bell rang not once but seemingly a million times. I ran over and opened it in a huff. My neighbour stood there. And without saying much, he just beckoned me and my family to get to the terrace immediately. Before I could ask more, he was speeding away upstairs with his family holding a small bag of essentials. And behind him followed all the other tenants shrieking and heaving upstairs.

Something's really wrong!

She had woken up by then. And not surprisingly, very concerned (She still looked good with that expression). I turned on my mobile TV and it was screaming in bold.


The horror was distinctly evident on our visages. I ran in to pick my polka dotted treasure, while she stuffed some hard cash, mobile and a sumbrella into a bag. Just before leaving, I managed to grab the dozen bananas lying on the table. Never before had the three of us reached the terrace in our pajamas. But we weren't alone. I recognized all the families there, all of them literally shrivelling with fear, all of them looking west - the direction of the sea.

11.14 am

The water had climbed upto the 6th floor level. And it was gleefully and sadistically aiming at us, just one floor above. The sun was beating hard. Amidst all the pandemonium, I had opened the sumbrella and cuddled my two frightened possessions underneath it. I dared not expose any of our skins to the sun which would willingly fry it to skin cancer. At one such timestamp, he asked

"Papa, are we going to die?"

I fumbled a bit. But I hugged them tightly.
"No way beta, don't you worry. We will find a way out of this soon"

I tried to find comfort in my own words. And ensure that hope is not lost in him.

"Papa, but why did this happen? Why is there so much water suddenly?"

I was stunned for a second. I knew the answer, had known the answer all along, all through my life. This was expected one day.

I struggled through the pages of my vocabulary and let the following out:
"Son, you see, the Earth was never this hot when you were born. It was getting hotter every year though. People like us just began to cut more trees, drive more and send out more smoke. And today morning, I think all the ice that existed just melted in the sea. Its called global warming"

He blinked at me dreamily. I could sense the thought-processes his small mind was going through. He just looked down into nothingness.

She plucked a banana from the bunch, unpeeled it and fed him. The tears were not visible, but the trauma and the pain surely was.

There was already a stench of fish and dead carcasses. Nausea.


It was finally dark. I nursed my tired hurting arm, all the while accustomed to holding the sumbrella - now folded back in the bag. The water was just a meter below, beyond which lied my world earlier, now devoured by the sea. The miracle bananas had served my kid well. She however looked dead weak and sleepy. Not that I was on high-energy steroids.

The horn did ring. Of a small boat. Beyond which came hundred small speedboats. All with huge torches. The entire humanity on the terrace shrieked in unison.


8.53 pm

We were all packed onto a speedboat.

Bodies lay floating everywhere.

9.17 pm

We alighted on the small hill at National Park. And felt land. A few steps ahead, a TV was placed around which hundreds had gathered. And beaming


I clutched both of them tightly and led them to the refugee food area. What a "warm" Sunday!


Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Treat For the Ears

It was last Sunday. Fools Day. And I pampered myself with a new cellphone - a Sony Ericsson W830i. The crux of the matter in this 4" x 2" un-scrawny instrument is the 1GB memory it piggybacks. I can dance, eat, swim and snore in all that space with all my favorite music idols.

So, the first thing I did after unpacking is pump in lot of tunes. Listed below are few of those gems:

Hey Jude - The Beatles
Until The Last Moment - Yanni
Hollow - Dream Theater
I Walk The Line - Johnny Cash
Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer
Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
December - Collective Soul
Nocturne for Violin and Piano - Chopin
Leaving On A Jet Plane - Chantal Kreviazuk
High And Dry - Radiohead
The Sounds Of Silence - Simon And Garfunkel
Sunrise - Norah Jones
Fur Elise - Beethoven
Politik - Coldplay
Your Woman - White Town
Love Me Tender- Elvis Presley
Faithless - Buddha Bar
What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
Where The Streets Have No Name - U2

These just constitute around 60 MB. A lot other treasures are swimming in shoals totalling upto 1GB.

May the force be with music. And my cell. I do hope that it intermittently helps me make calls.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Idiot's Boxes

I press the yearning button to life. A few colours pop on a screen, human-like voices emanate and a few humans resuscitate to life.

They seemed to be dancing on a green field. A decent looking gentleman suddenly runs up to a brown patch and blasts a white object to another gentleman, who with his wooden kinda shield flogs it away. A melee ensues with more gentlemen scrambling for the white object. Alas, it disappears far away followed by loud hooting and jeering.

Bored, I click the next button on the itinerary.

A loud jarring thunderous sound irks me. The camera closes up on a middle-aged lady with anger in her eyes. The victim - a hot young girl in designer sari - effuses loathsome sobs in a multitude of glycerine tears. Vermillion is smudged on every woman's face. Men just seem to be puppets in this regime.

Bah. Click.

A huge banner "Breaking News" masks most of the bandwidth. A wonderful example of flouting rules and obscuring the "behind the banner" details. A vivacious lady blabbers on some violent incident. Suddenly, two old guys start bickering over the issue of who's responsible for the violence.

Fingers fiddle. Click.

Two black guys, who think they are cool, mumble incoherently in a raspy voice. They think they groove well by moving their hands. Semi-nude chicks, who think they are hot, cling to them like leeches. Oh yeah, there's some tune playing in the background.

Duh. Click.

In the middle of a black muddy ditch, two pigs cuddle up. A caption below reads 'A Pigs life'

Gross. Click.

Old Chinese warriors with long dreadlocks smattering pure English jumping up and down.

Grrrr. Click.

Dumb, fully-clothed, zombie-like, anorexic girls walk ogled by lechers.


A cat running after a mouse.

Wow. I put down the clicking instrument.

In a minute, it displays "The END. A Hanna Barbara Production"

I click the abominable red button.


I pick up the yearning book happily and turn to the bookmarked page.