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The Awakening

"Where are we going?"
"Where?" he looked straight ahead. His entire body was drenched in sweat. Sweat dripping into his eyes. He wiped off the sweat on the forehead and mildly squeezed and massaged his eyes. He had his eyes closed when he spoke again "Where? You want to know where?"
"No. Not exactly. I want to know why are we going non stop? And yes. Also where are we going? Why are we staying away from the main habitat?"
"Lodu.... You know the reason."
"Yeah... Partially yes. But you haven't ever told me the complete truth."
"Because I don't know what is the complete truth. I can only share what I know."
"But you haven't shared all you know." And looking into his chest, his pocket the place where the big man often slides a piece of paper, whose contents have so far remained a mystery.
"Now, kid... Don't you stare that way! It can be dangerous if there were lots of onlookers." There were none. They were in middle of no where.
"No... I am not interested in knowing 'that'."
"Oh? Really?"
"I mean. I want to know all." He saw the big man sighing. "All you know on why we are this way. Will you, bro?"
"Will I what?"
"Tell me the theories. Just that."



The big man slid his hands into his inner pocket, and took out 'that'. A piece of paper, battered by time and use. Despite careful handling by him. The kid saw his brother looking into the paper. His brother was a lot older than him. As he tried looking at that piece of paper, his brother folded it twice and slid it inside his shirt's inner pocket. His brother looked into his and raised his eye brows asking 'What'?
"Nothing."
"Really?" Age and size made the word look like a threat.
"Yes." 
"Come on kid?" 
"Well....." He looked into his brother's pocket. Then back into his eyes. "Nothing."
"This?" He asked taping his chest. "Hmmm. You are almost 14. Wouldn't be surprised if this is something you haven't seen before." The younger boy looked at the pocket, and then down. "Look here Lodu. You are a man. You gotta be. Thats what they will consider you as" The older lad took out the paper, opened it and stared at that piece for a moment and then folded back again and handed it to Lodu.

Lodu received it thinking it should be some photo. 'God?' He knew the answer even before he touched the paper. He took the paper.

"Now....." the big man was saying in a voice, that can best be described as emotionless, still sounding threatening. Lodu did not open the folded piece of paper. He looked up at his brother, and caught him staring at the paper.

"Yes bro." Lodu was wondering if the big man will snatch it back. He wanted to see it atleast once. Before dying. Like the thousands who are dying around them. Killing each other. Through means, he didn't understand. For reasons, he couldn't fathom. Reasons his brother wouldn't share.

"Lodu, what's contained there," he was pointing at the paper, "can kill us. If our people see us with that. We are dead. If they", he was again pointing at the paper, "find us with that, we are still dead meat. Its a war. I don't know the starting point. i don't know if it will end. I don't know the reasons behind this war and carnage. Its just here. Suddenly, people like us, who can't take sides, are celebrating every day of our life as if it were a gift."
"Did the war start before I was born?"
"It grew in size around that time. Its been there for centuries."
"Is it for, like, valuables? Like land? Jewels?"
"Huh...." The big man sighed. "Much less." He looked around. Lodu followed his gaze. The big man was looking into distant places. Bushes and wild growth was the only thing found there. "Worthless." He said pointing at something in that distant place.


There were some smoke far away, drawing patters and designs as it went up the sky. May be, there is some road there. Some people must be there."Them or us?"
"Don't know. Either of them, it is dangerous."
"Can't we be defeat them? Can't we destroy them? Are we not mightier than them?"
"May be we can. Destroying them will again destroy us. The real us. Like you and me. May be we are mightier. Your strength is determined by the strength of your weapon. And the weapon's strength is determined by the strength of your resolve and brain. They have that in abundance. We have it in abundance. So, there is really nothing to choose."
"Then why can't we be at peace with them? Why can't they be at peace with us?"
"We should have. They should have." He was again looking into the empty stretch of land to his right with just some wild bushes. "Now make it fast. We gotta leave."
"Where to?"
"To meet and celebrate tomorrow." The big man's voice was breaking. His eyes suddenly looked glistened. He noticed the kid observing him, and turned his head the other way.


Lodu looked at his brother. He loved his brother. His brother loved him. He knew it. He looked into the folded paper in his hand. 'Should I open it?'. He thought for a moment, and decided to.


He unfolded the paper. It was a photo. One of the most beautiful one he had ever seen. He looked up at his brother, and asked "Them?"
"Yeah... The real one."
"It is ... pretty... you know. Full of ... full of ... " Lodu was struggling for words.
"Life. Full of Life." Saying the big man took back the paper, looked into the photo, folded it back and slid into his inner pocket. And moved on. The kid followed him.

It was the image of a woman bare naked, with a baby across her bosom, with the umbilical cord connecting them.


Note: This is greatly inspired(!) from "The Road" and "The Book of Eli". Both the apocalyptic fictions do not specify the reasons for the conditions of the world. I think, the war of the future, will not be White vs. Black, or Upper Caste vs Lower Caste, or Religion vs. Religion. But between the Genders. Men vs. Women! And that would be far more catastrophic than "Fat Man" and "Little Boy".


The tale above is set in the future when advancements in science has reached a level, where even biological / primal instincts, requirements and process such as sex and progeny of species (humans included), are totally taken care of without the involvement of the second party. Men and women become asexual, and work towards advancements of their own ilk, only to prove their superiority over the other. The "Real One" refers to the biologically born humans. The "Others" are products of "Stem Cell Research" and "Cloning".

Comments

Really crisp narative. I am now inspired and i think i ll give a shot at something similar in the near future.

I can t help but recollecting that line from the song in pudupettai - Neruppu Vayinil - "Ovura nalum vidiyal kan parthal adhu pudayal".
G Saimukundhan said…
@ MSP

Thanks! Would wait for your post on something similar to this.

Never connected the Pudupettai song and the contents of this post. As I had commented inside the post, those two movies were the real inspirations, and made me start a post.

Like most of my blog posts, this too was in draft mode for more than a year, before it was dusted and concluded. Would not have concluded, had I not come across some news reference to Viggo Mortensen (The Road). That man has been impressing every time I come across his name.

Cheers!
Sir on reading the Reviews, i believe the book "The Road" is also worthwhile.
G Saimukundhan said…
@ MSP,

The book must be impressive. Else, they wouldn't have made the movie (Though I do understand that it is not a rule - Good Books to Good Movie). But, considering the theme, I am pretty sure, the book must have been very very slow. Unless the reader visualizes, the effect may not be the same (for people like me).

Having said, there is one more book from the same author, which was also made into a movie, No Country for Old Men. The movie was intense and impressive. And you should love every bit of it. That movie / novel (No Country for Old Men), will make a much better read than "The Road"

Cheers
Sundararaman said…
Superb post sir..Liked it a lot.. I think even without reading the Note at the end,this makes sense.. After reading the note , it gives entirely new perspective.. Was that intended or have I misinterpreted..?
G Saimukundhan said…
@ Sundar (Kutti)

How do I know if you have misinterpreted without you quoting your interpretations in the first place?

The note was meant to be a clarification as to the period in which the events take place, and the the origin for the post. I was also apprehensive of this post looking like some abstract stuff.

I took the liberty to once again stress the reason for the war of the future in the note. Stressing the Gender issue was not primary reason for the note.

And thanks for the complement. It is one of my personal favourite among my own posts.

Cheers
Sundararaman said…
Never mind my interpretation.. It was absurd.. and this is surely my favorite too among your posts.

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