Flying with an alien
The war of the worlds would be fought for water.
To escape the mental agony I turned to the charming young lady. I was eager to engage her in some conversation. But she had lost herself in the deep of the sky. Eyes wide open and that smile frozen between the pouting lips, she had slipped into a trance, it seemed. She was staring out at the nothingness of that blank endless blue.
Icould feel a pall of gloom in the air. At times it’s like that. When you arrive you sense a mystical kind of joy and while you leave you are a little sad, burdened with the illusion of some loss. Certain places could do things to you. The gloom was not in the air but in my mind. The flight to Chennai was taking off from Thiruvananthapuram airport.
In a few moments, the lush green landscapes, glistening cool lakes and backwaters, the rows and rows of stately coconut palms - all the panoramic complements of a fertile land-faded away.
Goodbye, God’s own country!” whispered my mind. The sky looked like a blue lagoon, cool and calm devoid of waves. I have never seen a sky so desolate and washed out. There was not even the shadow of a cloud.
“Will you give me a slice of the sky? I mean can you give me the window seat?”
I turned to the voice that had a resonant timbre as if from some sound machine. This young girl was sitting next to me. Stunningly beautiful and voluptuous, she looked tailor made for fashion statements.
“Why just a slice? Take the whole sky!” “With holes, Black Holes!” “Black Holes? What?” “I mean the black holes Dr. Chandrasekhar discovered in space! What the stars leave when they die!”
That made me laugh and she moved to the window seat with a chuckle. And I settled with the new Grisham...
But I could not concentrate on the novel. My thoughts were wandering in to my private zones of pain and the printed pages didn’t care to move.
Zeema once my flame and then my ruthless nagging wife, Nisha my little child.
The days and nights of despair and the last straw of a quarrel that broke the back of the stumbling relationship. Oh! No, I didn’t want an action replay of those desperate moments.
To escape the mental agony I turned to the charming young lady. I was eager to engage her in some conversation. But she had lost herself in the deep of the sky. Eyes wide open and that smile frozen between the pouting lips, she had slipped into a trance, it seemed. She was staring out at the nothingness of that blank endless blue, as if she was seeing things no one else could see.
Topened my iPad. Again I was looking at the Aids Campaign we had submitted to the Kerala government. It was good work. I began to feel happy. We had managed the touchy spots with knack and finesse. Perhaps the 30 second commercial would clinch an award or two. Abby, Cannes, Cleo…? My imagination took wings but it was cut short by the sharp voice with that distinct metallic edge.
“It’s great. Really the stuff awards are made of!”
The beautiful sky watching young lady was speaking to me and I was amazed.
“Excuse me, I happened to glance them all!” She continued.
“You liked it. And I thank you for that madam. Every creation has only one ultimate aim. Appreciation!” I told her.
Thus we became friendlier. Giving her my card, I introduced myself. She looked quite fascinated by the design. We had made it in the shape of an eye with embossed eyeball protruding.
“I have no card. I’m Vaanavi! Research Assistant with WWR – World Water Resources.”
“Tamil, Sri Lanka?”
“Tamil, But not from Sri Lanka. I’m from Yaazh!”
“Let it be Yaazh or anything. One thing I would say. Vaanavi, the name suits you. You have got the out of the sky look! You remind me of some Ravi Varma’s painting too!”
She laughed. Like dagger points her sharp eyes were piercing me.
Those wide brown eyes held an awesome lustre. Perhaps some glittering particles surgically embedded? I felt a little uneasy. She looked around as if weighing the passengers and crew and smiled. But this smile was a bit whimsical.
“Sir, you have come very close, within breathing distance to the truth. The cosmic angle!”
“What? You mean you have gone through some plastic or cosmic surgeries?”
“Not at all! Nothing of that kind. I am as I was born! The truth is of another kind…
Spielbergian you would think!” She laughed aloud.
“What do you mean Miss Vaanavi?”
“The truth is, I don’t belong to this planet! I am an alien to this world and its people. I am from another Earth, a twin of this Bhoomi! Wait, I’ll tell you. The hostess is coming. Let us wait till she is away!”
She was speaking in a hushed voice, and her eyes were wandering all over the place and I felt she was quite restless.
She was sipping the juice and looking at me, as if devouring me. And then the truth dawned in my mind. I remembered the day. It was the first day of April. Then it became very difficult for me to suppress my laugh. But I managed well and wore a serious matter of fact look.
I decided to fool her by playing myself the April Fool to her game plan.
“Vaanavi! Now you can continue. The hostess has gone!” I dragged her to say more.
In short, her yarn went like this:
She was from Yaazh of Prithvi the identical twin of our planet Earth. Both the planets are very similar in almost all aspects. They have the same kind of past and present, languages, culture, wars and calamities, people good and bad, scientific discoveries… and at last pollution and water scarcity… Identical planets in every respect!
But; the humans of Prithvi are a superior race. They are a few hundred years ahead of us in technology. Their scientists were probing the space for a long time and they knew about us and gathered everything about us with their highly advanced scientific systems. Now their planet is facing acute water scarcity and even their seas are going dry.
Our Vaanavi and a big team of their World Water Resources were on an evaluation mission to our Earth.
They were assessing the water assets all over this world of ours.
The final shock? The end game would be very tragic for our humanity, she said.
In a month or two they would attack and conquer our planet. Our human race would be wiped out. Their great scientist Dr. Guillette had invented a device for mass killing. It’s
VDL - that means Victims Die Laughing. But I was waiting for my moment to pay her in her own coin.
The flight landed in Chennai. We were walking out together. While passing the arrival lounge I turned to Vaanavi.
“Now, I’ll tell you my truth!” “Your truth?”
“Yes! Like you I too don’t belong to this world. I am from Mars posing like a man of this world. We Martians will take over this planet this June!”
She stood like a frozen frame. Her smile had died on her lips.
And I walked briskly to the parking lot. The company car was waiting there.
Time was flying and I was busy in my own world. My Aids Commercial didn’t see the light of the day, but the print-ads rocked the nation in eighteen languages. I had my heart surgery last month. Yesterday, it was Diwali!
Early in the morning while I was checking my mail and there was this voice mail.
“Sir, this is Vaanavi. I owe this to you. Remember the day we met, 1 April? Trivandrum - Chennai flight? While parting at Chennai Airport, you were actually fooling yourself telling me that you were from Mars. And you walked away like a winner! The twist in the tale is that we had conquered Mars in the 18th century itself. It was for minerals. Of course, we wiped out the Stone Age subhuman race that lived
there. Now coming to the present. Why we didn’t take over your Earth? Here’s the answer. When our spaceships were ready to take over your planet, the great news came. Our explorers had discovered another planet like ours. We have named it Suvishwa. (a big laugh).
A world fresh and rich with resources and plenty of water to last twenty generations. A far better choice than your dirty polluted Earth. Anyhow, you can thank your gods, you escaped extermination.
Sir, don’t you hear that ecstatic mass laughter behind my voice? Yes, I am speaking from VDL Centre of Suvishwa the third identical planet. Extermination of the weird one eyed human race of this planet is in full swing.
Victims Die Laughing! Bye, Vaanavi.” Now, I am having doubts. Is this all a well thought out hoax?
Or the truth that holds future shocks?
While parting at Chennai Airport, you were actually fooling yourself telling me that you were from Mars. And you walked away like a winner! The twist in the tale is that we had conquered Mars in the 18th century itself. It was for minerals. Of course,...