I have a machine unlike any other invented by man. It’s a time machine capable of the most awesome and extraordinary marvels. I am thinking of the direction of travel. Fast forward or rewind.
The pastures and moors of yore beckon me with their untouched beauty while the gory battles and bloody wars claw at my grey cells, disgusting yet strangely enthralling in their stories. Oh where shall I tread from the present?
The streets of the kingdom of Vijayanagara adorned with precious stones. They beseech me to save them from the impending wrath brought upon by the Muslim rulers. The temples of a thousand empires await their inescapable fate of fall and ruin. Will I, a mere human from the 21st century be able to make any significant impact on the tidings of the 14th century? With all the blessings of all the numerous gods of the human world and all the planets turned in my favour I will be able to perchance set my footprint on the ever shifting sands of time and bring some solace to the denizens of centuries past. Yes, the past definitely seems like the path to take. As I turn the dials of my darling time machine and set the input mechanisms to point to a date 7 centuries before present, I can feel my heart pumping blood faster and my legs going numb. But wait. What’s that ticking I hear? It’s not before long the humming of my time machine becomes feeble as the ticking in my head envelopes my body. That’s when I realize why it would be a bad idea to go to the past. The past me wouldn’t have to make any efforts to change events because just by being there I would be altering the scenery and consequently imprinting my self in the past. I do not know if it is going to make a huge difference but when a small change accumulated and mutated over time has brought about a whole new species, the possibility of the minuscule change I bring about blowing up to alter history as we know it is quite huge.
The other option is the future. What wonders await me in the distant wormhole of endless possibilities? Will my great great great great grandchildren greet me with warm welcome or will the world have become inert to all concepts of human feelings of love and care? Will my beloved motherland be as rich in culture and humanity as her past form or be rich as an economic superpower having a stronghold rivaled by none? But what if the world has changed for the worse? I will, perchance be able to warn them of the disaster that is going to be the resultant of our foolish actions today. I will meet the people who I’m quite sure won’t be wearing white suits like a uniform as is often depicted in our movies. As I contemplate on my itinerary of future, I sense the ticking growing louder and louder and I become aware of the alarm going off. The alarm of realization that even if I went to the future I would be altering the end point of a path of events thus altering the point of space-time just before point zero and so on till I reach present day. Which would ultimately result in the fact that this moment now, this moment when I’m indecisive about the direction of time travel is itself an illusion. Therefore, the concept of time travel into future would be nullified. If on the other hand, I could go into future then I wouldn’t exist today the way I am now. How truly magical and ironic this entire situation is. Is there some piece I am missing of this enthralling puzzle? And what’s this incessant ticking? I can’t stand it anymore.
“I wonder if she’s alright.”
“Oh I’m sure she is. She’s just hallucinating again.”
“Should I call the doctor?”
“Honey, I’m sure it’s alright. It’s happened before and she recovered pretty soon. She’s our daughter. She’s strong.”
“I hope she gets well soon. I’m very worried.”
“You’ll soon see that she’ll be as fit as a fiddle.”
(tick tick tick tick tick……..)
“Dr.Maya, congratulations on the successful launch of the 42nd space shuttle headed for our new home.”
“I’m very proud of our scientists and our leaders who have supported me in the past decade when I had initially conceived the idea of a 2nd home. A home away from home. Planet 30. Today our dream has come true. We have successfully relocated all of mankind to our new home. I would like to thank…”(“We have received shocking news. The last space shuttle has crashed into the Sanctuary on Planet 30 causing a leakage of methane into the atmosphere. As of now the fatality stands at 8.0 which means billions of people may be wiped out in the next 10 minutes. Authorities are pointing fingers at the WSO for miscalculation of trajectory. The Heads have ordered for a thorough investigation into the issue and the immediate arrest of Dr. Maya…….”)No…. This cannot be happening. I’m sure we had the trajectory drawn out perfectly. If I’m arrested I’m going to be executed immediately. I stand no chance of escape. I have destroyed mankind. Oh what have I done. I don’t deserve to live. I have to go back. I know what I should do……
“Call the doctor!”
“Why? What’s the matter dear?”
“Its Maya. She hasn’t woken up since afternoon. I think she’s hurt herself.”
“I’m sorry Mr.Roy. Your daughter has passed away. But I found this in her hand.”
“What is it?”
“It is a note. You may want to read it.”
(I had to take this step in order to save mankind from extinction. I have seen the future. I will be responsible for the destruction of human race through my misjudgment. I’m sorry mama and papa. I let you down. But this is the only way I can be sure there will come no harm to the world from me. Forgive me.
“I remember that she had complained of hearing a ticking sound in her head. Looks like the hallucinations got better of her. She seems to have believed that she had invented a time machine and that she had traveled in time to the future. I also found this next to her. It looks like a capsule of some kind. She had buried it in her wrist. Have you seen it before?”
“No. I don’t know what that is. I don’t want to know. My daughter’s dead. Nothing can bring her back now.”
(tick tick tick tick tick……. Beep)
“Congratulations on the successful completion of Mission Control. Looks like Z108 has completed it’s life cycle. The ticking has stopped and the red light is off.”
“Please Dr. Smith, it would be nicer if you’d treat my clients as humans.”
“Oh believe me I would. Only if they weren’t under our control.”
“Thank you Dr. Smith. I appreciate your support.”
“You know that you have a dozen more clients to take care of right?”
“I am well aware of that. I sometimes wonder if the humans realize that they are being controlled by a whole new species in a parallel universe. I feel sad for them. Puppet beings.”
“You showed us all that you have a heart when you named your clients after yourself.”
“We’ve all got something to learn from humans. I learned sentiments from them.”
“Good luck handling those complex emotions there. Well I have to take off now. I’ll see you around Dr. Maya.”
I have done this countless times before. But why do I feel that I’m sinning? What are humans to us other than puppets born to serve us? Yet, I feel a strange void within me as though with her death, a part of me has died. But she’s just another human, albeit sharing my name. Sharing…. The thought of it feels good. How I wish I could bring my human alter ego back to life…….
“I can’t believe this. Honey, look it’s our daughter. She’s alive.”
“It can’t be. It just can’t be.”
I feel strange. I shouldn’t be alive. I swallowed a whole bottle of sleeping pills. Why am I being punished like this? Is it so important that I be responsible for the destruction of humankind? Oh…… I get it now. The present me has to live for I have seen the future me. The future is true and therefore the present has to be true. I had it all backwards. I have to live….. I have to live…… But what’s that sound again?