Medley

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Why is it...

It is all right to be different, not to be the same.
We are still all a part of the big game.

We still look at the sky each day
And see it brightened by the sun’s ray.
We still see the rainbow light up in delight
With the dust washed clean from our sight.
Violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red
Bring happy thoughts to our head,
Thoughts that glide and thoughts that play,
Lightening our burdens by the day.
If the different colors light up our lives
And fill our being with happy smiles,
Then why its it when we are not the same
We get thrust out of the game?
Why is it the differences matter more
Than ideas that make us soar?
Why is it we fear and hate the unknown
Instead of learning and making it our own?

It is all right to be different, not to be the same.
We are still all a part of the big game.

That is why each sunrise
Brings colors and blue skies,
And each sultry, soft, starry night
Punctuates the darkness with a silvery light.
That is why we have calm and storm
And each bird, it’s own color and song
That sings, harmonises and celebrates
The bounty of this infinite space.

The Creators

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16

 

The river steamed, frothed and bubbled. The water was hot, above 90 degrees Celsius. The vegetation around it was strange, like something out of a primeval forest, tall, lush trees of unusual colors…. Some had turquoise leaves and some had multi-colored barks. Some of the creepers were colored orange. The grass below was lush and maroon and green in patches. Jasmine, Jacaranda and Gorge had never seen anything quite like it! The flying horses, which had carried them hither, grazed on the strange grass at a distance. Gorge and Jacaranda were given the task of keeping an eye on them.

Jasmine moved forward with Janice, Halon and Anouk. 

Janice said, “In our dimension, we use telekinetic energy from our minds to help, heal and create. We used this energy to create this dimension, the nature around us, animals and, sometimes even dreams, and suggestions to imprint onto minds in the womb or minds already developed. Our queen has the most powerful and creative mind. We are all basically healers and nurturers in our group. For big things, we meet in an enormous group and we all put our energies together to create or project what we need exactly.”

Jasmine asked, “ Why did they call us creations of Janice? Who are your creations? Me, Jacaranda or Gorge?”

“Gorge is your friend. You and Jacaranda were both induced with our thought process in your mother’s womb. I was the initiator of your thoughts, though we all worked in a team. There are the others in various dimensions who have heightened telepathic and mind control skills and can think positively. These were seeds we sowed because we could sense that at some point the creators in their dimension, being largely human, would give in to greed and the need to be exclusive… You will know more when you meet our queen tonight.”

They had stopped by the river as Janice went on with the explanation.

“I think we need to proceed with the task at hand now,” said Halon. “We have come here to heal a creature in the woods by the river. It is in pain.”

“I am sorry I asked now,” said Jasmine.

“As long as we can talk as we walk,” said Halon. “ So, you are free to ask and we to answer as long as we move on.”

“ Are all your rivers made of hot water?” asked Jasmine.

“No. Of course not,” said Anouk. “This one is an experiment to help diffuse the geothermal energy of the earth. It get’s heated by the geothermal energy in the fissures of the earth. We have no volcanoes as they bring destruction in their wake. We created a few of these rivers to let the heat escape without destruction. These rivers can be used for cooking or making Ambrosia. They have their own unique forms of life. Most of the creatures here are eyeless and have very thick hides which do not get affected by the boiling temperatures.”

They walked amid the vegetation, which grew lusher. Finally they came to a patch of grassy clearing. A strange creature was lying in the grass and groaning. It looked like a rainbow-striped unicorn. Its legs were bent as if broken.

Janice walked over. She was chanting strange words. She put her hand on the injured foot. Anouk waved his hand over the animal’s eyes and hummed a strange tune. The animal seemed to doze off. Halon straightened the foot. Then the three of them hummed and held their hands over the injured area and the leg slowly healed and straightened. The creature opened its eyes and stood up slowly. It tried its leg and moved forward. It gave a toss of pleasure and in a deep voice said something strange. The three healers nodded and smiled. Janice patted it on its back and Anouk held out a blue leaf from a tree. It munched the leaf and moved on. 

“Can this animal drink from the hot water river?” Asked Jasmine.

“No, it can’t. But there are cool pools in the woods from which it can drink. It knows the hot water river is dangerous, as do most creatures here. We have conveyed that to them. So, we rarely have accidents,” explained Halon.

As they came out of the woods, they discovered Jasmine staring into the river. She had come forward because she heard some strange gurgling sounds. It was coming from a huge toad like creature purple and silver in color. It seemed to be frolicking in the pool.

“Can it see us?” asked Jacaranda as the group walked up to her.

“ No,” said Halon. “ But it can use its other senses to sense us. We can send it mind waves.”

“ Wow!” said Jacaranda.

“Let us proceed to the hills to meet the queen” said Anouk. 

“We will stop at my home so that you can be in appropriate wear to meet the queen,” said Janice.

They moved towards the horses and Gorge.

“It is really beautiful and nice here,” said Gorge. “I have spotted so many unusual birds and dragonflies!”

“You will see more,” said Janice with a smile.

The three of them took on the three visitors on their rides and the horses took off, flying high over strangely colored meadows and plants. They crossed a stream and soared over mountains. At a distance, they could now see a peak covered in snow. 

They stopped in front of what looked like a cave at the foothill of a mountain. They went in. Inside, the temperature was perfect. The floor shone like glass as did the walls. There were comfortable looking couches where Jasmine, Gorge and Jacaranda were happy to rest. 

“Not for too long. Give them a drink of Ambrosia and let them change. Then we can head for the Crystal Mountain, where the queen stays,” said Halon.

“Yes. We should not be late,” said Anouk.

Janice, who had disappeared into the kitchen, came back with tall glasses for all six of them. They slowly drank the amber liquid and felt rejuvenated. Janice showed them to three rooms where the three of them found white robes with silver girdles, the standard dress of all lemurians. They donned the robes and came out into the hall.

” Good. Let us all start now,” said Halon.

They went back to the flying horses and soared up again. They were now headed for the snow covered Crystal Mountain, the abode of the queen of Lemuria.

 

Phantasm

 

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Flights of Fancy

Through the land of mists I glide
With thought beings by my side.
White, misty clouds shroud
Strange creatures that mouth
Hushed whispers, murmurs that grow loud
And emerge from the mists as beings thought out.
Robed in white,
With an inner light,
These creatures ride
Side by side
Through the woods.
Strangers flitting in hoods.
Silver girdles on their waist,
Ambrosia and honey they taste.
Sip off the little brooks that run,
Through the the patches of mists and sun.
When they emerge in light
They become beautiful and bright.
An emanation of the mind,
A figment of a fanciful flight.

Cosmos

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Cosmic Lights

Dancing lights,
Starry nights.
Sparkling, winking,
Swirling, twinkling,
Like the eyes I adore,
Memories galore.
Happiness, joy, fleeting life,
Radiant, glowing light.
Jewels on the river bob,
Sun’s reflections froth,
Strung by a melodic quatrain,
Of a strange,unknown strain.

From the forests deep, I hear,
A distant flute drawing near.
Who is it that plays the song
In harmony all night long?
Who is it that each dawn wakes
And the lingering darkness chases?
Who is it that this earth makes
Full of wonders and of quakes?
Is he in the lights I see
Dancing, bobbing with glee?
Is he the one for who stars do shine
And lines do haunt a poet’s mind?

The Creators

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13

Jasper had spent more than three hours in outer space hovering between stations. He was starting to worry that he would run out of his supply of oxygen if he did not go for a refill. Yet, he was worried that the mind police somehow could have figured out things and might have spread their web to the outer rim filling stations. He decided to make a desperate bid to contact Jasmine. He focused his mind on her.

He was desperately looking for her in the mind stream. But, there was no response. There was so much chatter.

The mind police could sense Jasper in the stream. To entrap him within the stream, they created a chatter web. This would make it easier for them to trace his coordinates.

They were now near the cloud where the two mind policemen were keeping a lookout for Jasper. They knew Jasper had not descended and was not on earth. The mind police decided to use the outer space button to locate Jasper. They jammed on the button. They rose swiftly and suddenly higher and higher at a very high speed… Confronted with the bareness of outer space, they felt bewildered. However, they were still in touch with Jasper’s mind stream.

Every time they spotted a red vehicle,they tried to tally the number plate . The mind police had  a blue car.

As they circled around , they spotted Jasper’s car hovering near a space station. They went near the car and tried to lasso it from the back with a laser loop. But, Jasper still had his shield up. The laser bumped off. Jasper swerved. He realized he had been hit. He could see the blue car behind him. He recognized the car belonged to his assistant, Rudolf. But Rudolf would never hit him. He realized the mind police must have somehow got hold of the car and had traced him. Instantly, he quit the mind stream and zoomed away. He was a more practiced and adept driver than the mind police. The mind police followed him as he re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. He went behind thick rain clouds and disappeared again. He had managed to re-enter his hideout.

The mind police again lost him at his new coordinates. They decided to post some more guards at the new coordinates. What they did not know was this time unknowingly they had hit on the coordinates of his hideout. His hideout on the surface looked like a wild mountain.

Jasper felt the roof of his hideout close above him and heaved a sigh of relief as he got out of his vehicle.

Meanwhile, Jasmine, Jacaranda and Gorge followed Daedalus into his office. It was a huge dark cavern lit by fluorescent lights made of phosphorus. The office glowed with bright lights when it heard Daedalus’s voice. The lights were obviously voice-activated. With his fascination for technology, Daedalus experimented with science and magic to come up with unique products every now and then.

“So, tell me now…,”said Daedalus.

Jacaranda related all their adventures to him. Jasmine pitched in to explain how the issue had started.

“Well, I have one thing to say that you youngsters have a lot of spunk! I have one suggestion to make however. The moon is not as safe as you think. They technological dimension has a strong base there. So do some of the other dimensions, including the magical one. Rather, I think you should start thinking of involving the Lemurians. They are the only ones that can negotiate an amicable solution with the creator’s dimension. They are the only ones the creators fear,” said Daedalus.

“The Lemurians!” Said Jasmine. “I have never met one.”

“I cannot leave this isle without risking my very existence,” said Daedalus. “Otherwise, I would have come.”

“What do you mean … risking your existence?”

“Oh! You don’t know…,” said Jacaranda. “When the residents of isle of wonder leave this island, they lose their bodily existence and remain a only as a spirit, which can occasionally show up as ghosts in other dimensions. The souls here have been given eternal existence by a magic woven into the air of the island.”

“Wow!” Said Gorge. “That means I and Jolyn could live forever here…”

“You do have to face a governing council. It consists of people from magical dimension and the Lemurians. We do not want villains to find their way here. That is why there are spells to keep out souls with black hearts in the air too!” said Daedalus. “I have seen Lemurians only once in the governing council. They are seven to eight feet tall. They wear white robes and are peace-loving. They have powers beyond our comprehension and will always help people in need,” said Daedalus.

“Can we pinge to the Lemurian dimension?” asked Jasmine.

“I don’t see why not,” said Daedalus. “I had started work on pinging but abandoned it! Well good to see it taken up again. But, you can’t pinge from the maze as it is magic proof, technology proof and mind stream proof. Come, I will walk you out so that you can start onto the next lap of your journey.”

They again trooped out behind Daedalus, emerging this time outside the labyrinth, near the stream.

“You can pinge here,” said Daedalus. “I want to see you pinge.”

Jasmine took out the tong.

“Now, what is that?” said Daedalus.

“The pinging tongs,” replied the three simultaneously.

“Use it!”said Daedalus. “I want to see it done first.”

Gorge and Jacaranda held onto Jasmine’s shoulder as she clapped the tongs and the three disappeared.

“Hey ! Get back!”shouted Daedalus. “Now, I want to see the work that went into the tongs.”

But, the three were beyond his reach…

In the dragon’s cave in the magic dimension, things had calmed down. Jolyn was still pining for Gorge but the dragon prince had them all out in the garden involved in mind games so that they could hone their telepathic abilities. Jamie had started opening up. He seemed to be getting over his fears. Jacinth had started communicating very basic issues with JaJa using her mind. For instance, she could figure out when JaJa was hungry. She could give a simple command like ‘wait’. But, when a more complex command was needed, she had to take help from the dragon or Jamie.

Jolyn was starting to discover that women could do things too on their own, without men. In her dimension, women depended entirely on men. They did not work outside the home and had very less schooling. Talking to Jacinth, she was learning that men and women were equal and women could have opinions independent of the men in their lives. Jacinth had told her about Emmeline Pankhurst and how women had moved forward in her dimension.

Jolyn wondered how Gorge would react to her new discoveries. She missed Gorge very much all the time…his smile, his touch, his warmth…

 

 

 

 

 

Book of the Week

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Title: 41 Stories by O. Henry
Author: O. Henry

O. Henry is the pen name of William Sydney Porter(1862-1910). His first collection of short stories appeared in 1904. He continues to be one of the greatest short story writers of the world in my opinion. He could find the extraordinary in the ordinariness of everyday life and bring out the excellence of common men from different cultures who had come to seek a new life in America.

One of my favourites, The Last Leaf, is the story of how an old, unknown artist,  Behrman, painted a leaf on a tree to perfection to give hope to his young tenant, Johnsy.  Behrman rented rooms to Sue and Johnsy. Sue and Johnsy were poor artists too. All of them, including the old man, looked foward to painting a masterpiece at some point. In winter, Johnsy developed pneumonia. She felt hopeless and thought she would die when the last leaf fell from the ivy that clung to the wall outside her window. When old  Behrman heard this story from Sue, he stayed out all night to paint a leaf on the wall that would not fall. It was a wet, cold night.  Behrman caught pneumonia and died while Johnsy, seeing the painted last leaf survive regained hope and recovered. And as Sue tells Johnsy of Behrman’s demise, she says

 …look out the window, dear, at the last ivy leaf on the wall. Didn’t you wonder why it never fluttered or moved when the wind blew? Ah, darling, it’s Behrman’s masterpiece — he painted it on the night that last leaf fell.

The story is poignant and beautiful. It reminds me of St Valentine’s life. When he was imprisoned to be executed for being a christian, he healed his jailer’s  blind daughter. He did for others out of kindness as did Behrman, who on the surface, pretended to be gruff and harsh.

In O.Henry’s best known story, Gift of the Magi, Jim and Della sell each other’s most precious possessions to buy a gift for each other on christmas! Jim sells his ancestral gold watch and Della her beautiful tresses. Jim buys tortoise shell combs for Della’s hair and Della buys a platinum chain for the watch. It is again a very touching story. And just as you feel your heart fill with warmth towards Jim and Della, O.Henry writes,

Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they( Jim and Della) are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

And, in one sense, they are because they value love and giving over their own possessions, a rare gift in today’s world.

Some of O. Henry’s stories are really witty and funny like The Princess and the Puma and Hostages to Momus. The Princess and the Puma is a story about early American settlers in Texas. The princess, a wealthy girl of mixed origins, and tough, is not taken in by a quick witted ranger’s glib tongue but plays along with him. Hostages to Momus is a story about two conmen who feed and feast theIr hostage only to discover he cannot afford the ransom.

Each one of the forty  stories has a surprise ending and is really endearing. The stories explore and unify the diversity of cultures that existed in one land with their irony, humor and empathy towards human nature.

They bring out the best in human nature as does the celebration of diverse festivals (Chinese New Year, Valentine’s day, Family day, Basant Panchami and Saraswati Puja) all over the globe this weekend. 41 Stories by O. Henry reiterates the spirit of giving, kindness, humaneness and multi-cultural coexistence in our one world as do these festivals with their celebration of happiness, spring, wisdom, prosperity and goodness.

Imagine…

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If…

If there were always rainbows in the sky
And colourful fishes could fly,
How would it be?
If the world were full of smiles
And no one ever sighed,
How would it be?
If the grass were always green
And it were eternally spring,
How would it be?
If flowers forever bloomed
And there were no gloom,
How would it be?
Would we still see the glory of a brilliant sunrise,
Marvel at the fishes that bring the pond to life?
Would we know that happiness makes us smile
And sadness brings a tear to the eye?
Would we know the colours of autumnal gold,
The coldness and whiteness of snow?
Would we know the beauty of a budding rose
And feel happy and sad in throes?

The Creators

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12

Jasper swerved in the darkness at the rim of outer space and stationed himself at a corner of the earth, which twinkled below him like a unique gem. All the buildings in his dimension had become pinpricks till they became altogether invisible. He could see the extra terrestrial movie station and anti-gravity disco at a distance. He knew that here he was safe as the mind police did not have the technology to chase him beyond the clouds. It was only the technological dimension that had successfully started using the space for living, placing stations and entertainment parks near the earth. They were also terraforming Mars.

Jasper hovered and waited trying to think of a way out. He replayed the events that forced him to zoom out of the planet in his mind.

That morning as the roof of the dome of Jasper’s hideout opened and the red saucer like car flew out, Jasper had planned a short trip. He was planning to try and connect with Jasmine’s thought waves, communicate with her and return home to his family. The car, as it flew out and ascended the sky, looked like a dot in the dawning sky as it flew higher and higher in an attempt to distance itself both from his family and the mind police. The surface below was covered with snow. The reflected morning sun made the whole planet look pristine.

The mind police had become even more vigilant. They had lost Jasmine twice in twenty-four hours and Jasper too had disappeared. They were monitoring the universal mind stream even more closely. Suddenly, one of them said, “I can sense the boy. He is in the sky trying to connect with Jasmine. Jasmine, I cannot sense.”

“Let us close in on him physically,” said the commander. “Let us get at least one. Then the other one will definitely try to rescue him.”

Jasper had been desperately trying to contact Jasmine as he hovered among the clouds. Suddenly, he felt a jolt. The mind police had landed at a nearby cloud and were trying to shoot him. But Jasper had had the foresight to have the protective shield cover on. So, the shot did not affect him. He made a full one eighty degree circle and saw the mind police on a cloud. They had pinged next to him. They were firing shot after shot at his vehicle.

Jasper acted quickly. He abandoned his attempt to contact Jasmine and jammed the outer space button. He swerved at a very high speed and rose higher. Almost every vehicle in the technological dimension was equipped to ascend above the atmosphere and explore space with its various attractions at the different space bars. Jasper used it now. As he rose higher and then zoomed out of vision, the mind police again lost him. They did not have the technology to go above the clouds, so again they were fobbed!

“We need one of their cars to chase him!” shouted the team lead.

Two of the guards remained on the cloud to try and trace him and the rest went off with the lead to try and get a space car.

“Could he connect through mind waves to Jasmine from here in outer space? The mind police surely could not reach him there,” he thought.

Jasmine, Jacaranda and Gorge woke up in the cave, after a long night’s sleep. Jacaranda had again whipped them up a breakfast of sorts.

They had their meal by the stream near the cave. They spoke in low voices for the fear of being overheard.

“What should we do next?” asked Gorge.

“It is imperative we get in touch with Jasper,” said Jasmine. “The mind police is everywhere. They want to finish us up. What should we do?”

“Fly to the moon!” said Jacaranda.

“What?! I am serious,” said Jasmine.

“I am serious too,” said Jacaranda.

“You mean you can fly to the moon?” said Gorge.

“Yes. In the magical dimension we can,” said Jacaranda.

“Wow! In our dimension we have not even thought of trying,” said Gorge.

“And how?” asked Jasmine.

“We will visit Daedalus here. He did do it for our former prince, you know the one who is the dragon now. Maybe if we tell him our problem, he can help us.”

“Why not return to the cave of the dragon prince then?” asked Gorge.

“Because we risk getting caught big time. Remember the combined forces of the mind police and Dr Doom. We cannot pinge or magic ourselves into the den from outside unless the dragon wills it?” said Jacaranda.

“Can we not get in touch with him?” asked Gorge.

“And how without having ourselves exposed to the mind police who are constantly monitoring the thought stream?” said Jasmine. “Come let us then look for Daedalus. We could again use the invisibility pulls, if necessary.”

Jacaranda, who had been feeling inside her bag for sometime, pulled out a little pouch and said, “ Ah here it is… the cold fire powder. We can go to Daedalus using the cold fire network. I do not think that is as yet monitored by Dr. Doom or the mind police. That will take us to him quicker.”

“All right,” said the other two.

“Come close two of you,” said Jacaranda.

She poured some powder from the pouch in her hand. She closed the pouch carefully and put it back in her bag. Mumbling an enchantment, she started sprinkling the powder around them. A cold sensation came over the three. They felt themselves sucked into a vortex of icy cold silver flames and then they were thrown out again, near a little hut near between the hills and stream in a pleasantly wooded spot.

As the three of them emerged out of the cold fire, they saw two old men sitting at a table. One was in a Greek tunic with sandals on his feet. The other greybeard was in long flowing robes. The one in the Greek outfit said, “Ah! Jacaranda. Good to see you. Haven’t seen you around for a few months. And who might your friends be? Students again?”

The other man got up and said, “Daedalus, we will continue our discussion another day since you have guests.”

“Oh Robi! Stay…these are young people from the mainland…”

“We will meet later. I am expecting Khayyam over soon. See you around,” said the other man decisively and walked away towards the beach.

“Oh mighty Daedalus… you need to help us. We are in great trouble. Only you can save us,” said Jacaranda softly.

Daedalus looked around and said, “ Come into my new labyrinth that I designed within the hill and tell me your story.”

Jacaranda and the other two followed him into a dark tunnel inside the hill. They followed him for almost a quarter kilometer, then they turned right and there was a strange door with a picture of a pair of wings. “The wings that ended Icarus’s life!” said Daedalus. “But I have found him here again, beyond the hills living with another legend, Garuda.”

“Daedalus, I hate to interrupt but we really need to talk to you secretly. No one knows we are here and we do not want them to know,” said Jacaranda.

“Okay! We will talk in my office,” said Daedalus pushing open the door that had the picture of wings.

Meanwhile, the mind police had pinged back to the office and turned the temperature knob to warm. As the ice began to thaw after a few hours, the snow melted and people started coming out of their homes. One of the first people to drive in to the weather bureau car park was Jasper’s assistant. He had rushed out to see what had gone wrong with the machine … why was it swinging from one to anther extreme and also to figure out where his boss had disappeared.

The mind police, who had been waiting at the car park of the office , used a mind trick on him. The lead told the assistant, “You just left your keys inside the car and someone drove off with it. Now, leave your keys.” They used a memory eraser and modified his memory as he walked away, leaving the keys inside. The mind police slipped into the car and said, “Do we know how to operate it?”

“It is largely robotized and the car has a voice manual, so it can guide us,”said the police who had been examining the car. “Looks like they can go to outer space in this. There is a button that says so.”

“Great! Let’s go for a ride,” said the commander. Four of them got in and zoomed off into the sky. They headed for the cloud where two of the mind police awaited further instructions.

“I can sense Jasper in the mind stream again,” said one of the guards sitting at the back.

“Can you locate him?” Asked the commander.

“He seems to be way off all our earth coordinates,” said the mind policeman.

“Okay let’s wait and just read his mind waves. Let him think we have not spotted him. Let us see what happens then,” said the commander.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book of the week

imageTitle: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley

Published in 1931, Brave New World has been rated as one of the most popular classics over time. To me, it is a book that is becoming alarmingly real in the current day context.

The protagonist, Bernard Max, suffers because he does not fit in. In a society where babies are mass produced in bottles and conditioned to fit their job description, Max is too short for an Alpha male, Alpha being the highest caste classification in the Brave New World. The classes go up to Epsilon. Epsilon creatures are almost sub-human twins. One Alpha or Beta is made from one fertilized embryo. In case of the others, each embryo is split into multiple embryos, given less gestation time and made so that they become subservient genetically. The Alphas and Beta are at the top,the white collared workers, the Gamma, Delta and Epsilons are blue collared workers who satisfy the needs of Alpha and Beta.

The civilized world sees family, marriage and parenting as obscene. The Alpha and Beta are also taught what to think through hypnopaedia,rhymes and games. Hypnopaedia, rhymes and games are used on all children  out off bottle and nurseries to educate them into civilised beings.

Towards the end the Controller, the ruler of the civilized, tells us that Happiness is never grand . To create a peaceful society after a chaos of nine years of war, the Ford (replaces God) and  the Controller take over the process of living. They controls births, deaths and even, human intelligence with the help of Bokanovsky’s process. The Controller makes sure the Alphas and Betas think right. If they think out of line, they are exiled to a distant islands, like Iceland and Falkland, where they can pursue their passion undisturbed by civilization.

Most of the civilzed view this as a punishment as they are kept happy with shallow entertainment, a few grammes of soma ( a hallucinogenic drug), and promiscuity. The society forgets to question any move of the Controller and lives lulled like in the land of lotus eaters. Literature, passion, religion, science, beauty have all been sacrificed for a  civilized society. Science is allowed only to serve the needs of the society as is literature, which is reduced to cheap, feelies, movies with physical sensations. Books, like Shakespare, the Bible, which can make people think or emote passionately are all banned. Wanting to be alone is seen as abnormal.The Controller explains

But industrial civilization is only possible when there is no self-denial. Self-indulgence up to the very limits imposed by hygiene and economics. Otherwise the wheels stop turning.

All this is told to a  savage, a child born naturally to civilized parents and brought up in an Indian reserve. He opts for leading his life away from the civilization of the Brave New World. Because he thinks differently, he is hounded even out of his isolation till he finally hangs himself in desperation.

What I find fascinating about this book is that when mass production was still at it’s infancy, Huxley could sense how it would generate a pop culture which would dominate mankind. He could sense that to be different would be an issue. Life would be so fast that people would have no time to think. Then are we heading towards Huxley’s nightmarish vision of a dystopian world?

Or, perhaps,  there is still hope. There has been something called a slow movement. I heard a TED talk by Carl Honore, the author of In Praise of Slowness(2004). He was talking of slowing down and taking time out for things that are important. Perhaps, if people slow down and start to think, we will find a way out to Make our earth an Eden, like the heaven above in Julia Carney’s words(1845) and move away from Huxley’s premonition of a dystopian civilization.

Stretch

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Firmament

Today,

I brought home a bit of the sky with me.
Vast, blue, translucent, with feathery white clouds
It stretched infinitely out,
Beckoning me, to look beyond the sea
To the far horizon where it starts
Beyond all of mankind’s arts.
A canvas of stars at night ,
Dotted with distant lights.
Was it here when sound started to sing?
Was it here when the world came to being?
Did it stand eternal, at all times,
There for us to be, beyond rhymes,
Rhythm and all words?
Did it hear the first verse?
Did it sing to the first man as it does to me,
Songs of harmony that are heard
By the yearning, searching heart,
Of peace, calm and the right to be?

O sky, did the maker of mankind make thee?