Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Return Statement


This is my second short story. Hope you like it!!!



I first saw that machine in his lab. It was too big to be called as a lab. It would be appropriate to call it as a laboratory. Coming back to the machine, it was neither stupendous nor stupid. Imagine a car with a rear that was the mirror image of the front. Further the car had only one door with a small window sized less than a square feet. That was DD’s (Doctor Dhananjay) Time Travelling Machine.

“Will it work?”, I asked.

“Machines are made to work” said DD.

The smartness of DD lies in his circumlocutory answers. You can never conclude from his replies.

“Where are the wheels for it to run?”

“My machine would run in the fourth dimension, the dimension of time. Wheels are no longer necessary.”

DD didn’t appear to be a man who would lie. The words filled with confidence and arrogance… The lab filled with books with bamboozling titles… His research works stacked upon a table… A notice board with news paper cuttings of his articles… Though this forced me into believing him my eyes should have had a tinge of disbelief that was residue of overwhelming questions inside my brain.

“I think, you don’t believe me still”

“I find it difficult to believe it doctor”

“Better take a trial ride…”, he said with a smile. There was no falsity in his smile.

“Is it really possible to travel to the future that remains a mystery and the past that’s already a history?”

“Yes”

“How is it possible? Then what about Bradley Dowden’s theory?”

“Ya Bradley Dowden…”

He continued, “His logic is near perfect, ‘Nobody has ever built a time machine that could take a person back to an earlier time. Nobody should be seriously trying to build one, either, because a good argument exists for why the machine can never be built. The argument goes like this: suppose you did have a time machine right now, and you could step into it and travel back to some earlier time. Your actions in that time might then prevent your grandparents from ever having met one another. This would make you not born, and thus not step into the time machine. So, the claim that there could be a time machine is self-contradictory.’

But then you have read time travel only as a fiction. When it becomes real, it’s really tough to believe.”

“Doctor I need a proper explanation. Your round about answer is intelligent but inconclusive”, I was unable to agree with him.

“Have you read my paper on n-dimensional mathematics?”

“I had seen that paper with all the Greek symbols lying on it resembling ants lying on poisoned sugar toffee!”

“Ok. I would try to make it as simple as possible. Can you see this paper?”

“Yes.”

“How many dimensions does this have?”

“Two. Length and breadth…”

“How many dimensions does my lab have?”

“Three… Length… Breadth and height…”

“Ok. Look through that window. Are you able to see that tower?”

“Yes.”

“Left… right, top… bottom, front… back, in all these directions you are able to witness the three dimensions. How?”

“How?”

“Because you are a four dimensional being. That’s how it works…”

“Four?”

“Ya. You have four dimensions. Fourth is the time. If I want to state the four dimensions of SD (S.Deepak is my name. DD like many other friends of mine liked to call me SD), it would go like Height: 6 feet. Length: One and a half feet. Breadth: Half feet. These three are the basic dimensions. What’s your date of birth?”

“25-June-2029”

“So your current measure in the fourth dimension is the number of days or to be accurate number of milliseconds that have passed since your birth. Hence you are a four dimensional living thing… Do you understand?”

“A little…”

“A four dimensional human is able to travel back and forth… left and right… top and bottom… Listen… Imagine what a five-dimensional person could do!”

Doctor was waiting for my answer. I was thinking hard, so hard that the eyebrows almost touched the scalp. All of a sudden the bulb glowed.

“Yes doctor… A five dimensional person can travel back and forth in the fourth dimension. This means…”

“This means that it is possible to travel forward and backward in time. This machine does that. It allows you to enter into the fifth dimension. So you can travel to the past and the future. Making the future tense, present tense and present tense, past tense… Now tell me, where do you want to travel? The history filled past or the mystery filled future?”

Pandora’s curiosity looked mediocre in front of mine. I was a little feared too. If it’s possible I can go to the past. I have been spending my life on excavations and people suspecting me on under-cutting and over-cutting. I can prove them after all we archeologists were right with our discoveries…”

“Doctor I would like to travel to the past. Let my future remain as suspense.”

“Ok… Which Century?”

“Can I decide that later?”

“Ok… I understand your idea… You can enquire and go back and forth…” Doctor opened the door. “SD take your seat. Hold this.” He placed a small object on my hand resembling a TV remote, with the numbers from one to nine and then a zero and a back button. Below which there were two buttons placed one below the other very much like the volume control with a + and - sign. On the side of which there was a small 4 digit LED display. “You need to enter the number of years you want to travel and press a + if you want to travel to the future and – if you want to travel to the past. You can travel a maximum of 9999 years forward or backward.”

“Doctor my nerves and muscles are filled with excitement. I could feel the adrenalin rushing in.”

“Few warnings”

“Warnings?”

“Whatever might be year to which you are travelling, don’t disturb the people. Don’t fight… Please be careful about this… Don’t kill anybody!!!”

“Oh! Me killing somebody has a probability of zero!”

“But the calculations are different in the fifth dimension. You are from a different century. You should not spoil the balance of people who have lived before you. And be careful with the women. They may look pretty. Your androgen may suddenly work over time. Be careful, don’t do the ‘you know what’? All my calculations would then become miscalculations.”

“Sir. My only wife is my profession. Don’t worry.”

“That’s my worry. Any way, don’t miss this control box.” Before I could realize that the TV-remote like thing was the control box, he continued. Always have it inside your pocket. To come back, press the back button in the remote. It’s very simple.”

I sat inside the machine which suddenly resembled a cage. DD closed the door. I could see him smiling through the window. He gave thumbs up. The window closed.

The seat was cozy. A constant ‘hmmm’ sound was heard inside the machine. I took the control box in my hand, thought for a while. I should clear my doubts regarding history using this wonderful opportunity. First let me see if it works fine. I pressed 9999 and then pressed the – sign 9 times.

I was feeling the josh of travelling in a roller coaster.

Years rolled back.

I was standing in a jungle in front of a nude man and woman. OMG! I have moved to the Stone Age I guess. A snake was moving towards the woman. To save the woman from the snake, I looked for a stick and tried to attack the snake. I forgot two things first was the lesson taught by mom, ‘The ironic thing about killing snakes is that most snake bites occur during the act of trying to kill the snake! If you see a snake just leave it alone! The next one was what the doctor said ‘Don’t kill anybody!!!’

The snake looked at me. It came near me and started to hiss… Then, Speak. Was I imagining things?

“Who are you?” the snake asked me.

“Goodness gracious me. Snakes only hiss. How are you able to speak?”

“You are a smart man”, the snake said. Receiving compliments from a snake was weird. The snake continued, “But who are you? And what did you try to do with the stick?”

The snake is questioning me? Hmmm. Oh how I missed it, this must be Adam, eve and the Satan.

“Are you Satan?” I asked the snake. Was that worry or shock I could not find from the little face of that snake. There was hardly a face.

“How did you find it? You must be God in disguise.” The snake has mistaken me for the God.

“I am not God Mr. Satan. But I can do some magic.” Saying so, I took the lighter from my pocket and lighted it. The snake was surprised by the fire and quite afraid too.

Suddenly I remembered that I should not rewrite History. I said to the Snake, “Its time for God to return. Inform Eve about the apple and make Adam to consume it. All the best," I said and pressed the back button.

I was feeling the josh of travelling in a roller coaster.

To my surprise I did not return to the machine.

Instead I was standing in front of a river. I could identify the place. The Tower of London was standing strong. It must be Thames. But where is the Tower Bridge? Before that question was completed, I realized I must be in an earlier century and the bridge would only be built in the future.

A man crossed me. I had seen him somewhere. Ya it is… “Excuse me. Sir! Sir! Please wait. Are you Mr. William Shakespeare? ”

“Yes. Do you know me?”

“Sir I am a fan of your works. I love ‘As you like it’:

    ‘All the world's a stage

    And all the men and women merely players;

    They have their exits and their entrances,

    And one man in his time plays many parts,

    His acts being seven ages.’

“As you like it? Thou shall not mistake me. I am not bound to please thee with my answer. I say there is no darkness but ignorance in you. For Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”

“Don’t you speak in normal English? This appears to be ancient English. It’s too bad. Takes time to comprehend.”

“Ancient English? It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so. I have not written ‘As you like it’ is all that I mean.”

“Sir!!! You would be writing it in the future.”

“Future? You predict future? Are you a soothsayer?”

“I am no soothsayer. I am from the future. I am from the twenty first century. See this, it’s called a lighter.” saying so I took the lighter out from my pocket.

“A lie like a truth will come out one day” saying so Shakespeare lifted a lighter from his pocket. I was shocked. Being an archeologist I knew lighters dated back to the sixteenth century. If I could take it from him - it would be great, I thought.

I asked him, “Can we exchange the lighters?”

He said, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”

“Come on Mr. William. Neither of us are lending or borrowing, it’s just an exchange.”

He reluctantly shook his head. I decided to take it by force. In the commotion the control box fell down. Shakespeare took the control box. In the split second I took the lighter from him. And before I could say anything he pressed few buttons in the control box. And while trying to snatch it from him I pressed the + button.

I was feeling the josh of travelling in a roller coaster.

The tower bridge was present and the area was crowded. I went near a kid, who looked as beautiful as any other kid would be, and asked her what the date was? The kid said, “April 28, 2010”. I started in 2060 and I am in 2010. Just 50 years back. I am almost there I thought. I pressed the back button in the control box, it didn’t work. I set 0050 in the control box and pressed the + button.

I was feeling the josh of travelling in a roller coaster.

I fainted.

Dear Reader,

Thanks for patiently reading my story. After that, I was lying in a hospital bed. When I gained my conscience I explained my story to the doctor. I asked what the date was. He said it was 21-June-2010. I could not find the control box or the lighters in my pocket, without them no one was ready to believe me. After a series of tests, the doctors concluded that I was affected by Paranoid schizophrenia. I cursed them and argued that I am normal. The doctors once again examined me and concluded that I am a rare case with rare delusions. And I was shut up inside a mental asylum. I don’t belong to this decade. I am 5 decades ahead of you. If you find that TV remote like control box with the LED display kindly provide it to the mental asylum and prove that I am from the future. I would be very thankful to you if you could save me. The address of this asylum is…

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

As I was about to finish this, the door opened. “Hello SD! Oh! How did you get paper and pen and what are you writing?” The doctor snatched the letter from me. He read it, laughed at certain points. He said, “Hallucinations helps being a writer, you need not imagine, it naturally comes.”

This is not imagination, this is my real story’, I wanted to shout at the doctor. But then shouting will just result in an injection that would make me sleep. So I was quiet.

Hope somebody gets my story someday and saves me. Till then I would be waiting in this asylum.

The End


Click here to read my first short story - The Infinite Loop

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic story? The ending was awesome! Looking forward for more stories from you.

Ramesh - The Noblest said...

nice interesting story SD... keep up the good work.. write more...

Deepak said...

Thank you... I would be writing more for sure... Have lot of stories in my mind...

Time To Live-Life after death
Final Fiasco-A stumble is not a fall
Rendezvous in Atlanta
A story about 3 college friends (Its name is subject to change... its no more time to live)

so these four would be my future works...

after finishing them all... I would start with my dream novel

The Effervescence of Life...

Meanwhile would be writing few short stories as well...

arunrays said...

cool sci-fi story, man! addressing us in the story is different!

Anonymous said...

the beauty of this story is its climax... it could be real... SD could have really met William Shakespeare and Satan or SD could be a paranoid!

The story rocks!!!

Priyan said...

SD and DD make a good pair. Won't you leave this DD? DD was in mystic murder as well.

I would like to give a new climax. Imagine the doctor who is claiming SD to be paranoid in the climax to be DD :D

Hema said...

hey your story is really really nice :-)

keep it up

Life is a hectic schedule........ said...

Awesome story anna!!!!
I loved the overall concept and the way of narration. U always rock!!:)

Anonymous said...

Hope somebody gets my story someday and saves me

I am there to save you SD!

dukes said...

deepak..really excellent da
keep posting........:)
really great work..

Arun said...

really very awesum story na... i loved it... :)

looking for more nice stories from u...