Once long ago…

Once long ago, there was a speck of dust spinning in the vast void of space. The more it danced, the more dust it attracted to its surface. Eventually it grew in size until it was a large spherical object. Now bigger, it attracted more than dust. Meteorites heavy with minerals bombarded it. One particular mineral would have long-lasting consequences.

It was water.

First as puddles, pools and then fully fledged oceans, water sat on the surface crust and filled out across the globe until the quenched orb shimmered in space as a serene turquoise sphere.

One day soon after, the alluring form of an observing being reflected in the pool of chemicals as it hung in the pristine, unpolluted air. The reaction was nearly complete. The being reached out and touched the surface and the heat from the earth began fusing the first amino acid molecule with a protein. The first single-celled organism was born. The being fell back and watched as the new life form ingested energy from the Sun giving it the strength it needed to split its nucleus. The first cell had divided.

Everything was just right. The protective layer around the planet was resilient. The chemical composition of the air was perfectly balanced. Along with the unending cycle of water and an exact distance from the Sun, a delicate balance had been established. Now, each species would be given a chance to play and stumble upon their full potential.

From the single-celled organisms came algae and simple plant life. Oxygen began to fill the planet improving the quality of the air and setting the foundations for advanced life forms. The seeds of certain plants fell deep into the rising ground allowing them to feed off the cooling minerals and ascend to the surface as the tall guardians and benefactors of nature. The first trees were born and began adding oxygen to the atmosphere.

In the oceans, the continuous combination of base elements with existing marine algae gave rise to simple sea creatures. After countless generations and aeons of development certain members of the marine community set foot on land and evolved into dinosaurs and early bird life. In the hunt for sustenance and territory many dinosaurs grew too barbaric and were eventually chosen for extinction.

The aftermath of extinction bruised the Earth. A small number of dinosaurs were given the chance to evolve into bird species and reptiles. In time the planet healed, molecule by molecule, as land walking creatures came from the remnants.

The hovering entity watched from its vantage point high above unable to move on due to the moving tapestry before it. And then something caught its attention. On the plains of a colossal plateau an ape was beginning to stand fully erect, facing the sunlight for the first time. Other apes, petrified and confused, had fled into a nearby forest. The being observed the defying pose of the mammal and knew at once that this life form, like the first tree, was awakening into something more advanced. Amid the race for superiority the next dominant species was rising. The era of humans was coming.

Would they prove more successful than dinosaurs?

Water reflection by david angel
Image Courtesy: David Angel
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It happened…

It happened…

The boy fled north through the dense woodland, his breathing laboured and shallow. The soles of his feet were being ripped by the thorns and rocks. But he didn’t care.

The morning sun was rising in the east but dawn struggled to penetrate the dense canopy.

Further north, the land dipped into a valley but the boy kept to the high ground. Any other day he would’ve ventured down to speak with the tigers, but not today. Charred bodies flashed behind his eyes, but he couldn’t think about that either. He glanced back, beyond the trees. All was still. Maybe they didn’t see him scurrying away.

Placing an ear to the trunk of a very old oak tree, he listened. They appeared in his mind’s eye; menacing and thunderous forms with pointed instruments to ravage the earth. He’d never seen anything like it. And the way they sat atop horses, plunging their ankles into the ribs of the creatures, bending them to their will. A bitter taste rose in his mouth.

His eyes flew open. They were coming.

The path circled the valley and ascended finally to a plateau. There were less trees – each one he knew by name – and the sunlight fed the ground encouraging the growth of his favourite cushioning moss. The constant rush of falling water echoed in the distance and the comforting smell of sandalwood filled the boy’s nostrils.

He ran.

Up ahead, under an umbrella of foliage was the sage’s hermitage. I’m safe. He collapsed on the ground like wet clay. The sage hurried from her wooden hut.

“It’s happened,” the boy wept into the earth, “The world has changed.”

forest with light
Image : Sebastian Unrau

 

When I was a child…

london bridge
Image : David East

When I was a child, mum used to wake me at five o’clock in the morning, every morning, tugging at my blanket and whispering, “When you sleep, your luck sleeps with you.”

Mornings were much the same in our apartment. The banshee screams of neighbouring families would greet us as we sleepily navigated the concrete steps up to the communal terrace to welcome the rising sun. We had our routine. Dad would hold up a small copper pot of water to the deep orange part of the sky and whisper a prayer. Then he’d tilt it forward slowly until a thin braid of water splattered on the terrace floor. Mum and I, a few steps behind, would hold our palms together as first light appeared over the Kolkata skyline.

The following day, the sun shone just as bright above London as the train, crammed with dozing commuters, crawled into London Victoria Station.

From the concourse, most of the commuters spilled into the vast London Underground network. I could’ve followed them and taken the stuffy tube to Piccadilly Circus, but I decided to take the scenic route past Buckingham Palace.

London was a proud city and that was evident in its traditions. The palace towered on the left with an unending throng of tourists plastered to the gates outside, eager to catch a glimpse of the ancient guard-changing ceremony.

All the while, my mind was replaying the moments from the day before. Why was it so necessary to be invisible? What kind of work were they doing? I’d imagined all sorts of fancy things from controversial self-sustaining fusion experiments to gesture-controlled drones for the government.

In St. James’s Park, the lake under the bridge that seemed to connect the palace to Horse Guard’s Parade on to the right was ablaze with the light of the sun. I crossed the thick red road leading away from the palace and climbed a set of steps on to Waterloo Place. The tree-lined road seemed to jump out at me as if to grab my attention, to stop me from going any further. But I couldn’t see beyond the salary I’d be receiving. For that and the recognition that came with working in the capital of England, I’d sell my soul.

Sample from a science fiction novel that I’m currently working on. More to reveal in the coming months.

 

I see my home in a field of corn…

I see my home in a field of golden corn becoming as tiny as a star in the night sky.

My little sisters are in the field, picking corn like I used to.

There are other girls in the truck just like me. They’re also wearing their best dresses. One of them is crying. Maybe she doesn’t like adventures.

I ask, “Please sir…how far we goin’?”

Maybe he didn’t hear me.

There’ll be a palace made of the colourful, shiny stones like the ones Mama used to talk about, in the middle of green rolling hills where children laugh and play. I’ll tell my sisters all about it.

I can’t move much. Outside, there are trees, so many trees, and roads I’ve never seen before and different smells that remind me of the village fair.

There’ll be iced tea and butter, fresh bread and jam served on a great big table.

There’ll be rainbows in the sky and women singing under the trees.

I think about why the man in the suit didn’t answer me when I asked about our trip.

Mama said it would be a surprise I’d never forget. Maybe that’s why she was so happy, and all that money in her hand that the man in the suit had given to her must’ve been too heavy for her to wave goodbye.

child peering out
Image Courtesy: Dmitry Ratushny

The Happiest Man in the World

if we recall a happy moment for ten to fifteenHere’s a link to a great article about the happiest man in the world and how his brain produces waves never recorded in scientific literature when he meditates on compassion and altruism. Unsurprisingly, he’s a Tibetan monk who’s humility shines through as he reveals that comparison to others is detrimental to happiness.

Click here to read the article.

 

Thank you!

Art needs an audience and, for any writer, a reader is god. Without them we’d fall by the wayside and crumble. So when 17 come along at the same time, it’s like Christmas in July!

There’s no way of finding out who you are so I decided to write this post to say thanks for placing your trust in my writing. The reason I write is to spread my life-philosophy and it’s encouraging that it’s been accepted by readers.

Out of the 4 books I’m promoting the one that’s gaining popularity is Day of Mindfulness followed by An Inspiring Afternoon, then The Secrets of Eternal Youth. My latest title, 20 Unbelievably Healthy Smoothies has also been doing well.

Thank you for reading my work. #grateful

🙂

What Jainism teaches us

I’m not bound to any religion, but I like reading about them. I came across a religion, perhaps the oldest in the world. It’s called Jainism. The reason why I was drawn to researching about it was because of its foundation teaching of non-violence or Ahimsa, as it’s known in Sanskrit. A concept that was absorbed by Mahatma Gandhi back in the day.

According to scholars, Jainism used to be widespread across Asia, now its slowly fading, mainly because of the dominance of other faiths in the region. But how is religion kept alive? Well, by recruiting agents and forcing people to convert to their religion thereby slowly eliminating the competition, but, as non-violence was the way of the Jains, they never picked up arms in the name of religion and they never forced anyone to follow their path. This explains why there are so few Jains left on the planet, yet the basic values of this faith live on and will continue to as long as our species holds compassion, kindness, altruism and, of course, non-violence in high regard. The moment we lose our basic truths is the moment we lose the right to be called human.

The demise of the Jain community, religious violence (how on earth did violence ever get with religion in the first place?!) and the fact that there are many paths to one goal teaches us that we can believe in whatever we like, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone. Being religious is not compulsory. We can do what we wish, as long as it brings light into our lives and the lives of those around us. It’s not a competition. Be humble and kind, but never throw your opinions on others or force them to believe in what you believe.

What kind of world would this be if all the religions taught and lived by this? Well, I reckon the idea of organised religion would disappear. In its place there’d be seven billion beautifully diverse religions, no, not religions, let’s call them ways of life, and each one would be a testament to the potential of the human spirit. No competitions, no forced converting, no marketing, just life and the acceptance of others!