Tuesday, November 04, 2008

At Childhood’s End

All through the festival holidays, though having had some fun, I had been pondering about the general reduction in bursting of crackers this year. The change had been quite pronounced. So I figured I had three reasons to come up with.

1. I had gone deaf due to age, so I couldn’t listen to anyone bursting them. But I’m not that old yet. So, veto.
2. Not much of expenditure for people this year due to the stock market crash. Now, that’s stupid. Veto.
3. Not enough crackers produced as the gun powder might be exported to another place to aid a war for Liberation. Duh?!?

The night of Diwali, after dinner, I went for a walk to enjoy the breeze and the chill. While on the road, I saw a small boy walking down the street. I guessed him to be around 10-12 years of age.

I called out to him.

Me: Hey! Boy!

The Boy turned around. I saw him and observed that he looked quite mature for his age.

Me: I’ve seen you somewhere though I can’t place where.
The boy: And you must be ID:180687
Me: Hey! That’s what my friends call me! Anyway, if you don’t mind my asking, you seem to have gobbled up an entire sweets shop to put on THAT much of a weight. Outside exercises could help. Go and play some sport, kid!
The boy: This is my compact form. I can transform into a much bigger self of mine by repeated screwing and unscrewing though I don’t do that often as it tends to bore people after the first time they see it. I am Pessimist-at-Prime. My friend Mega-moron and I have come from a galaxy far far away to preach the religion of machines.
Me: …?? Yeah, and I’m superman from Krypton the unmasked vigilante in his traditional night gown, here to save our world. Pleased to meet you.

The boy scowled at my mockery.

Me: Now, why aren’t ya bursting crackers??
P-a-P: I don’t enjoy crackers. The slightest change in my system can cause me to shutdown immediately and never wake up again to see another dawn.
Me: Boy, you must be running Windows. Now, quit playing and tell me. Why aren’t you bursting crackers!? I thought you were a kid. A liking for these kinds of enjoyments is natural for your age, I guess!
P-a-P: You humans are naïve, narrow sighted. Our race comes in the form of Playstations, Televisions, Cell phones etc. We are not the kinds who enjoy the outside world. We like to be in our cozy cardboard niches. Now we’re here to “transform” the cute, lively children of this planet into obese couch potatoes!
P-a-P: Muahahahaha! (Evil laughter)

I could neither decipher nor believe what this guy was trying to say. Just then, one of the kids from my neighborhood came running along. It was Papli the youngest in our area. He is 10 years old.

Me: Hey, Papli!
Papli: Hi anna*! Hi Bubby!
Me: Bubby??

Bubby looked at me and gave a sarcastic smile.

Papli: Yeah, this is Bubby from my school. He joined this year. He’s from the United States!!

Boy! Do our people get excited when they see people from the other parts of the world.

Me: So, Papli? Not bursting crackers eh?
Papli: No, not anymore. Crackers have become boring. I’m going to Bubby’s house to play some playstation. He has these new games that can keep anyone engaged for hours together! C’mon bubby. It’s getting late. Let’s go. See you anna! Bye!

Without a reply, I turned around and made my way home. Neither to this day nor in the future will I be ever able to decipher whether what bubby said was true.

Machines are taking over the world giving little room to the age old harmless joys of humanity making life more a routine than a journey. The world is at its childhood’s end.

anna*- Brother, Bro


Rakesh Vanamali said...

Welcome to the world of the machines! Remember Matrix?

Perhaps we are indeed headed that way! I was reading up an article on Project Singularity, while on a short travel! I must confess that it was the title that drew me to read the entire article and before I started, I thought that Singularity would be a project aimed at bringing cultures and people together under the premise that human beings are one species despite race, origin, place of birth etc etc etc.......

I was wrong! Massively wrong!
Guess what? Project Singularity was a forum of scientists who came together to discuss the ill-effects of self-improving machines!!!!

I'm reminded of Pink Floyd's track - Welcome to the Machine!

"Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
Where have you been? Its alright we know where you've been.
You've been in the pipeline, filling in time, provided with toys"

I get jitters thinking of how detached and machinelike my (unborn) kids will be! No outdoor games, no festivities, no wallowing in the mud, no catching crawlies for trophies!!!!

Phew! Scary!

Nice post Vibu! I was kinda rattled and hence the 'essay' for a comment!



Vibushan Lakshminarayan said...

@ Rakesh
Happy to have a comment such as this!
Yeah, it is indeed the world of machines and they are one amongst us now than in the near future, we might not be complete without them!
I'm sure machines have their own good effects. but the fact that man is letting them take over is quite a grim truth.
Thanks! Keep visiting!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

And, yes, the title "At Childhood’s End" is very apt!

Vibushan Lakshminarayan said...

Thanks again :)

Vivek said...

lol its true! children are no longer into such things. don blame them. its sad really.
Wat breeze were you talking bout? i stepped into an intoxicated fog. :)
pessimist-at-prime? reminds me of someone. :)

Vibushan Lakshminarayan said...

@ Vivek
ha ha ha :) I know who it reminds you of ;)
I spoke abt the breeze coz there was one due to the absence of bursting crackers :)

Jayaprasad said...

ya its quite true that children r no longer interested in these things.... in future there may come the "E-Crackers" :)

Vibushan Lakshminarayan said...

@ Jp
ha ha ha :D and crackers bought will be sent as an attachment via mail :D :D

Akshay said...

So true...when was the last time you wrote something substantial? I mean the kind that involves a pen and paper? I hardly remember what my hand writing looks like anymore!

Vibushan Lakshminarayan said...

@ akshay
My hand writng looks like an EEG :D