God Of A Man
“Contentment and greed can neither co-exist, nor is either a panacea of societal health.”
Chapter Ten: Anybody home?
Dated: 9th October, 2460
There is never enough of anything that would satisfy greed, for greed is always instigated by the thought of consumption. However, it is not about how much can one consume something, but rather the fear of depletion of what has been accumulated that fuels the desire for more. Contentment on the contrary is about enjoying what has already been achieved, and then learning to live without it, or perhaps, just learning to live without it anyway. But what drives the future better; a content peaceful existence or a greed driven mad race?
Perhaps neither of the two answers the needs of an intelligent and evolving community, for while contentment would hinder advancement, greed would eat itself up. A content society will not strive for development, and would never be prepared for eventualities. But a greedy race, where dog eats dog, the society would implode on account of its’ own unsatisfied greed. There will be few left who would hold all the opportunity, and there would be a sea of those seeking it. Clash of greed would be inevitable!
While greed drives invention, contentment develops understanding and appreciation of mutual interests. The two need to be balanced to achieve optimum performance by a society.
The small artificial nursery onboard the spaceship “Maa” was never meant to provide a stomach full of food to the bare minimum awake. Its sole purpose was always only to keep the limited food seeds that humanity still had excess to since their re-settlement in New Saisho, propagating. That the little yield that it produced under the simulated lighting and artificial gravity, could actually give those awake a bit of the worldly taste once in a while, was more of a bonus. Their major needs could only be fulfilled by artificial preparations. And even those stocks were limited and strictly rationed. No wonder Anne wasn’t keen on having any person woken up from their induced sleep, unless they were needed for some operation. But the Defence Core Committee rightly voted in favour of having one extra person up for two days, so that their muscles and bones didn’t degenerate beyond usability, under the effect of artificial gravity and continuous sleep. Besides, once those waking up came over their grief, it also brought about a much needed change of atmosphere in the cabin, which was otherwise becoming too monotonous and tiring. However, while most people would come with their baggage of past, one person was a baggage in himself, for everyone.
“If God didn’t want us to be alive, we would have all died on earth,” Norman was really getting under everybody’s nerves with his lengthy monologues on God. But everybody was not totally disinterested!
“I don’t understand, but how do you know it is God who saved us?” Chief flight officer asked from him, as he finally got up to have a break.
“Who else would it be?” Norman asked in return, “Tell me; why you and not some other person in your place?”
“Would you please shut up?” Anne however wasn’t impressed, and finally decided to intervene, “There is no such thing as God!”
“How do you know there is no God?” Norman immediately asked.
“And how do you know that there is one?” Anne shot back.
“That’s what everybody believed, for thousands of years,” Norman replied.
“And how do you know what everybody believed in was true?” Anne implored further, “Everybody also believed that the earth was flat, and that it was at the centre of the universe, and that everything revolved around it, and all this for thousands of years too.”
“That’s just a meaningless argument from a non-believer,” Norman quipped.
“It is a valid reason that I am waiting for you to reply to,” Anne continued her argument, “No one ever saw God, heaven or hell, yet everybody kept propagating the myth generation after generation, telling their kids how everything that they or even their great grandparents had never seen, was true. It was all a belief, the only way to test which was to die and find out. And nobody comes back after death to confirm. Yet humanity fought and killed each other under various names of God, for those very thousands of years.”
“Well, God is not about what I say or what anyone else says about him,” Norman continued his argument, “It is about what you believe in. You need to have firm faith in him, and he will reveal himself to you when the time is right.”
“But why should I believe in him in the first place,” Anne asked, “Why should I be superstitious?”
“Because he will give you everything,” Norman replied.
“But I already have everything that I need,” Anne argued back.
“And that’s because he gave it to you,” Norman stated emphatically.
“Nobody gave anything to me,” Anne replied, “I earned it through my efforts, and there is no reason why I should think someone would have given it to me.”
“Well, I can’t make you believe in him,” Norman exclaimed shrugging his shoulders, “You just have to accept it for yourself.”
“I have no reason to accept it,” Anne replied equally emphatically. “Captain Ahluwalia, put this man back to sleep,” Anne turned around and asked Captain Aman Ahluwalia, before realizing how he wouldn’t take her orders, so added, “please, will you?”
“As you wish Chief,” Captain Ahluwalia quipped as he immediately sprung to his feet and grabbed Norman from his arm.
“And could you please make sure we never wake him up again?” Anne vengefully asked as she glared at Norman, who had been taken by surprise, “The last thing I want is my crew being crippled by superstition.”
The one intent on having the last laugh, Norman quipped, “As God wishes!”
Wishes are dreams of an open eye, although one doesn’t need to have a physical vision for them. It is the vision of the heart which sees them, and it is the brain of the heart which wants them. The brain in the head is nothing more than an accomplice.
“What are we looking for Jenny?” little Jack asked as the duo meticulously searched another house in the neighbourhood.
“Anything that looks like a medicine, cream, shampoo or soap sweetheart,” Jenny quipped as she carefully searched through a wardrobe.
“But haven’t we got enough already?” Jack asked.
“I just want to know how much in total do we have, so we can ration accordingly,” Jenny exclaimed with a sigh.
One can prepare for the unknown, but that in no way guarantees that the preparations would be enough. Probabilities are only suggestive, not determinative. The ultimate result often lies in the intuitiveness and resourcefulness of the protagonist caught in a storm.
Their hard-work had finally culminated into another brilliant masterpiece of human engineering. The NSS “Full Bloom” had finally been upgraded into NSSS “Full Bloom”, and it looked every bit the craft that belonged to the new space age. There is no room for error, and there was no time for experimentation. This was going to be a single full and final shot at the future.
“Gentlemen,” Rear Admiral Gurubaan Ahluwalia began his address, “Today I feel proud standing here, onboard New Saisho Space Ship ‘Full Bloom’, ready to lead you glorious sons of the soil, on a mission that will determine our existence beyond these few moments that we are left with on this planet. We may not have come here on our free will, but we certainly will leave this place on it. This might be the first step towards a great journey, or the final step of our lives. But I have no regrets! I have lived my life well, and I shall be proud to die alongside you. Glory be to the sons and daughters of New Saisho!”
The entire crew burst into applause. They were ready to take off on their new journey. Having left the shell of the nearly dismantled NSS “Full Bloom” at the bottom of the ocean right where it had been anchored for the last six months, and much of their unneeded cargo, they were ready to take an aerial tour of the planet that had hosted them all this while. It was going to be a goodbye and a thank you, both at once. It was going to be quick, for they didn’t know if a friend or a foe lived there. But they all felt it would be a shame if they didn’t pay their respect to what had now almost become their second home.
When the host is unknown, it is prudent for the guest to be benevolent in the gifts they bring. It is goodwill that generates goodwill, and goodwill that warms up relationships. But when the host is missing, there is only so much the goodwill will do.
“Shit, we are locked,” Jack exclaimed as he tried to open the door of the room he and Jenny had been searching through. The door had an automatic locking mechanism, and unfortunately for them, the key was lying somewhere beyond the thick wooden block that stood in their way now.
“Damn, we should have checked it earlier,” a shocked Jenny exclaimed, “But don’t worry! We are not going to panic! Relax! We are going to think of something.” Her palpitations however betrayed her words, and Jack just looked back at her face, wondering how he should actually react.
Panic is often the first thing that afflicts a victim of a shock. The physical damage however may never happen. And that’s probably because panic travels at the speed of light.
“Planet, right ahead,” a terrified Aslam shrieked hoarse.
“Where, I can’t see it?” Margaret asked.
“Two hundred miles, dead ahead,” Aslam exclaimed.
“I see it,” Christina replied as she turned on the radio telescope, “Adjust ascent by fifteen degrees.”
“Adjusting ascent now,” Margaret immediately followed the suggestion.
“It looks like an Icy planet,” Aslam quipped as he used his own resources to analyse the upcoming body, “But how come it is here in starless space?”
“Could have been lost by our universe,” Christina quipped.
“Take its’ pictures Christina, once we are flying past it,” Charles issued her some instructions.
“Should I get some data from the planet for research,” Aslam asked, “Might not be a bad idea to check its’ composition. Besides, there is nothing much to do otherwise. And you never know when the research could come in handy.”
Charles weighed in on his question for a brief moment before quipping, “Go ahead!”
It never hurts to keep an eye out for new knowledge, but closing one’s eyes to it might. Probability has a strange way of affecting lives. Something that happens once can often happen again. It is this recurrence of events that makes learning an invaluable task to accomplish.
“Sir, we see development,” an excited Reginald yelled out just as NSSS Full Bloom approached another beach front.
“Could be alien settlement,” Rear Admiral however was more concerned than excited, “Give me a quick zoom in!”
Marcus, who was manning the telescopic vision immediately set on to the task, “Magnified images coming to the screens now sir.”
“That looks like human houses,” Jake quipped, before another image showed the block the settlement was on.
“That looks like a chip of a block from our own earth,” Rear Admiral quipped after giving one look, “Looks like we might not be the only ones sent out on this planet.”
“Sir, should we send someone down to have a look?” Jake asked.
“That’s a good idea,” Rear Admiral quipped, “Get ready to go down with two men, while we will wait airborne.”
“Sir, what if there are many people,” Marcus asked.
“Doesn’t matter,” Rear Admiral replied back, “We will save all of them, no matter how hard it makes the things for us.”
“Sir, do you want us to go house to house,” Jake asked.
“That won’t be necessary,” Rear Admiral replied, “Just a quick patrol through the streets, and use a megaphone to make announcement. If there is anyone in there, they will come out on their own. We have no time to waste.”