Do You Remember?
Do you remember?
Do you remember how it all began? How it truly began?
I doubt it.
I’m pretty sure we had the same experience. Let me remind you by narrating mine.
In the beginning we were. I’ve never known how, but we were. Millions of us — maybe more. Relationship was hardly cordial. There was no hierarchy, no parliament, no leadership — A communist community of some sort.
No names were given, we were too many for that. And the worst part, we all looked completely alike. We ate together, lived together, slept together, yet there was zero interaction. Our hall was vast, yet we were specifically secluded to one point. No chores were ever required of us. Some of us died occasionally, maybe out of boredom. They were easily replaced. There was neither day nor night, not for us. We wandered aimlessly, completely devoid of purpose — till the doors began opening.
I remember the first time they opened.
It started with a great tremor.
We were just hanging around idly when the shaking began. We were thrust back and forth in a semi-rhythmic yet utterly barbaric fashion. And then the doors swung open. Those in close proximity to the doors were the lucky ones. Or unlucky ones? We never could tell. We all raced towards the doors, towards the darkness without. Anything but here would be fine. But before I got anywhere close, the doors crashed shut. After that, the doors kept opening between lengthy and irregular intervals. There was no specific time it opened for one to position well.
Soon stories started filing in. The doors led to a tunnel that led to another world, it was said. Some said that other world was a passage where we would be developed and brought to our final abode, our nirvana. They said we couldn’t survive nirvana in the state we were in. The tunnel sometimes drops just as some approach the door to the other world, it was said. Those who then drop into this nirvana instead of passing through the other world first, die instantly. There was an even worse scenario, rumours whispered. Sometimes an artificial membrane was placed at the end of the tunnel, restricting passage into the other world. Should we encounter that membrane, we would be suffocated by it.
Each time the door opened, millions raced through it. Nirvana! Each time it closed, those millions were replaced.
It took a couple of openings but fate finally found me.
When the preluding rumblings began, as like other times we began to make our way towards the door albeit a hard task as we kept being thrown side to side. And then it ceased and as anticipated the door opened. The race began. I do not know how many were ahead of me, but I am certain they were in hundreds of thousands. As droves they made their way pass the door.
Yet somehow, I made it too.
For the first time in my completely uneventful life, I exited our confines.
After the door, we didn’t stop running. Why? No one told us to. The tunnel was longer than I had anticipated. We ran with fervour knowing our lives depended on making it to the other world.
The exit door was smaller than the previous. And it wasn’t a door. To be more accurate, it was a hole. A dark seemingly bottomless pit.
We all jumped anyways.
What other option did we have?
We were a lucky bunch. There was no membrane. The tunnel did not drop. We all made it into the other world.
Little did we know that our hustle had just began.
We were oriented there. We were told that to attain Nirvana, we had to find a relic. But first, we were given time… days, to rest. The journey ahead was hard we were told.
Hard? Such a mammoth understatement.
A couple hundred million had made their way pass the door alongside me. By the time we crossed to this next phase, only less than a hundred thousand remained.
Need I describe the gory details in between that caused such a mass genocide?
We were almost there it was said.
Then the games began. A quidditch of some sort. We were to find the ‘snitch’ — an egg — in a hidden location somewhere, amidst an assorted field of obstacles in a very convoluted maze.
And then we for the umpteenth time, raced again.
I am not exactly sure how I got there, to the room where the egg was, but I did. I along with a few others. Just above a hundred.
I had never, in my existence beheld such a sparse population.
Ah! But it was all part of the plan wasn’t it?
You see, there was only one egg. One egg!
Out of the hundreds of millions that made it pass the first world, only one would get to see nirvana. Imagine the odds.
The room with the egg was another different sort of trial entirely. Ominous looking whip like tails which seemed to have lives of their own surrounded the egg — protecting it. Once we arrived the tails lashed at us, curled around us and flung us across with vigour. As expected, this task once again drastically dwindled our number.
But I had made it this far, survived where hundreds of millions of others had died — there was no way I was giving up now. Each time the tail flung me across, I arose, dusted myself and made a fresh launch for the egg. There was only one way to survive, only one way to reach this nirvana, and I was determined to get there.
Determination or Luck? Perhaps a lethal combination of both.
I made one dive with my strength at melting point. And somehow, a tail lurched and missed me. Another tail was however already soaring across towards me. It connected, but hit me at the back and propelled me towards the right direction. I beheld the egg right ahead and stretched with all my will and might and just as I was about slamming into the egg, I lost consciousness…
When I awoke, I was alone and tightly strapped in a kind of bag. But I was different. I had taken a completely different form. The rest of the journey was spectacularly boring. I remained in those confines for countless days, months even, nine or so. I grew bigger, and stronger, and different. I could think wider.
Do you remember now?
Do you remember when you first reached here? Nirvana?
I remember some kind of force pushing me out of the bag. I was so eager to finally get there, I pushed too. We pushed in sync and then it happened in a blast.
Lights, Air, Blood, Humans.
It was so different, so real. The light was blinding and the air stinging. I felt a sudden fear. Could I survive in this world? In this Nirvana?
And then I remembered how hard it took me to get here. I overcame those odds, what else couldn’t I?
A human was staring at me curiously with a smile on his lips.
Emotions flooded in, I wanted to laugh but I didn’t know how to yet. So I cried.
I remember the first words I ever heard. It was spoken by the human holding me.
Do you remember yours?
“It’s a boy.”