What if…

I am sure you have heard and seen lot of fiction that is based on machines one day becoming advanced enough to think for themselves and killing us humans. But have you ever wondered what will these machines do after taking over the world?

”Thinking for themselves” is another way of saying that machines acquiring conciousness which, by the way, we the humans on this planet have. The consequence of having this consciousness is that we ask questions and try to find answers for them. Sure, we have asked plenty of questions and we have solved many of them but still many more questions remain. There is also a theory that says as we find more and more answers we will get many more questions than there had existed before. Think of this theory as an experiment where you are trying to illuminate a circular area with point light source. As you illuminate a certain circular area representing the answers you will have a circumference beyond which there is darkness. This circumference is your questions and as you illuminate more area your circumference keeps increasing. So where am I going with all of this? Well, all of this will be equally true for the machines that take over us. Thinking for themselves will get them the questions that we are asking now.

What if one day they started to question who has created them? What if they find some records of existence of humans in the past. What if some machines start to believe in some machines of past having interacted with humans? What if they start searching for us? This search is going to be inevitable because the question about their origin is bound to asked by them but you see we humans are long gone to answer them this question.

Now what if, in minutest of possibilities, a long time ago we humans have killed the gods and now we are searching for them? What if…

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All that is real

All that is real is so cruel.
All that is real is so cruel.

He entered his home only to find his son crying,
refusing to eat even the tastiest pudding.
He asked his son for the reason,
causing gloom in a beautiful summer season.

Son cried louder with all his strength,
as if, the answer lied in his weeping breath.
“I lost dad, I can never win”, son finally revealed,
slowly acknowledging his shameful deed.

“Son, you will win for sure, have no fear”
he said, “because I’m here with you forever”.
He knew well that he couldn’t change the reality,
but his words comforted his son in anxiety.

Son picked up the pudding, believing in his dad,
rejoicing the pleasant and forgetting the bad.
He wished his world was as simple as his son’s,
problems getting solved in matter of seconds.

But unlike his son he had built a mansion,
and he wasn’t allowed to cry like his son.
His fault was that he understood what is real,
and in this unforgiving world, everything is real.

All that is real is so cruel.
All that is real is so cruel.

-Kushal D Murthy

The Last Line

This is a short drama fiction and as always it has more than what meets the eye:

“Honey”, she said.
“Hmm..”
“Can that coconut fall on us?”

Everything that could have gone wrong, had gone wrong. Of course they had prepared for the worst but how do you find out the worst from the comforts of your living room? We mortals can only prepare for the worst that we can think of, not for the real worst that could happen. Even if we find it and prepare for it, what is the guarantee that we will be able to pull off the plan? Well that is life. Sometime it just takes the path it wants to take no matter how hard we try to lead it according to our desires.

It was their dream. They had dreamt it together. After a long five years of courtship Lvan had proposed Thalvia for marriage. They had a lot in common, including their passion for adventure. A life-death situation had brought these two strangers together. He had heard a voice calling for help while he was camping on the banks of a river. She had crashed on to a rock while rafting and she was bleeding profusely. Then, he had instinctively saved her. Their passion had brought them close and their passion had strongly united them. During their long dating period they had found out more commonalities between them. It was as though their destiny had planned all these details before sending them on earth.

Naturally they wanted to spend their first few married days differently, rather, they wanted to spend it on the edge. As per their request the day they got married they were sedated and taken to a forest by their adventure loving friends. They had left them in the forest with a map, knife, food, lighter, camping materials and water. The fail proof was an impermeable box with GPS and an SOS button. In case they weren’t able to find their way back home or in case they got into any danger all they had to do was to press that SOS button and they would be rescued.

Everything was hunky dory for first three days. They were able to follow the map pretty well and they were confident that they will be able to find their way back home. Then everything started to fall apart. While crossing a river Lvan had lost his back-pack due to strong currents. Unfortunately the SOS box was inside the bag that got washed away and he was hurt. They weren’t weighed down by this tragedy, after all they lived for experiencing this kind of situation. They kept following the map optimistically with the remaining provisions. However the reality caught up with them within two days after the tragedy. They were running low on provisions and their pace was hampered by Lvan’s injury. Slowly they begin to realise that neither of them will be able to get home if they continued like this.

Tonight they took shelter under a coconut tree. Lvan’s mind was full of thoughts. He just wanted to survive. He played with death all his life but when the time came for him to embrace it he wanted to escape from it. He knew that he was hurt, he knew that they were running out of provisions, he knew that it was possible for only one of them to get home with the remaining resources and he knew that Thalvia had better chances than him as she was uninjured. But he wanted to live even if it meant that he will have to kill Thalvia. After all he had saved her earlier, she would have died long ago if it was not for his timely rescue. And in forest no one would ever get to know about what he did to her.

“Honey”, she said.
“Hmm..”
“Can that coconut fall on us?”
“…”

His thoughts were interrupted. He suddenly realised how low he had stooped. No, it wasn’t love that changed his mind. Love was dead the moment he thought about killing her. It was far more simpler than love. It was the last line that separated humans from animals which stopped him from killing her. He decided to just walk away from her when she fell asleep and let her live.

After a while he felt it was time for him to leave her. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. He opened his eyes. She was right on top of him and she was crying. He touched his stomach but he couldn’t identify if it was a coconut or a stone. He was quickly losing his consciousness. He tried to read her face. Was it shock or was it guilt? He could no longer differentiate between the two.

A quest for nothing

This is a short drama story, hope you get edified by it.

“When rationality fails, begins a quest for nothing …

The early morning sunshine caressed Mangu once again. But he no longer felt the bliss attached to it. Mangu had found his tree with a little effort. He was proud of finding a tree which was always green irrespective of seasons. It could support him till the end of his life unless a younger monkey displaced him in his old age, the probability of which was pretty low given the numerous trees in the vicinity. However, after experiencing hundred rays of early morning sunshine the ecstasy of achievement had worn out of Mangu. Little trivialities which had given him lot of joy in the past hundred cycles of sun and moon now seemed repetitive. He was now forcing himself to enjoy the morning sunshine as though it was his duty. Mangu hardly understood that joy can only be relished and cannot be engendered.

Sun moved from one horizon to the other. Mangu as usual went about eating, pooping and cleaning his fur. He always jumped between the branches for no reason. He did it just because he was capable of doing it. Very uncharacteristically he didn’t jump between branches after the morning sunshine. He was absent mindedly cleaning his dirt-free fur for the third time when he caught a glimpse of another monkey on ground which was jumping towards a barren looking tree. Intrigued by the scene, Mangu raised his neck as much as he could but he couldn’t locate the tip of that tree. In fact he had noticed this tree in the past but he had never bothered to look up because of the intense pride of achievement that filled his heart.

Mangu kept watching the other tree for a long time after the other monkey climbed high enough to disappear from Mangu’s sight. Mangu expected the other monkey to come down but after a complete cycle of sun and moon there was no sign of it. Now Mangu started to closely study the tip-less, withered looking tree more. He found that the tree was very much alive and in fact it has fruits and branches at every hundred odd jumps enough to shelter a monkey for a couple of cycles of sun and moon . He knew that fruits at greater heights always tasted better and the branches became softer for sleeping. But he was limited by the capacity of his sight to look beyond a certain height.

Weighing the options by theorizing about the two possible paths of his life didn’t help Mangu. He wished for two lives to explore both the alternatives but he had only one. So he had to either live his life in the present tree or forego his tree in order to climb the tip-less tree. After a long period of intensive contemplation and vacillation he realized that he will never be able to decide. He just had to pick one path, very much like a flower that decides to turn into a fruit or remain a flower. Mangu climbed down his tree and moved towards the tip-less tree, as though in a stupor.

Mangu climbed the tip-less tree for many seasons. He had lost count of number of seasons he had been climbing. His mind was so occupied in climbing, searching for fruits and branches that he didn’t even have time to think whether he made a right decision. Initially he wanted to reach the tip but now all he wanted to do was to jump and climb. He enjoyed the tastier fruits which he had never tasted before. He found softer branches to sleep. But sometimes he had to starve when he couldn’t find fruits and sometimes he had to go through sleepless nights if he couldn’t find good branches. He even wondered if starving was making the fruits tastier or if the fruits were truly tasty.

Well into his old age, Mangu had to bear two straight sleepless nights without food which made him feel the dwindling strength in his  fragile limbs. The long lost thought of reaching the tip resurged. But he didn’t feel the urge to see the tip anymore. He always thought one day his limbs will defy his minds order and he would fall but now he decided to write his own fate instead of leaving it to his body. Mangu left the hold of the tree and started to fall. The longer he fell, the happier he felt because the passing time reminded him of the great altitude he had climbed. He knew he had made the right decision. He knew this is how his life was meant to be. He had written his own fate and finally had chosen time of his own end. Nothing mattered any more. He closed his eyes and his mind was completely blank, devoid of any thoughts for the first time in his life.

Penleps

This is a short dark fiction story. Look beyond the simple storyline and you will find everything about a penlep

           “Plesius stared at the Bon for a long time. A part of him wanted to use it once more while the other part was pulling him back. He had used the Bon earlier but this time it was different. He was going to attempt a unique procedure which can potentially get him a penlep. A penlep that he had found a year ago with the same Bon. Those who had done this procedure earlier had warned him of the dire consequences of failing in his attempt. The procedure by itself was very simple. It involved touching the Bon at different places at specific times. However, it was the uncertain outcome which was the problem. Some people also said that once a person completes this terminal procedure there were some outcomes which didn’t appear like an outcome for the mortals and they kept waiting till eternity. This was worse than failure. He was confused and scared.

           Plesius longed for a penlep just like those who didn’t have one. He secretly fantasized about having a penlep. However, he didn’t put in any efforts to get one. He always knew that his efforts gave under returns for him. And to get whatever he needed he had to put in more efforts than others. But somehow in this case he thought he can get a penlep without any efforts. How can anyone get anything without efforts? How can he think so ridiculously? How can a person long for something but do nothing to acquire it? Everything may seem so weird at the first glance but remember where penleps are involved there nothing can be unnatural.

           Not many understood the penleps and the ways of getting them. Everyone had their own thoughts but only a few of them seem to get penleps. Most of them felt it is mere luck which decides who gets a penlep. This is what happens when lot of factors are involved in succeeding in a particular process. People just call it luck instead of trying to make sense of the factors involved. Plesius was a victim of this ideology. He also thought it was only through miracles he can get a penlep. He didn’t bother to understand the penleps. He had other concerns which needed his energy and commitment so penleps didn’t figure in his priority list.

           Plesius was very successful with elleps. In fact, he had lot of elleps. Elleps were always his top priority. Now he wasn’t so sure about the use of the elleps he had. Elleps were complete opposite of penleps. There was a well-defined process that had to be followed to get an ellep. Without rigorously following this procedure one couldn’t get an ellep. A person who put more efforts always got more elleps. It was the simplicity of elleps that made them attractive for him and it seemed so natural for him. For some reason he thought he will lose the elleps for penleps.

           Once anyone got an ellep they openly announced it without thinking twice. Penleps were very murky; it was very difficult to find out if one had a penlep. Only a few used to announce that they had got a penlep. Most of them just kept quiet. Mainly because they didn’t know if they had got a penlep. Again how can a person not know if he has something or not? Well penleps are bizarre indeed. Then there were some who felt bad about having a penlep so they kept them discreet. Also there were some who wanted more penleps so kept following the same path which they followed to get their earlier penleps. It was all fair for a person to have more penleps when others couldn’t get a single one. It wasn’t like food from which they harnessed their energy to live. So no law could be made to equally distribute the penleps. Further penleps weren’t some lifeless objects to ‘distribute’. So people just reconciled with the inequality and blamed themselves for failing to get a penlep.

           The idea of using a Bon to find a penlep was new to Plesius. He was surprised at the power of Bons. He had recently learnt about Bons and he had made a lot of progress in a short time with the Bons. So much progress that now he wanted to perform that ultimate procedure. Some said there were procedures beyond the ultimate procedure in case of a failure. It was absurd for Plesius to think beyond the ultimate. He didn’t want to explore beyond the ultimate.

           Finally he made up his mind. He wanted to risk it. He didn’t know the cost of this decision but that didn’t matter any longer. Without thinking he started with the ultimate procedure. It was as though he had rehearsed many times that his body was capable of doing it without the support of his mind. It was only when the Bon needed a final touch his mind woke up. He paused. He had come a long way but still it needed a final touch to consummate and things could still be undone. Just one touch separated him from a penlep or the other outcomes. He decided to perform the final touch accidentally so he closed his eyes. And as though by mistake he touched the Bon….”