“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”
Vallabhacharya Science Centre, Bangalore.
She was running through the corridor now. Running as fast as she could.
“May I come in, sir?” Simren was panting. She was late. Again.
She knew he wouldn’t taunt her like the others did. Her perpetual habit of being late for class, never really made Dr. Charak, their lecturer, angry, but she also knew that it disappointed him, and that was reason enough for her to die of guilt. Despite being late for each and every lecture, this kind, patient, and not to mention, disturbingly handsome man of 50(!) had always been very nice to her.
Every now and then he was in the habit of saying: “Time is what we want most but what we use worst”, which everyone knew was meant for Simren, but indirectly so. He had never insulted or mocked her directly. But whatever he said always seemed to have an impact on her, and on everyone else as well. His spectators always hung on to each and every word he said, as if the words had a certain gravity of their own, a certain force that even had the ability to make them hold on to their breath sometimes. At least, even if not on men ( and these men usually belonged to the population of the old, or the envious), Dr. Charak has always had this effect on women, irrespective of age. But no one could deny that there was something strange about him. His wise eyes (which looked a little crazy when he was excited, but left women swooning nevertheless) gave people the impression that they could look into their minds and read what they were thinking.
Dr. Charak had acquired the image of a man with a kind heart but a slightly intimidating personality.
“May I come in, sir?” He hadn’t heard her the first time. That was unusual. He was known to be a vigilant person, catching the slightest buzz or the ping of a text from the mobile phones of any one in the audience, and then politely asking them to switch it off. Something was different today, he was distracted.
“Yes…yes you may.”
Squinting into the auditorium, Simren waited for her eyes to adjust to the the room dimly lit by the projector showing the pictures depicting the ‘Big Bang’, the event that had triggered the expansion of the universe to it’s present state.
~The Big Bang~
Dr. Charak was staring at the pictures.
Life was so uncertain. So many many years back, an event had triggered the expansion of the universe, and the evolution of planets, stars, and even mankind, and now mankind itself had the power to trigger events that can cause destruction.
“As I was saying…14 million years ago, the universe was in a hot, dense state, and then an EXPLOSION,” Dr. Charak liked to emphasize on certain words (by almost shouting) and pause for dramatic effect, “…led to the birth and expansion…of the universe or the Brahmand as we know it today. Before this explosion….nothing existed….nothing at all…not even satya or truth….it was completely empty, shunya thaa…shunya…”
“Now tell me, what….is this?” he asked, pointing at the glass of water kept at the edge of his desk.
“A glass of water, sir” exclaimed a very excited Arjun. Arjun, the cute-but-annoying sycophant.
“Very good, Captain Obvious” retorted Deepanwita, and the entire room broke into laughter, except of course, Arjun.
“Haha yes yes, it’s a glass of water….now imagine…imagine this…is Lord Bramha, Prajapati.”
The lecture had reached the part which intrigued students the most, where Dr. Charak related science with religion. While most of the students would beg to differ and point out that the very manifestation of science was to challenge religious beliefs and blind faith, Dr. Charak had different beliefs altogether. He saw science and religion as the Yin and Yang of the universe, where both existed simultaneously to define any theory whatsoever.
“Now let’s say the water inside wished to understand itself….now how would it accomplish this task? Lets assume again, that in order to understand itself, the water gave birth to an eye within,” he paused, dropping a piece of chalk into the glass. “Now this eye, born in the ocean, started understanding itself, just like any organism understands itself with the help of its eye, and we call this eye—chetna….or consciousness. After that, as we all know, the expansion of the universe began…it began…with a big….BANG!”,
He dropped the glass of water. The glass crashed on the floor, accompanying a collective gasp from the audience.
“And with that, the eye gets divided, scattered into infinite particles….and since then…the infinite minds, of those infinite parts, are floating in the universe…as electrons, as atoms, as matter, as your minds, as our minds.”
“Our minds? He says it like he’s a different species altogether.” whispered Deepanwita.
Simren said, “Doesn’t he look a little demented today?”
“You bet he does”, replied Shreya.
“Well I look demented everyday, how is it that he manages to look so good with those crazy eyes?” Deepanwita whispered back with a soft giggle.
“Will you SHUT UP?” Arjun turned to look at them, clearly eavesdropping and annoyed.
“I’m sorry Mr. Kapoor, do you want me to stop?” It was Dr. Charak who had asked the question.
“Uh…n-no, sir, I- I umm, I just had a question, sir” stammered an embarrassed Arjun.
“Oh then ask away my friend, ask away.”
Aryabhatt Planetarium, Mumbai. 7:30 pm
The entire scenario was that of an apocalypse. Blazing fire, bodies spread across the perimeter with hands, or legs or heads missing, a few among those bloodied and burnt–looking for their families but to no avail. Then the sounds of the fire brigade, police vans, and more and more ambulances rushing in to help the survivors could be heard. Even people from the media were now crowded outside the area of the blast to film and broadcast the horrific incident to the world.
A news channel reporter could be heard saying, “I am standing in front of the Aryabhatt Planetarium where the bomb blast occurred at exactly 7:10 p.m. As you can see many bodies are lying scattered all over the place, several of them unrecognizable…65 have died, 15 injured, including women and children. Clearly it was a terrorist attack, the CBI are still investigating to track any particular terrorist organization, but haven’t found any evidence to suggest that yet.”
~Bomb Blast Site~
CBI Headquarters, Mumbai.
The head of the special investigation task force, Mahesh Kashyap, clearly worked up and disturbed by of the recent turn of events was talking to his senior over the phone.
“Yes sir, I just received the report. No sir, Hujaidar is not a suspect….Sir, we’ve got reports that suggest that the planning had been done in Bangalore…Yes, sir. We just need 24 hours, sir, we’ll definitely know who is behind this attack by then….Yes, sir.” He hung up, as a woman came running towards him, clutching a file.
He took the file from Roshni, his colleague. “Mahesh, this is the file they sent. Senior authorities are convinced. He’s the main suspect behind this attack.”
The name of the suspect surprised him, for the suspect was a renowned scientist.