Time Travel

My name is ZZXD4. I am 12 years old. I live on the planet Gaedis Prime in alpha Centauri galaxy. This summer I went on my first time travel vacation. It was to the time when humans were still a tribal race and lived on a single planet called the earth, our planet of origin which is now a radioactive dump too dangerous to visit anytime after 1000 BTT (before time travel). I got to witness a really interesting tribal ritual held in 1500 BTT which gives an insight into the intelligence levels, culture and civilization of the human race during the dark ages.

The ritual was performed in the middle of a huge arena. There were thousands of people gathered around the arena to witness the ritual. These were the same kind of arenas that were used for more violent sports during 3500 BTT. But apparently with the progress of civilization, mankind's idea of entertainment had become less violent and more ritualistic. There were 15 men actually involved in the ritual. The objective seemed to be to break open a large nut. The nut was larger than most of the nuts grown during that period, red colored and perfectly round. Those days people must have had plenty of leisure if they could spare 15 men just to break a nut. The fact that that watching a nut being broken was one of the predominant forms of entertainment during that period gives a fair degree of evidence regarding the intellectual development at that time.

The method being employed was rather inefficient as per current day standards. But before passing judgments one must of course consider the technological development of those times. Let me now move on to describe the method. One man stood having a club in his hand. Another one threw the nut towards him and the first man hit it hard with his club to try and break it open. Usually it would not break and it would fly across the arena where it would be retrieved by one of the 9 men spread across the field to pick the nut and thrown back to the thrower. While the nut was being retrieved the club man would run around to stretch his legs. There was another club man standing next to the thrower who would also take turns at trying to crack the nut while the first one rested. The thrower would also get some rest after 6-7 throws and another would replace him while he would go and join the pickers. There were also 2 men one next to each club man who kept making gestures with their hands. They were probably the tribe chiefs and were giving instructions on the nut breaking methodology. Sign language must have probably been a predominant mode of communication at that time before more sophisticated modes of communication evolved.

They had also evolved an ingenious method of gauging when the club man was too tired and replacing him with a fresh clubman from the crowd. There were 3 short sticks planted next to each club man. If the club man was too tired, his concentration would dip and he would let the nut hit the sticks. Then it was time to replace him. Sometimes the pickers tested the club mens' concentration levels by throwing the nut at the sticks while they were giving exercise to their legs. If they were not able to speed up and reach the sticks before the nut hit, then also it was considered time to get a new club man from the crowd. At times, the picker who caught the nut or the thrower would be able to sense the club man's fatigue from their body language and signal to the chieftains by rising a single finger. If the chieftain also acknowledged by rising a finger up, then a new club-man would come in. They had short breaks in between where they replenished their body fluids and a long break for feeding. They carried on this exercise for the entire day cheered on by the patient crowds watching. But the nut showed no sign of breaking. At one point one of the pickers got so frustrated that he tried to break the nut open with his teeth. This angered chieftain so much that he sent him off the arena.

Finally at the end of the day, the nut still remained unbroken. The crowds however looked quite happy. If this had been 3500 BTT, all the 20 odd men who had tried so unsuccessfully would have been fed to the lions. Clearly civilization had progressed and men were not so barbaric anymore. They had become gracious enough to accept failure and even reward genuine attempts. One of the club men who had had been rather persistent in his attempt to break the nut was honored with a large shiny metal cup. So in spite of expected results not being achieved, they were honoring their valiant club man who had tried so hard for close to 3 hours. At the time I began to realize they had a reasonably well developed verbal communication as well. Of course I did not understand the language. But I could at least catch the name of the little man who had made such valiant attempts at cracking the nut - 'Sachin Tendulkar'.

Other than an understanding of the ancient human civilization, the nut itself had intrigued me. I retrieved it and brought it back for further analysis. A detailed postmortem revealed that though the nut was of organic origin it was not really suitable for human consumption. I wonder why they were trying to break it then. One can never understand fully the people of another time. Maybe it was just the ritual that mattered and not the contents of the nut. After all the ritual had helped identify the chosen one 'Sachin Tendulkar'.

48 comments:

  1. Hey I enjoyed reading this one..The beginning is a complete Sci-Fi Hollywood potboiler..and the end is so hilarious...The nutcracker Sachin Tendulkar eh!!
    Who could have thought of such a Time Travel...:D Good Job!

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  2. lowed it. sci fic rocks. so does comedy! he he.

    all the luck with batom!!

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  3. comed-fi? :D
    nice! :)

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  4. ha ha ha....:D funny sci fi...:P

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  5. Hahaha.. Sachin is the chosen one? :) Good one. Loved it!!! :) I love sci-fi :) Read my take, it is a sci-fi too

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  6. @Vibuthi, Swayambu, Saro, Leo, Siddesh and evanaescent - Thanks a lot for your comments. Hope to see you continue reading my blog. I shall check out your blogs over the week.

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  7. HAHAHA nice post!! sachin the nut cracker and afridi the muncher......good one!!

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  8. Hey, Good job, but let me break my comments in pieces.
    The beginning- It was really technical, truly I was starting to get bored but then you picked up to next level. May be I m not a sci-fi lover :).
    The explanation of the game- I got lost in between, read through it again but yes very very descriptive, I loved the narration.
    The message in the middle about the more civilized human race was nice and heart felt.
    The man of the match- Sachin Tendulkar, oh you touched the nerves of all Indians:).
    The ending- Boy that was some real thinking, this is the specific area of the post where I became the fan, what I read till now became clearer.
    Good Job!!

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  9. The ending was great. Sachin the nutcracker, ha ha! =)) What a scientific comedy! :P

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  10. Thanks Murali and Arajit.

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  11. Thanks for the detailed comment, Vivek. I actually did not want the reader to get it right away that we are talking about cricket. Wanted to slowly unravel itself. I think most people get it when I talk about the 3 sticks.

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  12. @Murali - Good that you got the Afridi thing. I was wondering if people will get that.

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  13. Hahahaha.. Great post. Enjoyed reading it! :)

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  14. That was hilarious. I suppose our future generation might feel exactly that way about our entertainments and way of living. :)
    All the best for bat 8. :)

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  15. Thanks Nethra. Best of luck to you too for bat 8. Since this is my first time, I hope I get at least 1 or 2 voted.

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  16. Lol.. that was very innovative indeed. Most of them went back in time, and you went ahead and wrote about the past, which is the present? That's awesome!
    Kudos! :)
    All the best for BATOM!
    Cheerios!

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  17. liked your attempt and different travel.

    Made me smile.

    Keep it up.

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  18. Thanks Karthik, Makk. Wish you guys also all the best for BATOM. Glad to see so many comments on my blog. I am happy that I joined BATOM . First time I am hitting 20 comments after a hiatus of 1.5 years. My great Indian Bride Hunt in August 2008 hit 40.

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  19. Aha! Read the first comic BAT-8 entry on Time Travel. Refreshing, I must say!
    Cheers :)

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  20. Fantabulous and quite splendid with amazing story line ....Creativity, innovation, originality, narration, conformity to the title, imagination, suitability, .... a balance of all flavours....

    Am standing and clapping for the post...
    the best one among the posts i read til now....
    It is on my top list for voting...ofcoz, it is the only one in my consideration till now......
    loved it a lottttt.


    PS : I love Sachin Tendulkar :)

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  21. Thanks a lot for your comments, Shilpa.

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  22. @Mahesh Kalal - Thanks a lot for your superlative comments. One can keep talking about writing for one's own self and stuff and act modest. But in the heart of heart it is for comments like these that a writer toils. Hope I get your vote. Even one vote would be a good encouragement for me in my first BATON attempt.

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  23. Lol nutcracker......

    Sachin Tendulkar \m/ ...

    The confused creature of another planet :D....

    Awesome post buddy......never thot it will end the way it did when i started reading it ...... i loved it

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  24. Lka, nice read... keep it up... the book deal is not too far now :D

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  25. Thanks for your encouraging comments, Truck Driver and Push vs Pull.

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  26. @ Shanmu - Thanks. Wish you words come true.

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  27. Innovative idea indeed..and its hilarious too...
    loved reading it

    All the best for BAT 8

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  28. Hahaha..That was the most interesting piece I read so far.Very neat imagination...Good luck..

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  29. Thanks dilontherocks.I am glad you found my writeup the most interesting.

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  30. hehe... Good one... Very few comic entries... This one rocked!

    LOL @ fed to the lions!

    All the best

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  31. Thanks Saurabh. I am glad your enjoyed my post.

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  32. One of the better posts on this topic! Brilliant!!

    The description of cricket was awesome and its comparison with man-beast fight in the arena was icing on the cake.

    Cheers

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  33. Ah! Indeed hilarious! Enjoyed it very much..

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  34. Glad I did not miss reading this! Better late than never! Finally some humorous post! :D :D Totally enjoyed it..Your post reminded me of a saying 'Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!' Nice attempt! Good luck with BATOM!

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  35. @Prasanth Mehta - Thanks for your comments. Glad you liked the comparison with the sports of the Roman period.

    @ aativas - Thanks for your comments.Glad you liked my post.

    @ Raksha - Thanks for your comments.Nice quote though in my case it would be 'Today is the yesterday you will look back with wonder tomorrow!'

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  36. That was fun. Haha a ritual for breaking a nut that was not even edible indeed! :)

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  37. Thanks Shail. Welcome to my blog.

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  38. This is just mind blowing TF! What a nut cracker of a story!!
    Eating the nut with the mouth, ball tampering, you included that too...
    Really imaginative and that Sachin part at the end was totally unexpected.

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  39. just awesome story TF
    nut cracker cricket fantastic

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  40. Hehehe....this time I understood it was cricket right from the 3rd para...feel proud of myself ;) BTW, amazing work. Two takes for the same game - one from the past and other from the future. Great versatility.

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  41. Fool,
    Very funny post.

    But one nitpicking, if l may. By the third paragraph it was clear that you are talking about baseball or cricket. After that the humour quotient dipped. Maybe the piece should have been shorter or you should have amped up the humor.

    But a very good post over all.

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    1. Thanks Sairam. I agree with your feeback. But most people did not guess what this was about till the last line.

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