Jeei-Me peeked out through the lone bush. It was a magnificent sight. The snow covered peaks loomed in the distance. The mid-morning sun was cool; cool. He longed for the two or three months of summer that were long past. That couldn’t be helped. One could hug the hide-sewn cloth tightly around oneself- that was all. The sunlight reflected off the white valley back into the nerdy blue sky, smudging the entire panorama with a uniform diamond hue. Tall conifers stretched out impossibly into the sky, their tops merging with the blue white fluorescence of the sky.
The entire valley stretched below the embankment on which, he and a score of silent men crouched, watching. The valley was alive. Alive with Mammoths. Great hulking brutes, the size of small buses. Jeei-Me wouldn’t know about buses. He was thirty thousand years before buses.
He stared; fascinated. Meat on feet. Feet the size of small icy ponds pounding the snowy ground with thundery steps. Hundreds of them stamping discordantly emanated a ground shaking orchestra. It was as if humongous drums from another world have burst into beats; on an impulse. He was coming for a Mammoth hunt for the first time. He had just turned fifteen, and deemed eligible by the elders.
Lee-Me led the hunt. He was Jeei-Me’s father. Lee jumped down into the valley, followed by the rest of the men. The beasts were just fifty feet away. The men shouted, in a practiced move of mayhem.
Monster steps moved in a ground shaking stampede. Mammoths were easy to scare into a panic. But if even one of them turned and charged…..the thud, thud, thud of the animal steps found an answering echo in Jee-me’s heart. But life in the North Asian icy scrublands was not a walk in the woods. Risks had to be taken; they were a routine of survival.
Lee-Me led the chase. Chase, they could, but catch- they couldn’t. The intention was to induce at least one of them to slip down a cliff that skirted the route of the chase. It had all been planned before. With charts drawn in the snow with the tip of a pine cone. They were good at this. That is why the tribe of ‘Pan-Me’ was the dominant tribe in this part of the world. Don’t ask which part. Miles and miles of open country, paved with snow and red earth peeking out in patches.
When the fall came, it was terrific. A ton of flesh falling down a hundred feet onto the cold, hard earth was like the blast of a military grenade. But military grenades were not invented-they were thirty thousand years….. Sorry – I have told you that before. You get the idea. It was like an earthquake.
The men cried victoriously. The fallen beast cried in mammoth pain. The mammoth voice echoed off the icy mountains in the distance.
They had arrows, they had spears. It was easy to kill a fallen mammoth. Lee-Me put one foot on the dead beast’s trunk and smiled. The men shouted and waved their fists.
Jeei-Me swelled with pride. Pan-Me was the greatest tribe in the world. His dad was the greatest hunter in the world. Their God, jee-Zeus was the one and true god.
It was on the way back that they met them. A group of men and women. Or were they? The Pan-me called them monster-people. Jeei-me stared. He had never seen them. He heard of the horrible beast like beings living far away, concealed in deep forests. His mother had told them that they were hardly seen now.
But he could see them. They were stocky, incredibly muscled beings with jutting foreheads and ape-ish looks. Pale, almost white skins mirrored the snowy background. Red hair covered most of their bodies. The skin colour and hair contrasted heavily with the brown body and black hair of the people he had seen till now.
They could have looked menacing, but they didn’t. They looked scared. They were hungry and tired. The heavy muscles were melting. It was days since they had eaten.
A red haired baby boy clung to its mother. It cried. Its throat was parched. The mother was dehydrated.
“Easy kills, my men.” He said. He gestured to Jeei-Me. Jeei-me got to draw the first arrow. It was an honour.
He drew back the string of his bow and took aim at the baby boy. It was just target practice. Anyway they were going to kill them all. Suddenly, he had to pee.
I woke suddenly, drenched in sweat. I had to pee. My lightning shaped scar hurt. No, it is not on my forehead. It is near my navel, if you want to know. That is why I never let myself be photographed in swimming trunks.
I was in Jeei-Me. In fact I was Jeei-Me. Why did I have to kill a baby? I shivered. What a monstrous dream.
This was the twenty first century. People were jet-setting around the world. Physical differences were fast disappearing. Languages were disappearing like deleted computer programmes in this era of Globalisation.
As losing one’s identity is not pleasant, there will be violent backlashes. But all will be in vain. Dull, planetary uniformity loomed drearingly. What a tragedy.
But what if it brought peace? That elusive, abiding peace that comes from the depths of humanity’s collective neurons that everyone talks about but none have seen?
I felt relieved, both by the thought and by the fact that my bladder had been satisfactorily emptied. I drifted off to sleep.
Squadron leader cheemii moothi completed the complicated hyperspace jump with precision. Now he was suddenly transferred through a worm hole into the vicinity of a solitary star, which burned bright orange. Stars burst forth, like flowers all around him. He could see them through the glass around the cockpit of his intergalactic space ship. The ship was the size of a large bus. But cheemii wouldn’t know about buses. He was thirty thousand years after buses.
He could see the blue planet. How amusing to live near a single sun! His own system was part of a binary star, four thousand light years away.
He aimed the neutron gun at the blue star. His instructions were clear. He had enough power to destroy the entire planet.
There was a rumour that this was the Original Planet. Cheemii laughed at the thought. How could there be an original planet? Stupid legends. Moreover it was populated by two eyed beings.
He fixed his one eye on the screen. The planet shone a deep blue, with its suggestion of waters and whales. Of wishes and dreams. Of wants and fulfilment- of billions of beings.
He pressed the trigger and leaned back, satisfied.