The Bridge9 mins 8.6K 9 mins 8.6K
'Now boys, look at the shape of the earth. How does it look?'. Rashid raises his hand. Madam says, 'Yes, Rashid, please tell.' Rashid springs up, 'Mam, its round'. 'Very good Rashid, please sit down.' Rik is sitting on the 3rd bench of the right row. For him the class is boring. Stealthily he comes out of the class. Near his school there's a high road. Thousands of trucks, buses, and cars are speeding madly, spewing smoke and trails of dust in the air. It's a suffocating atmosphere. Rik can't stand such an irritating atmosphere. Extremely noisy and polluted. Nobody wants nor is ready to allow anyone to take rest. It is 'Move, move, move, don't stand, hmm why are you looking through the window, why are you so late, how many times same mistakes, etc etc. The road is of the same view. It does not know the difference between day and night. Rik finds no place to play. Near his house there is a park. At the entrance is a plaque carrying the opener's name and date. Once his mother took him to the park but they found it locked. None could inform them with whom the key of the park was. Besides that Rik never liked the park. There is no piece of grass land, but only the memory of grass has been kept in a little stretch. There is a tall statue of dinosaur. Rik found dinos in all the parks. Rik could never love his sticky surrounding. One day his father took them to Duarsini Hill of Purulia district. He loved it. He found the place not populated like his Kanchrapara. He wants to flee from this all devouring monsterous town. So he surreptitiously leaves the class of Kabita madam. The gateman is dozing. He smells no inkling of his bunking the class.
He always wished to flee from this inhuman atmosphere. It's disgusting! So he flees. He flees from the boring lecture of Kabita M'am, Sonia M'am, and ever angry Rahul Sir, the long time confinement within the four boundery walls, the helter-skelter of smileless thousands of faces, the noisy and clammy surrounding. Now he is free. Free to go wherever he wishes. He walks along a way which has less traffic. Some persons are looking at him. He knows none. After some time he reaches near a mango grove. He enters there. There he finds an auto rickshaw standing. It's owner is not near. He enters the auto rickshaw to rest for a while. After few minutes a boy of his age comes. That boy asks him where he would go. Rik is surprised. 'Are you a driver of this auto?' He says, I'm more than a driver. My name is Han and I am the owner of this time flier. And its name is Chetak.' He watched some films on time flying. He gets interested. He was amazed to hear the name Chetak who was Rana Pratap's horse. 'Are you serious? This auto rickshaw is a time flier! And has it been named after Rana Pratap's horse Chetak? Could you take me to a time that I may like?' Rik said.' Of course I can, though I have not gone to visit all time and places. And yes I saw how Chetak saved Rana Pratap's life. You can also witness the fight sometime.'
Han said that he would close the door only then he could start Chetak. Rik agreed. Han pressed a button, a board comes out from inside and its doors close. On the board there's a screen. He touches somewhere. Gradually everything below the earth becomes very little and finally he can see the earth as a blue ball. Then Han says, 'Now we shall leave 2018 and go to 4018.' He touches at the screen and slides a gear like instrument. He can feel an induction all through his body and it seems he entered into a dark tunnel. He is floating on a dark sea. The waves are playing with him like a ship on its surface. Suddenly he feels as if their Chetak gets thrown off from a huge dark body. And they reach in the space. He finds a planet. Its colour is yellowish green. 'Han, Which planet is it?' asks Rik. Han replied, We call it Koorka. It is only 5 light years away from your earth.' 'Amazing! Han, could you please take me to a school?' Han replies,' There is no school now, yet the young ones learn. I shall show you how. They learn from the computers. They learn to complete their project without anyone's help.
Chetak enters that planet. From above he finds beautifully designed cities and villages. He sees there is no traffic jam, no congestion, no high rises. The roads are wide and clean. Han informs him now no one is killed in accidents because every vehicle is controlled from a central computerised traffic system and one cannot move a milli inch to any direction without its command. After each five year a vehicle is sent to recycling factory.
Han takes him to a large field. There he finds boys and girls of the seemingly age group of 7 to 14 are playing, dancing, painting. There is no classroom. Some boys got tired and comes to take rest under a tree. A coach teaches them why a ball jumps after a ball falls on the ground. Some boys get interested and comes close to the coach. He tells them elaborately about the theory of gravitational force and its effects. He refers to some sites which they record in their device from his voice directly by command. Some others are not much interested but none is chiding them. He finds it very pleasant that none is imposing things forcefully upon them. Then Han tells Rik, Now let's go to another place.' He takes him to some 30 km distant from the city. There he sees the change. Here people are tired by working. Though they do least manual work. They have been tasked to keep watch on the computers and machines. Whenever they discover any anomaly they repair it and if the problem is grave they call the senior engineers. Some people produce the crop. Each phase of the cultivation is automated. He sees the male and female workers are always waiting cautiously to detect if anything goes wrong. Thus they get bored and depressed. They forget to smile. It has pained Rik.
Han then takes him to a place. Here he finds some people keeping watch if any alien ship is coming to attack their planet. They are intensely worried. Because they have found an alien space ship has almost reached. They are coming from five light years away. Still the news has been kept secret from the people. The president is tense and telling his force to attack it at the first opportune.
When the Pheru (equivalent to sun) goes down, the western sky creates scintillating sparkles, as if someone is merry making by burning firecrackers. It happens everyday because of the fusion between negative charges with positive charges floating around. Rik discovers Han has turned tense. 'Han, do you think the attacker is from the earth?' asks Rik. In a sad tone Han says, 'I think so Rik. And they are stronger than anyone within 5000 light years.' Rik says, If it's true I have got an idea. If I am trusted I can be a mediator.' ' It's a great idea, Rik. I'll tell about it to our President and let's see what happens. He sends a voice mail to the President. After it gets processed within 2 minutes the President calls him. He tells Han to bring Rik to him. Accordingly Han takes Rik to his office. It is just like any other office, only it is distinguished for its top class gadgets and the technocrat ministers. The president is like any other man of earth, having much resemblance with the Mongolian people. He courteously raises his right hand. In reply Rik also raises his right hand as taught by Han beforehand. The President is pleased and tells him to sit. Then he asks Rik, 'Do you think they will listen to you?' Rik says, 'I believe they will. Please give me a chance.' The President agrees. He calls the army chief who is tall and stout. He takes him to a room, full of many unknown gadgets. Till now he has been communicating with the inhabitants of Koorka through a device which was translating his English into Kourin language. It has been possible for Han. He went to the earth and learnt English and adjusted their language device. Han told him he was 82 years and very young. Koorka people live around 600 years. The Koorka takes 253 days to complete its single revolution around its Pheru. It has two moons. Sometimes two moons beam at night simultaneously.
Rik is now sitting before a microphone. He has already drafted and taken President's permission on what he will say. He starts to talk, 'Hello, Hello, Hello, are you coming from the earth?' From the other end they replied, 'Strange! You are speaking old English. And how have you come to know that we call our planet earth! Are you also an inhabitant of earth?' Rik is very pleased and says, 'Yes, I can give any proof for my claim. Trust me I am a child from the earth. I have got a great welcome to this planet. If you wish you are welcome as honoured guests. The President of Koorka has assured me not to attack first if not attacked. So please do not charge ray or anything destructive. You all are welcome here. The President is eager to sign a bilateral tie of cooperation with the earth. Please do not let the chance go waste. 'From the other end they tell him to wait for a minute to make clear their decision. After 5 minutes they reply,.' Your voice has matched with our system record. It has been confirmed that you are a genuine inhabitant of earth, surely you have reached here by time travel. We are conducting researches to take command over time travel technology. If Koorka has to help we shall take. Our President has been stunned to hear that an inhabitant of earth has gone to so far a planet. We shall give you the greatest honour of the earth as you have stopped a war. Though we are in a warship we were not going to attack, rather we thought Koorka surely would attack us and we were getting ready to fight back. '
The President and his ministers have been elated to hear about the greatest news of peace. When the President extends his hand to Rik for kissing he was speechless in astonishment. The President is wearing a ring engraved with meditating Buddha.
Kabita Madam discovers Rik's vacant seat. His exercise book is lying open. He drew a lady and wrote Kabita Madam under his drawing. 'Where has he gone?' she asks Rik's right hand student. 'I have'nt seen him Madam. May be he is time travelling.' Everyone laughs out loudly.' Stop' Kabita Madam raises her voice.