Sunday, February 14, 2010

V Day, AD 2842

Beep! A message flashes on the screen of her watch. 'Amit in', it reads. A quick smile on her face and the next instant, she's sitting in front of a screen, looking at a face which can't hide its joy. He belongs to the last generation on Earth, she belongs to the first generation on Mars.

He's a clone and she was prepared for life in an artificial womb. The third world war in 2750 almost exterminated all forms of life. Some survived, thanks to the incredible developments in technology. However, they found that the nuclear radiation has so affected the planet that it would be capable of supporting life for a maximum of 150 more years only. So, man found a quick abode in the neighbourhood - Mars. By 2800, Mars had as much population as Earth had. In another two years, all people on Earth will move to Mars.

Chat is the language they communicate in. What started off only as a jargon - used mostly by those who were either lazy or busy or simply bad at English - became so powerful that it eventually came to be recognised as a language. By 2500, English had to relinquish its position and settle for the second place. Derived from English, the fundamental principle of Chat language is : 'Every word should be used in its shortest possible form.'

With an unfading smile, she raises her eyebrows. 'hw r u?' flashes on his screen. Technology has simplified everything. One just has to think, and the bio-electronic micro chip - inserted into each one soon after he/she is born - decodes the 'cognito maps' into images and text and transfers to MPCA (read Multi-Purpose Convertor Application), which does the rest. Now, Intel is really 'inside'. 'fn, ty. wsh u a hpy v d'y. [:+:]' (Chat to English dictionary says it means : fine, thank you. wish you a happy valentine's day. hugs and kisses), he sends. WWW has become obsolete. Instead, they have IPW (Inter-Planetary Web).

Huge loss of human life during the third world war marked the end of most religions and Gods. Two new religions - tribes is more apt - formed between those whoever few have survived - Webbies I and Webbies II. For Webbies I, virtual world is the only reality and man - being the creator of the virtual world - is God. These mostly comprise those who were infants during war and those who were born after war. Webbies II believe there's a world beyond web and a being greater than man.

Cupid is one of those Gods lucky enough to survive war. He, however, has some problems with majority of the population being clones. Amit sends a gift, a 3D capsule shaped figure. The common cache, following OINO [Once In Never Out] logic, stores the gift. But what kind of gift is it? Every capsule carries with it the information of the sender, and it assumes shapes depending on the imagination of the viewer. So, it could become a car, a flower, a waterfall, etc. It's all WYIIWYS [ What You Imagine Is What You See] at work!

Asha is quite pleased. Amit cannot wait to take her out, and speaks out, 'Where shall we go?' His grandfather, a staunch Webby I, sitting at a distance is angry with the 'deviation from tradition' of his grandson. For Webbies I, all communication should be in Chat and through web. A restaurant designer window pops up on her screen and within a minute the virtual restaurant is ready.

Only he and she, and nobody else. Flowers, music, dance, hugs, kisses, and they spend the day happily. The penultimate Valentine's day on Earth.

After two years all people on Earth moved to Mars. Cupid had no problems in adapting to the new environment. And Amit and Asha lived happily ever after. No prizes for guessing where they went for honeymoon.

Long live Valentine's, er... V d'y!

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