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Dan's Lifetime

400,000,000,000 and counting

The brilliance of the shining stars...

The beauty of the night skies...

Recreating poetry and paintings...

Rewriting stories of love and nostalgia...

Many a tales of romance have blossomed in the mystic mojos of such glittering nights.

With 400 billion stars, this caravan of dazzling lights seems too modest to our eyes. The silver stars are sprinkled across the black canvas of the night sky, rather than creating a white painting of their own. Why is this darkness so prevalent? Why can't the brigthness last longer and wider across time and space?

The answer may lie in the the fact that we need more stars and that the universe is ever expanding. But who cares about science when the mind is immersed in art.

27 Light Years

Year 4022 CE

(As narrated by a member of an intelligent species on Earth - more advanced than humans since their lives are aided by intelligent machines that have made them far more superior and powerful than what humans were in the year 2022).

One morning, I was on a leisurely trip to the mountains.

The aura was enticing - flowers in the valleys and songs of the summerbirds. The blue skies, emerged from far across the horizon, like oceans in the paradise.

In such a world, I was lazying around on the mountain top, enjoying the music playing at my home 120 kms away. Yes, the advanced connectivity of our times allow us to hear music being played anywhere on Earth without having to carry any gadgets along. Thanks to the transceiver & processor fitted in our bodies and connected to the neurotransmitters!

Looking up, the mind could't help but reflect. Planets, stars and galaxies - the objects of scientific evangelism and the wonder-world of artists, were so far yet so close to us...

Just then...

Bzzzzzz - I was suddenly shaken up ny some faint voices on my mobile!

I want to tell you that we have already established advanced connectivity with different planets spread across galaxies even hundreds of light years away. Any person having a mobile phone can watch the planets live - any planet of choice.

What an achievement for science it has been!

On the mobile screen I could see the live videos of distant planets. On one planet, Skyler, there were creatures moving around! Although, I could see and hear them talk, I didn't understand their language. But they had similar emotions of happiness, sadness, love, hatred, anger, kindness and many more that we have. Atleast emotions bind us! So, back to live visuals now. It was akin to watching the CCTV footage of my nearby market place.

Only that 'live' was not actually live!

A space of 27 light years separated us and them.

So our 'live' video was 27 years back in time! Those extra terrestrial creatures were moving around 27 years ago and I was watching them now, live, 27 years later!!

Suddenly, my eyes captured a guy walking around in the video. Let me call him 'Dan'.

Dan seemed very chirpy, young and enthusiastic, humming a sweet song in 4/4 beat. Somehow I felt talking to or connecting with him. I was curious to know about his life, times and world.

Why so?

Because I could recall Dan's face. He resembled me! Yes! Universe has strange ways to make you feel connected!!

Anyways, how do I initiate a talk? If I leave a message now, it'll reach him after 27 years. And his video that I watched, was 27 years old. So by the time my message reaches Skyler, 54 years would have passed for Dan! If the average lifespan of Dan's species is 50-60 years he would be gone by then. But if the average lifespan is more, it's likely that Dan will get my message, 27 years from now. However, it's uncertain whether I would be alive to receive his message, if he at all decides to send one back.

Thus, it seemed almost impossible to communicate with him in this lifetime. So I gave up the whole idea and turned off the 'live' video, disheartened.

Several questions occupied my mind.

How could some extra-terrestrial resemble me? Where would Dan be now? Whether on the same planet or some other? How would he look now? Whether he would even be alive? Had he seen us just as we see him? Would he be trying to contact us?

Would the puzzle of Dan remain unsolved?

The questions were infinite, but I had no answers.

It was almost evening by now and the western sky was spreading its orange splendour far across the horizon. The mountains offered such panoramic sights that I felt emancipated in that moment.

Time was just ticking away. I put up my tent.

The silver stars started appearing from the deep underworlds of the dark matter, twinkling in the night sky.

Year 4076 CE

Bzzzzz....faint noise woke me up early that day. A little confused, a little excited, I watched closely on the mobile screen.

A dark ambience with a lean ray of light illuminating a tent on the mountain top. Zooming in a little, I observed a person moving around the tent. Zooming a bit more, I observed that that person resembled me! Or maybe that was me!!

In utter shock and horror, I was instantly reminded of that day when I was occupied with Dan's puzzle...on the mountain top..under the stars...54 years ago. That night to this day... slowly the shock turned to heavy breathing and then to calmness as I slowly started connecting the dots.

Dan was not some 'other-world' creature as I had thought. Dan was me. I had watched my life 'live'...with a time lag of 54 years. The Skyler civilization had already visited Earth and set up their communication systems here long back. Our acitivities here were displayed on their screens 27 years later. And then those visuals were in turn received here, further 27 years later.

We could, therefore, see our own past lives, with a 54 year time lag, being replayed - 'live'.

That night I went back again to that mountain top...under the summer skies....with the glittering relive the night I had been with Dan...


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