COUNTDOWN TO TRANSCENDENCE

EDGE OF LINK TRILOGY


CHAPTER ONE


COUNTDOWN TO TRANSCENDENCE


What's more important?
It's the work we dive into
or the pressure driving us?
It's the environment we work in
It's the people surrounding us!
It's the targets we strive to meet
or the goals we set for us?

What's more important?
It's the time that’s ticking
or the second we let go?
It's the sand we can’t hold on to
It's the future we don’t know
It's the waiting that is torture
or the anticipation that will show?

It's the pacing journey we yearn
or the pit stop we wish to make
it’s the dreams that are escaping
or the constant loop we want to break?
It’s the lost chances we want back
or the risks we don’t want to take?

What's more important? 
It’s the one for whom your heart beats
 
It's the passion that you feel
It’s the faith which makes you strong
It's the reason before God you kneel
It's the love that moulds your fairy-tale
or the touch that can make you squeal?

It's the trust that makes you stay
or the belief given by assurance? 
It’s the truth that we always need
It's the excuses we make for appearance
It's the respect you naturally stipulate
 
It's the unpretentious candid innocence

What's more important?
It's the glance towards reality
 
or the truth we can't accept?
 
It's the choices we hesitate on
It's the decision we regret
It's the destiny that is imminent
 
or the evident outcome that we intercept?

It's the past that outlines the forthcoming
or the answers that we shun?
 
It's the memories that can be cherished
It's the chapters you want redone
It's the real world we refuse to step into
It's the fate we replay until it's won!


30th May, 2016 00:48am, Chennai

The air in the room was saturated with nicotine to dangerously high levels. Wisps of smoke clouds hovered over the shabby room.
Dense clusters of crystalline moonbeams permeated through the circular pane-less aperture, apparently the solitary window in the beach-side cabin, and collided against the decrepit walls, illuminating the cabin with a soft sprinkle of silver vapor, and highlighting the silhouette of a morose figure who stood facing a human sized mirror. On other nights, the room was generally dark; the display screen of a laptop being the only source of light.
Equipped with multiplex sized LED monitors mounted on ram-shackled walls, projectors, desktop computers, labyrinth of electronic cables and other high end gizmos and multimedia contraptions, the room resembled more of an abandoned physics laboratory than what it really was – GUESTHOUSE OF EXCEL CONSULTING CORP.
This small dingy room had been my refuge for over four months now. I had outlived my sojourn in Chennai by over ninety days. At the onset, when Ankit and I had sketched the blueprint, we had set the forecast of the project’s completion at one month. Forty five days being the upper limit! Little had I known, before flying to far-flung Chennai, miles away from my home in Mumbai, that the idea Ankit had conceptualized were to evolve into being the most convoluting project I had ever wracked my brains on. The final draft which I now examined on my laptop screen was radically different from how we had originally perceived the project to turn out, before I set off for Chennai. 14th April is when I had E-mailed an attachment across to Ankit & Nakul with what I had then believed to be the final version of the project, expecting only minor editing to go into it, and nothing else. It was essentially only after this E-Mail that the real work actually commenced. Being the genius that he was, Ankit, having read my E-mail, devised an altogether new angle to the project. It was a sheer brainwave which only he was intellectually capable of having engineered – Just a minor tweak to the original prototype, and the entire project metamorphosed into an entirely new dimension. The implications this new development had was that it reduced what I had considered to be the final version of the project into being merely a beta version of what now the final creation was.
Puffing on what was my umpteenth cigarette of the day, as I sat, carefully examining the penultimate segment of the manuscript, I could not help but feel the urge to pop open yet another can of red bull. The floor was already littered with countless empty cans of the caffeine rich beverage and crushed cigarette packs; the overdrawn project had left me drained in every aspect, mentally as well as physically. Fueling my body with a copious supply of caffeine and nicotine at ridiculously short intervals of time is what enabled me to keep my brain stimulated.
I left my chair and walked over to the refrigerator. Frosty vapor trickled out from the fridge as I wrenched the door open. The fact that I liked my caffeine supplement chilled, I had set the thermostat to max power. Grabbing a fresh can of red bull, I kicked the fridge door shut, stubbed my cigarette into the ashtray which was already overflowing with a huge mound of butts, and lit a new one before stationing myself at the window. In between swigs of icy liquid and puffs of smoke, I gazed out into the night sky. Through the course of my vigil in Chennai, I had witnessed four complete lunar cycles. It was a full moon tonight. Out in its full glory, the natural satellite enveloped Chennai in a mist of silver hue. As I observed the celestial elements, I reflected that this was to be my last night in Chennai. Gollu and Ankit had already boarded the flight from Mumbai. A few hours more and they’d be here…to liberate me from my self-imposed exile. Confined in this room, engrossed in the project, Barring Pramod, the aged caretaker of the guest-house, who brought me food and other supplies twice a day, I had not seen a single human face in person over the past few months.
Ideally, I should have been elated at the prospect of returning home. My wife Natasha, who couldn’t accompany me to Chennai, as she had other-worldly matters to attend to would be overjoyed to see me home tomorrow; I had, however, planned to not disclose to her that I were to return the next day (it was meant to be a surprise for her). But somehow, strangely enough, I just couldn’t feel any happy emotions form in my heart. In fact, as my stay in Chennai transgressed into its final hours, I started feeling a tad hollow – as if I had lost all sense of purpose.
DID I GET TOO INVOLVED WITH THE PROJECT??? I thought.
Maybe yes. The fact that I had done nothing but live the project over the past few months, and, in the bargain, disassociated myself with the living world, I was probably feeling empty now that it was on the verge of completion. This indeed, in true sense, had been a life changing project for me!
Gollu and Ankit would be here in less than four hours; I had still had to proof read the final pages of the document before they arrived. Battling the state of emotional tumult that had ceased me, I gulped the remainder of the beverage in one mouthful and lumbered to the washroom, so I could douse my head into a bucket of cold water in order to rid my mind of the vague thoughts it was projecting.
I was running short on time. As I walked out of the washroom, I decided to first turn on the projector before setting to work. I walked up to my desk and pressed the DISPLAY key on the HP projector which was connected to my laptop. It had been Ankit’s idea that I set a countdown on my computer and played it on the projector all the time to maintain a relative pace with the project. Time is of essence. Ankit once had, with uncanny ingenuity invented an innovative formula to convey to me the relativity that exists between time & sand. The speed at which, time and sand escape your grasp, he had explained, is double, or two times the force exerted to retain them. If one exerts 10 units of force to delay the escape of time/sand, the speed at which the process of escape will work will be 10*2 units (basically double). S(T/S)E = F*2 is what he had simplified the relativity as. Over the years, no matter how hard I tried wracking my brains to derive some sense out of Einstein’s theory of relativity, all I managed to get in return was a severe headache! The only portion which I succeeded to interpret was the full form of his equation E=MC2, which supposedly was his gift to mankind…energy=mass*velocity of light is what is equation stood for. Barring the literal meaning of the words mass, velocity & light, the formula sounded absolute gibberish to me. Ankit’s equation, on the other hand, had stayed with. Moreover, I derived complete sense from it.
The projector emitted three low beeps before it sprang to life. A gargantuan projection of a countdown clock appeared on the opposite wall. As an additional effect, inspired by Ankit’s theory of relativity, I had added a time-sand machine as well to the countdown software. Transfixed, I kept gazing as the seconds melted away punctuated by the sand that steadily trickled into the lower quartile of the hourglass. The digital hourglass had been so programmed that it never ran out of sand; the quantity of sand was synchronized with the countdown clock. The hourglass was more of an indicative improvisation to the software than anything else (the real work was done by the digital clock as it ran backwards)
03:49:06

The seconds’ column was rapidly ticking away. I inhaled a deep breath and braced myself for one last session on my laptop before I could start packing my bags for Mumbai and prepare for the long nap…a few hours more and I shall be with my wife; a place far far better than any I know; In my wife’s watchful supervision rest I shall; a rest far far better than any I have known.
As I turned to face my desk again, my eyes momentarily lingered over the mirror which hung on the wall next to the washroom door. I was taken aback by what I saw. Curbing my movement midway, I gingerly headed to the mirror. Fear filled my heart at what I beheld. My reflexes prompted me to retreat and hide behind my bed. But I was curious…curious to find out more. One step at a time, I crouched towards the mirror, making sure I did not look into it directly. I trained my eyes on the floor as I advanced. My shadow kept elongating with every step I took, till it had climbed out of the floor and crossfaded into the mirror.




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Comments

Author Brendon said…
Hope you liked the opening chapter...
DO leave your comments...They're my fuel :)
Unknown said…
Excellent ! !
Author Brendon said…
Do feel free to share your comments,like if you do, read what you just did!

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