LOVE YOU ALL
Translated by: Shafiqur Rahman
Published by: Protik, Dhaka
First Edition: February 2004
Everyone had arrived.
They were sitting silently on low chairs, arranged around a black table. They were so silent that you could not even hear them breathing.
A very important meeting was about to start. Everybody had received a red letter, labelled ‘Extremely Urgent’ on the envelope, saying ‘There is a meeting on the imminent critical situation. Your attendance is vital.’, signed by S. Mathur, the Administrator General of The Scientists’ Council. Fiha, known as ‘the greatest mathematician ever born’, must surely be attending the meeting. It was not mentioned in the letter though, as it usually was. He had been invited many times to chair ‘The Scientists’ Conference’ but he always declined, saying ‘I feel sleepy, can’t go now. Sorry!’ But he had to attend today’s meeting. One didn’t face this type of crisis very often. It might happen once in a million years.
‘I think Mathur won’t take much time.’
Everyone turned and looked at the man who had spoken. Clearly, he uttered those irrelevant words only to break the deathly silence. One or two of the participants frowned at the speaker.
The speaker continued coughing nervously. ‘Did you happen to notice how fierce yesterday’s storm was? It broke one of my windowpanes.’ Not getting any response, he started cracking his knuckles nervously, looking to and fro and moving his head around.
It was a huge room, almost a hall. It could hold give or take two thousand scientists if needs be. However, there were only twenty-one participants attending today. They were seated in the free space beside the control room, separated from it by a curtain. It was an extraordinary room with a floor as smooth as a frozen lake, the walls were imitation black stone and the ceiling was so high you could not see it.
The computer, called CCD, next to which the scientists were sitting, was the outcome of a thousand years of research and constant effort by the scientists. Its neuron cells, for the first time, were the perfect imitation of a human being. It was constantly feeding information to the flying stations, probe units and expeditionary teams flying from one end of space to the other. The computer CCD would certainly attend today’s meeting, as there wouldn’t have been any point in arranging the meeting next to its room otherwise.
‘S. Mathur was supposed to arrive almost one and a half hours ago’, said Sura, getting up from his chair. He had got an honorific red star as a result of his astonishing talent at a very early age. One of his inventions, named ‘parallel Existence’, had been continuously tested for three years. It would be not very long before ‘Parallel Existence’ would be universally accepted. All the scientists looked at Surra. He was trembling with anger. His white complexion was turning purple. He swept away the reddish hair which was falling over his forehead and said firmly, ‘I can’t understand how S. Mathur can delay one and a half hours when we are counting every minute.’ Surra shrugged his shoulders with dissatisfaction. He almost shouted, ‘S. Mathur should remember that this is a critical situation.’
The scientists stirred a little bit in their chairs. The situation was doubtless critical. Perhaps, it was already too late. Everything, this room, this round black table, the cool current of air was whispering, ‘Time is limited, it’s running out.’ The scared faces of the greatest scientists of the earth were reflected on the black walls of the room. They were sitting silently their chests constricted with worry.
From time to time there are defining moments in history – very special moments, when great scientists are born who change the theories and beliefs of the age. These geniuses do not just upgrade knowledge, in the usual way, step by step, but take it onto an impossibly higher plain. These great men, as powerful as God, are born only once or twice every thousand years. These are the times when the golden age of science and technology begins to fulfill the original desire of human beings: to control every seen and unseen thing in the universe, leaving nothing undiscovered, nothing unknown, nothing mysterious.
The age we are talking about was the age dominated by scientists. Old theories and ideas were being blown away as in a storm. The mysterious problems which had not been solved for hundreds of years, – problems which had been helplessly laid on one side by previous scientists – were not only unravelled but also supplanted by new theories. Fiha had been born – Fiha with his brilliant talent had solved the equation of three-dimensional time at only twenty-six. Physicists Surra and S. Mathur were also around. The computer CCD, which had emotions like human begins, had been created. The space-engineers were exploring planet after planet, from one end of space to the other. Who said, – ‘Knowledge is endless, unlimited,’ it has to come to an end. The scientists had no way to look back. They had to keep going, just keep going.
At right in the middle of this golden age, there, at that very moment, the planet Tyfa was discovered. It was a blue planet, located at one of the far ends of the Andromeda galaxy. It was a sudden discovery. There was a bright but hazy milky way around it. WGK-166, a white dwarf, had been observed from a space research centre near the planet Jupiter, which had been burning brighter and brighter, about to consume itself in an enormous explosion. The scientists were surprised to find that something was absorbing enormous quantities of radiation from WGK-166. What could absorb that much power? Was there a race of superior aliens from some planet trying to use the power? If so, how superior would those aliens be?
Thus, Tyfa was discovered.
The captain of Nippon, the space station near Jupiter, was the explorer of Tyfa. Everyone on that station had been awarded two honorific blue stars.
It took a year to communicate with Tyfa. The scientists from earth were taken aback when they came across the mathematics of Tyfa. The astonished scientists did not know what to do. Everything was beyond their knowledge. Was there nothing called time? Why was time valued at zero? Wasn’t there any substance and if there was, why was it always valued at zero? Why was energy shown as two-dimensional?
The greatest mathematician, Fiha, along with other mathematicians started to examine the laws of the new mathematics. Where on earth did this ghostly mathematics and physics come from? According to their equations, nothing existed in the universe. Everything was empty. The human race was only a shadow of universal energy. That implied our thinking, feeling, hunger, thirst, love and emotions were totally false. Were our births and deaths only shadows?
The newspapers began filling up with scare-mongering news articles. Some of them said – “The aliens of Tyfa are going to destroy the earth.” Some wrote, “The aliens along with earth’s scientists are conspiring to colonise the earth.” Some newspapers wrote that the aliens were sending false information to confuse earth’s scientists. Rumour followed rumour. Hundreds of science fiction novels were set on Tyfa, two film directors made a three dimensional movie named “From Hell”. Another rumour was that the scientists of Tyfa had already been in Ciran, the scientists’ colony, and had started controlling all activity there. Everything, The Aeronautical Research Centre and the Food Department was under their control. Seeing no other way, S. Mathur called a press conference.
The general public had got to be made to understand. Their pointless panic had to be calmed and their belief in earth’s scientists had to be restored. That was the first time non-scientists had been invited to Ciran.
‘I, S. Mathur, am the Administrator General of the Scientists’ Council. We would like to warmly welcome the first ever-invited guests to Ciran. To begin with, I would like to put to rest your ideas about Tyfa. We have no problem if you produce as much science fiction or as many films as you like. I personally enjoyed ‘From Hell’ very much.’
Listening to that, the audience started clapping and cheering from the gallery.
When the sound of clapping and cheering had died down a little, S. Mathur started to speak in the low and special voice he used when he was discussing something serious- ‘Our opinion is that we have found superior aliens in Tyfa.’
One of the audience shouted – ‘Do they look like human beings?’
‘What they look like is none of your or my business. But they are without doubt superior beings. They are communication with us through Omicromic rays. They understand the signal we are sending, as they are sending us information through the same signal. Being able to do this in such a short time is definitely a sign of a superior race.’
The audience, suddenly quiet, was listening to Mathur. There was no noise but the ‘sha-sha-shat-shat’ noise of movie cameras. Mathur continued- ‘I would like to tell you in all confidence that what the mathematics and physics of Tyfa suggest though their various equations is impossible. As soon as Mathur had paused to take a breath, a journalist wearing a blue coat, jumped up like a tiger and shouted, ‘Why are they impossible? Is it because we do not understand them?’
Mathur replied, “According to their equations, there is nothing called time.”
The journalist raised his voice- “Why is it meaningless? There were stories about the time machine even a thousand years ago.’
Mathur said, ‘Fiction and reality are different. You could read in a story that a person suddenly flew up in to the sky, becoming a bird. But you can’t see it in reality, can you?’
Before Mathur had finished, the audience started to laugh and there was also some irregular applause. The journalist, red and uneasy, claimed,- ‘I’m not talking about becoming a bird. You are not answering my question.’
Mathur replied, – ‘No, I’m not. Let me give you an example to make you understand how impossible the dream of the time machine is. Suppose I’ve made a time machine. I go back to the time when you were not born and your father was only twelve. Then I kill your father and when I return to the present, I happen to see you listening to my speech. It can never happen because your father died at the age of twelve. So you couldn’t have been born.’ The journalist said, ‘I understand now, I’m sorry’.
The auditorium was quiet for some moments. Suddenly his Excellency Fiha, ‘the greatest mathematician ever born’, stood up. This was Fiha who had got three red stars, who had astonished the scientists by solving the equation of three-dimensional time. Fiha, his head down, walked up to Mathur and said, ‘I would like to say something.’
Everyone held his breath. Fiha started, ‘I didn’t sleep last night. I have a pussycat. It is white, brilliant white, like a billiard ball. I went to bed late, but on the spur of the moment I thought that the science of Tyfa might be correct. Suddenly it came to my mind that if I give time a value of zero in my equations, the results are correct. I only have to transfer matter into different accounts. Let me show you.’
Fiha walked to the blackboard. He kept working on the board, using equations one after another. In the next fifteen minutes there was no sound but the rasping noise of chalk on slate. After finishing, Fiha, leaving the board, got up on the dais and said, ‘I hope you’ve understood.’ Of course, no one understood anything. But they were astonished to witness the speed of his capacity for calculation. Everybody nodded their heads as if they had understood everything. Fiha continued, ‘Now, do you know what the problem is? They have reached such a high level that we cannot have any idea of their activities. Their physics, their mathematics, their chemistry, their biology, – nothing’.
One of the scientists stood up this time, ‘Why is it impossible?’
Fiha, irritated, replied, ‘Don’t talk like a fool. Like human beings, ants are also superior to other insects. I mean, among their genus. Now can man teach ants anything? Can he teach the ants maths, physics? No matter, how interested would the ants be?’
The auditorium came a live with clapping and cheering. Suddenly, Mathur, anxiously announced,- ‘You are requested not to make hue and cry. Unfortunately, right now, we have received worrying news from the control room. I am announcing the end of today’s sitting right now.’
Mathur was trembling with excitement. The fellow, who whispered the news to Mathur, was repeatedly wetting his lips with his tongue.
‘What’s the news? We would like to know.’ The audience started shouting. The scientists who sat around also looked eagerly at S. Mathur.
Mathur replied in a frightened voice, ‘We were informed by the control room that the planet Tyfa had suddenly disappeared as if by magic. There was no explosion, no collision. It just suddenly vanished into space. There is, now nothing but emptiness where the planet was. You are requested to leave the auditorium in ten minutes. There will be an emergency meeting of scientists. Fiha is requested to be the chairperson.’
Fiha became irritated, ‘I need to go home right now. My pussycat didn’t eat anything last night. I have to give it some Glucose Intervenes.’
Mathur said, ‘What would we do if you went?’
Fiha replied, ‘Would the planet appear again, if I were here?’
That evening, the following urgent instructions were broadcast on internal and inter-galactic radio: ‘I, S. Mathur, the Administrator General of The Scientists’ Council, am speaking: – From this very moment, I am declaring a state of emergency for the space stations of the earth’s colonies Mars and The Moon, as well as the space stations of the earth. Like the planet Tyfa, some of the planets and stars are disappearing suddenly without any explanation. Our computer, CCD, has succeeded in calculating the circumference, the path, as well as the speed at which it is happening. The CCD has determined that the path is circular. It started from Tyfa and it will end up at the same point. Unfortunately, the earth, the Moon, and Saturn are in it’s path. It has also been calculated that the earth will face this critical situation one year three months and fifteen days from today. The scientists are trying to find a solution. You are asked to obey these instructions:
No.1) ‘Do not panic. Why should we panic, when we know that we cannot escape this situation just by being anxious?’
No.2) ‘Everybody should do what he/she is supposed to do.’
No.3) ‘Don’t pay any attention to any rumour. Remember that the earth’s scientists are always with you. We have to face what is obvious. Please do not lose your confidence in our scientists.’
The scientists were sitting on low chairs around a black table. The physicist Surra asked, ‘Are we going to stay here for good? If Mathur does not come in five minutes, I must leave.’
At that very moment, Mathur entered the room. His appearance had changed in just one night. His eyes were expressionless; his face had become oval. He said, after struggling a lot, ‘I am extremely sorry. I am very late. I have been trying to persuade Fiha to come. But he adamantly refused. He has gone to Prairie to change the weather, even in these precious circumstances.’
Being extremely irritated Surra said. ‘He should be sentenced to death. No matter, what a genius he is. He deserves it.’ Mathur sighed….