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A Hundred Million Years

October 31, 2014 | By

I had two friends Ami and Iam with whom I played and conversed on the vast canvas.

ant1A hundred million years ago I was not alone. I had two friends Ami and Iam with whom I played and conversed on the vast canvas. We were part of the Gouda colony. Like other male in our society my friends were fertile, our queen loved them. I was not. I was the philosopher and the scientist. The queen wanted me to have tools to focus the large angle of view of our eyes and to have higher resolution of the images stored in our heads.




I had a pursuit, a penchant and even a burning desire to solve the complex problems, to come up with technology and to design science. So I set off, leaving Ami and Iam behind. They wanted me to be with them, in fun and frolic. But I had to prove – my potency of ideas. I knew it was difficult but I believed transformation was inevitable.


windowviewIt was evening, and the Sun was planning to rest its shadows. I had traveled through out the day and was holding a mirror to my expectations. There were lights everywhere polarized in beads – inside my head and on my silver screen. Then I realized the reason for the million pixels in my head, all refracted from the million receptors – it aligned differently.

Then one day besides the tree with yellow flowers I met You. You was slow but her grace was in hiding her talent of using her radula. She was a carnivore but she carried me on her shell and when it rained she shrunk herself to fit me in her room. Hers was a single occupancy apartment, not like my colony. I thought she was lucky to have it her own, all along – a caravan with her. She didn’t have to find a home.


natureThen one day it rained so heavily as if the sky would fall on us. The trees swayed from side to side and the clouds would rip off the labyrinth of peace. The sky cried heavily and You left. It was time for her to go to the sea she told me – “Everyone has to return. If you don’t then transform or perish”.

She hurried. To unite and to reclaim her identity amongst her family. I was left thinking. Was it worthwhile to try out the technologies for my queen, for me, Ami and Iam? And the others of my colony?


nature2I climbed a tree. It took me days to traverse through all the branches of it, to all the leaves, meet new friends and to leave them soon. Then I moved to the next through the wires which passed through them. Moving around from one leaf to the next, from one tree to its friend, I was travelling from my own world to another.

A world with wings, a world which was free, a world of liberty – or so what I thought.

It was night and the rain didn’t subside. The grass looked greener from an angle down as I perched up above the candles in my eyes. It was dim up here and black. The mornings might be better I thought.


birds1The morning broke into a silhouette. It was a silhouette of rods and cones when I found a friend in the city. “Fly high up and roam around. Fly above the city square, the grand place, the new town”, he advised. “There will be silky femme and vacuous men.”

bird2I knew that mornings will be better and brighter. The mornings were full of light, as I sailed through the gates of my mind. Down below I could see the city intellectuals – all having a hole in their head camouflaged by the hair – bouncy and virile.

“Shit on the holes”, said my friend and flew away.

Is this what I yearned for the million years, I started thinking. Far ahead there were high rises but they never conversed with me. And I wait. I wait for the city to burn itself – one more time, to burn my feathers – dry in want of a flutter.


Amitava Nag is an independent film critic based in Kolkata and editor of Silhouette. His most recent books on cinema are Murmurs: Silent Steals with Soumitra Chatterjee, 16 Frames and Smriti Sattwa o Cinema. His earlier writings include the acclaimed books Satyajit Ray’s Heroes and Heroines published by Rupa and Beyond Apu: 20 Favourite film roles of Soumitra Chatterjee published by Harper Collins India. He also writes poetry and short fiction in Bengali and English – observing life in a platter. He can be reached at
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<div class=at-above-post addthis_tool data-url=></div>There is no way to peace, peace is the way. - A.J. Muste             <!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class=at-below-post addthis_tool data-url=></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->
"There is no way to peace, peace is the way." - A.J. Muste