Unpublished novel by Rakesh Biswas for all interested in the science and fantasy of medicine. Not about religion, but a postmodern multi genre combining elements of Science, Fantasy and Romance
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Spring, finally, overnight BLOOM!!!!!!!.

 

E’ genesis

 

The ovum and the pronuclei…a husband and wife settle down into a moon within the Earth that is going to be their home for a few more generations to come. The husband, who has just landed in a space ship, loses its acro-plasm and greets the female pro-nucleus. They exchange words, an infinite number of genes that contain all the information they would like to have shared between them. A whole civilization grows as they roll down through the tunnel into a beautiful uterine valley replete with dense forests where they make a clearing. The family has already grown into a 16 member strong blastomere most of who share the same likes and dislikes along with their common dwelling. Their house sprouts roots into the uterine soil and God watches dumb founded as his machine starts happening right in front of his eyes. All he can make out is a lot of cells being generated spontaneously as if growing from the other and moving off to different corners of their house. All this happened as if those cells were people with minds of their own. It seemed kind of cozy in there with all those people huddled together by the fire sharing stories. Gradually their stories grew as their numbers increased and their exchanges became more and more complex. People started to move, gone were the days one could simply till his patch of land and relax over a smoke. The world was being globalized and the new world belonged to those who were specialized, who had focused into developing particular functions among themselves. There were neural cells that would mainly restrict themselves to information technology. There were cardiac cells that were busy building one of the most ambitious pumping supply lines ever conceived complete with a network of rivers zig zagging across mountains. These rivers would carry all imaginable consumables for daily living. This central pumping system even had its own intranet so that it could keep beating even if severed of all connections from the neural Internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anatomy- hardware junk lab

 

Anatomy lectures usually begin with embryogenesis. As God stepped into the class he found quite an assortment of 150 students chirping excitedly. Probably it was more due to the fact that this was going to be the first class of their undergrad medical curriculum. God wasn’t born yet, that is he didn’t possess a laptop (the walking and talking kind) of his own at the moment. He was unable to communicate in a human manner with his fellow students. As far as he could tell he was invisible as long as his thought processes could not be communicated. He needed a hard disc to store his thoughts, a good CPU supported by a competent RAM to activate them into a communication either through his email or voice mail out-boxes. As long as he couldn’t do that his thoughts would remain as diffuse Brownian particles traversing infinite distances in the universe bouncing back to and fro, something which other gods with lap tops in their present state of limited functionality (the students) wouldn’t be able to perceive. So God remained invisible and the constant chattering of the other students reminded him of his moon market. He walked out of the classroom and into the hardware lab, which was labeled “Dissection room” on a worn out wooden board. The professor was peering into a freshly dismantled laptop with all its electronic wizardry dancing out in a splendor of artistic circuitry. God watched open mouthed guzzling in as much of the visual delight, looking forward to the day he’d know his way in and out of all those circuitous pathways that resembled dirt tracks and rivers interspersed in a lot of green and brown. Before all that he would have to have a laptop of his own, he’d have to be born. He decided to check out his thought waves in moon market on the latest status of his laptop, how far they had finished working on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever you wish is what you get

 

 

God moved around inspecting his new machine that was going to be his home for some time to come on the Earthy dimension (he couldn’t tell how much time now…here time stood still). He was off course mollified by the fact that all these cells, all these walking and talking qualified DNA holders were working to build HIS laptop, his home and he was the captain of the ship. There was one hitch however. None of his workers seemed to recognize him. They appeared as if they couldn’t care less about God. They lead their own lives in their specialties, organ systems of heart, lung, kidneys, liver, brain etc and kept working like assembly line workers (that is as much as they were allowed by their DNAs). It was as if their lives and deaths were programmed into the blue print in their nuclei, that omnipresent serpent boss coiled in an upward spiral leading to an unending vortex. Their lives seemed quite ordinary and God couldn’t figure out how these people would establish that vital link between all the organs which would make his machine finally take off as a whole, like a gigantic ship pushed off the sands into a deep blue.

He noticed there were some representatives the people comprising these organ systems had elected, like dutiful citizens of sovereign republics and these representatives were ready to discuss their terms with God. In fact they were quite a confident bunch and sometimes their authoritative tones would even override Gods. Thankfully most of the time all they did was asked for more, more supplies, more rivers.

All said and done God really didn’t have to do much for them. It was a self organizing system, growing day by day, the cells initially coming out from their stems knowing exactly where they wanted to go in life, what they wanted to specialize in. Gradually the initial flurry of activity died down and most of them became trees, sessile and packaged near each other into dense forests, tissues they called them. In fact the trees were not the whole cells. They were just a projection from their bodies like receptors and most of these cells were like Earth. The kind of Earth you dig your hands and shape into anything you could wish for.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First rain last night; poo-wee, yuck, drat…end of an illusion of eternal spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

At this point in the narrative there was a pause as the professor started wiping his glasses and then looked at his watch. He was newly married and his wife would be feeling hungry sitting in front of a loaded table waiting for him. He couldn’t make her wait any longer. The story of embryogenesis could wait. As far as he could tell there were still wide gaps in their knowledge of human geopolitical evolution, the Earth and all its life forms over the ages. The evolution of their married life was different. It was a journey on a bicycle punctuated by frequent jolts due to minor conflicts lying strewn around like pebble-stones on the road. The first time he detected a peculiar expression bordering between anger and anguish in Maya’s eyes was when they moved into their new faculty quarters a few days from their marriage. Samsara had to join duty, his other beloved and so the whole job of setting up the furniture and various knick-knacks of their belongings into order fell upon Maya. Later at lunch, Samsara marveled at the neat homely look and said his friends wanted to come over but then there were no sweets in the freezer. After all they were a newly wed couple and guests had to be sweetened to the root of their teeth as the custom demanded. Personally Samsara detested the idea. Sweets didn’t do any good to anybody. Sweets entering one’s system left an overworked pancreas going broke on its insulin more so if its genetic program controlling the replication of beta cells producing insulin was destined to switch off after a time. Sweets were obtained nevertheless after a quick shopping and Maya agreed the guests be called over. Samsara didn’t notice the dark clouds developing near the horizon (probably got blocked by a mountain of sweets).

All the while the guests were there Samsara noticed with a growing anxiety Maya’s face which seemed like it was cut off from the party, forlorn withdrawn, like a gloomy cloudy evening thirsting for rains. There were tears in her eyes for the first time after the guests left and this was the beginning of a series of episodes coming cyclically every month ending in tears like a perennial monsoon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Falling into a different dream

 

 

 

 

And then finally one day the machine was ready. At least God could feel a signal coming from all their individual components merging into his own. Slowly he felt he could gather the collective consciousness of all these cells that had become the Earth with its trees and rivers. May I have the first slide? (Sutra)

You can see it’s a sunny day there with a blue sky forming the backdrop of a giant redwood forest and God finds himself on the topmost branch of the tallest tree…a tree so tall that it appears to have disappeared into the sky. May I have the next slide please?

A huge swarm of Lilliputian ants pushing God’s body over the precipice, which resembles the bark of a tree and one, can see him in free fall. Next…

At first in slow motion one sees the ground below approaching closer and then suddenly in real time there’s a surge of panic as one hits rock bottom and everything becomes dark. The fall signals the beginning of his journey. It’s going to be some time before God really hits rock bottom although he may be reminded of it from time to time. Till then he was falling into a different dream…life they called it.

Surprisingly the landing wasn’t that bad. There was hardly any impact and God felt he had landed on a waterbed soft and bouncy. He started jumping up and down in glee. Maya sat up in bed and signaled at Samsara, “Shhh, listen…put your hand here and dragged his hands onto the bulge in her abdomen. “It’s quickening, coming to life.” Impact or no impact he retained absolutely no recollection of where he had come from. He had even forgotten about being the captain of his ship with all the numerous cells he was commanding. Nevertheless everything worked with clock like precision as he kept on having the time of his life, jumping up and down in his waterbed. He felt this was his true calling, he felt great…alive at last…having all the fun he had been thirsting for. It was still dark inside the womb but nothing like the awful darkness he had experienced

Earlier (all those years in the ocean of universal consciousness where there was no way to tell time as it stood still, waiting)…humph! Nirvana indeed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swiss cheese home delivered

 

 

 

Professor Samsara was happy with the newcomer inside his wife. He had (or was it a she?) definitely brought some stability to the bad weather their marriage seemed to be running into. Once when the newcomer had stopped moving Maya was up the whole night and early next morning both rushed to their obstetrician who did an immediate ultrasound, which showed a heart beating perfectly (oops! What a relief). There were rounded things below the abdomen that made the obstetrician casually remark, “Looks like a male child”. Samsara presumed he was probably hinting at the testes. In the last few months Maya bloated up like a balloon on her mother’s cooking. Her mother was staying with them for a few months of the time of delivery. Samsara prevented his own weight gain by taking longer walks. Maya’s obstetrician said the baby looked small for her age (inspite of all that weight gain!!) but reassured them, “Small babies are easier to deliver”. Samsara read up all the latest on fetal growth restriction on the net and from what he could gather it may have been a result of some blockage in the food supplying rivers from the mother to the fetus which circulate through the placenta, a condition termed placental insufficiency. The literature was sparse on why this happened in some mothers. It was causing all the goodies which Maya’s mother made to fill up only her own fat depots giving her that unsightly erratic bulge. The ultrasound showed the placenta all riddled with holes like a Swiss cheese. Samsara made a mental note of examining her placenta once it was delivered. Most animals swallow their own placenta right after the birth of their children and Samsara wondered aloud jokingly to Maya if she would like hers well grilled or rare.

Finally D-day arrived when Maya went into labor. She seemed to be in terrible pain but bore it rather well clutching at Samsara’s arms for comfort. Samsara thought he would give her a smile of encouragement but it became more of a laugh and certainly didn’t go down well with Maya’s tears at that very moment. God barged in onto the second stage of labor with a force that cut it short by a substantial number of minutes. There was a vaginal tear in Maya as a result of which the obstetrician had to spend quite some time giving finer stitches. Samsara thought it must have been God’s razor sharp nose. God! She’s beautiful… He forgot the fact that she was supposed to have been a boy. Months later his obstetrician friend confessed he had erred banking too much on the testes that were actually intestinal loops… a phallus would have confirmed a male if he had seen it and there were other criteria of assessing for females. He also forgot about the placenta that probably lay in a corner of the nursing home dustbin, unexamined Swiss cheese, ungrilled, uneaten. 

 

 

 

Neonatal Antics…LCD dreams

 

It’s one of nature’s great insults that she should prefer to put all her eggs in the basket of a defense less, incompetent neonate rather than the in the tried and tested custody of our own superb minds. But as our neurofibrils begin to tangle and that neonate walks to a wisdom that eludes us, we are forced to give nature credit for her daring idea. (Oxford handbook of clinical specialties)

 

“What does God see with his eyebrows contorted in his sleep, smiling even before he learns the social smile…is it like, he sees what he always wanted to? Things that were promised, that made him accept this defenseless puny body as his own?”

Having said this, the professor straightened himself on the ledge. He could barely manage a foothold on the precipice but he had himself safely. He was also being belayed by one of his students most of who were climbing behind them looking like a host of geckos on a wall from a distance. “Whatever it is he sees it must be far better than those Nirvana days I am sure, better than complete darkness or a complete white out. All these years he had thirsted for a single color out of its myriad violet, indigo, blue green, yellow, red spectrum but no you have to accept the emptiness he was told for that was the absolute truth.” The professor resumed climbing again delivering an angry kick with his crampon front points biting into the ice as he hauled himself up with his ice axe. “All our mortal lives we try to cloak this emptiness, this void with colors and stories, weaving blankets covering our neonatal exterior. Blankets pile up one on top of the other while we wriggle our puny bodies kicking our feet in glee. We can’t live without these stories. We have to be constantly surrounded by them, their warmth, like a pleasant whir of the electric warmer churning vibrations that in turn generate patterns of sounds we interpret as pleasurable. Most of us have to put in a certain effort to maintain our story lines. We have to feed our characters, take all their major decisions and remain in a constant fear of wearing out our stories prematurely exposing our emptiness in black or white. The very thought that there can be a world bereft of color is killing in itself. 

They had arrived at a technically difficult point in their climb, a tricky traverse over a narrow ledge overlooking a fall of a few thousand feet. The professor set about trying to fix ropes using as many natural anchors as possible but also reluctantly hammering in a few pitons. He resumed his yapping with the students trying to listen attentively amidst fear howling like the wind roaring at the ground somewhere around the drop below.

“We can’t be without work for long. Work is what gives us our daily narrative, the vital blanket against winter chills. We operate from the security of our blankets, our accomplishments, woven in narratives of our past promising warmer blankets for the future. The neonate must learn to read the stories reflected on his LCD screen in all its dazzling riveting complexity. His very survival depends on it. They are just a preparation for weaving a net of bigger dreams. Their absence would only remind him of the blank void, the fearsome darkness or irritating whiteness that awaits him at the very core of his being.”

 

 

 

 

 

Gaming...daily kicking the invisible football amidst us

 

 

"Yes, we were talking about poor god who's terribly afraid of this emptiness, this silence at the core of his being and is desperately trying to immerse himself in a toy which has evolved over the ages and that is the human body (his laptop with limbs). Trouble is, once he's given the body to play with he starts thinking he is the body and forgets completely that he's different. He loses himself so very thoroughly into net surfing in the web and answering emails (He revels in his friend’s narratives) that he becomes aware of his body only when it malfunctions. He's petrified if he doesn't receive emails for a day or if his computer keys simply refuse to type in what he wants it to. He realizes the need to know more about this machine and trouble shoot it himself if necessary."

The professor watched all his students traverse the ledge safely taking care to see if the karabiners were screwed tight. He unfixed the ropes in the end as he followed them at last into the relief of a wider shelf where they'd pitch tents for the night. "However its a tedious job, the prof began as all of them snuggled into their sleeping bags with their hot coffee...knowing about machines, no one seems to know much about them but more people seem to assume they know a lot and that’s even more dangerous. It’s a game no doubt as much as it’s a story perhaps...as long as you can believe that I am supposed to be narrating it. There's one chief player who is one and at the same time many, who's playing with his machines one at a time (spontaneously at the same time) and if it’s a game of football then the ball is at times invisible. Its like you give an input and it goes through a series of weights and synapses, all individual players kicking that input signal, their only goal being an output which does surface eventually but then the ball goes back again into the field starting from the input (by a back propagation algorithm) and it goes on. One gets tired of playing the same game day in and day out and so desires a change every now and then. The input output and back propagation signal remain the same only the football changes from soccer to rugby, even volleyball and the ground shifts to office working hours and cocktail parties.

Right now you see me...I am playing a game with my boss who happens to be a top notch consultant physician and we are going round fixing human machines strewn around the ward in a state of disrepair. Both of us are lunging at the ball like its some kind of latest bit of evidence which might hold the wonder cure for this broken down machine running on artificial hormones, secretions synthesized (nowadays in petridishes...genetic engineering marvels). More often than not the evidence would just be a bit of a thing about how this new drug's going to make a teeny weenie difference (if you add it in numbers it might look impressive and respectable) or how its not going to work...to think that most of our days go in undoing all the techno junk laid daily on us...All the same each and every game that we play tells us a story. They are the lifesavers playing on the background of our LCD screens, our LCD dreams.

 

 

 

   

 

     

Regards but more pages to turn, in the whole Book

 

Everybody was back in the classroom looking fresh from the shower they had all had after a game of volleyball. The professor drew a square on the blackboard and rubbed it off.

 

"Is it not possible to do without this screen saver, this need to know the story of whatever and whoever we spot around us?" Well, sex may be one area where this is possible perhaps! Off course not that kind of sex, which is heavily dependant on a story line for arousal, like you imagine you're sleeping with someone else's wife while all you're doing is sleeping with your own wife like every other day. No it should be the kind of sex where you aren't really aroused by your thoughts (the usual source of your ubiquitous screen saver churning stories by the dozen). It would be that state where you are simply engrossed in the mechanical act of copulation, concentrating only on the sensations being generated as a result of all that mechanical friction. It might lie in that state when you are all encompassed by that sensation, that pure bliss, which is unfortunately unsustainable for more than a few minutes before it’s drained away in a spasmodic orgasm. Just because it can't be held for long we try to seek refuge in repeating it whenever we can... our only hope of escaping the dreadful narratives on our screen saving lives. There are other moments perhaps...like have you ever looked into the eyes of someone beautiful and simply kept on looking, taking in just for the pure sensory pleasure of it, not being plagued by thoughts of wanting to know who it is...what's the story behind this person?" With that the professor bent down behind his desk and pulled out a swaraj (a small sarod) and started playing it, the notes on the strings dancing out into the afternoon sun basking inside the classroom.

 

Aage na jene mojo na pirite

Jene shune korbe pirit

shesh bhalo darai jaate

 

"I don't know, the very objective on one hand in being a human seemed to be to dwell in the pleasures of the five senses but somewhere down the line we forgot how to do just that. Down the years, our senses were overridden by our capacity to think and create stories. Stories…erupting like molten lava creating a mound of honey tipped neuro-cortices over our thalami.

 

O kaacha haari te o haari te

rakhi te narili premojal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot to weave, figure out, juggle

 

"You might ask me what I have against stories and their narrators; after all I started off as a narrator myself. It’s the shameful media hype they enjoy, which gives them a power that taunts my powerlessness. Just imagine! Writing a story that captures a fan following and their imaginary screen savers, the narrator becomes so very powerful, so much so that just because he titillates our cerebral cortices, we allow him or her to control our minds. However all good stories must come to an end and then it’s again back to the feeling you get an hour past your orgasm (unless you were tired enough to have dozed off). This is the biggest set back to our storied lives, as our thought processes keep swaying under control of our invisible innumerable narrators doling out a daily dose of inebriating story lines. All scientific papers that have had some success have always depended on a strong narrator who could create a great story with a mass appeal. Even mathematical figures are known mainly by their association and interactions with each other, generating stories in all their riveting complexity. To escape all that and their antecedent problems, chief among which is the transient nature of the bliss it provides, we need to abolish all these stories being generated continuously on our consciousness screens. We have to abolish any thought, which arises as a curiosity about most objects we encounter on our sensory input panels. Just look at that person without thinking who he might be. Savor that mountain or waterfall without wondering about its geopolitical evolution in time. It’s difficult...really after all we have already evolved from a thalamic, pure sensory perceptive level to a cortical level where stories abound...ready to capture us in their complex nets. Real life is quite different from cortical life however. It consists of fragmented descriptions falling short of becoming stories. That work…is usually completed by our cortices. So it’s the interplay of real life and cortical interpretations that gives us a reel life, captured in our hard drive memories all in B mode real time.”

“Let’s see if it’s possible to describe real life without falling into the story trap. Real life descriptions necessarily come from past events and as because they are stored in our hard drives; they have already been compressed into a story format. Stories are essential for our memories. They are the only way we can zip those files, it’s more like weaving or tying them tightly with our cortical ropes intertwining them with all the complexity one's RAM can generate. I shall begin with my original unfinished story and consciously try not to end it (zip it with a story line that is)."

The professor wiped his glasses after removing his eyes from the telescope. They had all gathered at the rooftop of his house for stargazing. They were all members of the sky watchers association of Sushunia, the students and the professor being the founder members. A lot of other people young and old joined them on their rooftop on fixed days of the week, the gathering becoming more voluminous on days when newer comets would be visualized, particularly if they were splashed into the public imagination through front-page newspaper photos. He resumed his talk again in the darkness below an all encompassing black umbrella studded with glittering sequins. "We have to reach a compromise. Stories are an essential cortical activity and they shall keep emerging on our cortices from time to time.  The other part, delving in appreciating pure feeling as it is, rests in sub cortical processes, which may lie anywhere in the thalamus or limbic system or even somewhere down the spinal yogic chakras. Everyday we need to switch on and off between our cortical stories and sub cortical experiences and whatever emerges is life.”

 

 

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anatomy and physiology of relationships

 

"Each and everyday as professionals our work starts with romance as we meet new people, identify new patterns and as the day progresses we get married to our work and get into a love hate relationship with it, which is not as exciting as romance but can be absorbing nevertheless until we are reminded of lunch. Then through the afternoon and evening begins a pure sub cortical activity of immersing oneself in that feeling which comes from a repeated mechanical friction on our sensory nerve endings till we reach orgasm by night and it's all over for some time when we sleep, that is when we have reached our refractory periods.

Every story begins in a romance, like a torrent gaining momentum after having freshly melted from the glacier. By midday it reaches a valley and widens out into a river bed rubbing against a lot of rocks sleeping on it managing to transform them into smooth stones resembling glans like shiv lings."

The professor paused for breath as the group paused to admire the view of the river snaking along the valley. God was strapped to Samsara in a bag, which he carried in his chest while on his shoulders, rested a heavy rucksack carrying clothes for Maya and the infant. They were on their way to Annapurna base camp. The students had been looking forward to this trip since a long time.

"Our life begins in romance and necessarily has to end in marriage (that stands for any steady relationship breeding familiarity). It lacks the thrill of romance and can be trying in its own way. Nothing can fire us better than romance. Love is blander in comparison. It simply grows on you, takes time and is hardly ever noticed unless you are separated." Samsara paused to let Maya take over God and put her to the breast. "This cycle of romance, marriage and orgasm is intricately built into most aspects of human relationships. Our first meeting with most people culminates in romance (provided it gets a positive feedback). The romance stems from the freshness of the relationship but gradually we become familiar and get married into a love hate relationship. Eventually we get preoccupied with the daily sub cortical mechanical to and fro sensory stimulation (sex for short) that occupies a major chunk of our social and private lives. More often it usually just ends with an orgasm and the much loathed refractory period leaving little choice except sleep."

Everybody was relaxed after the last part of the climb, which had been particularly difficult. They were sitting and sipping on to their Thumba at a cafe on the top of the mountain. This was the best part of the climb Samsara thought drinking in the view of Macchapucchare at the same time sucking at the bamboo reed dipped into his jar of Thumba.

"It all begins with cortical romance, descends down into a sub cortical orgy ending in a spinal reflex orgasm. Some people do claim its possible to hold this spinal energy and redirect it back to the cortex going through a return journey via all the spinal stations from Muladhar to Sahasradhar, spinal sacro coccygeal segment to the honey tipped neurocortices, its one hell of a Salmon like journey upstream on the river Saraswati flowing through the spinal central canal. All of us play this game of short-circuiting cortico spinal neural circuits in human relationships. A game we were destined to play from birth to death, between two goal posts in this huge stadium of life. When we are not playing, we become the audience munching pop corn in our refractory periods. "That night they had bamboo shoots for dinner under moonlit Macchapucchare gleaming bright.

 


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Unpublished novel for all interested in the science and fantasy of medicine. Not about religion, but a postmodern multi genre combining elements of Science, Fantasy and Romance