A brave new worldHow could people born with a silver spoon and those born with poverty live together? And so they fought. They fought for their rights. They fought for religion. They fought for love
The year is 2266 and this is a world where love is forbidden. Love, here, is considered the greatest sin of all. Even murderers aren’t treated as badly as those who dare to defy the “forbidden love rule”. You are not supposed to love or to be loved. You are not supposed to feel. You are not supposed to have any emotions at all. Those found to be defying the rule will be punished. We are under surveillance every second of the day. And believe me it’s a living hell. The rule was made for our benefit. The gene pool was decreasing and we had to preserve it. The leaders, then, thought of a way to bring
about favorable mutations in us by analysing our DNA and accordingly marrying off the people who
have the maximum probability of giving birth to a child with favourable mutation or a better set of genes. Actually, it’s not that we cannot love anyone, but we must love the one chosen for us by The Law. The Law is what governs us.
We live in scarcely populated cities. And my city is Elysium. We don’t have countries. It is nothing like the overcrowded Old World that my grandma recounts of. My grandma lived in the Old World till its end and she helped build this New World for us. The people, who survived doom by some slim chance, were scattered over the globe but they came together to built this world that we currently live in. And we have lived in this world peacefully since then—continuing the race of humankind.
She says that there was an epidemic and people easily succumbed to it. Even before the epidemic started, the world wasn’t doing any better. Countries were waging wars, people were fighting each other. People weren’t in the same level with respect to the facilities they had at their hand. To their economic status, education and all those things that matters. Some were poor, some filthy rich. How could people born with a silver spoon and those born with poverty live together? And so they fought. They fought for their rights. They fought for religion. They fought for love. They fought for food. They fought for everything. Their humanity was put to test. And humanity was lost. The rich and the powerful walked over the weak and the helpless. It was a world where the dreams of a common man weren’t fulfilled. People had to sacrifice their dreams to survive. Poor ones were treated as puppets. It wasn’t a place where I’d like to be. The Old World.
It was a period of high birth rate, soaring suicide rate and happiness index lurking at the bottom. People were filled with despair and grief. The younger generations were losing their hope and zest in life. Melancholy was about to stay rooted in the world. And the virus NOHOPE-19—named because of its high fatality rate and the inability of the researchers to find a cure against it—emerged out of nowhere. It spread like wildfire. The experiments to find the cure against the virus and the spread of the virus were disproportionate. There was no country and household left untouched by the deadly
virus. Doctors who proudly saved lives before weren’t able to save
those precious lives anymore. No one could do anything. The experiments to find a cure failed miserably
one after the other. Yet, people weren’t ready to give up on mankind. No one gave up. They resisted the virus. They tried their best. They prayed. They hoped against hope. People were continuously disappointed yet they never gave up even when the population steeply declined and when almost everyone knew what real loss is. When the cure was developed, almost everyone knew each other. Intellectuals among themselves gave others the motivation
to continue living and to fulfill
their dreams and in the process to continue the human race. They formed a pact to not fight and to live in harmony. Thus a set of rules and a new world came into existence. Everyone has the same facilities and rights in the city where I now live. Skyscrapers were buildings in the past but now they are the walls around our cities. The walls were constructed to protect us. And none of us have set foot beyond the walls as the vast endless areas beyond
the skyscrapers are covered in
My grandma, occasionally, tells me about the old days. She used to be a doctor and after barely surviving the epidemic to which she lost her entire family, she got involved in humanitarian work. That’s when she met her husband, my grandpa, who too used to be a doctor. He also happened to lose his whole family to the epidemic. Their broken hearts and circumstance bought them together. Every day we sit by the fireplace and that’s when my grandparents tell me stories about the old days: their days. They teach me how to dance and sing. We listen to the vinyl records from the old days and dance before the fireplace. According to them, the old world was beautiful. It was not perfect. It was dirty. It was polluted. It was on the verge of destruction. Yet it was beautiful. They like to relive their childhood memories, their high school memories, their med school memories, and every memory involving their long dead families and the Old World. It’s all they have. They are all I have and I’m all they have. My parents work for a large research company in citadel and they are seldom home.
They refer to the old days as the golden days. The world we live in is developed, sophisticated, environment friendly, has all kinds of facilities—still they long for the ‘golden’ old days. And after listening to the stories for a thousand of times, I feel like those memories are also mine. As if I myself belong to the old golden days. And I can do nothing but listen to their memories and encrypt them into my own memory. They miss the old food. Agriculture was the main profession in the country where they were originally from. They tell me of plants that I have never seen and fruits that I have never heard of. Now we have calorie tablets as our staple food. Calorie tablets come in various flavours and it is efficient than cooking. It saves time, and the labour and water needed to clean the dishes. It’s not that we don’t eat cooked food but we eat crops only on special occasions. Majority of our manpower is involved in research and only fewer of us are involved in agriculture.
My grandparents are still in love, regardless of the years they have been together. They fell in love in their youth and are still falling deeper into it every single day. The unconditional love that my grandparents share is what I wish to have with the unknown person who The Law chooses for me. By the way I’m Indy—named so because of the long life that I will have, a mutation I received from my parents. Today is September 27, 2266. And tomorrow is my eighteenth birthday for which I’ve received a ticket to the citadel.