Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ick, Kiki and Orb.

Long long ago, on this very piece of land, lived a family - a family whose real names have been lost in the prehistoric era. A family of Cave men. For marketing purposes in today's world, they have been assigned the decidedly uninspiring monikers: Ick, Kiki and Orb. Ick being the patriarch, Kiki being the matriarch and Orb being the only surviving male offspring - a rather naughty one at that, one would imagine.

Ick's real name was Theodore; Kiki's was Razia and Orb's was Gaston-Lee. They lived in the huge city of Newport. A prosperous megapolis of 30 million, built more on the lines of today's New York than Tora bora. Newport was a part of the pre-historic Altivian empire - an empire built like today's USA - but with a significant difference.

In the Altivian era, progress in ecological research was much ahead of its time. There was international consensus on the greenhouse effect and on the dangers of non-biodegradable materials. (This was partly due to a preponderance of massive carbon dioxide breathing dragons which had to be eliminated by fearless princesses riding on their equally fearless mules. The scientific community had to justify this slaughter of massive beasts - the princesses being too beautiful to blame. It was a by a stroke of luck that the greenhouse effect was stumbled upon).

The upshot, of course, was that all the buildings that were built could be destroyed without a trace on impact. Only solar energy was used - and it was used extensively. Not a square millimeter of land on a desert remained without it being covered by organic solar cells. Organic solar cells were essentially plants which were genetically engineered to produce DC through their leaves and connect to the national grid via their roots (of course, after passing through the appropriate inverters and other waveform conditioning modules). The process of cross pollination took care of capacity expansion.

Organised religion in the Altivian era was as organized as that of today. The Altivians worshipped the boar (like Obelix of Gaul) , worshipped the cow (like the Hindus), worshipped the pig (unlike the Muslims) ; the ram (unlike the Christians)- actually anything on four legs except the dragon (like the Chinese and King Arthur) and the mule. A certain sect of the Altivians believed in the Noble boar that had fed a famished group of piligrms on the verge of passing away by sacrificing itself. The same sect of Altivians, as a mark of respect for the aforementioned boar would touch no meat. They would sacrifice twenty-thousand tomatoes by showering the same on a boar.

And then there was the Foremost Pig that had helped relieve people of their sin by kissing them on the forehead; the Central Cow whose milk had guaranteed immortality. (Its calves died of malnutrition - they never got any of the milk)

Gaston-Lee was an inquisitive man by nature. He questioned the basis of this belief - he had seen ample evidence against the same. The poorer sections of Newport had thousands of poor people starving without a meal a day. Why didn't the noble boar do anything? He saw wrinkled old folk on the street gaze fearfully at a funeral procession. What had become of the central cow? He then saw the robber snatch a purse from an innocent woman walking on the street. He pursued the robber - only to see the same disappear into a pigpen, presumably to get kissed by the Foremost Pig.

Gaston-Lee therefore questioned God. He suspected that organized religion was one big hoax. He melted into a sea of cynicism. And in a fit of rage, he and a couple of other like minded people secluded themselves into a cave and let their disillusionment show in a series of drawings on the wall. They used permanent ink - they had begun to doubt everything - even those ecological beliefs that were such a central a part of their society. Gaston and his co-workers drew a man killing a boar - he had understood that the boar had not given up its life voluntarily, but had been cruelly snuffed.

Dr. Josef Pierre, a history teacher at Harvard had put the above picture up in his snazzy power-point slide show.

He said "As we can see, the caveman was primarily carnivorous. He used primitive methods to kill his prey. He was too primitive to be able to cultivate crops. This was his only food. Boar."

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