She had been selected for the critical mission, she was very happy. The joy increased when she came to know that her best buddy will accompany her. Her father was a great scholar and had always tried to answer her curiosities. She was the only child of her parents. She grew up having a dream to travel beyond her galaxy to unfold the secrets of universe. She was the youngest team member of the research organization. Her cute saucer eyes were sparkling when she told to her father about her selection. Her father said, “Shriddha, that’s very good news. I hope you would prove our belief that we may find friends outside our galaxy.” He further asked, “Now tell me Shri who all are accompanying you in the trip?” She blushed and said, “Manu.” Her father said, “A complimentary selection, on one hand you are too adventurous and other hand he is calculative. I trust him.”
They were engaged and wedding was planned post this mission. They had always kept their work on top priority. Be-kuntha was known for the values of its people. It was a happy planet. Their way of living was summarized in a statement written on a holy building - Live your life so that your epitaph could read, "No regrets." Be-kuntha had enough resources for its population. A social infrastructure was based on broadly what a person is happy doing rather what fetches him more wealth. They cared about their happiness quotient more than and other mental state. They never believed in mass production of anything rather they were driven by quality and that brought them satisfaction. The planet was governed by values taught to its people since childhood and were adhered throughout the life. They used to celebrate their achievements and it used to become festivals if the achievement of someone had benefitted the mankind in various ways. Reverend scholars had penned down the ways of good living which were the guiding books for everybody. Being honest, responsible and dutiful were the virtues their nurturing was based on. They have their team of scientists who were busy finding the various ways, life can be improved.
The climate was moderate and they never faced chilling winter or scorching summers. Due to moderate weather they never required woolen clothes nor ever thought of. Mountains, trees, rivers and chirping birds, grazing cattle had made Be-kuntha a beautiful place.
Manu was waiting for his beautiful partner in their favorite location. Shriddha told him that her dad was admiring his virtues. She abruptly asked, “Tell me darling, will you love me forever?” Manu replied, “Of course, baby! Will I be able to survive without loving you?” He further asked, “What happened, what is disturbing you?” She replied, “I’m scared! I know that everything will be OK, still. I’ve prayed for nothing but your company for all my life.” Manu smiled and said, “Shri, I’m with you always and will take a good care of yours.” She was a bubbly bonny having various tempting styles.
The mission was named, “Are we alone” and they had built a space craft which can search the availability of water and oxygen and deploy their people. The decision of deploying their people was to collect the samples for their analysis to know the unknowns. This was the first time they had targeted planet beyond their own galaxy. It had taken years for the team to prepare for this. This was a planet of deadly deserts and dense forests. They named it earth.
The young scientists had travelled distance in a week for which even light had to take years and arrived to a whole new world. Sriddha screamed with joy, “What else would a couple want? I can sit here and see myself in your eyes for ever, oh Manu! I love you.” Manu said, “Aren’t you scared Shri? This is such a deadly secluded place. Just collect the material for our studies and let’s leave the place.” She replied and walked over the earth with enthusiasm, “As long as you are with me Manu, where do I have time or wish to look elsewhere? But this is not at all deadly, it’s so pleasant dusk. We have only one moon here, have you noticed?” He replied, “Yes, it verifies our scientific conclusions based on various studies but don’t go too far, remember we have limited time here till our space craft blows the signal horn.” She replied, “Oh, don’t worry I wouldn’t go too far. I am getting tired even walking little distance.” He explained, “Yeah, this is due to difference in gravity, every thing feels heavier than there in Be-kuntha. We already know that; now don’t waste the time talking, just wind up.” She agreed, “Oh yes, we have to collect the sample of soil, water and rock from here. I think we should take some samples of weeds also.” He smiled, “that’s a good girl!”
While collecting samples they observed weird voices of animals. They had never heard such voices. It was getting dark and temperature was getting low. They were not prepared for variations in temperature. They started shivering. Manu asked her to come back to craft the moment it started blowing the signal horn. They rushed but couldn’t run faster; she was breathless running towards the craft while Manu reached there. He yelled, “come faster, we have no other way.” The craft left the earth and turned the life of happy couple to an ever lasting struggle of survival in a foreign land.
Shriddha was crying, “I have to go to my home, my be-kuntha.” He was trying to convince her, "The craft will come again to take us home; we will certainly go to Be-kuntha one day." She knew that Manu could have gone back as he reached craft timely but it was his love which made him stay back for her. It had filled her heart as a woman with respect for her man for ever.
They couldn’t connect it again; Shriddha and Manu could never return their home. Being scientist by nature, they employed their brains in odd situations and started living their life. Years passed and they tried to send and receive signals but could never acknowledge or been acknowledged.
It had been so many years, the scientist couple had passed away with an unfulfilled desire which their descendents inherited and still have throughout their life. Based on their teachings their descendents had written books and recommended mankind to follow for a better way of living. They have dominated all the native species with their analytical brain but couldn’t master the art of adjusting their body temperature similar to native species in earth neither could get nails or teeth to save themselves from a wild attack. They had to commit various sins for survival but couldn’t forgive themselves and lived with a burden of grudges. Ironically they still hope that some day some one will come and their life long struggle will come to an end. They still have weird and irrational dreams; they still believe themselves as guest in earth and have a deep desire to go to Be-kuntha.
- Amit Roop