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The Museum of Vestigial Desire


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By Nachiket Joshi

And once again, gleaming rays hit the diaphanous edges of leaves, imbibed, and swallowed whole, as trees drink endlessly from their ever-exuding light. The ground trembles with the ecstasy of nourishment, to which it would be indifferent, if it weren’t for the thick, throbbing roots reaching into its being; breaking through rock, overturning the soft silt of eons. The earth hasn’t much raged at the life that’s run rough-shod over it, filling every crevice, submerged in its flowing streams and gliding endlessly across its frozen heights. Who made it rain first, and why? A little shrug, a moment of inattention might be enough to knock over all the vital exuberance that has been crawling over its surface for three billion years, including weekends, and public holidays. Couldn’t life take a break, or switch sides, and find succor on some gaseous giant and its attendant moons? Floating endlessly, around a giant star, contemplating its fiery storms, meditating under a hail of falling rocks, and the silent, elliptical waltz of her sisters, is a sublime occupation. Peace, silence, tranquility, and the occasional bout of planetary dyspepsia, is what Earth expected of her sort. The plans went awry fairly soon after she birthed her first satellite. They danced around each other, in the joyous haze of maternity. Turning circles, growing, receding, never united, never apart. But soon, clouds gathered, conspiring at an unattainable distance, for the great deluge that was to overcome her. Under the watchful eyes of Venus, Saturn, Mars, and four trillion blazing stars, the Earth wet herself. How do you recover from a humiliation of such cosmic proportions? To wet oneself in the presence of majestic giants, coolly revolving pulsars, nebulae that swirl across entire galaxies and a thousand simultaneously exploding supernovas, is a catastrophe with no parallel. That’s when the icky feelings began, the sentiment of inadequacy, and the tiny microbial excrescence of life itself. The universe had played a trick on her, placing a bizarre responsibility of sustaining an entire population of ridiculously short-lived, but harrowingly tenacious creatures on its surface. From an inert medley of colours and chemicals the Earth had turned into an unwitting host to self-contemplating parasites. She was happy for the moon though, who had gotten out at the right moment, and retained its beautiful, arid and motionless surface. And it was bright. Reminding every night, the foul creatures who besmirched her beloved progenitor, of their origin, truth and fate.

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