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Story time: A hundred years later

Updated January 12, 2019


Illustration by Sophia Khan
Illustration by Sophia Khan

A warm breeze whipped my hair and rustled my suit as I continued walking towards the main east hall. I had come back from a busy day at school to an empty house with the ‘home alerter’ beeping rapidly. I clicked the receive button, identified myself and heard the speaker announcing the Grand Assembly starting in a while.

Today was the only day we celebrated now. After all, it was the Day of 3Rs — regret, remembrance and rebirth. We remembered our regrets before the rebirth.

Exactly forty-five years ago, that is in 2063, WWIII was at its peak; men were dying in thousands and two nuclear bombs had already been dropped — all for water. Until July 22nd came, the hottest day mankind had ever witnessed and that melted all the glaciers. Following the calamity, the leaders of every ‘country’— as the groups of people living a particular land at the time called themselves — finally dropped their weapons.

Our course books only went as far as to tell us that life was difficult before the 3Rs Day, but I knew the truth, thanks to my great-great-grandfather who lived at that time. His diary fed my curiosity.

My watch showed that I was still two kilometres away from the hall. As I looked around, I couldn’t help but notice the deteriorating environment — to say that it was bad, was an understatement. Due to massive climate change, mankind found itself restrained in these ‘domes’ that were developed by scientists immediately after ‘The Day’, as the hottest day was commonly referred to by us. These domes were built like ancient cities but also had a complex system of protecting us from sudden climate changes. But on days like today, when the sun showed its anger unexpectedly, we had to wear our special suits.

Over the century, many things had gone extinct, such paper and most of the animal species. That was when science and technology thankfully helped us. Pills were also developed to fulfil our nutritional needs. Scientist worked day and night, and for a time it seemed that things could be normal again — or at least as normal as we could get after the Day.

With only a kilometre to the hall, the streets became slightly crowded with people from all races and religions. Despite our differences, we were united in our aim to make lives better, but it didn’t help the fact that we were no longer socially active.

Every weekend a dull party would be organised for socialising, though it failed miserably and everyone preferred to stay with their families. Even the families, disrupted by the circumstances, stayed in their limits of showing affection.

I finally reached the hall’s entrance, which was really grand and had a giant screen above its doors for those who won’t be able to arrive in time. At that moment, it showed a beefy man in a suit, Mr Governor. If truth be told, the political system hadn’t changed much; each dome had its governor and all the governors gathered once in a while. However, a little eavesdropping and I got to know that people were rebelling.

As soon as I stepped into the hall, the loud echo of people chattering entered my ears. From the corner of my eye, I saw my parents waving me over so I went to them. We only had to wait a couple of minutes before the bell signalling start of the assembly rung.

A hushed silence filled the room as the governor took his place on the podium, and begin the unchanged lecture on the world before The Day. But today, there was an eeriness that hung in the air. I had only turned around to ask my mother of it when a blast sounded on the stage.

Published in Dawn, Young World, January 12th, 2019