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Spreading Humanity by Sarmita Shrestha

“Last mortal human being, aged 122 years is in the verge of dying”, the news read. This old man, Mr. Sarmik has been seeing his own news on the online portals whilst being with his grandson, Charles. They have been trying to unfold the memories of this old man on his last days. They come across many diaries, the black ones, the blue ones and the golden ones. The man picks a thick golden diary, flips the pages weakly and keeps the diary close to his chest trying to recall whatever he wrote there in his past.

Charles has always been an inquisitive child. Seeing his grand-dad get emotional, he whispers in a soft voice, “Dadu..What’s in this diary?”

Charles has always loved being around his dadu. In this era of digitalization, 2130 AD, people rarely speak with each other, they are always inside their own space, inside their own little world, they don’t go to schools, everything is online, they don’t memorize things, everything is in their memory chips. The world has turned upside down, literally, there is no trace of humans, this Charles that you know..he is not a human. He is an immortal being. Sex has been obsolete these days; people don’t reproduce anymore; the ones who are here are going to be here for eternity. Sarmik can also be made immortal but he has denied every time his family tried to approach him. He believes in going with the flow and returning to the same place he came from and says he doesn’t want to go against the nature. Charles loves his dadu because he is different than the rest of the world, he come to his dadu to escape the reality; dadu actually talks and he listens; he shows his emotions; he answers all the questions that Charles raise. People rarely question these days because chips just stores the data for you, it doesn’t analyze and interpret. Dadu could have sent a copy of his diary to Charles chip but he believes in actually interacting with the person and sharing the stories. That way, the true essence of being a human could be fostered with all the cores and the values.

Charles waits for few seconds and turns towards him. He sees his dadu immersed in thoughts, his eyelids heavy, his fingers almost immobile, his face pale and wrinkled with freckles but a smile as warm as the sun in a cold freezing morning. Charles smiles seeing the eternal happiness in his face and asks again, “Dadu..what’s in this diary that is making you so much pleased and euphoric?”

Dadu hands the diary to Charles and says, “Go through this son. You will soon find out.”

Charles takes the golden diary in his hand and first inspects: thick, well maintained and telling tales. He opens the diary and finds pictures with some descriptions in each page. He goes through all the content, reading it loud for his dadu. The diary was a collection of all the people who inspired Sarmik one way or the other. Probably, there is no one on the earth right now from those lists of people but dadu feels happy that he got to reflect upon all these people and the ways they have inspired him to be the way he is now. He is also happy that he is sharing this part of his life to his grand-son, the generation who couldn’t feel things, who couldn’t enjoy the pleasure of talking with people, who couldn’t experience the world that dadu did.

Since people don’t interact physically in this world, there are no any emotions and bonding over them. Everyone is busy in their own life and they seriously don’t care what’s happening next door. The contents that Charles was reading from the diary seemed so unreal and out of the world. He was not believing things as such was possible and had happened in the past. The diary was about all the social workers, humanitarians, philanthropists and inspiring personalities that dadu came across. There were stories of Mother Teresa, Oskar Schindler, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Norman Borlaug, Harriet Tubman, Princess Diana, Desmond Tutu, Anuradha Koirala, Abraham Lincoln, Puspa Basnet etc. They contributed to their lands one way or the other, starting from small social ventures which eventually had a great impact in a larger scale of people. All the stories seemed foreign to Charles because the world he was living in was completely different.

He couldn’t contemplate the fact that the world has changed drastically and he had no idea how it happened, how it was even possible.

He asks with deep enchantment,

“Dadu..How was it possible for a mortal to extend unconditional love to the ones who he didn’t know,

How was it possible for a human to work selflessly for their tribe,

How was it possible to empathize and actually help one another,

How was it possible to sacrifice one’s life for the greater good of greater number of people?”

Dadu smiles and answers, “ That’s Humanity, my kid!!”

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