In the beginning - by Ruchika Jajodia
It was serene. Everything was filled with joy and innocence. The lush green gardens glistened in the light and the flowers, with all their radiant colours, bloomed in all their glory. Soft laughter sounded from within. It was all abounding with the fragrance of peace. It was the womb of love and happiness. The place was timeless. It belonged to the kingdom of no time and no end. No one knew about the beginning either.
The Ankoras danced along the way as they walked. They had never known a moment of despair or worry. They had God with them. The God that knew no time, the God that had no shape or form; the God was yet the sole Creator of them all. God had created them and not without a reason. He wanted them to be the manifestation of His immense love and affection.
Ankoras were beautiful creatures with each and every body-part crafted with utmost care. They could float in air and swim in water. Their body was translucent and pink in colour. Lavender colored wings and a purple crown made of feathers added to their beauty. A sweet perfume would linger around wherever they would go. Their two eyes would shine like crystals and their voice was sweeter than honey. Wherever they would go they would spread happiness.
God wanted them to find a purpose for their existence. He allowed them to assign a unique characteristic to themselves, which would define the purpose of their creation, the essence of their character. So one of them made flames for himself, through which he would produce heat. He became the Fire Ankora. Another one created the idea of flowing air and became the Ankora of Wind. And so came into being the Ankora of Joy, Peace, Happiness, Simplicity, Affection… The whole day these Ankoras would play with their gifted power of creating characteristics for themselves. They would exchange it, create new ones and enjoy everything together.
Amidst the comfort and luxury of their home and the security and long-lasting providence of the Lord, arose the desire to possess, to dominate. The feeling of winning and losing affected them a lot. The simplicity and innocence in their games slowly started receding. Arrogance and anger began to rule their hearts and they would fight for petty reasons. Slowly they even started to hurt each other's feelings. All this was the result of ignorance and taking God for granted. With time, these negative thoughts took root and grew gradually. The anger replaced the laughter, their smiles were wiped away by frowns and soon they started having differences that led to quarrels, arguments, fights, war and destruction. God witnessed all this and was really hurt; yet He gave them time to mend their follies.
But the Ankoras were relentless and selfish and continued the same. Many of them would cry in suffering and defeat. They would think of returning to their previous form but their greed had already corrupted them too far. They would cry but still would not repair their ways. Pearls would roll down their cheeks, whenever they cried. Oceans of pearls were collected.
Finally, when God couldn’t tolerate it any more, He threw them away in a most wretched far away place called Doomdom. He took away all their modes of luxury and comfort. After spending some time there, the Ankoras realized their foolishness. They wanted to get out from there. It was too painful to live there. They had become used to Xanadu, their home. But God had no intentions to forgive them so easily for their mistakes. He was deeply hurt by the foolishness of the Ankoras. They had defiled His Xanadu. He collected all the pearls and threw them away.
These pearls became stars and planets by His touch. The Universe was born. Nebulas, Galaxies and Milky Way were formed due to the random falling of the pearls in space.
On the other hand, the Ankoras were in deep remorse and spent all their time repenting for their complete self centeredness. They pleaded for mercy and prayed for forgiveness. God could not see them in pain for very long; after all He had created them. So he decided to forgive them.
In spite of being punished, a few Ankoras were still unrepentant and decided to stay back. Only those who were honest and truly sorry were allowed to return to their abode. They were forgiven for their past and taken back into the fold.
The ones who remained back at Doomdom called themselves the Dungimooners. They adjusted there and their characteristics also started changing subsequently. The colour of their body slowly started turning into green and wings and crown started having black spots. They were no longer beautiful and poisonous gas started oozing out from their mouth. Now, the Dungimooners with their newfound identity were not satisfied with only turning their backs on God. They wanted to go a step further and make a mockery of His creations and hurt Him further for punishing them. They started looking for opportunities to create and spread problems. Firstly they choose a leader among themselves and started treating him as their God. He was called Shakaal. All of them gave one of their powers to him and made him very powerful. Everyone obeyed him and followed his instructions strictly.
Under Shakaal’s guidance the Dungimooners started creating problems every now and then. Not only that, they also stole two of the Ankoras from Xanadu while they were sleeping peacefully. They corrupted them by infusing their characteristics into them. The scheming Dungimooners then quietly smuggled the corrupted Ankoras into heaven. And as planned, the two Ankoras started creating disturbances once again in the kingdom of God. As soon as God saw this, He was infuriated and cast the corrupted Ankoras away into a far away isolated planet – which came to be known as the Earth. He did this to keep Xanadu clean. He was furious at this act of the Dungimooners. He punished them by taking away all their leftover beauty and by closing the gates of Xanadu for them forever.
The corrupted Ankoras came to earth and found themselves in a different physical form. They had no wings and had lost most of their powers. They realized that they were alone in that barren land with no one to talk and play with. They had no clue about the place or what they were to do. They were scared and pleaded to God for mercy.
God felt pity for them and spoke to them. They asked God why they were punished and what were they supposed to do. God replied 'I cannot take you back because the Dungimooners have infused bad powers in you and you created a mess in my peaceful and happy Xanadu. I was hurt to see it in such a state. And hence, I have closed the gates of Xanadu forever for everyone. No one can enter it anymore and neither can you.'
On seeing some goodness still left, and their poor and helpless condition, God gifted them with intelligence, the ability to learn and to adapt. He created other creatures to give them company and called them animals and birds. He created food and water to eat and drink and trees for shelter. He transformed them into a better creature and called them Zaropas. Each had a different set of skills and characteristics. Each had one head, one blue eye, two green ears projecting out from the sides, one mouth, six limbs, six pairs of long nails and a horn on their back. Their hair was white in colour, tongue was red, and back was a pale blue and front was white. Their skin would sparkle in light during daytime and would emit a dim glow at night. God gave them the power to multiply by the act of making love. The one who would produce and hatch the egg would be called Cariola and the one who would provide the seed for the birth would be called Seehan. Cariola would have a pouch in front of her stomach to carry the eggs and Seehan would have spikes on his back.
And hence, Zaropas - female Cariola and male Seehan were the first species to bring life on earth. They thanked God profusely for His kindness and benevolence. They promised Him that they would take care of His beautiful creation of life on Earth. They started adjusting and adapting themselves to this new place with all the other creations of God. They started leading a peaceful and happy life.
Some time later they felt a peculiar mutation in their bodies, which led to a strange attraction between the two of them. They came closer to explore each other. They experienced an intimacy that they had never felt before. Without even realizing, Cariola and Seehan fell deeply in love with each other. They also felt an immense pleasure in their physical union. Seehan would experience tentacles coming out from his body that would take Cariola into his embrace. The ends of the tentacles would be lodged into specific points in Cariola’s body that were perfectly suited to receive them. They would remain intertwined in this embrace for many hours at a stretch, squirming and wriggling in each others warmth until their exhaustion was total.
Each tentacle would let out a tiny seed, which was then enveloped in a thick sticky fluid in Cariola’s pouch and the egg would be formed. Hence came their first new born on Earth from the egg. Cariola carried the egg in her pouch for 23 days before it hatched. Seehan took care of her all this while. The birth of the baby made the first family on earth. The bonds between them grew stronger. They helped each other in times of trouble and pain. They shared their happiness and celebrated each time a new egg was hatched. They ate together and founded the basis of a family life.
They had several more children and brought them up, teaching them techniques of survival that they had learned over many years. Similarly, many families came up and they all lived together. They used various gestures and signs to communicate that ultimately came to be known as language. They further developed their sound producing ability. Since then talking was also used to communicate. The stronger Zaropas found a way to protect themselves from the elements of nature. They built more protective shelters out of what they could find from the trees and rocks around them. They grew in numbers and sought ways to entertain themselves. At sunset, they would play games to amuse themselves.
One particular game that they liked was the Jiji. The game involved getting things of the colour that was called out by the leader. The one who would bring the object of that colour first would become the next leader. They took great pleasure in playing this game and waited desperately for their turns. Gradually this simple game evolved into more complex games and they made more rules for everyone to get involved. The one that became the leader would ask for specific objects of a colour, shape and smell. The ones that got it formed part of a team and they made rules for the rest of them. This led to the concept of forming teams and competing against each other.
This feeling of competition translated into many other problems. They would secretly harbour feelings of jealousy towards their own siblings. And it came to a point when they would not hide their feelings and belittled the ones who could not keep pace with them. It led to a weird atmosphere and they started growing apart from each other. An invisible line of separation was formed. The less fortunate ones were kept away from the rest of them. This attitude spilt onto other facets of their life and they started branching off for various other reasons like their looks, physical power and other special talents that they possessed.
Seehan and Cariola tried to stop them from forming these kinds of division but they were ignored. So they called for a gathering and discussed this problem. The younger Zaropas argued and fought, ego problems crept in and no one was ready to reconcile and make peace. Seehan and Cariola remembered their promise that they had made to God. To keep their promise and to save Earth and life intact they went to a cave and meditated. By God’s benevolence, they finally they got the idea of forming different groups and sending them away from each other to settle in far away places. They appointed a head for each group who would be called Yajaman and his duty would be to protect the group from danger and to keep them together. Everyone under a group would have to follow all the instructions given by Yajaman. The groups were called Zibongs. Yajaman would create rules for his Zibong to perform his duties but the basic rule would be the same for all.
The members of a Zibong were not to mingle with the Zaropas of another Zibong lest it led to another fierce altercation among the groups. Each group agreed to be to themselves and leave the rest of them alone. Each group had to assign a certain space of land as their territory within which they were free to live as they wished without affecting any of the other beings. With time, Zaropas grew in numbers rapidly. Each Zibong formed its own culture and adapted to the new environment.
Some Zibongs prospered by using their intelligence and formed group settlements called Sakas (village), Renedas (town) and Prapex (the big city). These settlements within a Zibong depended on each other for their sustenance. They developed sophisticated mode of living and were called the Chelos, while few other Zibongs were still inclined towards a wandering life and were called the Villows. Zibongs grew and started scarring the beautiful earth. They were too many in number and every moment a new Zaropas was being born. At that time Death did not exist.
The Chelos were the most efficient of the Zibongs and developed a very superior system for their living. They were also the most fortunate since they got the most desired of the lands. It was flowing with rivers of honey and milk. It abounded with the most beautiful of trees that provided fruits never heard of in the rest of the lands. They divided themselves into units who would take care of specific needs for all the Zaropas in their Zibong. Their structures for shelter were sturdier.
A typical dwelling in the Chelos territory would consist of structured drainage, water flow, ventilation, sewage systems. Their houses were luxurious, spacious and functional. They made paths to places they knew they would find food. No matter how tough the path, they had a special talent to flatten out obstacles on their way. A fluid would be secreted on the obstacles which would melt them in seconds. And then, they would flatten the remains and make a smooth path through the dense forests. The remnants of the secretions would emit a strange mysterious glow that helped them find their way back even in the thickest of darkness. They trained their young ones with skills for surviving on their own and protecting themselves. The need for protection arose from their deepest fear that one day some other Zibong would see what they had and would try to get it from them with force. Little did they know that their fear and foresight would be justified very shortly. This time the one to give it all away would be one of their own.
In the Chelos, there was a Zaropas named Sidnar who never wanted these divisions to happen in the first place. He always enjoyed being with all the Zaropas as one. But in the process of the segregations, he too had to join one of the groups by order of Seehan. This made him feel very bitter and angry.
He was very fond of another female Zaropas named Shelonia. And she was forced to join another Zibong called the Silos. The Silos were not very bright in nature and basically stocked whatever they could get their hands on. They piled up supplies for themselves and apart from tending to their basic survival they did not do much. All they did was consume as much as they could from the earth and pile up even more for the future. Soon they became bloated, ugly and lazy. They multiplied in dozens due to the idle nature of their lives. And they sent more of the young ones to fend for themselves as well as the elders as the elders had gotten used to their comfortable, lethargic lives.
Shelonia and a few other female Zaropas never wanted to be part of this group. They were forced to stay with the rest lest they would be abandoned and left to die. They knew too well that no Zibong would accept one from the other group. It was one of the rules laid down by the Yajaman. Whoever was found even entertaining such a thought would be banished and left to suffer in the barren stretches of the outside world. It was too dreadful a thought to consider.
On the other side, the rest of the Zibongs struggled to come to terms with their struggles. They were jealous of the Chelos and disgusted with the Silos. They schemed to do something about their short supplies of both resources and intelligence. They knew very well that if they captured the Silos and the Chelos, they would not have much problem carrying on without much effort for a very long time. The Silos had enough of supplies and the Chelos had enough clever Zaropas who could be tortured into working for them. They came together, united in their common mission of alleviating their miseries and passing them on to these other two Zibongs.
These meetings happened without the knowledge of the Yajamans and their helpers. It was in strict confidence. And it was all perfectly planned and waiting to explode at the right moment. Their struggle for survival did not allow them to see any other possibility in front of them. They began to make weapons for themselves. They gathered a large army of beasts and taught them to listen to their command. Their beast of brute force was the Pteripad, a tri-headed, seven pawed monster of a creature. It could raze down anyone in its way. They would secretly train in the jungles to maintain their covert operation.
Sidnar got wind of this happening. He did have a few friends in other Zibongs. So he cried out to the Zaropas to change their mind and come back together again. He alerted all he could about the impending danger. But they only laughed him off thinking that this might be yet another attempt from his side to bring them all together, but only in a more novel way this time. Sidnar thought that if this was the only way they decided to live, they would be better off dead and decided to conspire with the Zaropas outside Chelos and contribute to the downfall of all of them.
As soon as they got a chance, they attacked the Chelos with all the might they could command for themselves. They used the dangerous weapons that they had made under the secret guidance of Sidnar. They gathered Pteripads by the hundreds and attacked with brute force and ruthlessness. Thousands upon thousands of the Zaropas were injured very severely and suffered endlessly. The rivers of milk and honey turned a deep red with blood. The place was covered by their body parts, and the plants and animals suffered terribly as a result of this ruthless war.
As death did not exist, they survived on. But the Chelos fought back with renewed vigor and hope. While the war was going on between the Chelos and the Zaropas, the Villows decided to attack too. The whole place was chaotic and not even a single Zaropas was left unharmed.
When God saw this, He was disgusted and hurt by their behavior. They did not keep their promise made by Seehan and Cariola. Volcanoes erupted and the earth cracked in God’s fury.
Every being was destroyed including Seehan and Cariola. None of the plants or animals survived.
When God saw no life on earth, He felt saddened and lonely. But suddenly after some time, He heard the cry of a baby…it was a baby monkey on a hill top sitting and crying alone. A smile came over His face. He gave power to the monkey and transformed him and his features. It had two twinkling blue eyes, two ears, one nose, one mouth, black hair and four limbs. He would walk on two and use the other two for working.
The first sound from him was ‘Humm’, so He called him Human. He gave him intelligence which would stop him from repeating the mistakes which the Zaropas had committed. He was very sad and when God asked him the reason, he said that he was very lonely on earth with no one to talk to or live with. So He made a partner for him who would accompany him in all his activities and rid him of his loneliness. He also changed their physical appearance and defined them as man and woman. They produced babies and led a family life similar to the lives that the Zaropas had led in the beginning.
History repeats itself. The humans are going though the same cycle all over again. This human species continues to exist. Blessed with advanced intellect, it has constructed towering skyscrapers, huge forts, enormous machines and what not…. but alas! The unmindful urge to command is making them self-centered to such an extent that they are forgetting Mother Nature and the promise the first man and first woman had made to God to not exploit the Earth. The humiliation is manifesting in manifold ways like tsunamis, earthquakes, drought, flood and so on … the alarm bell is ringing to alert the present and future generations, that the time is not far away that this species of humans would also meet their doom. At the rate at which machines of their own making are hijacking their lives, and also destroying and scarring the earth, the end does not seem so far off now. Resources have been exploited beyond hope and the scale of pollution lets everyone down. Hundreds of babies are born every minute. Death in all forms tries to maintain that balance. Yet, technology continues to advance and men continue to try to play God by trying to overtake death and the beyond.
Once humans meet their doom, another new species will be born. And the loop of life that God has created will continue in this universe…