Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Time and Again


"Here it goes again!" The masked woman standing before me yelled at angrily and honestly she looked like she was going to punch me. And I am glad she did nothing like that, because I was already having a serious case of nauseous and hangover. Probably I should also tell you that I am not drunk. Really not drunk. I have never touched the foul smelling liquor in my life. Even without it, I manage to embarrass myself most of the times, spectacularly well.
From what little of the debris which had cleared around me, I could see that the woman before me was walking slowly inside the wreck that was my room. I am not a neat freak. Far from it. But still I like it when my bed is not broken and my bedroom does not look like a bomb went off inside it.
And the reason for the debris in my room, was not me. It was a two ton gorilla looking like a two ton gorilla and it also managed to scare me and render me unconscious. The last thing had happened, because the two ton gorilla burst out of presumably my window and destroyed my bed and ran out of the hostel.
I could have shared the bed. The damned gorilla did not have to break it. Vicious, stupid Macaca Fasicularis. If you have no idea what I just now said, join the club. Neither did I. My "friend" in the biological department told me that the scientific name for a monkey was Macaca...Whatever. It just goes way beyond my comprehension of why a monkey would need a scientific name. Am I the only person who finds the whole "scientific name thing", slightly odd? Call the damned animal a monkey and be done with it. I am more than sure that the monkey is not going to mind. I am more than sure that the monkey would not even mind if I called it a cat....Would it? Never mind.... Before my rantings get out of hand, let me tell you one more thing - My "friend" from the Biology Department was threatening to talk a lot more about the difference between a monkey and a gorilla, but I was nauseous so that part of the conversation I decided to skip.
Anyway I digress.
Back to the present, I was looking at a woman wearing something suspiciously looking like my bed sheet, covering her features and looking around my room angrily. I would have pointed out that the woman looked stupid.
The reason I said nothing was that I had just trying to breathe getting up from the broken bed. And that was when I realized that this was probably a dream. Because my room had a huge....huge hole and my room was a mess. The second thing was hardly a surprise. It was normal. If there was such a huge hole in my room before today, I just conveniently managed to ignore it all this time. That was one luxury I could no longer have. Because I was shivering because of the cold wind coming from the hole and sweeping through my room. The reason I felt all this was a dream was that the woman with the bed sheet looked like she had driven away that huge gorilla and she also looked like she had made the hole in my room. I am smart enough to know when things are possible and this does not even come within the realms of impossibility. Hence the conclusion.
"How do you wake up from a dream?" I asked the woman tentatively; after I was reasonably sure I was not going to throw up. I admit it, it was not the smartest or even the best question of the day. Of any day. But please cut me some slack – A woman wearing a bed sheet just drove away a two ton gorilla from my bed room. I could afford to be slightly cocky, couldn't I?
I made a mental note to self to never have two ton gorillas as pets. They destroyed bedrooms and ransacked everything else. That was when I remembered – I did not have two ton gorillas. I am fairly certain, I have never even seen one in my life before.
And before you go and hang me for something else, I better tell you, I really had nothing to do with the events of the past five minutes. I mean, crazy things do tend to happen around me – like I fall and people around me get hurt. A lot. I am always covered with chalk powder because I am trying to solve some mathematical equation or another. (In case you are curious about what sort of equations I solve, I will tell it that it concerns Space and the Fourth Dimension. Wait! You don't know what is the fourth dimension? Then I am not even talking to you.) Before I get sidetracked by something else, I might add that I am a single woman, living on my own, because frankly people around me are idiots and I am tired of pointing it out to them. The list of the things about me is huge and more than a paragraph. So let us just cut short with it.
"Stupid!" She muttered glaring at me.
Stupid? Did a woman covered in a bed sheet just call me stupid? Besides feeling a dull anger and a dumb blinkering in my head, I did remember thinking something about some stupid proverb about a pot calling the kettle black. I am more than sure that I probably got the vessels mixed up, but that is not the point. What is, is that a woman with a hideous bed sheet was calling me stupid because a gorilla ransacked my bedroom. I can get angry for that, right?
"We need to get out of here." She hissed in my ear angrily. "I know where the Ragug is and we need to stop it!"
Ragug? No it must be plug...She called me stupid and she was worried about a plug in the campus. Ok, I seriously need some time out.
"Do you want a three pin plug or will a two pin plug be enough?" I asked after the pounding in my head went down slightly. The first thing I had to do was get the woman out of my bedroom. And if she was going to leave on taking a plug, I would happily give it to her. And after that....I had not thought that much.
The punch hurt so badly, that I fell down groaning.
"What was that for?" I demanded clutching my mouth. God, she packed a mean left hook.
"Idiot!" She screamed at me angrily, like I was the bane of existence.
"What do you want?" I demanded angrily. Assistant Professor Karunya Charan, (B.Sc. M.Sc (Mathematics). Doing her doctorate) was no pushover. She fights and does not take things lying down. Please get out of my room before you break anything else, I prayed fervently.
"We need to stop that thing! It is a Ragug and it does not belong here. It needs to be sent back." She told me.
Insanity was an infectious disease. The woman was so serious that she thought that she was going to do something to a two ton gorilla and she wanted my help to do it. I didn't bother congratulating myself on finding out that the Ragug was the two ton gorilla. Somehow I intuitively felt that that was the only thing which little missy was worried about. Have I told you I am a genius?
And I suddenly remembered that there was a two ton gorilla on the loose somewhere in the city and with my luck, the police were going to trace the gorilla to my bedroom. Probably I should tell the cops that I really had nothing to do with that. Genius Mathematician, yes. Geneticist, No. I divorced Biology on the day, I passed out of hell – I don't mean real hell, but close enough – the S word, man.
"How?" I asked trying not to cough. I could feel a mild bout of asthma because of the smoke in my room and I thought I heard some police vans in the background. The second thing could be my imagination. If the police were to send vans every time something broke inside a university campus, then the cops are going to do nothing other than ferrying back and forth from the police station to the campus.
For the first time since all this started, she looked at me with a crazy smile. Her eyes looked really crazy – like she was going to tell me that I failed in algebra. And I shuddered because it is unthinkable for me to fail in algebra. Describing her look like I failed in algebra is a metaphor or a simile. One of the above.
"We will think of something," She said and for a huge second her eyes looked like she was going to give that crazy scientist laugh that some crazy actor in a movie gave. (I had nothing to do with the movie either. Going to the movie was a mistake. And the movie was horrible unless you counted the actor who thought scientists actually had time or patience to colour code their nails to their dress. I laughed about that while struggling to understand what the movie was all about. It was a dismal laugh, because I was the only one in the theatre who found it funny, when the actor was saying something, bawling his eyes out.)
"Ok!" I found myself telling the woman.
The walk was a very short one and a completely useless one. We could not get any further, even walking. Because the crowds of people were screaming and running away all around us and the people were barely coherent and were shouting on top of the voice.
The good news was that we found our Gorilla. The bad news was that we found our Gorilla. And the gorilla apparently felt very safe in our mathematics department. Probably nobody had told the gorilla that mathematics teachers were the worst teachers in our entire university campus.
"Crap!" The woman next to me cursed as she ran in the opposite direction. I mean all the others were running outside the building. Me, the bravest mathematician in the world was running towards the building, with another woman.
"Why is the Ragug, going there?" I asked trying not to gag while I said the words.
"Probably it likes algebra!" She snapped angrily, cursing some more and she honestly looked more pissed off at me than at the gorilla. And I admit it again. Not the smartest question at all. Why would the woman know, why a gorilla went to the maths department?
Someone else jostled me as I ran towards the woman. "Any idea what we are supposed to do?" I hoped I did not sound like an idiot. Ok, how are you supposed to say something like that and not sound like an idiot?
"Ok, woman!" The woman looked at me. "Do your stuff!" She said handing pulling out something from her pocket. Ok, I was ready to imagine something to the range of a gun and I was close to passing out because I have never seen a gun in my life.
I was slightly disappointed when she pulled out a hollow tube from her pocket and gave it to me.
"Keep the damned thing safe!" She snapped walking inside the building.
"When did you lose your mind?" I asked her plaintively. It always helped when you asked questions right up front. It cleared a lot of misunderstanding in the long run.
"SHUT UP!" She sneered angrily. "Click on the top of the tube and understanding the equation should be able to solve the rest. I will try and lead the Ragug right to your room."
"Please don't do that!" I said praying she was joking. I mean, she did not look like someone who could joke. But what exactly was she going to do...Besides try and kill me very imaginatively.
"And it is always the minus sign." She grumbled and it was obvious that she had not even listened to what I had said. "You interchanged the signs. That is the reason it does not work."
Heaven help me. Probably I should start drinking. Then the entire thing would make sense.
"I am going to my bedroom!" I said turning around. I remembered that my bed was broken and there was a Ragug inside the mathematics department and that the police vans were coming from all around and converging around us. Best reason why I should have turned away.
As I said, insanity was an infectious disease. Besides, I really wanted to know what the woman was going to do.
"Hey ladies," A cop stopped the vehicle and came outside pointing us to come away. "We have some strange reports. Get out of there."
"Go bug yourself!"
Both me and the other woman spoke at the same time.
Neither of us knew what the police man said in return as the woman ran inside and I foolishly followed her, having no idea what I was supposed to do. And honestly there was only one thing which she said which actually bothered me – What minus did I miss? (Don't you dare call me nuts. Getting a maths sum wrong is more than my endurance capacity. Not even a Ragug is that annoying. I am not joking.)
And as I was running I realized exactly what she meant. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The theorem which I was working on...Oh, crap. I swore angrily and I did not even know where I was going as I ran angrily and found myself staring at my blackboard. Well, it is not technically my blackboard, but I have monopolized it for almost all the time I have been studying/teaching here. So yeah, it is mine. And I stared at my scribbles and I realized the woman was so right. I was an idiot. Gingerly, like I was working on a time bomb, I rubbed the minus sign in the third line and substituted it for a plus....
Light Bulb.
Glorious beautiful light bulb.
Even the prospect that I am going to be trampled by a gorilla cannot undermine this beautiful feeling. This was what I was trying to...
The growl interrupted my glowing accomplishments. It was not a growl. It was something slightly more horrible and very, very loud.
Ok, erase what I said. Facing a gorilla is more scary and awake and staring at the damned thing is really scary. Like horribly scary. And the gorilla was charging straight at me, inside that tiny room and it was breaking the furniture in and around me and I could feel everything around me shaking and shuddering badly.
Crap! I panicked, like really panicked and forgot even what I was doing here. I had no idea I was clutching the tube that stupid woman gave me and clutched it tightly as the gorilla was almost on to me. I yelled, pushing myself back and suddenly I kept falling back...
Nothing at all behind me.
And I was still thinking of the equation and the gorilla and then there was nothing but darkness...
***********
I opened my eyes slowly wondering why it was so dark. Was this heaven? Or Hell? Damn it, I was a mathematician. I didn't believe in heaven or hell. Ok, that was wrong too. I did believe in all that crap. I just had not thought about it, until I had actually died. That sucked. Seriously sucked.
And that was when I blinked....and blinked and blinked again. And the scenery around me remained stubbornly the same.
I was not in heaven or hell or whatever... Some good Samaritan had put me in a mental asylum.
But what else was I supposed to think with a huge hole was behind me and I saw myself unconscious, lying on my half destroyed bedroom.
I mean I literally saw myself unconscious. A woman, looking exactly like me was lying unconscious in my bedroom.
And I just saw the Ragug run away from the front of the room, yelling ferociously, destroying just about everything else in the room too.
I was getting up from the bed. Ok, that sounded stupid. Not me. The woman looking like me, who was lying on the broken bed was getting up, groaning.
And for once, I...I meant me, the one not sleeping on the bed....Never mind... I understood what was happening. I had solved the Space Time Equation, while chasing a Ragug and using that knowledge, I had activated the time machine, which apparently I had in my hands. Great! And I had to get the Ragug back to its time, after it had run the time loop of my time line. There was a part of me wondering when I had created the time machine and decided that that was not a problem for right now. That was definitely going to happen sometime in the future. And I am guessing that when I operated the Time Machine for the first time, I somehow managed to transport the Ragug back in time with me... Exactly, how the future me, knew that the thing was called a Ragug is slightly beyond me. But then some things are best left to ponder for the future. And I will definitely apologise to the animal later on...if it does not kill me first.
Right now, the Ragug had to get out of my time line.
I pulled the bed sheet from the bed and pulled it over myself and was feeling glum.
"Here it goes again!" I yelled angrily, as the woman on the bed woke up.

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