Dear Uncle Ryan...According to the media, the outbreak is relentlessly spreading to ever corner of the planet. 1,725 have died already and two more cases were reported an hour earlier in Kolkata and somewhere in Myanmar. Face masks are now compulsory. But will it be enough to prevent more deaths? Only time will tell...
Why am I writing all this crap? Well, this afternoon, the World Health Organization and FEMA issued a joint statement. It was long and full of words unknown to me, but one statement stuck. This virus is like no other.
Don't ask me why but, from that moment all I could think about is you and the time we spent together...
By Milan Bakrania
I turn to see an oversized silhouette approaching fast. In seconds he is in front of me removing his mask. It's my friend Roshan, sweating like a pig, huffing and puffing, coating the whole vicinity in his garlicky scene. He's obviously been running for quite a while.
"It's Joy," he finally bleats, putting two chubby hands on my bony shoulders. "He's been kidnapped!"
It had become personal now...Zen had followed all the rules, wearing a mask continuously and helping to keep his work environment as well as his home as clean as possible. But Roshan and Joy had been his best friends for so long--and in this world you had to work at keeping friends close.
Obviously he had not been successful in keeping his wife close! Ha! That rarely crossed his mind anymore, so he spent much time out with his friends, after work, enjoying what the recent news was that each had heard. Joy was an engineer, but had been forced to work selling on the streets. If there had not already been others who had been kidnapped, they would not have worried, thinking Joy was just off somewhere, but when they got to his apartment and found too many of his personal items that he would never leave behind, they knew he must have been taken.
Now, though, when he got off work, he would search for his friend Joy or talk with Roshan, deciding what to do next. With so many people dying, the police were constantly involved in cleanup! Body bags were routinely around for use and because of the volume dying, they were taken to a common dump for burning. There was just no time to provide for family remembrances--sometimes they didn't even learn their loved one had died and been carried away until much later!
Roshan died from the virus...He was now alone, trying to find his other friend.
Then a text message came--apparently from the kidnappers and directed him to Ellis Bridge:
"Joy is waiting for you. Come to the centre of Ellis Bridge, 9am...Come alone..." Another text later came but he didn't know what the letters and numbers meant. He had gone to the Bridge but nobody had been there, so he decided he'd better get to work. There, he asked for help in determining what the numbers meant... A GPS!
He Started out again...,
Later, those with whom he worked, would ask about him... They would realize he had disappeared...like the others...
Zenith, and readers, are about to go on an adventure like no other. Across the world, millions were dying from the virus... Would it be the end of the world?
Milan Bakrania has given readers a story not of the end of the world as it had become... But of what it could be... His vision was perhaps from his own dreams... Or were his dreams preparing him for what was to come? Suddenly after reading a story with a man named Zenith as the main character--a cleaner, a janitor, who had dreamed of being an engineer has left Ahmed City, India, to a place where most have magically been taken...Zenith walked in...
From a somewhat simple story of a man's life, the novel moves to a place where I wanted to be... I wanted to explore and be out with Zen to see what he was discovering. For there were people from all over the world--from every culture, those of every color...and...there was hope there...I became once again hopeful for the world.
Thank you Milan Bakrania. May your dreams and the dreams of many others across this world come true...
Highly recommended! But do take the time to realize that it is from the simple life of one man, who dreams, that this world may just come...
Born in London. Grew up wanting to be a doctor, astronaut, singer and archeologist but ended up in the IT field! Writing was something I always did but never saw it as a career until I was threatened with redundancy…that’s when I re-discovered the creative juices. Along with writing, my wife and I are CEO/founders of Swaroop Arts, a platform established to exhibit our paintings…another hobby that’s become a career!