By Neel Anil Panicker

“Hey, what’s feeling your oats?, Vikram asked looking across the room at his roommate’s upbeat persona.
Unlike his usual self, Ishant this Saturday morning was full of joi de vivre, his normally poker self now morphed into an effervescent bubbly self.

“Well, why not, my friend, after all not everyday does one find a way to beat the virus”, replied Ishant settling into his chair by the window.
The two twenty year old hotel management students were in their third floor hostel room, trapped and confined like millions of others worldwide, so fearful of stepping out fearful they might contract the deadly virus.

Ishant’s words brought in an excited child like squeal from Vikram.

“What! have they found a vaccine? Have they finally found a cure for the deadly Covid19”? half screamed Vikram, his high pitched voice clearly betraying his exultation.

“No, and Yes”, replied Ishant, his measured words delivered in a deliberate slow motion rendition proof enough that he was very much enjoying this cat and mouse game.

“Please…for God’s sake stop talking in riddles. Tell me what you know Ishant?”

Vikram’s words were a plea.

Ishant looked at his eager, near hysterical childhood friend and decided to prolong the agony.

“Vikram, you ever heard of oracles. You know the kind with long flowing silvery strands of hair, fierce piercing mascara lined faces and false eyelashes, the ones who look no less than a thousand years old…the ones who

“Pleeez…” Vikram’s  words were a scream, begging in its intensity.

Ishant, finally, relented..

“Ok, here it is. Exactly the way I heard it. Verbatim. Straight  from the horse’s mouth
so to say,” he began as he comfortable ensconced himself in his favourite wicket chair by the window.

” Last night I had. a dream. A vision appeared in from of me. This is exactly what he said,
“Dear Ishant you are the chosen one. and so u am revealing this secret to you so that through you it serves all of humanity. I am aware that right now the world is facing one of its most difficult times and lakhs are dead and dying safe in danger of getting infected by this deadly virus called Corona. I am also aware that the best doctors and scientists are burning the midnight oil trying to find an effective antidote, a medicine, a vaccine that would for help over the like effects of this contagion. Well, let me tell, as I can see I to the future, I see that there is no vaccine produced by the power of human minds and distributed forth by human hands that can stop the ravaging, rampaging juggernaut of the virus. Nothing that is produced in a laboratory can ever combat the dangers unleashed by such a virus. There is only thing that can be done—MANIMAL. Yes, it’s time for humans to transform into manimals. Every manimal will turn himself into a half man, half animal form at the stroke of midnight tonight. And this is how it will work thereafter. The said manimal will step out of his house, come in touch with the virus, and the next moment…voila! he will have been completely cured of the virus. There’s only a slight hitch. This can only happen if the head of the government of the country concerned comes and announces the same exactly ten minutes before the clock strikes twelve midnight. ”

A moment of stunned silence followed. It was broken a minute later by a high octane high pitched shout out from Vikram, UNBELIEVABLE…INCREDIBLE…WOW! WOW!WOW! …A hundred times over”.

Looking at his dear childhood friend’s childlike near maniacal response, Ishant slowly stepped off the chair and walked upto him and said, looking him in the eye, “Now, India and fate of all Indians is in Modiji’s hands.

#neelanilpanicker #covid19 #corona #virus #speculativefiction


1 thought on “neelwrites/lockdownindiastories/day39/may2,2020

  1. A manimal! That’s the solution. I would never have thought of it. A fun post, Neel. I think we’re going to have a hard time convincing our leaders to cooperate though. A great addition to the prompt stories and so timely. Thanks for playing. Be well.


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