Drama Historical Fiction Science Fiction

Sometimes it can be quite daunting to justify your actions and thoughts to people around you; the varying cultural, the geographical conditions and when you are dead you don’t even stand a chance.

Time travel always fascinated me, and the western movies added fuel to my explorative mind. I always wondered how it would be to travel to the future. Learn the secrets behind new inventions and bring the thoughts back to the present, rather past. It would be so exciting to have a futuristic better life in our present.”, wrote Hussein in his tiny pocket diary.

He created this machine and powered it with the leftover depleted uranium, the wastes from the city’s electrical power plants; unaware of the fact that the West had their eyes on him, unmindful that they were oblivious of its usage, presuming and believing that he was getting his hands dirty by investing in weapons of mass destruction.

His previous invention of the machine going into the past was a success, he had gone back into 4000 BC and spent a couple of days observing the way of life in the old capital of Mesopotamia. He was mesmerized by the advanced civilization which he couldn’t imagine existed millenniums ago. He was at the same time saddened by the thought that the humble and peace-loving prosperity seeking people were looted and plundered, first by the far east and then by the west; Destroying the rich culture, heritage, knowledge and experiences. Re-writing it with stories of heroic invasions glorified wars and successful territorial expansions, not highlighting the devastation and destruction of a civilized race that brought with it.

He didn’t want history to be repeated; although not from the ancient era and much in line with the modern 20th century, all he wanted for his people were to live in peace & prosperity. He didn’t care for world power but to empower his people in the right direction.

His curiosity in inventions and the concept of time always intrigued and encouraged him to invest his time, energy, and resources into things very few would have imagined from a national leader. Having seen the past, he now wanted to travel to the future. He didn’t know what to expect but was certainly hopeful of how beneficial it would be to go to the future, learn a thing or two and implement great ideas now.

Little did he know his mere vision of a prosperous nation was the excuse the west was planning to use in order to destroy the land he loved and respected the most.

“Finally, the day is here “, Hussein told Al Abor, his best friend in whom he could confide; he is the only one he trusted, after all, how could a horse leak out secrets or go about gossiping.

His machine was ready and now he only had to turn the key to operate it and take him to the year 2030.

He lands up in the future of a war-torn Iraq, the once beautiful city of Babylon is today under ruins. He was cautious of not exposing his face to the locals, as he was pretty sure people might identify him. So, he partially covered his head and face with a scarf without creating any suspicion with anyone and walked around the city exploring the devastating future.

“Hey kid “, he called out to a young teenager whom he spotted on a lonely street looking into the screen, and curiously asked, “What are you doing? Could you help me?”

The young lad looked up to the man with a dark coloured scarf covering almost half of his face and dressed in some old-fashioned clothes. “How can I help you?”, responded the boy.

Hussein offered to pay the kid some dinars if he helped him to use his cellphone and search for some information.

The teenage was at first cautious but then when he saw a pocket full of dinars he was delighted and readily agreed to help him.

The first thing they searched was some facts about the land. He found that the famous hanging gardens which were already destroyed centuries ago but had a special mention in their history were now declared by the Western archaeologists to have never existed and proven to be merely a myth.

A myth? He wondered. As he went ahead and learnt more, he was terrified and disgusted to know that under the propaganda of a “new liberated Nation” the religious Sharia Law was introduced in his previously liberal and secular country.

“Is everything written on this pad true or imaginary?”, asked Hussein referring to the information he was seeing on the internet.

“Are you kidding me Alkhal,” laughed the boy,” this is the internet, everything here is true. This is the source of information for all” added the boy!

“Ok, could you tell me where Saddam Hussein lives now?”, enquired Hussein.

“You mean his burial ground? The one who was hanged?”, replied the kid.

Hussein was puzzled to hear this. He was sure the kid must be referring to someone else perhaps.” No, the ruler of the country”, he responded.

The kid looked surprised and wondered if the old man has lost his memory or has escaped from a mental asylum.

“Alkhal, he was hanged years before I was born. I have heard of him though, who hasnt. What a tyrant he was. Why do you desire to meet him? You will have to commit unforgivable sins and then die a horrific death to go meet him in hell.” the kid told with sarcasm.

Hussein was in a state of shock. The once prosperous city was in shambles around him and this little young fellow tells him he is a tyrant, committed many sins and was hanged!

He knew he wasn’t a saint during his lifetime, but this is not what he expected to see in the future. It took him a couple of minutes to get out of that state of shock,  leave behind the mourning and responded, “ Oh yes Sibi, you know I am growing old and keep forgetting, losing my memory slowly. Could you help me find out something more about him?”, requested Hussein.

The boy although puzzled by the man’s request, but who cares what the man wants to read and know, after all, he was going to get paid.” Sure, look here, let me show you! He then starts showing him articles on Wikipedia, “See, here you can read all you want to know about him”.

“Look at this, on this video sharing platform you will find many videos on him. You want to watch his hanging video, it is one of the most shared and watched videos of all time, let me show you, “tells the boy and here in the first time in human history a man watches the video of his own death.

Hussein tried to control his trembling hands and with his lower eyelid filled with his own salty water, he took the gadget from the young boy’s hand and found himself lost in the several videos of the war-torn country he once proudly called his motherland. He wondered what on earth instigated him to fight against his own Persian neighbours.

His people killed, for what reasons he only kept wondering! Why on earth these civilized people burned down one of the oldest civilizations known to mankind? Were the early plunders by the Mongols and the Greeks and the British were any less?

The more he used the search engine to look for what has happened in over 40 years, the more he was grieved and saddened. His sons were killed, his legacy destroyed, his holy motherland plundered; transportation, roadways and bridges, sanitation facilities, electrical grids all destroyed taking the country back a century of its progress; for the sake of finding weapons of mass destruction which were never found?

“Which weapons was George looking for? the ones he gave us to fight the Persian neighbours?”

To his utter shock, the very land he loved and respected was toiled by multiple raging wars and crimes done by the West, and he was been blamed for all the ill doings. he was held accountable, whereas the West was credited with “trying to liberate” the people.

His blood boiled, his eyes wettened, he was lost in thoughts, he couldn’t think what he did wrong that let his people suffer so badly. He is now known as the man for who inflicted heinous human rights violations; and on the other hand the people behind mass killings of his people, destruction of one of the fastest-growing economy are termed as heroes, their actions justified and his labelled cruel.

The same UN whose subsidiary UNESCO had just a couple of years ago awarded him for indicating illiteracy from Iraq has now termed him as one of the worst terrorists of his times. Can a man who spent his life for liberation and education of especially the women of his nation, be a terrorist instigation crime against the same people?

He recalled his 50-year-old speech - “Women make up one half of society. Our society will remain backward and in chains unless its women are liberated, enlightened and educated.” How has the world forgotten that my country was amongst the first countries to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women?

He went down the memory lane and remembers how under his regime the women in government got a full year’s maternity leave, something not granted even today in most of the countries across the world.

He is deeply disappointed on the thought of being condemned, considered one of the worst enemies of humanity and someone who should have been killed ages ago. George is praised for eliminating “terror” and “oppressed regime of one of the worst dictators”.

How he wished he would be remembered not as the worst dictator of the western propaganda soothing their ulterior motives and ever-wanting greed for supremacy over oil. But as a ruler who loved and wanted prosperity for his motherland.

He doesn’t want to know more, he had seen enough of the dark future, he couldn’t see the devastation all around his motherland. He wanted to go back! Back to the good ‘ole days!

He thanked the little boy for his generosity. Emptied out his pocket of all the dinars and handed it over to the boy as promised.

He then turned back and walked on the streets as if for the last time and regretted his decision of coming to witness the future for what he saw only crippled his mind and ambitions further. His views were suddenly clouded, he couldn't think of anything that could save his nation from destruction, his people being tortured, and his motherland being called the most dangerous place on earth.

He placed his wearable time machine device back onto his forearm, and magically went back just like where he had come from, only to wait patiently for the doomsday.

Knowing the future was doomsday, he lost all faith in his present.

September 01, 2020 17:15

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