I shrugged off the ominous words with a watery smile. The mouth that voiced them belonged to my thin-lipped colleague at work. Undeterred by my lack of response, he kept on a murmur even after I was out of the elevator. To be honest, he’s rather morbid on any average day. But this afternoon, news splashes about an 8.9 intensity earthquake hitting Japan were responsible for the added menace in his tone.
Google shows a warning on its home page:
Tsunami Alert for New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, and others. Waves expected over the next few hours, caused by 8.9 earthquake in Japan.
The 2012 theory, my colleague says, is founded in truth. The “world will end next year” theory to be precise. This guy has a lavish estate in uptown Pune and he keeps prettifying it every month or so. Even currently, there’s some floor adding work in progress. His recent investment list is topped by a new car. He is ergo, easily an object of spiteful envy/marital fantasy depending on the sex of the onlooker. But now he says, he’s very very wary.
When there’s news of sudden rainfall in a city an overnight-train journey away, he shuts the windows at his house tightly. When the onion prices in the market go up, he hoards food items in preparation for an oncoming famine. The people at my workplace say he’s a little too paranoid (and some attribute that to his being a little queer in the head). But end or no end to the world, some of his lifestyle nuances do serve a lesson.
I doubt the world will end as soon as next year. There’s way too much that’s wrong with it now: too much crime, too much negativity, a harrowing chase after money. Then there is the forest rampage – killing this plant and that animal, using this chemical to make that shine and breaking that down to raise this skyscraper. Nope, there’s too much evil for the world to get that swift an end.
I foresee many more years of the sun burning down on us before he is forced to shed his starry robes. But yes, a day will come when the Lord will be irrevocably scandalized. Traumatized too, at the dismal state of the planet he had so lovingly brought to life. That day, like the lost island of the Atlantis, the world may be swallowed up by the raging sea.