By Jyotsna Shenoy 🔆✨👽
Reflections from a past February (year of 2010) 💞🌠🕚
A humble book review fits in aptly as my February month post! Several years ago to this month, on a day I can’t quite remember; on the annual day of Rosary High, I assumed the role of CAPTAIN OMEGA for a stage play based on the script. All of 7th grade, 8 years ago this brings back the best of my school memories. I can’t quite proceed forward without thanking my fellow people especially the ones who played the role of the main characters and were with me all along from the rehearsal sessions till the end. Lynstel Fernandes as the HISTORIAN, Saeel Pai as THINK TANK, Jared D’lima as APPRENTICE NOODLE, Eshani Borker as LIEUTENANT IOTA and Sourabha Prabhu as SERGEANT OOP. It goes without saying, the main credit goes to my enseignant in-charge Tr. Andrea D’Cunha, the pillar of support who was with us all the way and gave credibility to the play.
And the very same tale was put before me in the 10th grade English literature, which looked like this: (refer to the PDF below) 😉👇
The Book That Saved The Earth by Claire Boiko
This story set in the present day 25th century raises its spotlight on a historian belonging to the department of the 20th century in the Museum of Ancient History. Assuming the role of a narrator to this tale, the historian addresses the readers/viewers as her audience and discusses the happenings and the curiosities in the far old 20th century. As per her records, she puts it up that this century was called ‘The Era of the Book’, not just because they illustrated and educated the people but also because one of the books ceased the possibility of a Martian invasion on the Earth. It wasn’t a noble encyclopedia or a technical paper on rockets and missiles or a secret space mission file. The historian hypothetically turns on her ‘historiscope’ or a projector to display a visual presentation of the same. Claire Boiko, the author of the tale presents it into a dialogue form, thus putting it up as a story inside a story and a book inside this tale! Here is an excerpt of the so-called disrupted Martian invasion:
The Martians think that they are a far more superior race than the inhabitants of the earth. The megalomaniac commander on Mars commands it’s space probe crew that has landed on the earth to invade the primitive ball of mud, referring to the humans as ‘Earthlings’. Think Tank, the commander-in chief and Noodle, his apprentice initiate their brief conversation about the plan of their driving forces as the duo takes the centre-stage in the Mars space control right from the start. Think Tank is arrogant by nature and a narcissist and assumes to be a perfectionist, but Noodle is actually the smartest of the two. He is always correct but pretends that every right information comes from his highly intelligent boss. While he acts as a novice in crucial situations, ironically he is an expertise at handling tasks by himself without giving Think Tank a sense of inferiority.
The space probe crew is composed of three Martians: Captain Omega, Lieutenant Iota and Sergeant Oop enter the Earth, their prime destination being a library. While they are not able to identify their immediate surroundings, from several miles away they avail assistance from their boss, the Mighty Think Tank. After several attempts of consulting Noodle, the latter assumes that the books that the trio can see around are in fact sandwiches and the library is a crude refreshment stand. He later assumes the books to be some sort of ear/eye communication. After a couple of failed attempts to decode the same, Think Tank orders the three to ingest some intelligence vitamins to get something out of those scrawlings. After some brief moments the space control crew finally encode the little squiggles out of the book. However from a mere book of nursery rhymes (Mother Goose shown on cover) , assumptions arises that the Earthlings must have been on a mission to attack the Earth. When one of the crew reads out the poem of Humpty Dumpty, Think Tank compares the same to his own mighty balloon brain. Living in the fear that the humans might avenge against him leading to his ‘great fall’, he orders his crew to fly back from Earth where all of them would travel a hundred thousand miles away to the distant Alpha Centauri, never to be seen again.
The spotlight shines back on the historian, who concludes that 500 years after this incident, the Earthlings resumed contact with the Martians and maintained amicable relations with them. By that time, Think Tank was replaced by Noodle, the wise and wonderful! The Earthlings helped to establish model libraries in their capital city of Marsopolis, and taught them the difference between books and sandwiches. But there was one book, says the historian, that the Martians couldn’t get themselves to read! She flashes the book of Mother Goose before the audience before bowing and taking her exit.