<%-- Page Title--%> Chintito <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 136 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

January 2, 2004

<%-- Navigation Bar--%>
<%-- Navigation Bar--%>
<%-- 5% Text Table--%>

The Martians
ARE NOT Coming


Thursday December 25@09:31AM: "The BBC reports that Europe's Beagle 2 Mars lander has failed to broadcast its landing confirmation signal. While project leaders are trying to put a brave face on it, the failure is seen as a major setback. The Beagle is out of broadcast range but another contact attempt will be made later today, when they hope a signal will be detected. Another failed Mars mission will solidify Mars' reputation as a spacecraft graveyard."

Attention you Earthlings! Attention! Can you hear me? You better... because I am stranded on Mars..., your Earth colleague.

Actually, 'stranded' is a respectable way of saying it, because in fact I have been... err... what should I say... detained. Oh! What the heck? Let the beans out. I am in actual fact languishing in a Martian agiba (that's Martian for jail?) for the past one week and they have given me this one chance to beam this one message to Earth. If there ever was a SOS call, this is it!

Don't believe your TV news channels. Contrary to their garbage that the Beagle has been lost, the Beagle has indeed landed in the United States of Mars. I should know; I was in it. How? I cannot divulge that now for security reasons.

This is a bizarre place. The entire planet is one country. They have electronic voting everyday at 8AM and one is in charge online for that day. IT is the president for that day. I say 'it' because there is no a 'he' or a 'she' here. How they reproduce I haven't had the time or the opportunity to find out as yet. I am in custody, remember?

They have one newspaper, one journalist-cum-columnist-cum-subeditor-cum-editor, one policeman, one soldier (very general), one politician, one doctorate, one trade union leader, one civil servant, one aatel, and so on, but all of them have been employed as exhibits in the City Museum.

They do not have any schools. They are born educated. Howww? I told you do not ask about gynae matters, as I have not had the time to find out. Really, you lot have a one track mind.

Everything here is reality. Dream is something very private. So, no one is speaking about someone else's dream in public. It is a punishable offence.

The problem is (that is how I feel because of my pedigree), because they are one nation, they cannot have anything like our Olympic Games or even a Mars Cup Football, if they were to call it that. But they compete with each other in individual contests, but not in sport as we know. For instance, there is now a competition among them to find out why I am shivering. Apparently no body has ever before shivered on Mars. There is no need to because there is no police, no mastaan, no godfather, no political group, no bribe, no bill, no corruption, no deadline... I do not know what will happen this week.

But they have numerous TV channels. Every individual has one, they have to, it's an ID, just like many of us have email addresses back home. Ahhh Home! Sob! But I do not even have time to shed tears now. Also they hurt, because they fall like pebbles. More about that if I get back... ever, that is.

This message in fact is about my getting back. But the kind, polite, munificent, benevolent, caring ... (I have to say all that because one of them is watching) Martians have set a condition. They want some quick info about Mother (they had a good laugh about that) Earth which they cannot gauge scientifically with their sophisticated equipment.

Please send the answers ASAP, or else they will put me in a chamber to transform me into a Martian. Then I will have no dream, no police, no mastaan, no godfather, no political group, no bribe, no bill, no corruption, no deadline... that would be terrible.

The Martian queries are:
1. Why are Earthlings killing each other when every religion forbids it?
2. Why are Earthlings cluttering the Mars-o-sphere by sending toys when one-third of them are starving, without shelter and without clothes?
3. Why do even people who can afford them are sometimes seen without?
4. Why did the Americans enter Iraq without proper Tourist Visa? How long will they stay?
5. Will they allow us to come and 'liberate' them since we Martians are more powerful and richer and (heh! heh!) more hypocritical (we actually have two faces) than them?
6. What is the difference between Saddam and Gaddafi; they both have 'adda' and have been around for more than 35 years.
7. Why is the coastline in poor countries polluted with the toxics of the rich?
8. Why was the creator of WMD found in a mud hole?
9. Why do the rich think they are always right?
10. Why does someone want to be elected and (Oh God!) re-elected president for four years? Doesn't he have anything else to do?

Soon some of them will don the Mars uniform, as conceived by Earthlings, you know the one with large eyeballs at the end of long tentacles, for the official photograph to be beamed back to some deserted desert on Earth with this message.
Folks, please do not desert me!


(C) Copyright The Daily Star. The Daily Star Internet Edition, is published by The Daily Star