Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

I’m sure of it

“This is Ishaan, my boyfriend.” Rahul said gesturing towards Ishaan.

“Hello Mr. Ishaan. It is very umm… interesting to meet you.” Jitura said with her lips pursed. She was looking curiously at the two of them, even discounting the alien part.

Rahul and Ishaan were among the first delegates to be sent to the solar system of Pright. It was only recently that Earth had discovered inter-galactic space travel and immediately they had discovered a universe teeming with planets, beings and higher powers. The planet of Pright was 2 units above Earth in technology and were the last civilization to join the UGoB — the big universe club. That’s why they were given the responsibility of initiating Earth. They had already spent almost 15000 years in UGoB, and were known for their genetically advanced systems.

“You don’t seem to approve.” Rahul asks blandly. It had taken years for homosexuality to become accepted on Earth. The fact that this fight might have to be done on a universal scale sickened him.

“Approve of what?” Jitura asked.

“Of me and Ishaan.”

“You mean the fact that two members of the same gender being in a relationship. My apologies if I gave that signal to you. I had no intention of offending you. I have never met two prightoneutrals before. It is just a very new… or rather very old concept on our planet.”

“Old concept.”

“Yes. Our documents say that similar beings, called prightoneutral also lived in our planet around 5000 years but they were wiped out around 2000 years ago. Since then, there have been no such documented cases.” Jitura said smiling as she told the history of her planet. She had been excited about the opportunity of meeting aliens for the first time.

“Wiped out. How?” Rahul said, his face turning ashen and his voice became louder.

“Oh my! I think I angered you. I am extremely sorry. I have no intention for that. You are our imminent guests. I am new at this. Please don’t complain about me to the elders.” Jitura muttered.

Rahul quickly realised that he was talking to a young Prightian who was probably part of the hospitality team. Her face showed immense fear and and shame at not doing her job properly. Rahul recaliberated himself. He was an ambassador of his planet and the worst thing that can happen is him ruining the two planet’s relationships.

“I am sorry. I am not angry. It just seems odd that something so fundamental to a being was removed. On our planet also, there was some resistance in acceptance of homosexuals but eventually it was accepted. There was some discrimination but a large-scale extermination was never a thought.” Rahul said in a voice as soothing as possible. He looked at Ishaan who returned a sheepish look. Here they were, two gay men trying to console an alien that they were not angry that her specie wiped out the gay people in their society.

“What? Extermination? Oh no! Nothing like that could ever happen on our planet. I think there is some confusion. We didn’t kill the prightoneutral. And why would we discriminate. It’s not like there is a difference between prightoneutral and prightoactive. There population simply started to drop and since the past 2000 years, there have been no documented cases.” Jitura said her voice confused.

“Oh. Wow! That’s interesting. And I sure am glad that there was no discrimination. Then how did they vanish?” Rahul asked.

“There are many theories. Some say that the environment is responsible for that. There has been a change in the environmental change in the past few thousand years and many Prightians believe that it is responsible for the extinction of prightoneutrals. Some other say that it is a punishment from the creator. Some other say that because prightoneutrals don’t reproduce so that’s why the gene is dying out. Some say that there was a virus that targeted only prightoneutrals.”

Rahul’s face twitched at hearing the reasons. He also knew why Ishaan was snickering. Many of these reasons were given for the existence of homosexuals on Earth. He realised that when people don’t know the answer they default to the three or four reasons they already know. And apparently, those reasons transcend planets.

“What do you think?” Rahul asked.

“I think they are all wrong, honestly.” Now that Rahul and Ishaan were smiling, Jitura said coming back to her sprightly self. “There is a new research going on and I think it is the closest to what might have actually happened.”

“What is the research?” Ishaan spoke for the first time. His scientific heart skipped a beat hearing the word research.

“It says that the drop in prightoneutrals coincides with a social trend that had started around 5000 years ago.”

“A social trend started a reduction in prightoneutrals?”

“Yeah. The research says that while our genetic manipulation techniques are over 20000 years old, they really took off around 10000 years ago. And even in that, it was only 5000 years ago that our specie started using them for a procreation. Designer Prightian babies started spawning. The research hypothesizes that while no one was against prightoneutrals, the prightoactives weren’t actively choosing that their babies be prightoneutral. Thus, the population of prightoneutrals started to drop. And while various research was made to see if there was a disease affecting them, no one actually gave this a thought that this might be the cause.” Jitura explained with a lot of hand gestures.

“It is a very interesting research Jitura. Can you please tell me how can I read it myself.” Ishaan asked.

“Sure. I will send it to you.” Jitura said.

“Thank you.” Ishaan replied.

“So, you guys rest. I will come back in sometime and show you around.” Jitura said as she left them in their room.

“Thanks Jitura. It would be great to see the city and it was a great pleasure to talk to you.” Rahul replied.

Once Jitura was gone, Rahul laid down on the bed to process what he had just heard.

“She has sent the research on my device. It is a very interesting piece. Do you reckon the same might happen on Earth as well if genetics is that advanced?” Ishaan asked.

“I’m sure of it.” Rahul replied.