The S. S. Galactica set sail
For a galaxy never heard of before,
So obscure, everyone told me
It was the product of
An overactive imagination.
That she would return,
Weary and a failure.
Nevertheless, the S. S. Galactica sailed,
Bearing multitudes of enthusiastic crewmen,
From all walks of life,
And I, her proud commander.
We set out to sail, and sail, we did.
Past innumerable planets,
And along uncountable asteroids.
At every space station,
We regaled with tales of danger,
Rife with dreams of glory and triumph.
We explored, discovered,
Unearthed new worlds,
With every breath,
But yet, were no closer to
Our original destination.
Gone now, were the days
Space stations hailed us,
Polite nuisances that we were.
Morale dipped, as well as numbers,
Until it was just a mere handful of us left.
Cut your losses, everyone said,
Come back while you still can,
Come back and seek absolution.
And this close I was to heeding the demons,
Unaware that it was already too late for us.
Helpless, we were sucked into a vortex,
Unable to steer away,
Watching as we headed to
our seemingly impending doom.
As it were, I could only watch on as
We spun out of control,
Getting picked off, one by one,
And I could remember nothing else,
Except for the universe as I knew it,
Going black on me.
When I came to, I was warm.
Was this Heaven?
A new plane of existence to explore,
And I considered myself worthy.
So I arose, to find myself in a locked room.
A strange lock that I did not understand.
From the windows of the room, I saw
My own world, only differently hued.
The sky, a green for blue.
Plants the shade of a brilliant fuchsia,
The very Earth, a dull grey.
Unnerved, I waited for sense to be made,
Until, at last, a short, blue, duck like man
Waddled into the room.
He spoke oddly- in a rambunctious chorus of voices, some sharp, some low, some high and kind.
Like he was many, but he seemed alone.
He called himself a croaker,
but acted like a doctor,
He told me I’d be up and croaking about,
In no time, if only I’d listen to him and rest,
And asked me to follow him for a tour.
I grasped onto this relative normality,
And was introduced to a whole new world.
There were many beings there,
Some tall, some short, one-eyed, two-eyed;
Some blue, some orange, and yet some pink.
But yet they coexisted as though,
They were a single person.
And indeed, they were a sole entity,
Each and every one a moiety
Of a large, cosmic being, called Harmony,
And I was the first visitor in light years.
Odd as the situation was, I had cruised
Space with S. S. Galactica, for ten years
And had seen yet stranger events,
Unfurl right before my two eyes.
So I embraced this alien culture,
Partook in their food, their festivals, their routines;
Learnt their language, their manners, and their norms.
I would tell them tales of my home,
While they looked at me with
Veritable stars in their eyes.
Yet, there came a time,
When I tired of their exotic world,
And longed for my own,
Where I was not some foreign spectacle to fawn over.
So I asked for a craft, and instead was dragged to Harmony.
The great cosmic being that
I had heard so much of, was rather plain and
Had nothing special to their name.
They asked that we be left alone,
And wordlessly, their raging minions filed out.
Only then, when it was just the two of us,
Did they reveal their true colors,
And by my leave, they were HIDEOUS.
The true extent of my folly dawned on me, just then.
Secrecy is our way of life, they snarled, how we get on,
Why do you think no one survives a trip here?
Madam, who might you be to waltz in here, and wreak havoc?
They gave me a choice, but to me, both were death.
I could not choose either, and thus
They chose for me.
They gripped my face, gently, and
When I looked into their eyes,
Entranced I stood, unable to look away.
They stared at me thoughtfully,
A delicate pink would do, they mused,
Rarest of complexions, to honor you.
A slow seduction began,
And I emerged out to applause,
Skin a pretty pale pink,
Like cherry blossoms from faded memories of another world.
And when I spoke, my voice was merely one of many, lost amidst a loud chorus.
– Written by Maha Padala
– Artwork by Aishwarya Ramesh