Dinosaurs of 2020
What a crazy year 2020 was! While it zipped past for those who wanted it to go slow, it almost stood still for those who wanted it to quickly pass by. But all this pain and suffering did not happen without a reason. I think I know what that reason is – Dinosaurs!
All of us know pretty well about dinosaurs – those huge living creatures that ruled the earth for almost 175 million years. From what we know, they seem to be the most powerful species of their times. It seems the only threat to dinosaurs was dinosaurs themselves. The powerful ones preyed on the lesser powerful. They ruled over all the resources. They were the epicentre of life on earth. And even though they were the undisputed rulers, they vanished from the face of the planet one fine day.
There are many theories around their extinction. The most prominent theory is about an asteroid hitting earth and spoiling the dinosaur party. The year 2020 makes me wonder if one really needs an asteroid to trigger extinction. A tiny little particle called virus, confused about its own existence, is good enough to disrupt or destroy the whole world.
Just like Narsimha, who was half animal and half human, a virus is at the cusp of livingness and non-livingness. Legend has it that Narsimha slayed Hiranyakashyap, a wealth loving evil king who was blessed to be virtually indestructible. Hiranyakashyap was blessed that he could not be killed by any man or animal. He was blessed that he could not be killed during the day time or during the night. He was blessed that he could neither be killed indoors nor outdoors. He believed that his death was impossibility. Then someone, who was half man and half animal slayed him at the threshold of his own courtyard at twilight!
Dinosaurs were the Hiranyakashyap of their times. God knows who played the role of Narsimha and slayed them. It could have been the asteroid. Or maybe it was a virus which acted as a malware, activated through a species hop, to implement a course correction measure because a lone species was hogging too much of the limelight in a play which was designed for multiple characters.
I think that after observing the rowdy behavior of dinosaurs, Nature realized that power corrupts. Dinosaurs had nothing to worry about. They had no one to fear. Yet they wanted more power and resources for themselves. I guess when Nature realized that the power advantage of the predator has put everything and everyone at risk, it felt really bad about its horrible design decision. A decision so bad that to reboot the system was the only option left.
So Nature rebooted. Now it had to come up with a new solution for a new age. It has to design a new power equation that was viable and sustainable. It must have been tough and frustrating. That is why, in its eureka moment, Nature ‘conspired’ to make humans. I say conspired because through this really stupid looking creature, Nature tried to show its middle finger to the age of the dinosaurs. By designing humans, Nature settled for brain instead of brawn!
For Nature, brain was a self-actualized element. It was a configuration with inbuilt course correction measures. If it worked well, Nature would have to never again intervene for course corrections. Sadly, Nature overestimated its own capabilities. It failed to foresee the havoc brain could create.
This new species, the humans, were gifted with a brain along with a smaller, and rather funny, body. Unlike other creations of Nature this creature had no physical charisma. It had no unique colours, no unique shapes, no unique sounds, and no unique abilities. It lacked strength. It lacked speed. Literally on every count, there was some species which fared better than it. But it was gifted with a unique tool – a brain! Even though it had to face serious threats from predators, brain helped it survive. This struggle was perhaps a way to ensure than humans internalize the need for balance and sustainability. Nature wanted humans to use its brain to decipher delicate interdependencies. Nature sculpted humans to create and ensure a balance through which life on earth could thrive till eternity so that Nature could finally get a break from further experimentations.
Sadly, Nature had made a mistake again. Using its brain the new species eventually transformed itself into dinosaurs. Like dinosaurs, they ended up becoming the top species of their times. Like dinosaurs, only humans killed humans. Like dinosaurs, there were weak humans, very weak humans, powerful humans and very powerful humans. Like dinosaurs they usurped all the powers and tried to corner all the resources. They consumptive greed led to extinction of other species. The balance that Nature had strived for became a distant cry. Once again Nature failed to come up with a viable solution.
It is the destiny of Nature to continually strive for a viable and sustainable solution. Hence, to fix the current problem Nature activated its course correction measures once again. The last major intervention was in 1918. This was followed by many hits and trials. Nature was finally able to wage a significant war in 2020. The war is still underway – a war in which Nature is fighting its own ghost – the second coming of the dinosaurs as humans!
Humans were perhaps the voluntary retirement plan of Nature because a sustainable planet would not have demanded any management or needed any fixes. But Nature failed to realise that brain and brawn are not very different. They both make the possessor egocentric. They both make the possessors think that they are the centre of the universe and that everything in Nature is at their service and for their pleasure.
The war waged by Nature in 2020 continues into 2021. It seems that Nature will keep trying unless it wins, tires out or loses the battle. It may also back out if it gets inkling that humans have learnt their lessons well and henceforth they will play the role they are destined for.
Even if humans win the war over Covid19, it would not mean an end of the ‘war’ because Nature will surely try again. As someone responsible for this planet, Nature will keep putting in efforts to instill balance. After all, Nature has to ensure that its ‘project earth’ is a success. The battle continues…
What do you think Hiranyakashyap?