Elixir of life

July 17, 2222. 6:30 am. I was greeted by “Good morning, sir. Rise and shine.” It was ‘Betsy’ my robot-cum-maid-cum-nanny. When I purchased her five years ago, I wondered if I had made the correct decision. She was too mother-like; she was even programmed to scold me if I came home late!

I was hungry and ‘Betsy’ placed freshly cooked bacon in front of me and then started reading the newspaper for me. The front-page news said, “Scientists at the Maxwell Laboratory, Antarctica have discovered the ‘Elixir of Life’. A medicine that prolongs life to 500 years. A capsule to be taken once in every 50 years.” I was startled. What was this? Were they out of their minds? Already the world was overcrowded. My parents were on the moon, my sister in Asia and Well... Due to overpopulation and no place on land I had bought this one room apartment under the Pacific Ocean.

Everybody likes to live for a long time but 500 years would be too long … too boring … too stupid. I wondered what would be the reaction of colleagues. I left for the office in my small submarine. As it approached the water surface, the wheels appeared and it was converted into a car. I drove till the office and then the car got modified into a small plane and I flew into the parking lot located in the 568th floor of my office building. A few months passed by and the medicines were very much in demand. Everybody seemed to be taking them. In fact, one day, when I returned home after work, I got a video message from my mother saying that she was pondering over taking one of the capsules herself. She advised me too saying that it would be nice to click a 10-generation photograph of the family 50 years from now. I just told her to go ahead but not to expect it from me. Technology has helped us to overcome it to a certain extent but not completely. I am sure those eccentric scientists never thought of making anything that would also control birth for the next 500 years. The medicine was one to extend life not to make one younger. So, even if you lived up to be 500, you would still have white hair or no hair, false teeth and look like a question mark with your bent back.

I went home disgruntled, cursing science, cursing modern technology and most of all cursing the blessed medicine! Now a year has passed. I sit in my bedroom thinking, “So much for intelligence. After all even I am human.” Then I switch open my case, take out the “Elixir of Life” and take a capsule. I felt invincible — well at least for 500 years. Sneha Moktan, Class 12, St. Mary’s Convent, Nainital