On an October evening of 2015, 70-year-old Manuel Joseph died of heart attack. In the strict sense it cannot be defined as death. Heart stopped, but brain was still functioning. There was activity in the higher centers of the brain, principally the neocortex.
His two children were employed in America and Manuel was staying in an “old home” in Mumbai.
As the symptoms of death began the officials of old home immediately contacted Manuel’s sons. But they were too busy to come. Instead they arranged cryo-preservation of Manuel’s body with a company. Company men arrived immediately and took the body to cryo center. Friends in the old home accompanied. They paid their last respects to the body and returned. Company surgeons sucked blood from Manuel’s veins and filled anti- freeze solution instead. Then the body was transferred into a cryo-chamber filled with liquid nitrogen.
2300 was the year of Manuel’s resurrection. By this year nano technology was highly advanced. Scientists were able to give life to bodies preserved in cryocenters. Manuel’s body was taken out of the cryo chamber. A doctor removed anti-freeze from veins and filled blood. Then a miracle medicine was injected and body warmed. Each organ of his body started to function. Then electric impulse was applied to the brain. Manuel Joseph woke up from 285 years sleep.
“Welcome back Mr. Manuel, welcome back." The Doctor said.
“Where am I?" Manuel was thoroughly confused.
“You were with us, “Eternal Cryo Company” for the past 285 years. Now it is time to return home.” The Doctor said, and explained the happenings right from Manuel’s death.
“Hi Mr. Manuel, let us give you some advice, I am the Geriatrist.” Said a person introduced to Manuel. He then started giving advice. “Your body is very old and requires regular nutritional and hormone therapy. Hearing and vision is on the decline, muscle strength is lessening, soft tissues such as skin and blood vessels are less flexible, and there is an overall decline in body tone. If you have a good lot to spend we do transplanting of youthful organs."
Manuel was confused again and could not say anything.
“None of your relatives have come to receive you, anyway we have contacted one of your great grandsons, one Mr. Abe, our P.R.O will take you to him, we have also some balance in your account.”
A nurse gave Manuel clothes to wear and a cup of hot soup to drink. Then the P.R.O came and introduced himself to Manuel.
The Doctors bade good-bye to him. “Have a good life and keep in touch, you are always welcome to the cryo center”
The P.R.O took him to a magnetic levitation vehicle. The vehicle moved at a very high speed. During the journey P.R.O gave a briefing.
“See Mr. Manuel, Mr. Abe whom we are going to meet belongs to your 6th generation, earlier generations are all dead or some may be in cryo. We found Mr. Abe by genetic matching, relatively easy now that authorities have a genetic database of everyone.”
Manuel felt very sad, his sons are all dead, his wife expired before him, anyway he felt happy that he could meet and live with his 6th generation grandson.
The vehicle came to a halt in front of a house. A middle-aged man welcomed Manuel and introduced himself as Abe. The P.R.O gave some documents and an account balance sheet to Abe and returned.
“How is life grandson?” Manuel asked.
“Miserable old man, water, food, cloth, everything is scarce”
Manuel was humiliated being called an old man.
“Now nobody is interested in cryo and all, in this populated world death is a blessing, all old people live in rescue homes, on their death the bodies are sold to manure companies. They make good organic manure out of it, relatives are paid good money for body, and it is very convenient, man.”
Manuel felt disgusted.
“Your father?” Manuel asked.
“Died last year at the rescue home, I sold the body to ‘Live Manures’, got 50000 rupees, thank god he was a fat man.” Abe replied.
Manuel watched Abe’s son playing computer game. He got up and tried to caress the boy. Boy pushed Manuel very hard and shouted. “Go away you old fool.”
Manuel felt hurt, while Abe laughed heartily.
“He is a brilliant boy, had to do some genetic patch work, now he is perfect, he has not seen old men like you around, …ha…ha…”
Then Abe’s wife appeared with a small plate and glass. There was no expression on her face.
“My wife Blessy, she is a clone of her mother, good body, does good work.”
Manuel looked at the plate and ate the snack.
“It is good and nutritious, made from aborted fetus.”
Manuel felt like vomiting. He swallowed the water, which was less than an ounce, and the taste was miserable.
“Food and water are very scarce nowadays, water is highly polluted also, liver and kidney damage, blue baby syndrome everything is there, abortion rate is very high and we can buy fetus at a nominal price, it is nutritional and tasty too…. we also eat a lot of insects- cockroaches, geckos so on…. water is recycled from latrine, wash basins, bathroom…. Everything is scarce old man, thank god for diseases and calamities… 25 years back a hydrogen bomb exploded in Europe, many died. Last year, a grand tsunami, many more died, then Aids, Ebola, biological weapons, the world is surviving by god’s grace.” Abe said.
Manuel felt very condemned.
“What job are you doing Abe?”
“Job, ha ha…jobs are also scarce old man, I get some unemployment wages from government, then I sell semen through agents to sperm banks in west, male sterility has risen to a high level after the bomb. Women are in high demand because of the decrease in the female population, so my wife does sex work and earns good money.”
“It is a shame, you might at least do some manual labour work than selling sperm and selling your wife.” Manuel said.
“What do you know oldie, outside everything is polluted, even children study at home through the Internet, and there are thousands of chemicals in the environment, lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, vinyl chloride, and the pesticides. Lung cancer, mesothelioma, liver cancer, leukemia, Minamata disease, Yusho disease. Everything is wide spread old man, going out means death, survival is not easy.”
Manuel got up slowly. His leg was paining him, old arthritis.
“Old man, you can spend 2-3 days with us, I got some money from cryo, after 3 days it is very difficult, you know everything is scarce.”
Manuel moved towards the exit door.
“Be careful man, outside it is very bad weather and dangerous.”
Manuel did not listen and opened the door. Before leaving he had a last glance at Abe’s son.
“When you get near death do let me know so that I can collect and sell the body to the manure company.” Abe appealed to him.
Manuel walked along the path. Old Mumbai looked like a desert. Sand everywhere. Maglev vehicles passed at high speed. Hot wind blew sand into his eyes. Suddenly black clouds filled the sky. Acid rain drops burnt and etched into his skin. But he didn’t mind and walked.
Manuel saw dehydrated human corpses lying on the sand like dried fish. One person, wearing an overcoat, was filling a truck with corpses. A dog and a boy were furiously fighting for a dead lizard. Manuel walked, memories of old golden days appeared in his mind.
Then he stopped in front of a huge hospital waste insinuator .He climbed up the stairs and jumped into the burning fire. Manuel’s body burned like an old piece of paper. There will be no resurrection for Manuel, never again.