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Travels & Travails In Time…

The Third Ripple
An aircraft, carrying passengers, had mysteriously disappeared after taking off from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in eastern Indian city of Kolkata in 1984… Well, an aircraft crashed in a remote area near Kalimpong – a town at the foothills of the Himalayas – in West Bengal in 2019. And, the Indian officials discovered that it was the same aeroplane that had gone missing in 1984! Except a lady pilot and a mysterious person, all the passengers onboard the plane had perished in the accident. According to an intelligence report, the aircraft reached 2019 after a 35-year time travel and crashed.

The Second Ripple
For a young TV producer in Kolkata, unfortunately, none of the programmes, produced by him, generated Television Rating Points (TRP). It, hence, became extremely difficult for him to establish himself as a producer. Incidentally, he met a scientist, who discovered the way to time travel. The scientist helped the producer reach the year 1980, when a Media House was set to open a private television channel. The young man got a job in that channel and fell in love with a girl. Later, they started leading happy lives together!

The First Ripple
James Richards, another young man, suddenly appeared in post-1970 world. There, he came to know that his favourite Rock Group ‘The Beatles’ was still there. As John Lennon and George Harrison released their new album, the young man pinched a cassette by The Beatles, and returned to his time. The name of the album was ‘Everyday Chemistry’. The remix album of unknown authorship was made available as a free digital download on September 9, 2009. All the 11 songs of that album are also available on YouTube! It is assumed that James uploaded those songs on the Internet in 2009…

While the third one of the three ripples forms a part of the four-episode Hindi web series – called ‘JL50‘ – released on the OTT platform in 2020; the second one is a part of ‘Abby Sen’, a film in Bengali released in 2015. As far as the first one is concerned, experts believe that ‘Everyday Chemistry‘ is basically a mash up album or a remix work by a skilled person from some of the solo albums released by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison after The Beatles ceased to exist…

Except the term time travel, there is one more link between these three ripples. In all these cases, people had travelled to their Recent Past, precisely to the pre-Globalised World! Majority of the Classic Science Fiction stories about time travel mostly talk about journeys into a Distant Future. Although some stories take readers to the Past, those usually take readers to the Distant Past. However, the three stories mentioned above are different. The contents of the Web Series, Movies and Stories of this period have taken us to the Recent Past

Perhaps, this is a special trend, as these stories want to take us back to the Pre-Globalisation Period! It may be an attempt to find a comfort zone or to avoid the discomforts of the Post-Globalisation Era. The third one is a Science Fiction story in which one has to go back to the Past in order to influence the Present. The main character of the story discovered her identity only after reaching the Past. It seems that she travelled to the Past in an attempt to make her miserable Present tolerable! As described in the second ripple, Abby Sen had failed to become a successful TV producer, despite his knowledge and expertise. Hence, he was left with no other option, but to travel to the Past, for getting a suitable job. The first one sends a strong message through the survival of The Beatles in the post-1970’s world, indicating that a Rock Group, like The Beatles, is much required even in the contemporary world. This story reassures the generation, who had enjoyed the post-1970’s period, that values of the Past still exist!

Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, the noted Bengali writer, has stated that the 1980’s was not at all a comfortable period. He believes that the time travel is subject to an illusion. For her part, Kolkata-based Psychologist Anuttama Bandyopadhyay has mentioned that most of the art forms are autobiographical. “Memories of the Pre-Globalisation Period are also in our minds. One does not get it in Digital Memory. In the case of time travel, it is important to highlight some very noticeable changes. There was a concept of landline telephones in the 1980’s… there was also a thing, called ‘waiting’, in human lives. Hence, the differences between today’s lifestyle and the lifestyle of the 1980’s can be seen and shown very clearly,” she stressed.

Social Inequality had been prevalent in India in the Pre-Globalisation Period. Violence, poor modes of transportation, power-cut, unemployment, too, were there in the South Asian Nation. Atanu Ghosh, the Director of Abby Sen, has carefully highlighted all these problems in the movie. Beyond that, there was something in the 1980’s that prompted people to escape from the Present. It is evident in all the current autobiographical works, too. In the ‘JL50’ series, the main character of the story reached 1984 (i.e. the Immediate Past) mainly to repair his Past, thus, rendering the Future beautiful. Sociologist Pradeep Basu is of the opinion that human beings always have a tendency to consider the Past as better than the Present! “This tendency encourages people to run away from modernity. It may have been a reason to escape the gadget-ruled Present and to take shelter in the Pre-Globalisation Era,” insisted Basu.

One of the major trends in recent World Literature is the re-incarnation of the Pre-Globalisation Era background. Readers, across the globe, have started enjoying detective stories written by the Northern European authors. In those stories, readers can easily find detectives, who are not so tech-savvy. In fact, readers love to dig out an not-so-modern gray area from the gutters of modern cities. The three stories, mentioned above, have clearly shown this tendency among human beings. Authors may have made this attempt to meet the needs of autobiographical works. However, the selves – as portrayed in these stories – prompt the viewers, listeners or readers to introspect their own selves. It seems that all of us are trying hard to escape the Present

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