March 09, 2020
We walked inside and he narrated everything again to me about what I already know. He also talked about how exciting his Italy trip was and how it ended up dangerous due to this Covid-19 virus outbreak there. I asked him, “You are Okay right? What did the hospital tell you? He said that the doctor said he was alright and as a precautionary measure they had sent his blood sample to Pune for testing and the result will reach back after testing in two days. I said Okay son, you take rest. I am here to take care of you.”. I know the ‘past me’ in Kodaikanal will not be aware of me staying here. So I thought of staying for the two more days and confirming his result and then leaving.
Days passed and we reached D-Day, we talked about a lot of things in these two days. He explained me, the concept of Organic farming on one of the afternoons. He told me how the use of natural fertilizers like compost manure, green manure, bone meal etc are far more beneficial than artificial fertilizers. He also explained about the crop rotation methods and Companion planting methods. We also discussed about how the Synthetic pesticides are harmful to the crops, as well as to the people who are consuming it. We discussed about a lot number of topics. He also promised me that he will take me in an Aeroplane very soon. He also asked about my new watch and said it looks good in me. But I never mentioned anything from the future or that I am from future to him. I also explained to him the story of the book line by line and he was so excited after hearing about that. I said I left the book’s first copy in Kodaikanal and also that it has some finishing works left. I promised him he would be the first reader of it. He said it will be a huge hit just by hearing the plot line. He said it will be a breakthrough, after hearing the complete story from me. He was always speaking about that. It excited me. He loved my book. He said, Dad , you are the best writer I have ever seen. And that is what I longed for from hearing from someone. He appreciated my book this time also. But this time I can see the feeling, I can feel his feeling, the true emotions in him. It made me feel great about myself. On D-Day, we both went to the hospital. He took leave for office. It was around 10 AM. We prayed to Jesus before leaving, that the result should turn out to be negative. And this is the first time, I am praying that the result of one of his works should be negative. We reached the hospital and after 10 minutes, the doctor asked us to come in. He said, the results are Negative and it is not necessary to worry anymore but that it will be better if he quarantines himself. And he also suggested him on what all to eat and how to keep social distancing and all. We thanked the doctor and came out relieved. We reached back home and celebrated it by cooking our favorite dessert, Halwa. And I stayed with him for 2 more days. And that evening of the last of those 2 days, after realizing that he is now safe. I thought of moving back to the future and excited about meeting him there. I was happy that I had succeeded in changing the past. I have saved my son. I advised him to stay at home for 15 to 20 days and to be careful since I am going back to Kodaikanal for some important work regarding the book. Actually, I am going back to the future to publish the book now since he liked it to the core. That is also the reason. I want him to read the book now in real time.
I told him I am leaving, he said he will come with me to the bus stand. I said no son, remember the quarantine. Stay at home always, it is not safe for you to roam around. And I left towards the bus stand. There at the bus stand, I sat down on one of the cement slabs there. I was happy that I had saved my son. He tested negative. I felt relieved. I felt all the joy in the world. Then I adjusted the time to the day I started the time travel from Nambi’s house. I felt a bit dizzy suddenly and restless. My heart started beating hard. I felt nervous. It became tougher for me to breathe suddenly. It felt like I was hit by a panic attack. I got up, bought a water bottle from the shop nearby and washed my face. I also drank some water from the bottle. But I still remembered the date and time when this time travel started. It was 19 March 2020, around 5PM in the evening. I had set the watch to that date and pressed the bottom crown inward. The same flash of light flashed in front of my eyes and when I opened my eyes, I found that I was standing in front of Nambi like that time when I started the time travel. He asked me if the watch did not work ? Since for him I was still standing there. But for me I travelled through the time and am back here after time travel. You know time is relative. Each one has a different time according to their situations and positions they are in. But one thing striked my mind suddenly. If everything went right, then why was I standing in Nambi’s house now? If Everything would have changed? And if I had saved my son. Then there would have been no need for me to come here in first place. I should have landed somewhere else. But I am confused about the time machine and time travel. I told Nambi about what happened. He said, that’s great Robert. But we are not sure how this time machine works, may be you will end up at the same location no matter what changes. Come let’s go down and watch the news if anything has changed.
We went back down and checked the news. When I saw the line, “A 24 year old Techie from Chennai with a recent travel history to Italy is believed to have spread the virus to about a minimum of hundred thousand people of many different states……..” my heart stopped. I became restless again. I felt dizzy again and I fell down. After some time, I was lying down in the Sofa of Nambi’s house with Nambi sitting nearby to me. I got up at once and I coughed like anything. It was a very rough dry cough. I was about to vomit because of the cough. I asked Nambi what had happened and why nothing had changed. He gave me the newspaper and asked me to read it. It was an article about John. The title was – The Carrier. I read through it. “John Mathews, a Techie, son of Robert Mathews, an infamous writer and a farmer, had landed in Chennai international Airport on 09 March 2020. It was reported that a lot of people who had traveled to the airport that day had been found positive for Covid-19. Then it seems he had traveled to Shollinganallur that day from the airport. And there were people who were tested positive from that location too. 5 techies from Cagnijend were tested positive for the virus specifically in that locality. They all work together. we are not sure how it would have spread to them since he has no link with them. And he had not travelled to any place that they did. Also then he had traveled through some trains and buses to Tirunelveli. But for some reason, people in Kodaikanal and dindigul were also tested positive where he has not even traveled. Many people from Guruvayur express were also found to be tested positive for Covid-19. Many of the affected people who got in contact with him by some means have travelled to states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telegana,Maharashtra,Karnataka including the state he traveled (i.e.) TamilNadu. It seems it all started from 1 person and now ended up affecting nearly more than 100000 across South India. They are still checking if the people who got in contact with him have travelled North or not. Also it seems he was tested negative when he got himself tested, the first time. But just some 3-5 days ago, when he started getting symptoms, he tested himself again and he was confirmed positive and became the first case of India.”.
I realized what had happened. It was me. I shouted, it was me Nambi. It was me all the way. I am the Carrier. Nambi said, Don’t panic, I know that. Come Let’s get to the hospital. And I guess I would also have been infected by now. He asked me, tell me the truth, you told me you were tested negative when you came here to meet me the first time. I said yes, I was tested negative. I was also tested for Covid-19 infection today after John left me forever. Nambi said he was also tested negative. And that he had taken the test only yesterday. So the only possibility is that I have picked up the virus on the way. Nambi asked me where all you traveled and who all you touched before you got here. Did anyone sneeze or cough on to you. I said, I traveled in the bus and then had tea in the shop and then reached the house by an Auto. My Diary fell down from my hand, to under my seat in the bus. There a boy picked it and gave it to me , then this guy in the Tea shop gave me tea. That can also be a cause. But there are a lot of possibilities and a lot of other places that I would have touched Nambi. I don’t know what to do.
Nambi said, you have no other way, you have to time travel now and stop you from stopping your son. That is the only way. You have to stop the Carrier which is you. Else you have to forget your son and we have to go to the hospital and move on with this. I know what to do, my son is my first priority in my life. There is no use in me living without him and now you have also been exposed to the virus probably. so I have to use the watch again. I thought that the tea shop may be the place where I picked it up since it was closer to the bus stand and had more possibilities. I had set the date to 19 March (Today) and time to 4 PM. And I pressed the bottom crown inward. The lights flashed again in my eyes and I was standing in the entrance of Thiruvananthapuram bus stand.
I saw the ‘past me’ walking towards the tea shop. I ran towards ‘past me’ and pushed him down from behind, by leaving my leg in front of the legs of ‘past me’ ( Me from the past). So the ‘past me’ fell down with my face downward. I ran towards the tea shop. I saw an auto there. I said to the driver, Ootukuzhy. He told me to get in. I went towards the back of the auto and ran towards behind a banner that was nearby to hide myself. The driver looked back and looked sideways. And his mouth opened wide, he was just shocked. How I was there on the road suddenly when I was standing very nearby to him. He called the ‘past me’, the ‘past me’ showed him the address. They spoke something and they left. So the mission was successful this time. I had stopped the ‘past me’ from going to the tea shop. I changed the dial to the time when I started my second time travel. And pressed the bottom crown inward. Lights flashed and I ended up in front of Nambi again.
He switched on the news and nothing changed. It means the ‘past me’ was still infected and has Covid-19 virus in him. So the tea shop is not the point where I should stop him from going. The next one was the kid situation in the bus. I had set the appropriate timing and pressed the bottom crown inward again and the lights flashed again in my eyes and this time I have myself half an hour prior time. So I was still in the bus when it was yet to reach Thiruvananthapuram. I sat there looking at that small boy about what all he is doing, if he is coughing or sneezing or something. He was sitting 2 seats right behind me. I also saw that the diary was still in the “past me’s” hand. Just when the bus was reaching Thiruvananthapuram bus stand and the ‘past me’ got up because of the sound around, the diary fell under the seat. I went towards the seat where I was sitting. I took the diary from below and kept it over the back seat. So the ‘past me’ when he got up to leave, he searched for it and now he found it without the help of the small boy.
Then he got down and went towards the teashop and I saw the other future me pushing him and making him take an auto. So I was relieved and I believed at least this time everything will go right. I had set the time to go back when I started this third time travel and pressed the bottom crown inward. And again the light flashed and still Nambi was sitting in front of me and still the same news was running on the TV about John’s death and its implications. I was so frustrated this time. I shouted, aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! Nambi’s wife came out to see what happened to me. Nambi said to her, it’s okay, no problem. Then we both headed to the terrace again. I said, Nambi I lost, I just could not save John. I don’t know what to do. I just can’t understand why this is not working at all. I gave three last tries saying they are final shots for saving my son but none of it worked. I don’t know why Jesus is doing this to me. I cried like a child. Nambi said it’s okay Robert,”I said you in the beginning right, my father said that it was impossible to change the time. He too tried and never succeeded with it. You cannot rewrite what happened Robert. Leave it. Just save yourself now and your memories of your son at least. Remmeber that you gave your best to bring him back. Now at least you should live sometime on his behalf. Come let’s go to the hospital.”.
And that moment, in that 20 seconds, something popped up in my mind that is going to do something for sure in everyone’s future. I was thinking on what is the other option I can do, than quitting and living without my son. Just popped up, that thought, out of nowhere, which will change everyone’s life now. I said to Nambi, I have an idea. This is going to be my very last shot. I am betting my life on this. Nambi was Confused. He asked me if I found the point when the virus would have entered me. I started setting the time while I was speaking to him. I told him, this one is bigger than that Nambi. I had set the date to 19 March 2020, 10.00 AM. And I said, Nambi , Thank You so much for all the help you did me and also I am very very sorry. Just when my hand reached the bottom crown to push it inward, Nambi understood my plan. He shouted, Nooooooooo!!!!!!!! Roberttttttt!!!!!!!.
And I pushed the bottom crown inward. Lights flashed in my eyes again for this one last shot. I was standing outside my house in Tirunelveli. The ‘past me’ was about to get outside to travel to Thiruvananthapuram, in some time. I have to stop the ‘past me’ from leaving for Nambi’s house. I thought about how to stop him. I thought of many things , but I don’t know if they will work or not. For the worst case scenario, I wrote the truth in a paper. It stated,”Hi Robert, This is your future you. Please don’t go to Nambi’s house for time traveling. It will not bring your son back. Do not do that. Just stay here without doing anything and that will bring your son back. Your son is not the Carrier of Covid-19, it is you. It is not that you have to stop your son. It is that you should stop you. You are the one who has spread that virus to all of the people. So, please stop the Carrier, Mr.Carrier.”.
I kept the letter in my pocket after reading it. I walked around the house to find a way to stop the ‘past me’. I know that the ‘past me’ will search for the college diary for Nambi’s contact address. ‘Past me’ was inside the bedroom looking for something which I forgot what it exactly was. I took the diary from where it was placed and ran outside and kept it in my pocket. ‘past me’ came outside the bedroom and searched for the diary and since he could not find it, he got frustrated and sat down on the chair. He then took the phone that was there and called someone. And he asked that person for Nambi’s contact address. And that person gave it to him. And the ‘past me’, thanked him for that. I controlled myself after seeing all these things, But suddenly my emotions overtook me again. I walked right into my house. I saw my ‘past me’ eye to eye, who was till now writing the Nambi’s address in a paper. I walked towards him. He was shocked to see me. He got scared, and got down on his knees when he saw me. I gave him the letter and I said I am your future you and please don’t leave from here to meet Nambi. And the time travel watch from my wrist started shaking and it fell free from my wrist and onto the floor part by part and in no time, my eyes were flashed by white light again.
When I opened my eyes, I was standing outside my house in Tirunelveli again. And the ‘past me’ was about to get outside to travel to Thiruvananthapuram, in some time. And I had the letter written and ready in my pocket. I walked inside and gave the letter to ‘past me’ and told the truth and the time travel watch broke again. And lights flashed and When I opened my eyes I was standing outside my house in Tirunelveli with the letter in my pocket again. And I still had the time travel watch in my hand. I went inside again and gave the letter to the ‘past me’ again and told the truth again. And again the watch broke and lights flashed and I ended up exactly at the same spot outside my house with the letter in my hand again. I understood what was happening. It is running in an infinite time loop. It will stop only if I give up telling the truth of me coming from the future and going back without stopping him. But if I go back like that, my son will not be there to live with me. He would have died. But now by me doing this same thing in the loop, at least he will be alive as the ‘past me’ did not leave for Nambi’s house since I told him the truth. Until then I will keep on doing the same continuously.
March 20, 2020
John Mathews came home to see his Dad by taking a vacation from his work. When he came home, He found that there was a book that his father, Robert Mathews, authored , “A Man without an Initial” on the table. But his Dad was not there. He waited for him to return. But time passed and he never came. Then he searched around Tirunelveli but did not find him. And then he also went to Kodaikanal to search for him, but they said his Dad left for Tirunelveli long ago on the evening of March 18, 2020. And so he gave a complaint in the local police station that his Dad was missing since March 19,2020. Time Passed by, but his Dad never came back. John felt the grief. But as days passed he started living his life only on the belief that his dad is still there, living in his heart and so he decided to publish his Dad’s final book – “A Man without an initial” with Global publishers and it became a trending book and a best seller in absolutely no time. People started appreciating Robert Mathews like he was the greatest writer of all time, this time. John Mathews then re-published all the old works of Robert Mathews including “Oh My Goal” as a tribute to his missing father. All his books became the talk of the Town. But the search for his father never stopped. But little did he know that, if his father wants to come back, he will not be here.
*To be Continued*