How long before we become ETs?
By Op Rana (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-06-12 07:49

How long before we become ETs?

It's irritating to hear the phone ring when you are rushing off to work, especially if it's the landline. It can be infuriating to hear a voice trying to sell or promote something when you pick up the receiver. I've suffered such an experience many a time, so I tend to ignore a call on the landline at such times. But this one sounded different - the ring was the same, it just sounded different to me. I picked up the receiver, more so because I was not rushing to office.

"Hello, this is " The voice was too metallic and jarring. I couldn't get the name. Who, I asked. He didn't bother repeating his name. "I come from another planet far away in the galaxy." Is this some kind of a joke?, I said.

"Listen let me tell you about our planet we used to call home " Enough, I thought. Some idiot somewhere was trying to pull a fast - but silly - one on me. Get lost, I yelled into the mouthpiece. But I couldn't bang down the receiver, for something in the voice made it stick to my ear.

"Do you know why I and my fellow beings from another planet are here?" I wanted to say: to hell with you who's interested. But I had gone dumb.

"We once had a world as beautiful as yours it had everything rivers, seas, mountains, forests, animals, birds. But some of our greedy fellow beings were not happy they wanted more of everything especially that thing you call money these beings had more than enough of everything they had almost the entire planet to themselves, but still they wanted more."

I wanted to ask this "extraterrestrial" idiot how he could speak English, but I was still dumb. As if telepathy was at work, the voice crackled: "When we first came here we had to learn so many languages to understand what people in different parts of the world were speaking. But now there's only one language we need to know. This is the beginning of the end of biodiversity of languages."

How long before we become ETs?

This is crazy stuff, I thought. The voice vibrated again: "Don't be surprised. Languages are to human society what different species are to ecology. You lose one and the others are affected but since language has become a tool in human hands the death of one strengthens another it's different from biodiversity in the natural world, you see. The system of language is like that of the corporate world's one company's death is another's dose of steroid."

Can I be spared this rubbish?, I said, but even I couldn't hear the words. There was no let up. "Greedy corporate houses run by greedier people will extract every bit from your Earth. They'll turn it into a desert." The voice felt silent.

But it was back immediately. "I know that whenever beings like us have become greedy it has meant the loss of animal and plant life. It has spelt doom for the environment, and thus life in all forms. Look at what happened at the end of the Ice Age look at what is happening now."

Thank you very much, can I go now?, I said, getting my speech back.

"Yes you can but let me tell you we are leaving this Earth of yours because it is fast becoming like our planet and I don't see the greedy changing their ways Most of you the poor and innocent will die. And may be some years from now, the wealthy and brainy that survive will become like us vagabonds in space."

"And they'll know how extraterrestrials were created."

E-mail: oprana@hotmail.com