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The Lost World

By Arundhiti Baloni

In the quiet society of Grassland, today there was an atmosphere of excitement in the Sparrow residence. Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow were shifting their drawing room’s furniture to make space. 

Clover, their firstborn, was holding a very ancient-looking wooden box, laced with beautiful patterns. 

The box is one of a kind. It has been passed down from generation to generation, like an heirloom of the Sparrow family. 

Mr Lawn, their next-door neighbour, was so fascinated by the box that he went on a craft men's hunt to get his hands on the same piece of the box. 

But of course, he couldn’t find any. The knowledge of carving the box and the material needed to make it were long gone with Planet Earth.


Around 3000 A.D., Planet Earth, the original home of the human race, was so exhausted of its resources that it was no longer habitable. At that point, the world governments came together to find a solution for it. 

They thoroughly surveyed the planet to see if there was even a little hope of its revival. But the results were even more horrifying than they thought. 

They were left with no choice but to look for a new home. The time was running out. The technology was not at the level where long-distance mass space travel could be done. 

If something was not done soon, people would have died of hunger and thirst. 

So as a last gamble, the scientists decided to develop a nuclear bomb and aimed it at Mars. This was not the first time it was proposed.

The theory behind this was that there was a possibility of reviving Mars's atmosphere with the help of a nuclear explosion. The explosion should be big enough to cover the whole planet. 

No one was sure about it at that time. Experts believed that this would damage the surface of Mars, and there was no guarantee that it would yield any result. And if the plan worked, it would be like leaving a dying planet to just live on a radioactive one, as it is nearly impossible to extract radioactive molecules from the soil. It would also have destroyed the precious knowledge held by that barren land. The world governments were also not on board with this as it would have required a lot of funds.

But now was not the time to be picky. 

A plan was made out. At first, this theory was tested in labs. After its success, the scientists developed four nuclear bombs that exploded in Mars’s sky in four different directions and covered the whole planet. This ensured the development of Mars’s atmosphere without causing any harm to its surface. 

It was a success.

It took two decades for the planet to become habitable with the help of all the known advanced technology at that time. Ten humongous spacecraft were built in those two decades to transfer the population.

Two spacecraft were allotted to carry wild animals and bird species. One was for the domestic species. One spacecraft was for plant species. One was allotted to carry food, water and other necessary supplies. One for storing scientific equipment and other technology. The rest was for transporting humans that would carry them from planet Earth to Mars in many rounds.

 As only a limited number of people could be carried, mass selection units were set up. They determined whether a person is fit for space travel or not and according to that they were given a permission letter, both in digital and written format. The permission letter was like a ticket, if you didn’t have it, you couldn’t board the space crafts. 

Protests were made against it but everyone knew that some were to be sacrificed for the greater good of many.

Finally, rovers were sent to the planet to clean out any radioactive molecules left on it. It took three months to clear out all the unwanted particles. 

Just after the house cleaning, the rover sent a message to the Earth that the planet was ready to inhabit. As the news reached the Earth, deployments were made. 

Within a month the shipment was completed, and residencies, laboratories and government buildings were set up.

Many people in guilt or in the hope of returning to the Earth, changed their surnames and named their residencies on the things that reminded them of their homes. 

Just like that, Mr. Sparrow’s ancestors stored some of their day-to-day use items in memory of their house in a capsule which they kept in a wooden box and wrote a will to when the box had to be opened. And today was that day.

The shifting was completed and Mrs. Sparrow pointed towards her son to open the box.

Clover opened the box and saw that there was a letter in it. Star, Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow’s daughter took the letter out and started reading it.

“Dear future generations, 

If this box has been opened that means that three centuries have passed since we moved to the planet Mars. We hope that you are doing well and are living a happy life. The capsule you see in the box contains some of our precious memories and things that are connected to our traditions. All of them are labelled like this – 1, 2, 3….. At the bottom of the capsule, under those items, is a list, containing the names and the uses of these items according to the number allotted to them. I hope this will give you a picture of how people used to live on the Earth.

Yours, Tara”

Clover excitedly took the capsule out and pushed the button located on its head. The capsule turned into a medium-sized suitcase with an opaque glass case and filled the space that Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow had just emptied. Star opened the case with the help of a button which was on the case. 

Like small mice, everyone started peeping inside it curiously. The first thing they saw was a framed family photograph. Mrs. Sparrow took the photograph out and commented. “It must be Tara and her family’s photo.” Star peeked at the photo from afar. “Look, how beautifully they are dressed.”

Mr. Sparrow took the photograph and examined it. “It has no. 1 written on it. Clover, can you take the list out, that was mentioned in the letter?”

“Sure”, said Clover. He bent down and started emptying the capsule. After lifting, what looked like a showpiece, he found the list. 

Mrs. Sparrow took the list from his hands and with a smiling face she said. “See, I was right. It is Tara and her family’s photograph. According to this, the girl standing on the left corner is Tara.” 

Mr. Sparrow once again looked at the photo, with Clover and Star right on his shoulder. They spotted Tara. She was a short, brown girl with shoulder-height, bob-cut, black hair. She was wearing, what looked like, a very short, half-sleeve tight-looking crop top. It was golden in colour with sparkles all over her top. Her legs were covered by a long black skirt. It was decorated with beautiful golden patterns. All the female family members were wearing the same type of clothing. The males were wearing something similar to a trouser and a very long t-shirt type upper wear.

“They are wearing traditional Indian attire. The one worn by the female members is called a lehenga and choli and the one worn by the male members is called a kurta and pyjama.” Said Mrs. Sparrow.

“What is Indian attire?” Asked Star.

“They are the traditional clothes from a place called India.” Mr. Sparrow said.

“What is tradition?” she asked again.

“Well, it means those clothes that were worn by only the people of India.” Replied Mrs. Sparrow.

“Why didn't other people wear it?” Asked Star again.

“You see, back on Earth, land was divided into many countries, just like administrative units nowadays. These countries had their own government, rules and regulations, food, clothing, culture and language. All these things together made the tradition of that country which gave them a unique identity. Sometimes these countries went to war with each other because of these differences. But when we shifted to Mars it was decided that the world would be governed by a single body and there would be no countries and a common constitution came into effect. It was done to erase differences between people. Different cultures and languages on the other hand, gradually became unpopular. People started speaking in English as it was more convenient to use when they interacted with others. The clothes were no longer a part of tradition and attire like these which were difficult to make, just disappeared.” Explained Mr. Sparrow.

“Well, doesn’t sound good to me,” Clover commented.

“I wanted to wear one too,” Star said with disappointment.

“Well, you are lucky in that case because she also packed these dresses.” Answered Mrs. Sparrow while picking up two cardboard boxes. “The red one contains the lehenga and the choli and the kurta is in brown.”

Star snatched the red box from her mother’s hand and dashed towards her room with excitement.

“Don’t you want to try yours too?” Asked Mrs Sparrow while looking at her son.

“No, I will see to it later?”

Mrs. Sparrow picked up the item that was labelled as two. “Look at this it is a recipe book.” She flipped through the pages. “It is filled with dishes that I have never seen before.”

“What’s on no. 4?” Asked Mr. Sparrow.

“A Hindi language storybook, called ‘Panchtantra’. Must be the language of India;” said Mrs. Sparrow.

“I can give this book to one of my friends to see if he can translate it.” Mr. Sparrow said.

Suddenly Mr. Sparrow’s eyes fall on his daughter. Wow! You look beautiful, just like a princess.”

Everyone turned their neck to look at Star. Star was smiling proudly after receiving the compliment, waving her beautiful peacock colour lehenga with blue choli.

“Oh My God, you look so beautiful!” Mrs. Sparrow commented. “It’s a good thing that it perfectly fits you. I think I will make one for myself too.”

“I don’t think anyone will be able to make it.” Said Mr. Sparrow.

“Tara was already prepared for that. She has also put a fashion magazine in it. It is full of such design with information on how to make it.” Mrs. Sparrow said excitedly

“They are so fun. I wish they had not disappeared. It's such a shame.” Said Star. 

“You are right. How about we all go to the museum and learn more about the country of India.” Mr. Sparrow suggested.

“That’s wonderful. How about this Sunday.” Mrs. Sparrow said.

“Then it is decided.”

The Sparrow family then started looking at other things that were stored in the capsule. Soon night came and everyone retired to their respective rooms.

Star changed into her pyjamas and lay on her bed, thinking about what the Earth was like, How the people used to live and interact with others who spoke different languages? If the costumes were so colourful, how colourful must the country of India have been? Soon her eyes became heavy and she fell asleep. 

By Arundhiti Baloni

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Ananya Sharma
Ananya Sharma
Jan 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Wonderful work Arundhiti ✨

Keep going!!


Shalini Dhyani
Shalini Dhyani
Jan 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Kudos to the Arundhati who crafted an outstanding story! Keep nurturing your talent!


Shalini Dhyani
Shalini Dhyani
Jan 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

KKKKKKKKudos to the Arundhati who crafted an outstanding story! Keep nurturing your talent!Kudos to the Arundhati who crafted an outstanding story! Keep nurturing your talent!


akanksha Pokhariyal
akanksha Pokhariyal
Jan 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Arundhiti Baloni is the next Shakespeare I am her biggest fan


Anirudh Pokhariyal
Anirudh Pokhariyal
Jan 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

One of the best stories I have ever read.

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