Friday, August 16, 2013

The Investigation

Sherlock Holmes the philosopher-detective was investigating a serious crime.  The crime involved fraud, false advertising, peddling phony wares, and a possible murder of language.  The only evidence that he had for the crime was a bag full of books, written by people like J Krishnamurti, Osho and Deepak Chopra.

The investigation took him to the famous city of Time.

In the City of Time, there were three main areas of interest to Holmes: Time Boulevard, the Eternity Circle, and the Timeless Point.

His first stop was Time Boulevard, since it was the easiest to cover.  The street went in the east-west direction, with clear markers for each quarter-mile.  All the vehicles on that street moved at a constant speed, and there were no entry or exit streets and no stops or traffic lights either.  As the vehicles progressed on that street, their engines became noisier and noisier and the drivers' hair became grayer and grayer.  This street had no beginning and no end, as far as the eye could see.  Watson had once mischievously remarked to Holmes that the street did begin many billion miles to the west, but since there was no entry or exit, Holmes wondered how the vehicles entered that street so many billion miles ago.  It didn't make sense, and Watson started waving his hands in a rather singular manner when pressed.

There were a lot of interesting stuff happening on the Time Blvd, but Holmes was in a rush.  He wanted to get to the Eternity circle and took out his map of the town, as well as his pipe.

Difficulties were entering the picture.  The Eternity circle was there on the backside of the map as a name, but on the front side of the map it was nowhere to be found.  Oh finally he found it.  As the Time Blvd reached the edge of the map, there was a small sign there with an arrow titled "To Eternity".

Holmes was perplexed.  He called Watson on his cellphone (it was the 21st century after all): "If, as you say, the Time Blvd began some billions of miles ago, how far is eternity circle on this road?"  Watson chuckled on the other end and said, "No matter how far you go on this road, Eternity circle is always further down.  But some people, not wanting to go that far, consider Forever to be a good alternative destination.  That is just about a lifetime away.  I will be there for you forever, Holmes."

Holmes frowned as he blew a cloud of smoke in front of him.  He continued to walk along Time Boulevard, in deep contemplation.  Suddenly a rat or something similarly vile ran over his right foot and, startled, he froze.

As he did, he saw his pipe smoke mysteriously form itself into two words in the air "Timeless Point".  It was but for an instant, and the smoke vanished as soon as he noticed it.  He then looked to his side and noticed a billboard advertising a new show: "The Timeless Point Show!  Never Before seen, Never again.  Only now!  Come one, come all!!"

The billboard seemed to be pointing downward into a basement.  Holmes rushed towards it, thinking that the show might have ended.  But he was surprised to see that the show continued, only that it was a different show every moment, and yet intimately connected with the previous one.  No show was repeated, there was a slight difference every time, and it was hard if not impossible to pinpoint which show one had watched.

Holmes realized that his investigation was far from over, and that he needed more time to ponder over all this.  He slowly walked to his inn, and picked a random book by a German sounding author from his bag of books.  He anticipated trouble sleeping, and "Wittgenstein" seemed the most potent remedy to put one to sleep, he smilingly muttered.

He had read only a few pages of this weird little book and he drifted to blissful sleep.  As he did so, the book fell on the floor along with his cellphone.  The cellphone's only button clicked as it fell, taking a photo of the open page, and as his last call had been to Watson, it somehow sent a message with that photo to him.

Watson heard a loud "beep" on his phone.  Had Holmes solved the crime, after all?

He wasn't too sure, after he read the text on the photo that Holmes had sent:
"Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present." (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)
Perhaps, next day he would talk to Holmes.  It was confusing, but it was too late now.

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