The P.M. had known that they intended to film Shard’s address, but he hadn’t imagined a scene like the one that confronted him at the top of the mountain. The courtyard at the front of the small temple was full of sadhus of all ages, dressed brilliantly in their brightly coloured lunghis – beads and bangles – slashes of paint and ash – buzzing with expectation.
Suddenly Shard emerged, floating on a small dais above the shimmering sea of sadhus.
“Great Keepers of Faith…
“Who have risked everything for your spirit.”
The P.M. noticed how carefully Shard was dressed – in a swathe of green and orange lunghis – but only later did he see the necklace of beads holding a small silver cross.
“I welcome you.”
The P.M. felt transported back in time, whisked back to the India of his childhood – the India of myth and legend. He had to remind himself that this was all an illusion – a time warp Shard was creating in a film for the future – and that soon he’d be back in Mumbai, back in the real world, doing real work with real people as if this meeting had never happened.
“I apologize for the cameras. But as you know, we need a record of this
moment in time – if only for posterity.
“After all, some things simply cannot remain secret forever.”
Shard looked up – the P.M. followed his gaze to a high camera, set well above the sadhus – his own silent witness.
“This is a unique point in time.
“Now we need to make our position clear.
“And in order to do this – to date and validate the philosophy – I must remind you of a story.
“But first… let me say this…”
He sighed -
“Human stories and the cultures they have spawned are really not that important. Yes, history is interesting, but it is nowhere near as important as the fact that we are all here now with our fate fairly and squarely in our own hands – this is the only thing that matters.”
He paused –
“We say – it is to our credit that we have survived until now! After all the problems – all the threats of annihilation – we are still here, still alive on this mighty little planet of ours.