“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race” – John Roberts
Equality and discrimination are an antithesis emphasized in the story ‘Infinitude’, written by Ruchi Banerjee. This story takes place in the year 2173, although human beings are a near extinct group and are herded into sectors for their protection. Mira, a young girl has been forbidden to venture out of the walls of her sector and childhood home – Sector 51. With a sudden turn of events, she is taken with her mother to the home of David Jain, a prestigious scientist, and her mother’s colleague. Mira befriends Neel, a student of Mr. Jain, and he opens her eyes to a world full of adventure, undiscovered natural beauties, and love. The kidnapping of their faithful servant Hari precedes the capture of Mira herself though her captors do not treat her unkindly. They reveal the true nature of her mother’s profession and the reason behind her unexpected visit: Mr. Jain and her mother were aiding Lek Chand, a scientific genius, increase the power and capabilities of a race of super humans and destroy homo sapiens. Seeing the situation in a new light, Mira fights not only for her own life but for humanity as all the members of her previous world oppose her in her struggle to prevent the extinction of humans.
In my opinion, the story creates awareness about the negativity of discrimination. It gives an innovative and meaningful take on what might occur in the future, is realistic enough to relate with in the present, and reflects greatly on what took place in the past such as the Holocaust. It has a stable storyline that prevents you from becoming uninterested and the use of vocabulary is not irrelevant.
The part of the story that I found reverting was when Mira is trapped in a net in the jungle while looking for Hari. Copious amounts of descriptive vocabulary vividly describing the forest and her emotions are used making the scene richer than the rest. For example: ‘Mira strives to draw strength from the towering trees surrounding her, but they seemed to be struggling as well. They careened upwards like dementors, fighting to escape to the freedom of the skies above.’ The suspense and pauses used in Mira’s thought process made me hold my breath in anticipation of whether she would play her cards right or not. Adrenaline and exhilaration would course through my veins but Mira would have to move excruciatingly slowly in order to prevent further injury.
Moral values and meaningful messages are also included in this segment such as: ‘Life never prepares you for a mishap. It just shapes you for dealing with the aftermath.’
In conclusion, the book enticed me to a positive extent. There were however, a few negatives. Fragments of the book containing descriptions of Mira’s daily routines were monotonous. Despite being a science fiction book, there were not many space-age elements excluding super humans. There was no mention of any innovative gadgets or futuristic replacements for everyday applicants such as bungalows, gardens, hammocks, airplanes, or even fans. One could easily believe the characters lived in the present if not given information on the year the story takes place. Although negatives are present, overall, the book kindled several flames of thought and was relatable to a satisfying degree.
Keya Kilachand. Grade 6. The Cathedral and John Connon Middle School
2nd Prize Winner LRSIA 2016 - Secondary Category