An alternative narrative in midst of pandemic

“Here Today, Here Tomorrow” is a pandemic-inspired fiction title — comprising of four alternative stories of the future — and a fifth by a 16-year-old invitee.

The short stories explore forces that will surely impact the future, but the intensities of which are difficult to predict. Health routines, changing paradigms in technology and touch, food habits, family relationships, living methods, class divide, job stresses, money issues, child care, political promises… all this and more pepper the stories, each with a twist in the tail.

While the authors offer some provocative food for thought, proceeds from all sales will go to providing food for children in need via The Akshaya Patra Foundation. “To Feed a Child, Devour this Book”. Just know that ‘happily ever after’ may be a thing of the past”.

This is a book published by a group of four, some of whom have never met! Formed virtually during the pandemic lockdown over WhatsApp, bound by a curiosity of Scenario Planning, and driven by a desire to “write something”.

“As the Covid pandemic began, the only thing we knew for sure is that no one was sure of anything — from the duration of the pandemic to the eventual outcome. It was but natural for a group of consumer behaviorists, marketing and strategy experts to start thinking about the divergent futures that might emerge,” said Mythili Chandrasekar, one of the authors.

“Would we head to a world of total government control or would governments give up ? Would there be a cure, a preventive, or would there be neither? How long would this last — 21 days as the most optimistic hoped or a few months or, heaven forbid, a few years? How would it affect different types of people — especially against the background of the migrant worker crisis? Would it make people more careful, caring or callous? Would technology control us or set us free?

“We could have written an academic paper on the possibilities. But since the dawn of time, human beings have told stories — to promote ideas, to explain who we are, to explore different ways of being and to imagine a different world. Anchoring ourselves on the pandemic and keeping three elements constant — the healthcare system, the government, and individuals, we told stories to see our future selves and understand what their lives could be like, in worlds ranging from dystopian to idyllic,” she added.

The other writers are Prabhakar Mundkur, Sanjeev Roy, Priyadarshini Narendra and Aiyana Menezes.