The following story is a complete work of fiction and any real world similarities found are completely coincidental.
Hours turned into days, days into months and finally, the months into a whole year on this red planet. A dream that was a bit of a laughing stock at first. An idea that was thought of decades ago. All this is now a reality for all of mankind. Colonising Mars. It all seemed like a concept that had no possibility to be turned into an actual reality. But after all the hard work put in by us and Space-TreX, we are finally here.
And what's more compelling about all this, is that Bangladesh too is now a part of this colonisation. YES. Welcome to the Mars' Republic of Bangladesh or MRB in short. We may not have been the first ones to colonise this planet but at least we have made it here and carved out our own space.
I can still reminisce that day like it was yesterday. We got into the spaceship at the Space-TreX Launchpad just in time. I boarded the ship and as I waited for departure, I noticed that there were a couple of late comers from Bangladesh. Once they realised that there were no seats left, they insisted on standing throughout the entire journey. Heck, one of them even proposed to the other that they should fetch a ride on the spaceship's roof and get some aesthetic space pictures while they were at it. Of course, they were kindly reminded that none of what they had just said was possible and were kindly escorted to the waiting room for the next departure.
So far, life here on Mars has been an amazing experience with mixed feelings towards the whole idea. Not much has changed ever since I first docked on the shores of this red planet. At times, it's hard to wrap my mind around how Mars has such similarity to Bangladesh. Traffic is pretty much the same here as it was back on Earth. Every time you take a glance of the skies above, you'll probably just be staring at the under sides of flying cars. Oh yeah, we have those too now! Amazing, right? We also have flying taxi services called Urao. I always loved the idea of flying cars, but now, as I have seen that they too are vulnerable to petty traffic jams, I have given up faith in them.
We also have anti-grav rickshaws now. My day to day commute is mainly by rickshaws these days as I don't want to get myself stuck in traffic, 300 feet above ground in some flying car or bus. One can only imagine how fast these things can go now. Combine the fast pace of these vehicles with the craters on Mars and you'll definitely feel like you're riding on the streets of Dhaka. These rickshaws ruled Bangladesh and now they want interplanetary dominance as well I suppose.
I still need to get habituated to a lot of things over here though. Especially the spacesuit. Only inside my domicile am I able to take it off, but otherwise, I need to keep it on 24x7. That's sad as I haven't been able to show off my designer shoes and my bright new t-Shirt that says “Straight Outta Earth”, which I bought from New Market before leaving for Mars. Ever since I heard that my visa for Mars had been approved, I had this thought of firing up my Instagram account once again, with more aesthetic pictures, this time, on Mars. I even had catchy captions planned out for the pictures I wanted to take. The blueprint to make petty Earth dwellers jealous was all laid out, but sadly, I could never get my camera to work outside my apartment; hence, no aesthetic pictures with song lyrics for captions.
Mars's lack of water bodies does bother me at times. No ponds, lakes, rivers, oceans. Just red sand stretched as far as you can gaze, with mountains here and there and settlements built for the development of human civilisation. This does have a good side to it, however. With no ponds or rivers to dump their wastes into, industries and factories have been working on their own waste management system. But knowing them, they will probably come up with a way to dump the waste into space, may be shoot the waste into orbit or perhaps even back to Earth?
In the last few months, MRB has seen a rise in the number of street hawkers. Somehow, these visionary businessmen thought of selling their products here on Mars, thinking that people would actually fall for the “Made on Earth” tag that easily. I still can't believe I am having to hear that “300 taka LED bulb, is now being sold for 100 taka for the company's promotion” echo all the way here, 140 million miles away from Earth. But you have to give credit to these guys for taking their business to the great unknown. I just wish those tea stalls you would normally see in almost every street or alley back in Bangladesh would also pop up here on Mars. I miss those evening tea sessions I used to have back home.
Apart from these small businesses, we are making progress in the large industries as well. We are now one of the leading spacesuit manufacturers here on Mars. The label, “Made in MRB” is now widely known all over the planet. We have moved on from an agro centric economy to a space centric one.
A lot of people here have been getting homesick recently. Also, the depression rate here on Mars has gone up to a worryingly high level ever since the Flat Earth believers started to pour in. They had no intentions of settling down here. All they wanted was to take pictures of the “Flat Earth” they all so fantasize about. Needless to say, once they saw the curvature of the Earth, they fell into depression. Some members couldn't bear what they had seen and they tried to jump off of Mars. But reality struck them once again as they realised that Mars too was spherical. As their plan for creating a Flat Mars Society was rotating away from them, they got more depressed and decided to head back to Earth, where they would probably start a new flat something society. Thankfully, Bangladeshis are yet to fall victim to this flat Earth theory and thus, we are saved from depression.
But it's not all fun and games up here. We have been conducting research over here along with foreign colonies on different scientific aspects. Recently we have developed a mechanism to make human clones. The prototype has passed all tests with flying colours and we expect to launch the beta version very soon. As long as you're not from certain parts of the world, you'll have the privilege of getting your own clone.
That's all for tonight. I need to sign off now as I have to get up early for tomorrow's classes. I wish I could say that tomorrow will be a new day with new things to explore, but it's just not like that. It's as if someone took Bangladesh from Earth and dropped it on the surface of Mars. Same old life, same old people, just a different planet.
Until next month, signing out!
Faisal would love to leave Earth. Give him a knock at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join him