top of page
  • Barnali Basu

Journey of bacteria

They were a group of identical beings. Creatures descended from a common ancestor. Carrying forward the legacy of survival and procreation.

Slender, lissome creatures cohabiting the mixed and convoluted funnel like paths in the fat and fiber mounds on their host (Breast). Straddled along were others with similar features but different ancestors.

They fed on what the environment offered: simplified forms of sustenance broken down from the food items their host consumed. Enough to maintain their body functions and increase their numbers. The new made up for the ones that left or got destroyed on fight with the enemy groups or noxious substances the host took.

The other groups were accommodating if not too friendly. They would be too busy foraging and multiplying to care. Often, they exchanged things left behind in their nutrition that others found of their taste. All together they formed part of a multicultural colony facing the regular difficulties of life.

Of late, their home was seeing changes. The narrow throbbing pipes with the thick red liquid inside that ran in circuits beside their dwelling were releasing a new chemical. Since then, the fats had almost doubled, the fibers softened and channels were turning thicker, twisted, and coiled.

Even their function changed. There was a snowy white fluid (milk) which emerged from their borders in copious bursts. It was in abundance of nutrients and many of them and their neighbors gladly wafted in, feasting, and producing more progeny. The joy was short-lived; a few moments of its development and it would be all squeezed onto the outside. Some of them, thrilled at an adventure willingly allowed themselves to be drifted while the others not too sure were just uprooted when those few strands of muscle beside the channels squeezed and squirted out the liquid and its contents.

The push of the muscles was further complemented by a new force that pulled from the external. The individuals were sucked into a heart shaped opening with pink, soft and succulent borders (baby’s mouth). The opening pulled intermittently and the muscles, and the coiled channels happily yielded and thrust out all the products.

The creatures waded over into uncharted territory. The cave they had been pushed into had an even but soft floor that kept slithering under, spewing out a thick transparent gel (saliva) that mixed into their liquidy environ and curdled it further. That it was not well was a realization that came with another they were actually in a tunnel ending abruptly onto a precipitous drop.

The ones who survived the onslaught of the gel made the tumultuous journey downward aided by the movements of their path itself. The squeezing and actively pushing way transformed into a collapsible sac (stomach). Some got lost but the ones that managed to land in the sac were not out of trouble yet.

The sac seemed to have a mind of its own, twisting in knots, kneading its contents. They had barely managed to steady themselves when there emerged, a hissing and stinging chemical devouring their medium and the individuals that crossed its paths.

Fortunately, the sac continued its forward propulsion, and some individuals escaped the wrath of the terrible chemical. It was they who continued the journey, more out of necessity than desire.

The sac opened out onto wider and less mobile tunnels of muscles and borders (small intestine) that put out other chemicals. The creatures were relieved to find larger spaces with plenty of air and remnants of their favorite liquid. Consequently, they found small settlements of their comrades from their past home.

But that monstrous chemical also left its mark in this tunnel, and some decided it did not bode well for them to stay.

Some grew tired and dropped onto the settlements. Others perished at the hands of the chemicals and the exhaustion of travel. The ones that persevered were rewarded with the widest cavern of a tunnel with mildly perceptible motions of its walls and not the slightest of trace of that beastly acid. Pleased to find a place better suited to their living, the group clumped in different corners and began their cycle of living and multiplying.

They were not the only ones. They were surrounded by numerous other creatures of different shapes and sizes. Some preferred moving about within the miniscule flow of their home, others refused to budge from their spot come hell or high water.

The group was used to living with neighbors. But they had hardly bargained for the unanimous resentment of the predecessors, in the wake of their combined strong belief that having colonized the site earlier, it was theirs exclusively. The entrants found defenses not too dissimilar as towards the enemy groups. Surprisingly, these toxins had not even the slightest disturbance to their life or procreation.

One big difference of this group from the indigenous was that they took in air too. Hence, they had the upper hand in forming extensive settlements. This caused the indigenous groups to resort to their other weapon- noncooperation. They refused to partake in any exchange of materials or provide any protection to them.

Nevertheless, the entrant forms elegantly conducted their work, not hitting back and leaving behind nutrients from their digestion. They stood their own ground in an attack. They sent out the message loud and clear that they were not refugees but immigrants.

As the newcomer group comfortably ensconced itself within the walls and some even forayed into the larger sacculated tunnel below (large intestine), the movement against them slowly fizzled out. The groups started working in tandem, acting upon the more complex food items that began to appear symbiotically deriving their nutrition.

As the home became more diverse, so did the enemy groups. Some were just minute particles with small tentacles; others undefined masses that hobbled along while some had large bodies with a large eye in their center. The groups found it more beneficial to act together at the battle. The offence was always weak at first but would soon reach assured victory.

All groups were finally living in total harmony. The creatures had found the home that catered to all their needs and friends to support them in every endeavor.

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page