One evening, the couple was trying out a local delicacy called “cuy” (a whole grilled guinea-pig) in a street-corner restaurant, when the burly owner stopped by to exchange pleasantries. He explained to the pair that the advanced Inca civilization was the culmination of several others previous civilizations. He suggested them to visit the local archeological museum that housed various period-specific artifacts, excavated from different parts of the country.
Next morning, Cathy and Mark headed to the museum, itself built on a reconfigured original ceremonial court from Inca days. Exhibits were displayed covering the period from 1200 BCE to 1500 CE. The pair learned about several pre-Inca time-specific civilizations in the peninsula, for example Nasca, Mochica, Chancay, and Chimu. However, Mark’s biggest surprise came from viewing the paintings from relatively modern Huari period (800 – 1300 CE). It was as if the art form had made a giant leap displaying the first examples of modern-day cubism, popularized by Picasso. The painted human figures were fragmented and twisted, partial faces overlapped, and in the process a kind of complexity appeared.
On return to US, Mark, an arts enthusiast could not shake off those images from early cubism of Huari arts. He would decide to do a literature search on the history of the subject. Interestingly, the first reference popped up on his computer screen was a recent article in the Sunday magazine section of the nation’s leading newspaper. The author, an expert on Huari paintings speculated that with advancement of the civilization with newer inventions, chaos was also engulfing the society breaking apart prevailing normalcy. The artists wanted to capture the emerging fragmentations within the society.
Two days ago, sitting in his living-room, Mark was watching, on his flat-screen TV, the live shot of devastating fire raging in the western part of the country with hundred deaths and thousand missing, already. He shouted to Cathy, busy in preparing evening meal in kitchen, “Fire’s destroying the West.” Cathy, not being able to hear properly shouted back: “What?” Mark raised his voice: “Fire, fire! The West is burning.”
Suddenly, the entire neighborhood got surrounded by siren-screaming fire engines, emergency vehicles, police cars, and ambulances. Ricoh, the couple’s in-house smart-robot, a favorite to the millennial generation, announced from the corner of the room “I heard you shouting ‘fire’, so made all the necessary calls to the emergency authorities.”