Part 1


How long do I have to wait here?

She was sitting in a long passageway, the floors, the walls and ceiling all pasted in velvet, a long row of plush velvet sofas lined against the wall, soft intermittent breeze blowing across the velvet and blowing across her. There was a lot of activity going on beyond this room, she could feel it, although the sounds were all muffled except for very faint and distant drumbeat. The passageway was all the same all along, so there really wasn’t much point in exploring it. At times she felt like getting up and walking away since no one had really told her to wait there, but perhaps the softness of the couch was too overpowering.

How long do I have to wait here?

“Not long anymore”, came the unexpected reply. There was no one that she had thrown this question to. She looked around. A strand of velvet thread of the couch on which she sat spoke up.

And then what happens? She asked feigning to appear unintimidated.

Then I, I mean we, we kick you out.

I would rather not wait till it comes to that! She tried getting up but was now trapped in the folds of the sofa.

You wait till you are kicked out. The voice commanded.

And where do I go then?

To your death. You are the sacrificial virgin. In a fortnight from today…

She felt entangled, the small hairs of the velvet couch seemed to have grown tentacles. The idea of the impending death sunk in her quite easily and she could hardly resist that. We all die someday…but, but so soon?

Is, is there no way…

No. I haven’t heard of any prince charming come to rescue any one of you.

What do you mean any one of you? Were there others like me before? How many?

The velvet hair cursed its big mouth. Yes, once or once in two months a girl from the village comes..


And we kick her out. Then she dies.

Help me. Save me.

Where’s the fun in that? The velvet smirked.

She looked at it intensely. Is there some special prayer that I must say? Some mercy plea that will melt your heart? A code word that will spring open an escape tunnel?

Maybe… I will not speak anymore. The velvet hair got reminded of the time how it caused a huge chaos because it had prematurely warned one of the girls, who then marched ahead to die without waiting her time out and there was so much confusion and…and it got terrorized by those goons sent from…from…from where did they say they came from?

The girl shrunk in silence. She had grown up in the village, then there was a competition for which she didn’t remember doing anything in particular and still won it and got a ticket to leave the village. Where was the village?- just at the very mouth of this tunnel.

I will go back to the village.

This is a one-way lane. You will go straight to the edge of the volcano to be sacrificed to the demon.
This can’t be it. This can’t be the meaning of her life- growing up, winning the ticket… the ticket is a trap, she must warn the others…she can’t go back to warn the others…next month another winner.
No one will ever know that I existed. I MUST LEAVE A MARK.

The velvet hair hid its smile. Correct code word. From here on, it could anticipate all the conversations that would follow.

My body can go to whatever demon it is out there. My soul belong to none. I am meant for something more than this. Her soul almost jerking out to travel to a higher plane. Help me.


Now that the correct code word had been uttered, the cilia, the columnar epithelial cell with long luscious hair sitting on the surface mucosa in the ampulla of the fallopian tube of the uterus, was bound to help the egg cell, also known as the oocyte. It then narrated a saga to the oocyte, just as its tribe had done to so many other oocytes before her- the saga of a Paradise where souls went to leave their mark. I will introduce you to a boatman who can take you there, but the boat is small and you must travel light, so choose wisely what to pack.

The egg had expected a complete spoon-fed answer since this must have all been chalked out by her predecessors…

No. Each journey is a new one, each powered by individual will and wit. Think of it as a medieval riddle or a modern aptitude test.

The egg calmed down, feeling each wave of breeze generated by the collective motion of the cilia hitting her face. She then started enquiring about what the journey looked like, what paradise looked like…

…did this paradise have a gate like most paradises usually do?
And guards?
Did it need to pack any food for the journey?
Should her soul shed her body here itself before stepping onto the boat or right at the gates of paradise?
If the boat was small and she was too heavy, should she pack her soul into a smaller portion of her body for the journey? Would her entire soul be too big and heavy, so should she rather choose a small portion of that as well?
But most importantly, what was her soul?

All the right questions and almost in the right sequence…the cilia smiled inwardly.

Tell me something, don’t you feel like going to paradise yourself?

No. We have been told to stay put. To maintain status quo or something like that… in organizational interest…or national interest, I don’t remember anymore which they said. They also serve who only stand and wait. They said that was the quote from milton. They also said ours is but to do and die, ours is not to question why.

That is definitely not what was taught to us in the village!…

…may be it is best to disguise myself as one of the guards if entry is restrictive or if I don’t qualify.
What do the guards look like?
But most importantly what is my soul?
And what is the mark that I will leave?
These questions took time to answer.

You must hurry, soon we will have to punctually start kicking you towards the intrauterine cavity. No mercy.

After the oocyte had been kicked out, the cilia retorted to its neighbour, “Told you so, same attitude, all of them”.


She opened her eyes. It felt almost like a mouse had run over her…an idea had flitted across her head. She removed the hot water bottle from her belly and although her lower back was aching, she felt compelled to sit at her study table and switched on the table lamp. It was one past midnight. Feverishly she jotted down her idea.

An unfertilized egg cell that is soon to be discarded in the upcoming menstrual cycle, is dissatisfied with the meaninglessness of her existence and enlists the help of a ciliated epithelial cell in the ampulla of the fallopian tube to escape her fate and make something worthwhile of herself. The cilia advises her to travel to the brain where she can transform herself into an idea and permanently leave a mark of her existence. Since the egg cell is too big to pass through the layers of epithelial cells of the surface mucosa of the fallopian tube or through the intercellular clefts of the blood capillaries to enter the blood stream to reach up to the brain, she decides to only take a small part of her soul, her DNA into the brain.

A small section of the DNA of one of the 23 haploid chromosomes in her nucleus is transcripted by a messenger RNA and translated as a small sequence of amino acids which are then packaged into a small peptide. But since it can be dangerous to let the peptide float alone in the blood stream for fear that it could be hijacked by amino acid processors in the liver or by other cells, it is hidden inside a vacuole of one of the granulosa cells of the corona radiata of the oocyte. This granulosa cell has been specially chosen for the mission to deliver the peptide across the brain-blood barrier since it comes from the lineage of squamous cells, that best resemble the other squamouses that are lined up at the endothelial lining of the brain-blood-barrier of the Paradise Prefrontal Cortex. It is here in this paradise that synchronized firing of multiple neural ensembles required for the production of creative ideation is coordinated.

Thus a single squamous granulosa with a small bundle of amino acids hidden inside it, squeezes past the surface epithelial of the fallopian tube, entering into the blood capillary beneath and mounting itself onto an oxygenated red blood cell, travels via the Ovarian Veins, into the Inferior Vena Cava, through the heart, the lungs and again the heart, up the aorta and the Common Carotid Arteries and Anterior Cerebral Arteries, reaches the Frontopolar Artery and lands at the blood capillaries of the Paradise Prefrontal Cortex.

The boatman red blood cell had been supportive of the oocyte’s journey, since every month it kept loosing many of its tribe members to the sacrifice for the demon and was personally infuriated by the custom. From time to time the boatman handed food to the granulosa, which it had packed in its hemoglobin.

At the gates of Paradise, the granulosa squamous squishes herself between the endothelial squamouses and establishes herself at a part of the brain-blood-barrier. Here it then passes its package of peptides across the wall into the vascular feet of an astrocyte. The mighty Astrocyte accepts the peptides as a tribute of nutrients and radiating with joy passes it onto the synapses of more than the 100,000 neurons with which it is networked. This sparks a synchronized neural firing which had woken P up.

P is amazed at what she has just scribbled in blue ink on these A4 sheets.

The oocyte had predetermined that the idea generated by the synchronized neural firing of her soul particles from the Prefrontal Cortex, should reveal the mechanism of Ideogenesis, so that by informing the metaorganism, perhaps she could pass on a message to all the other girls in the village, who would know what to do when their time came and they won a ticket out of the village.
This was the mark she had wanted to leave.

P got up from the chair, her back aching. Her periods had started that very afternoon- the sacrifice too the demon. P smiled. She could visualize the egg cell’s dead body flowing out with the menstrual blood while simultaneously, her soul had crossed over into the brain. Exactly a fortnight! between ovulation when the egg cell had come out of her village and was waiting in the fallopian tube and today, her first day of menstruation.

P switched off the table lamp and went back to bed, one hand clutching her belly, the other hand her lower back. But she could not sleep. Her brain was still stirring as if the neurons were still forming ideas. Once again she got up. But instead of the table lamp switch, her hand touched the wall and flicked the ceiling light on while another hand reached out and pulled a diary from the book shelf and the fingers flipped through the pages, the Prefrontal Cortex coordinating these muscular movements via the motor neurons.

And now… for the first time, the pupils, the photoreceptor cells of the retina, the optic nerves and the primary visual cortices in the occipital lobes right at the back of her brain saw…saw the marks left behind by all the other unfertilized egg cells…in her diary where she wrote her ideas. She saw the dates scribbled at the end of each idea…exactly one new idea a month, approximately a few days before or after her periods. Last month’s idea was written three days before her vacation to the beach.
The eyelids shut themselves…the invisible, inaudible message had been delivered and interpreted…hmmm…so each oocyte took different lengths of time to figure out how to leave a mark of her existence.


Part 2


P woke up. Had it all been a dream? No. The scribbled A4 sheets were on the table labelled with today’s date. Her stomach flexed a little. She looked down and said a silent thank you to the departed egg cell for her parting gift. It all made sense- egg cells, ideas, mental fertility. Give birth to a baby or give birth to an idea, what’s the difference?

And at that very thought, panic seized her. P was 35. Her biological clock was ticking. 15 years to menopause. 15×12, 180 periods to go, a 180 ideas or less. There is often no ovulation before periods when menopause approaches…false periods with no ideas.
How would she survive in the creative industry if her ideas stopped flowing at 50? How would she survive in that bloody competition with just a 180 ideas? What would she do for the next 30 years thereafter, assuming she died at 80? She must stock up. Now now now. How how how?


So you want to harvest your eggs… (a good friend who is in the IVF business in whom P could confide without sounding loony)…but you don’t want to fertilize them with sperms…

No. They should go back unfertilized into the fallopian tubes.

… so that they generate ideas?


P showed her the notes that she had scribbled past midnight. She read through all the pages with a sharp demeanour. Finally she looked up and said,

You know there is a lot of natural selection involved in here.
Let me walk you through the numbers.
When you were a foetus in your mothers womb, all your eggs were already formed which was 4 to 7 million.
At birth you came out with only 1 to 2 million eggs.
At puberty you had 30 to 40 thousand.
Of which only 300 to 400 are ovulated, that is leave the ovary to be fertilised during the reproductive lifetime.

Yes, you see I have already lost so many ideas.

No! I think the body is naturally selecting the best ideas for you.

I also have numbers for you. 1000! That’s the numbers of eggs I am losing every month whether I like it or not and I cannot do a damn thing about it! If I got pregnant now, I would be losing 10,000 ideas.

That’s absurd, you will only lose 10 ideas for the 10 months that you wouldn’t ovulate. You can’t harvest all 1000 eggs each month. Even for IVF at your age of 35, a maximum of 10 eggs can be harvested per cycle.

That’s the 10 eggs that will mature into antral follicles. But what if we harvest all the immature primordial eggs that are lying dormant right now, all at once.

You know the story of the woman who had a goose that laid golden eggs? I think it was written about you. And besides, you said it yourself, its in the name ‘immature’, which means that these immature eggs might not be able to metamorphose themselves into ideas, mature ideas. I think it is better to have one good idea that a thousand stupid ones.

But maybe I can nurture and train them to become good ideas. A good kungfu master can even train a panda.

Let’s clear the table for a moment. Why are you so convinced about your hypothesis that unfertilized eggs convert into ideas? No other woman has come up with this theory in my clinic.

That’s because we don’t really listen to our bodies very carefully. We still can’t read all the signals. That’s why all the late diagnoses. Until now, even I hadn’t realized it although I have been noting down every idea every month for the past five years. Before that I did not write them down and even before that I didn’t even recognize those thoughts as ideas with creative potential. We are bad at reading these patterns.

Look here, scientific studies have shown that in the modern world, the average age of onset of menstruation has lowered from 13/14 to 10/11 years of age. Why do you think that has happened? Globally? Why three years more of menstruation, 3×12, 36 periods more, why? Because the body recognizes the increased need to be fertile with ideas early enough, in order to survive and ‘make it’ in the creative industry.

So how do you think men generate their ideas? Does some part of their sperm go up to their brains?

Don’t know, but if so, then they definitely still have an advantage over us with gazillion sperm productions till 95 years of age.

So are you trying to gain a lead over them?

Why not? Let me as a woman be the first to crack this code, before men do and crowd us out again and as usual. But you know, I don’t really see them as competition. We have a mutual enemy. AI…not Artificial Intelligence, but Artificial Imagination- produced by artificial neural networks. In fact, I am waiting for men to crack their code of ideogenesis so that we can join forces for the upcoming slaughter. Do you have any idea what Artificial Imagination is currently aiming at? At simulating creativity, humour and satire- which means, that very soon even stand-up comedians are going to lose their jobs!


If we crack this mechanism, we will go down in history. Imagine the potential of it as well as the economic prospects. Perhaps I could implant the unfertilized egg of another genius and set up a new collaboration. A female singer’s eggs in a female scientist’s brain could fire new neural patterns previously unknown to both parties…Asian eggs firing in African brains…inherited legacy eggs firing in third generation brains…

Now when I think about it, we need to succeed at harvesting and implantation not just for myself, but for humanity’s sake. For the next revolution! Humanity 5.0.

Just out of curiosity, what do you do with these ‘ideas’?

Some become drawings, some video art, some short stories, some movie scripts, some could become pitches for video games, or virtual reality soap operas…the platforms are ever multiplying and we need to be on all of them.

And how much time does it take for an idea to get materialized?

Varies. Say if I am writing a short story, the idea can be translated into a rough draft in a day, add a day or two for some additional research, typing, proof reading etc…say within a week it can be neatly packaged off. A movie could take a year. Sometimes ideas sit in diaries waiting to be synthesized with an other idea. In our lingo we call it ‘fermentation’. I have ideas fermenting for five years or more. It’s like chewing the cud…the idea leaves the brain and enters the diary and then again re-enters the brain for its final materialization.

At times one single idea per product is good, but that is now old-school. Hyper-Stimulating Entertainment nowadays requires synchronous bombardment of multiple ideas, a trend which I think will grow exponentially in the future. All you need to do is compare with the past to see how we have evolved as creative beings- Homo creativus.


We need ideas to make ideas and then more ideas to sell those ideas…ideas that can be packaged in a 140 characters, ideas that can be crunched into 3 minute thesis presentations, three-minute poetry slams, two-minute pecha kuchas, 1 minute elevator pitches, 20 second presidential debates, 15 second TikTok videos, 5 second YouTube ads…big ideas in smaller packages and more packages per day. Have you seen the ideas that are required for selling candy floss nowadays? When we need more out-of-this-world ideas we might even have to collaborate with female aliens someday.

That might again lead to some form of colonization!

Yes but we will deal with that when it happens, but as of now we need to fight the supercomputers.

I can’t promise to save humanity, but I can do the math for you. So how many eggs do you think you need for your lifetime?


How did you arrive at this number?

As of now I am banking on becoming a short story writer, there a lot of potential in that… finishing one story per week which means I will need 4 ideas per month, 48 in a year…creative till I am 70 which is 35 years from now, so 48×35 is 1680 ideas. Add another 100 which I would like to preserve and pass on as legacy to my next generation. That’s 1780. My normal periods will give me 12 ideas x 15 years that is a 180 ideas till I hit menopause at 50. So 1780-180 is 1600 extra ideas. How many cycles of egg harvesting will that be you think?

The friend was rummaging through P’s notes again.

What I don’t understand is why the need for eggs at all? If it is ultimately a small chain of amino acids that crosses into the brain, then why not directly inject amino acids into your head every week?

As you said it some time ago-natural selection. The journey of each cell is unique and from what I know about creative practice is that the journey is as important as the destination, sometimes even more. See, what was dictated to me by the egg cell yesterday night…each journey is powered by individual will and wit. I am guessing each egg cell has to decide for itself how it wants to reach up to the brain, what it chooses as its soul…there are 23 haploid chromosomes, it could choose any one of them or a portion of any one, and then those have millions of DNA base pairs that means a trillion possible permutations and combinations of amino acids. Some eggs might not even choose DNA as their souls but rather the proteins of the zona pellucida or the mitochondrial DNA of a granulosa cell of its corona radiata as the essence material.

Also there might be transformations in the amino acid chains while being transported during the journey. If the egg comes out of the right fallopian tube, it goes directly into the Inferior Vena Cava, if it come out of the left one, it goes through the Left Renal Vein where it could be sightseeing something new. The amino acids might encounter new protein receptors and form new bonds. You know how it is…how journeys change us, we form new friendships, gain new insights, become new beings…I guess it must be the same for the egg cells also.

Could be.

That is why the only sure shot thing would be, is to let the egg cell start from one of the fallopian tubes, from where it would know what to do.

Hmmm. We could freeze the eggs and then implant them back. But what I understand from your notes is that each egg ambitions itself, wills itself, drives itself to reach up to the brain out of a certain existential angst. What if frozen eggs don’t have the same zing? What if cryopreservation makes them too complacent and they lose that angst when they are suspended in limbo?

I am an artist. I will have enough existential angst my entire life. So once it is inside me, that angst will become a part of the egg’s psyche too. I wouldn’t bother much about that.

But creating the death threat for the egg cell will require more than manipulating oestrogen and progesterone…

…which I know my body will cease to produce after menopause, but it can be injected.

Yes, but these hormones play critical roles in other parts of the body also, all of which is not so well understood still…

…listen let us harvest the eggs now as an insurance. In 15 years from now, when there is more medical research, we can always decide whether to replant them or not. Perhaps by then we will have found another method of ideogenesis.

I hope so. Or perhaps, by then we will live in a world where we don’t need ideas anymore.


Priyanka Jain
Incase you really must know:

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