by Pranab RayChaudhuri

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In our college life, in the traction paper, we came to know that an electric locomotive would
follow a total period divided into 4 zones while going from one station to another. These zones
are accelerating zone, where the engine gains speed starting from zero to come to the highest
speed, coasting zone, where the engine takes only little power to maintain its speed,
regenerative zone where the engine gradually reduces speed and the resultant power is fed
back to the traction overhead electric line, breaking zone where break is applied for fast
speed reduction, before the train stops.

In our life also, there are 4 zones, which are Growth, Reproduction, Gradual Decay and
Sudden Death. Growth means rapid development of the body and mind till you are an adult;
there is no further development of the body and mind afterwards. This zone is similar to
accelerating zone of a locomotive. Zone of reproduction is the period where an adult gives
birth to babies and nurture them for eventual adulthood. The entire energy requirement in this
zone is for nurturing babies and regular maintenance of self. However there is no decay during
this period. This zone is similar to coasting zone. When the reproductive period is over,
physical and mental decay start slowly. Your experience and knowledge help the juniors. This
zone is similar to regenerative zone. Except for a very few, the decay is gradual till death. So,
for most there is no breaking zone i.e. Sudden death.  

The measure of the area of the space enclosed by the lines (in the sketch) will tell us the total
energy requirement i.e. Fuel requirement or food requirement. Initial triangular space
representing acceleration or growth is essential and the line can be as steep as possible.
However, this is not in your control as you cannot elongate or shorten your period of growth.
Period of slow decay is also not in your hand. So, the triangular spaces on the left and on the
right side, both are beyond our control. We can, however, control and minimize the area of the
rectangular zone in between, by reproducing faster i.e. All the activities, through which a baby
goes through, are made faster. They start studying early, finish education early, marry early
and have their issues early. This zone getting reduced in area, total need of energy of a man
will come down to our benefit and the total life of an individual will also shorten for the same
work done to our collective benefit. Alas! We are at present, though much more
knowledgeable and enlightened, doing just the opposite in both the counts. Children’s
education is taking longer; they are marrying later, planning their family for childbirth later. So,
the period of reproduction is increasing instead of decreasing. Moreover, with the
indiscriminate use of medicine and surgery, we are artificially trying to increase without
success the period of slow decay - after reproduction - to our detriment.