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And Then There Was Leap Year

How Hell And Heaven In The Universe Collaborated To Create Leap Year On Earth

By Anu SundaramPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 8 min read
And Then There Was Leap Year
Photo by Jim Strasma on Unsplash


HA - 215, known as Harika Arora on planet Earth, was feeling very grateful. Her gratitude stemmed from the fact that despite delays at HeavensGate Station, her Light Ray Shuttle had made it to its destination on time. After checking into her room, she enjoyed a long bath with enough time for a stroll on the charming blue beach. And here she was in the lobby sipping her Pina Colada - her heaventop set for All Hands Meeting at 6:00 PM earth time.

Harika liked coming to Earth as one could take on beautiful forms. Back at home HeavensTown, everybody was a blob of matter just like her. Here on Earth, she was a young Indian female in her early twenties, about 6 ft tall and with a curvy figure. She had long, thick, wavy black hair and fair skin with a mole right above her left upper lip. She had chosen to wear glasses with wide black rims, which looked pretty on her oval face. She had based her looks on the latest issue of LIHFF - Latest In Human Female’s Fashion magazine.

She worked in the Data and Analytic Department in the Heaven Division of Mega Corporation Universe LLC. Her employee id was HA-215 which was also her name back home.

The advantage of working as a data and analytics employee in a big company like Universe Corporation LLC was that she had very little work and lots of time. All she had to do was sit at her desk from 9-5 and get paid regardless of what she did during those hours. An empty mind is a devil’s workshop. So in her spare time, she made mischief with Earth’s data. Years ago, she had discovered an island that had popped up on Earth and decided to hide it as ‘Invisible Island’. Given her data skills, only another genius could figure out this was an unofficial entry. Imagine her surprise when she got an invite to a Conference on Invisible Island - ‘How To Survive In Big Corporations’ in her Inbox. She assumed somehow she was getting an earthly communication and had signed up immediately. She was bored out of her mind and needed a distraction. Her plan was to enjoy the beaches, boys, food and all the other earthly attractions for three days at the company’s expense and send ChatGPT brief about the conference to her boss, who had no clue about what the youngsters were doing these days.


Henri Armon, known as HA - 305 back home at HellsTown, was in a hurry when he got off his Light Ray Shuttle at Invisible Island. His shuttle had been delayed by 4 hours because of some problem at HeavensGate (those snobs). And now he had no time to do anything except dump his stuff in his room, rush to the lobby and set up the wi-fi connection for the All Hands Meeting at 6:00 pm.

He looked at his reflection in the window as he set up his helltop. He had randomly downloaded a French persona as he could not be bothered to customise his looks. Here he was with blond hair, blue eyes, and a perfect V shape figure with a square jawline and dimpled cheeks. He had even caught that cute Indian girl giving him a look as he entered. His evening may turn out to be great after all.

He plugged his headphones to listen to the Annual All Associate Meeting at Universe LLC. It started as usual, with God and Devil, their joint CEOs, discussing the company’s history. How Universe came into being was the stuff galaxies were made up of - every atom knew it right when they winked into existence. After the Big Bang, there was a massive explosion of various universes and galaxies. There was so much expansion happening that no single entity was stable. Until God and Devil decided to join forces together, and the Universe LLC came into being as this Mega Corporation that spanned everything. The company was split into Heaven and Hell Divisions. And each division had multiple departments.

Henri zoned off as the founders talked about the end of the Big Bang and what was next. He worked in the Data and Analytics Department at the Hell Division. And with his small attention span and work proceeding at a slow pace (His latest project - Planet Pluto, had literally taken 76 years to be decommissioned), he had all the time in the world to try out his hacking skills. So, he had wasted no time setting up a Conference when he stumbled on an unofficial entry, ‘Invisible Island’ on planet Earth.

Here he was, waiting for vacation to begin once the meeting finished. He smartened up for the last section - Breakout Groups, where they were put in different rooms and had to introduce themselves.

By Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash


‘Hello, I am Henri from Data and Analytics Department, Hell Division. My focus Areas are Humans Deaths, Earth and Orbits.’

‘Hello, I am Harika From Heaven Division. My department focuses on data and analytics around Earth, Human Births and Time which are also my focus areas.’

Henri and Harika almost fell off their chairs when they heard the other introduce themselves. Now that the call was over, they had no choice but to face each other. There was an awkward pause until Henri suggested drinks after pointing at Harika’s empty pina colada glass.

They had managed to weave a story around the conference as spam since there were no signs of any conference. Harika was wondering how anybody from Universe LLC even knew about this Island, and Henri was wondering how Harika knew about the conference when he was the sole attendee. They struggled to make conversation until they hit the topic of their bosses, and then it flowed at the speed of light.

Henri said, ‘My boss still signs off with his name on every message in the Light Beam App.’

Harika replied, ‘My boss thinks ChatGPT is a human species.’

‘I love that humans have a time cycle where they work only 40 hours a week. They have weekends and weekdays.’

‘Yeah, unlike our world where we work around the clock - the universe never sleeps.’

I submitted one report in the last four years, and my boss thinks I am fantastic at work.

That is totally - right. It’s so lovely to talk about this to someone. I while away my time playing solitaire, and my boss still thinks I am the upcoming talent.

I know Universe is so big, and nobody cares about how I manage the data on Earth.

Yeah, even my colleagues don’t know what I do with Earth or if Earth exists.

And on and on, they talked about various topics. At some point, they figured out they were the data hackers for Invisible Island and Conference Invite.

They never had a chance to talk to somebody from another division, so they really connected over common pain points.

Harika said,’ My job of predicting human births would be much easier if I could get the number of births from the right data source. But with this departmental politics and lack of data governance, there is no one number - so I just make it up.’

Henri nodded so vigorously that his beer spilt on the table. ‘Same here - I struggle to get the number of deaths, so I also cook up the number.’

They looked at each other with a common understanding that slipped away into the fogginess of the drinks. They decided to call it a night and meet at breakfast in the morning.

By NASA on Unsplash


Rejuvenated in their human forms over a breakfast of eggs, veggie sausage, mushroom, toast and loads of coffee, they both realised that they had the solution to each other’s problem regarding data. Even if their departments did not collaborate, they could and given the bureaucracy, nobody would notice where they were getting the numbers from.

After breakfast, they both got their heaventop and helltop - and spent a reasonable amount of time arguing which was better - closed operating system (MACOS) or open operating system (WINDOWS). When they had their share of argument, they settled into creating their own tables that would allow them to share data to efficiently provide more accurate data. And this would allow each of them more free time and bonuses at no cost.

‘I wish we could do this more often’, said Harika as she and Henri created a universal pipeline to connect Heaven and Hell. Henri leaned back in his chair, looked at the view in front of them and said, ‘Why not? We could make this into an annual conference every year.’

‘But, it would look suspicious if we attended the same conference every year’, replied Harika. She added, ‘Now, instead of us disappearing from work, if we could make an extra day for ourselves, that would be something.’

Henri snapped his fingers, saying, ‘We both are data people and have Earth as our primary area - there has to be something we can do.’

“Hell Yeah - we can,” said Harika, apologizing at her usage of words.

Henri brushed it away as he looked into Meta data on how days and years worked.

After a few intense moments when all you could hear was the frantic typing of keyboards, Harika said, ‘I think I have an idea.’

Henri nodded.

Harika continued, ‘We could modify the data in the Earth orbit table so that Earth does not revolve around the Sun in exactly 365 days but still leave it close enough so that nobody notices it.’

‘And even if somebody notices it, they will think it is a rounding error. But what will this do?’ asked Henri.

‘In reality, there are 365 days every year, but we are shaving off .25 days every year and add it all into 1 full day every four years in the human world’, explained Harika.

‘And we could sync our work calendars to the earth calendar on Leap Years so nobody would notice if we do not show up for work during those times’, said Henri.

‘Since this is a leap in our personal evolution from working around the clock to taking 1 whole day every four years - let’s call this the leap year’, said Harika.

By Nick Hillier on Unsplash


The following day, Henri and Harika checked their code to ensure that humans would experience a leap year every four years. And then synced their work calendars to sync with the Earth calendar. This was such a small rounding error that nobody in the universe would blink an eye that Earth was not taking the entire 365 days to revolve around the sun.

After a final check to see if they got February 29th, 2024, Earth time as a leap year, they closed their helltop and heaventop just in time to board their Light Ray Shuttle back to Heaven and Hell in Universe away from Invisible Island.

HumorSci FiFantasy

About the Creator

Anu Sundaram

My vision in life is to be a Better Version Of Myself Every Day. And my purpose in life is ‘Learn, Grow, Inspire and Contribute’.

Everything that I do ties into this vision - including my writing. Check out for more info!

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