Sometime last year, I left deserted London. I stood at the King’s Cross train station with a mild sense of ironic detachment to what was happening around me. Paradigm shifting news came in, the pandemic lockdown was about to descent upon the United Kingdom.
As a gentleman helped me with my suitcases, I stepped into an empty train heading back to Yorkshire. A vague feeling of a pending doom crept in. My two convictions (first being that you believe what media wants you to believe and the second that it’s what you do and not how you feel that gets things done) prevailed, and I thought this will ‘blow over’ in two weeks. I was wrong.
Nonetheless, I was on top of the world and felt the air getting a little thinner. Things that used to be a matter of complete indifference had become paramount, and vice versa. Autocratic and secretive by nature with a slight undertone of genomic despotism, at that moment, it was Quo Vadis no more. I knew exactly where I was heading. In essence, everything was the same- but it felt different. It was not the life I planned, but it was mine. I wanted to become an etiquette expert, write a book, become a columnist and pursue molecular biology. Even though I did not know which of these endeavours will ultimately define me, all of them were true to my heart, soul and mind. I couldn’t go wrong. I felt like William Seward during the purchase of Alaska- it might not have seemed like a good idea at the time- but it was a masterful move.
Money and happiness do not equate. I had to think bigger. My rustic upbringing, unique blend of distinct strength of character and childlike dignified self-assurance yet again would not let me hamster wheel myself right into my grave. I am Aries, born in the year of Dragon.
I visited NASA Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida, back in 2015, which profoundly affected me. On the eve of The International Day of Human in Space Flight, I dedicate this post to Nicolaus Copernicus, Ada Lovelace, Yuri Gagarin, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Valentina Tereshkova, Elon Musk. To all the visionaries whose loyalty to their mission changed and revolutionised the world. To all people unconditionally in love with the idea of perpetual progress. To all who reach for the stars, inspire generations and whose legacy proved time and time again that you only look crazy until it works, then you’re a genius.