Save Our Seas

Author: Afreen Ahmed

Oceans clearly play an essential role in life on Earth, yet because of their vastness, humans tend to use their waters as dumping grounds for many waste materials. This practice has increased as land areas for such wastes diminish. Oceans also receive all of the pollutants that are fed to them by the rivers of the world. Even when ships are not actively engaged in dumping wastes, they are themselves sources of pollution, most notably, the giant tankers that have caused numerous massive oil spills. 

As a result, by the late 20th century, ocean studies indicate that what had once been thought impossible is now becoming a reality. The oceans as a whole are showing signs of environmental pollution. Even the surface waters of the oceans are increasingly plagued by obvious litter. Some of this litter washes ashore to render beaches unsightly, while other such debris entangles and kills many sea birds and mammals every year.

More insidious than these litter problems are the effects of toxic contaminants from wastes that are dumped in the ocean. These chemicals can upset delicate marine ecosystems as they are absorbed by organisms all along the food chain. Even the paints that are being used on many ships can be hazardous.

The need to address the matter of ocean pollution has been recognized at national and international levels. According to the UN, about 8 million tonnes of plastic waste is dumped in the seas annually. It has been discovered at the deepest point of ocean, in Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. Scientists now believe “plastic is literally everywhere.” The reason why it is so difficult to clean the existing plastic from the ocean is because of the sheer amount of trash that currently exists. 

So the idea of attempting to “clean up” the ocean is a quixotic one. Can these projects really make a difference?

The answer is yes, but not as expected.

Smaller technical solutions can make an impact in a localised area. Two rubbish-sucking Seabins were recently installed in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. The devices suck in water, trapping rubbish in a mesh bag, and recirculate the water back into the environment. There are 450 Seabins in 26 countries around the world, in 60 harbours throughout the US, Europe, and now the Asia-Pacific, collecting on average around 4kg of marine litter a day – or about 1.4 tonnes a year.

Another local installation, known as Mr Trash Wheel, is making a difference in Baltimore’s Inner Harbour, on the US’s north-east coast. As the wheel turns, it collects litter from the harbour and stores it in a barge for later removal. These are good examples of small-scale clean-ups that can have a local impact. What these clean-up projects are good at is increasing awareness of the plastic problem. The real goal is to stop plastics from entering the water in the first place.

However, that can’t be extrapolated to the open ocean or the global plastic crisis. What we really need is policy change, and behavioural change, and that’s just starting to happen. 

Things have changed rapidly in the last 12 to 18 months, the announcement of enormous bans on single use plastics and microplastics, with countries banning single-use plastic bags worldwide, and fast-food giants committing to phase out plastic straws in their stores.

No matter how insignificant it seems, the world could see very real impacts for the health of the ocean and the broader health of planet.

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Fair Fashion

Author- Aditi Chandrasekar

When people think of plastic, they rarely think of their clothes, However, be it the sequined tank top thrown away after being worn to one party, or the micro-plastic fibres that are released while washing our clothes, the things we adorn our bodies with are slowly destroying our planet by adding to the threateningly high plastic accumulation. The fashion industry is eroded by sizeable issues, ranging from factory workers’ conditions, to the psychological weight that the demanding industry throws on models; so it’s no surprise that its (albeit, big) contribution to polluting the environment often goes unnoticed. Polyester, nylon, acrylic and other synthetic fibers-all of which are forms of plastic-make up a scary majority of the material in our clothes, owing to its cheap cost and easy abundance. Thankfully, awareness about our fashion footprint on the environment has grown exponentially, over the past decade. Fast fashion brands have been called out on their unfair practices promoting clothing waste, global consumers are collectively making more conscious decisions when it comes to their clothing choices and habits. and more eco-friendly brands are coming to the spotlight. One such home-grown brand is ‘Bodice Studio’, founded by Ruchika Sachdeva in Delhi. Bodice Studio’s focus on sustainability and technological innovation makes it a trailblazer in India’s journey towards sustainability. Ruchika studied fashion design at the prestigious London College of Fashion, which boasts of industry giants Jimmy Choo and Patrick Cox as some of its notable alumni. But it was only after her ‘International Woolmark Prize’ win, that she started her slow fashion brand. Her merino wool masterpieces, which won her the coveted prize, were inspired by her grandmother’s habit of up-cycling old saris into quilts. From the cloth materials and dyes used all the way to the application and everything in between, the clothes were so thoughtfully made, that simply reading about it made me ashamed of the ignorant attitude I usually employ towards my clothes. Even the buttons on Ruchika’s pieces were made from the waste generated from a South Indian toymaker’s practice-out of coconut shell and wood. Bodice Studio, since its inception, has been breaking barriers of the sustainable fashion domain. Ikkivi, Brass Tacks and Doodlage (among many more), are other clothing brands that are leading the sustainable fashion movement in India. So this plastic-free month, you don’t need to splurge on these brands’ products or attempt to make clothes for yourself out of cashmere wool and silk. Doing anything small you can- like, repairing damaged clothes instead of dumping them, or discussing the issues that fast fashion brings about can make a significant impact, and there’s no denying that it soothes your conscience as well!

Reborn

Author: Janani Ramachandran


Dewdrops slid down her body
As the snow began to thaw
Uncovering her buried form
That lost its way in the expanse of the perfect white
The sunlight reflecting in her ebony irises for the first time in a long time

One could say she was lifeless
But one look closer
One could feel the slight ministrations of her uncertain breath
Slight yet steady
Like the stream opening to a mighty river
Her ebony irises
Like the inky starless night sky
That conceals a million behind its inky curtains

Her pale arms scratched with blood red scars
Her soft flesh pierced by rough wood and dirt
The fair mixed with the brown
Giving rise to a new hue
The colour of her cocoon
That would give rise to the new her

Her colourless lips encrusted with dried blood
New Ebony hair peeking out from a mass of lifeless strands
Her fat eaten by the ice
Stripping her to her bones
Yet she looked full
In complete harmony with the ice complementing her starved form

They called her a miracle
When they felt a slight twitch in her cold wrist
They had thought that she would’ve snapped
Like the great trees amputated by winter
They’re great arms twisted by the unforgiving cold
Yet there she lay
A subtle pulse in her lifeless form

It should’ve frozen her heart
Crushed her bones
Sucked the life out of her lungs
Iced her blood to bed her in a coffin of ice
There was an endless list of what should have happened
But nothing of what had happened was found in the pieces of parchment

She was alive
Her blood gushing into her veins
Stronger than ever
Her breath like the beginning of a hurricane
The colour returning to her pallid body
Gasps of awe as they watched her arms twitch
Yet what almost everyone missed
Was the drops of liquid lining her closed eyes

Dawn had arrived
The first beam of sunlight hit her heart
A reminder that the wait was over
As her eyes opened
There was a certain light in them
Like a falling star in the inky night sky
That commanded attention and respect
But most importantly fulfilled a wish
It fulfilled hers
She had been reborn

Unsolved-The arrow of Time

Author: By Aditi Chandrasekar 

I had been reading a book by Brian Greene a few weeks ago, titled “The Fabric of the cosmos”. While the entire book was filled with revelations and existential puzzles, one specific part stuck with me for a few days after I returned the book to the library. It talked about a concept that was first put into words by a Sir Arthur Eddington-the ‘arrow of time’. This basically refers to the characteristic of time that it is directed forward. Somehow, we are all inherently aware of this dogma of time-that the past is behind us and the future is ahead. When I first came across this, it seemed obvious to me that it should be dismissed as a subjective matter. I formulated this “arrow of time” as just a sort of fulcrum of our perception of the world. But when I started contemplating the objectivity of ordinary incidents and their asymmetrical nature-for example, a glass window shattering, a sandwich being eaten, and even extraordinary processes like the journey of a star from dust to a white dwarf, my mind begged to have a substantive answer to the question-Why does time never go backward? In Sir Arthur Eddington’s book “The Nature of the physical world” published in 1928, he first addresses the concept in a part that goes: 

‘The great thing about time is that it goes on. But this is an aspect of it which the physicist sometimes seems inclined to neglect. In the four-dimensional world . . . the events past and future lie spread out before us as in a map. The events are there in their proper spatial and temporal relation ; but there is no indication that they undergo what has been described as “the formality of taking place” and the question of their doing or undoing does not arise.’ 

As the world started coming to terms with Eddington’s stuff, there was an increased pressure on physics for an explanation as it had realized that there is a deep puzzle behind familiar phenomena. Many advances have been made but the conundrum is far from solved. To distinguish the past and the future, the arrow was defined as the direction in which entropy or disorder increases. Classifications were made-the thermodynamic arrow of time, cosmological arrow of time, quantum mechanical arrow of time, psychological arrow of time etc, Intriguing possibilities were contemplated-worlds not within the constraints of entropy gradient in which we are born, new physical models which conflict with our ordinary asymmetric perspective. But the long years coupled with the minimal progress, beg the question-have we simply hit an impenetrable barrier of the universe? 

Subterfuge

Author: Saumyaa Sinha

Smoke filled the little cellar. One couldn’t tell if the pungency was from the cigar tobacco or the wine or the rapidly rotting body of Louise Baer.

***

“This is ridiculous. It cannot possibly be expected from me to wait this long,” he mumbled under his breath, sitting on a chair so high it seemed he was nothing but a furniture talking.

“They are arriving shortly sir, if you could just be so kind as to-” the assistant began.

“I don’t believe in kindness, its blasphemy blinds us, and if it isn’t clear enough then perhaps there is no use in this pathetic wrangle, you understand?”

“Very well understood sir, maybe that’s why you’re here,”, a steady unwavering voice answered back, the lack of humor in it terrifying.

“Ah Miss Davis, kind of you to finally see through to your commitments,” he spat, as he swallowed the woman from the top of her smooth haired head to the glistening tip of her heel.

“You are, if I’m not wrong, sitting in my office, Mr. Smith, traveled 32 miles for my help on a petty case you have twisted for yourself, and you, fragile little man, have the audacity to run your mouth to an attorney with the power over 15 states. I’m not the one in the mess here, sir.” She smiled, walked over to her desk and sat on her chair, fingers entwined in front of her.

“Miss, you have me all wrong,” Mr. Smith smiles, the demeanor of his body changing. Women can be intimidating. Especially if they have a degree in law. “I did nothing. I need you to prove that”.

“That’s all pretty well, but tell me first, I beg, why did you kill him?”. She asked, simply skimming through some papers at her desk, not bothering to look at the man sat opposite to her. “The bench warrants did give me quite a headache this morning,”.

“This is preposterous!” Mr. Smith raged and got off his chair, slamming down his hand on the rosewood table.

“Now you be careful, that’s real wood,” she raised an eyebrow and that was enough for him to sit back down.

“I have come here to tell you Miss, that I have killed no one. I am a businessman not a murderer!”

“But Louise Baer WAS your rival”

“Yes but-”

“And you did threaten him not once, but on three different occasions”

“Miss, I agree but-”

“And if he were to die, his shares were to be automatically transferred to you?”

“That’s true, but-”

“And you plead innocence? Did you come here to waste my time, Sir?”

He sighed, slowly rubbing circles around his head with his fingers. This woman was maddening. He dropped his voice to a bare whisper. “I did not kill him. I don’t know who did it. But it wasn’t me,”.

“Hmm,” she said undeterred. “Mr. Smith, do you know what the state police department found during their investigation? A pipe. Much like yours. Here let me refill that for you,” and she bent over the table to grab the pipe out of the bewildered man’s mouth. “Porter!” she shouted and a skinny man, wearing a suit two sizes too big for him came running into the room, with his hands behind his back.

“Yes Ma’am?”

“Fill this up for the kind gentlemen here,” and she smiled at Porter, who rushed to do his job. “Now, where were we. Ah yes. The murder you didn’t commit,”

“Miss, I swear I did not-”

“I heard you know the Bostons?” she said, finally looking at the shaking man.

“Yes, yes, I met them briefly last year during the annual business meet. What has that got to do with me,”

“Oh it’s very much got to do with you, Sir. Did you know, if you were to break the contract or, well, god forbid, were to have been demised, all money under your name would transfer to him?” she questioned, plainly.

The man gulped. “Yes, I am aware,”. Porter rushed back in the room and handed the pipe to Mr. Smith, who hurriedly took it and had a couple of swigs instantly to calm his mind.

The attorney smiled. “If you were to be convicted Mr. Smith, you’d have a death penalty. And if I were to somehow reverse that into a better disposition, you’d still have lifetime imprisonment,”.

“I came here to seek your help. Please,” he begged.

“I am helping. You’re just too stubborn to see it. There is only so much I can do Sir,” she smiled again.

The man was frustrated. This woman didn’t believe him. She wasn’t going to take over his case. Lord help! He cried. “I’ll give you as much as you ask,” he pleaded.

“Oh, your money is something you don’t need to worry about Mr. Smith, I’ll just say two things to you now. First, here, this is my wedding card, do come,” she slid a crisp golden envelope towards him. He picked it up and the swirly golden writing frustrated him even more. How could she do this at such a time? “And second, it really will be quite painless, you won’t feel anything sir,” she smiled.

The woman undid her smooth bun and got off her leather chair.

“Miss, what on Earth are you talking about, I-” he choked on the tobacco. “I don’t underst-” Mr. Smith clutched onto his throat with both hands.

She sighs. “I must take your leave now Sir. My fiancé is waiting,” and with the finality, she walked out of the room. “Porter, take care of this mess,”.

The door closed with a thud. Mr. Smith brought the card close to his face, his pipe falling onto the carpeted floor.

 

You are invited to the harmonious wedding of

Gloria Davis and Charles Boston

 

Smoke filled the cabin. One couldn’t tell if the pungency was from the cigar tobacco or the burning carpet or the slowly rotting body of the dead man.

The San Diego Comic Con

Author: Rahul Srinivasa

 

The San Diego Comic Con or the SDCC 2019 took place a few days back. While it had the usual fan contest, comic culture popping around, people cosplaying their favourite characters and other events of a standard comic con, the main reason this stood out was because of the big announcement of the instalments done by MARVEL studios and the official launching of their plans for the future, and an introduction to the Phase 4 films. It consists of 6 movies and 5 TV series that will release in the new Disney+ channel. 

The movies include Blade, Black widow, Thor love and thunder, Doctor strange and the multiverse of madness, Shang-chi and Eternals, while the TV series include Hawkeye, What if?, Loki, Wanda vision and The falcon and the winter soldier.

The first movie to be released among these is the Black Widow movie, starring Scarlett Johansson as the protagonist and directed by Cate Shortland. It is set to release on May 1, 2020. It also has the famous Stranger Things star David Harbour casting as the Red guardian. The movie is said to take place between the events of Civil War and Infinity War.

The Blade movie is about the infamous Eric Brooks, aka, Blade- The vampire hunter, with Mahershala Ali playing the character. It is notable that the Oscar winning actor has already worked with MARVEL in the TV series Luke Cage. MARVEL’s president Kevin Feige revealed that the most important reason that this film is happening was because of Mahershala Ali as he was the one who called MARVEL and said that he wanted to portray Blade.

The Thor love and Thunder movie has a lot of big stars like Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thomson and Natalie Portman in the cast. The movie is directed by Taika Waititti who also directed Thor: Ragnarok. It follows Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the Asgadian God of Thunder, Thor and Tessa Thompson reprising her role as the Asgardian warrior Valkeyrie who is now the queen of New Asgard. In the SDCC it was also revealed that Natalie Portman will portray a female Thor, and will lift his hammer, aka the Mjolnir. 

Doctor Strange and the multiverse of madness stars the two powerful wizards of the MCU- Stephen Strange and Wanda Maximoff. The villain of the film is Nightmare, and the film will follow how the two wizards deal with him and will also explore into the potential parallel universes aka, the multiverse. It is also MARVEL’s first ever horror movie. 

The Shang-chi movie is about the Chinese superhero Shang-chi, the master of kung fu. The movie follows about the legend of the 10 rings and the Mandarin- from the comics, not the character in Ironman 3. It is directed by Destin Daniel and the protagonist is the Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu. 

The Eternals movie is about the eternals- a species created by the celestials to defend the earth and defeat their counterparts, the Deviants. It is said to release on November 6, 2020. It is directed by Chloe Zhao and has Angelina Jolie in the cast.

The TV series Hawkeye follows Jeremy Renner reprising the role of the archer Hawkeye. The character was introduced in Thor and then appeared in movies like Avengers, Avengers :AOU, Civil war and Avengers: Endgame, playing significant roles that included retrieving one of the six infinity stones required to defeat Thanos.

The What If? TV series is an animated series that explores the significant instances in the MCU and how everything would’ve changed if those instances did not take place. It has high expectations from fans as they are hyped up to see what could’ve been- Will the Captain fail to defeat Hydra? Will shield not exist? Would the snap not have happened? Would the Blip not have happened if things were done differently? And many more questions are residing within the hearts of the fans as they patiently await for the series to get released.

The Wanda Vision TV series will take place with Elisabeth Olsen reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany reprising his role as Vision. It will also be connected with the movie Doctor Strange and the multiverse of madness which also includes Elisabeth Olsen playing Scarlet Witch with Benedict Cumberbatch playing Doctor Strange. 

The Loki series follows the adventures of the Loki who escaped with the tesseract in 2012 in Avengers: Endgame, during the events of New York, Avengers 1. It follows how Loki travels through different times and how he influences the history of our world by manipulating certain instances.

Finally, the Falcon and winter soldier series follows the adventure of Falcon, with Captain America’s shield and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. The winged character Falcon is portrayed by Anthony Mackie and the metal armed character is portrayed by Sebastian Stan. 

That concludes the official announcements and news related to the MARVEL phase 4 movies and TV series, with 6 movies and 5 TV series planned to be released within the next 3 years.  

City Lights

Author: Divyang Arora

 

These globs, seem like ghosts
apparitions I need to get away from,
to somewhere where they are further off the ground
a place where they are pure and white
a haven where they form a roof over my head
not a display below my apartment.

I bought a high powered pair of binoculars. A friend of mine came home. He is a scientist, you know. People who do what magicians pretend to. He saw the binoculars and asked what I do with them.

I led him out, to the balcony
I told him, I intended to look at the stars
but the stars were no longer ours.
It belongs to the people who have nothing
people who live in forests and mountains
people who don’t have riches and the gift of civilization.

so I was left only with the stars on the ground.

Those globs, their intensity has tales to tell
stories waiting to be discovered.

That huge building that has hundreds of lights on
even at this time? It’s a corporate one.
People who work there work till late at night
and go home to sleeping kids and wife.
They are at home only on Sundays,
a day which is slept sleeping
recovering from the week’s ordeals
And yet, they have achieved what they wanted
or have they?
After all, they have a big house and a lavish car
that’s what they tell people, sir!
with dark circles around their eyes.

There are people who crave for their life
people who are cheerful, relaxed, dissatisfied
men who spend time with their families
but discontent slowly seeps through their mind
creating a riverbed that gnaws at them.
The lights of their workplaces
are switched off much earlier.

Then there is a big house
the house is full of furniture, yet empty
walkways seem devoid of people to walk
the wife sits waiting in her room
the children, in their
there is not much to talk between them
They wait, for the man of the house,
who only comes when they are asleep.
But theirs, sir, is a perfect life!
People pass by, looking at the big house in wonder
grudgingly wishing for a life in it.

There is also a light that comes from a single bulb
and a chulha
the people of this house lead miserable lives in poverty
people feel a deep sadness when they think about it, sir!
But I have seen them laugh
the guy giving up his roti for his sister
her smile filling his stomach.
Together they eat in rusted plates,
but laughter rings from inside the house
as they share their day with each other.

The people from the big house seem so happy
only when they are going out for a party
lavish dinners do for them what stale chappati does in that hat.

The lights in the sky may control destiny
but these lights on the ground
they talk a lot about 
finding solace in that destiny.

Trailing Stars

 Author: Janani Ramachandran
A silent cry echoed through the grey walls,

As she swept the deserted corridors with her blush gown,

Her movement frantic as she attempted to see beyond the engulfing darkness,

The white of the moon,

Unable to escape the demons lurking in the unnamed darkness,

She found her turquoise eyes closing in feeble attempt to safety,

A surge of hope caressing the walls of her heart,

As a faint silhouette of a lantern appeared before her mind’s eye,

The light reflecting off her bejewelled crown sparkling on every wall,

Mimicking the stars adorning the bare night sky,

Its radiance rivalled only by her twinkling eyes,

Her endearing face alit with a silly smile, the golden light dusting it with a rosy blush,

The toothy grin and the matching pigtails a sharp contrast,

To the serious look she often feigned in childish humour,

Involuntarily reaching for the floating light with her little chubby fingers,

As the soft crackle of the flames resonated within her,

Her little head lifting in surprise as the lantern suddenly disappeared,

Only for the darkness to be lit by another one,

Fierce determination swirling like an immature whirlpool in her aqua eyes,

She swore to capture it again in a race against time,

And found herself make the biggest leap of her life,

But what she was yet to know, was time was bound to win,

As she leaped to grab the light, time played its part,

Mid- leap she outgrew her fine little clothes,

Her juvenile grin sculpting into a serene smile,

Her face now composed of features that seemed like subtle strokes of art,

Yet her surroundings carried no sign of her sudden metamorphosis,

Waking up from the fall she found herself curled in fetal stance,

Preserving nothing of her past but only her heart,

That forever carried her childish smile written within its walls,

As she looked back she hoped to find the floating lanterns,

That had her smiles and tears inked on their walls of light,

Yet all she saw was the trail of stars,

That had scripted her story via Cassiopeia,

The constellation that told her tale and lit her night sky,

The princess that day became the Queen of constellations,

Earth that day met the stars..

A look at space exploration’s evolution- and its challenges

Author: Akshat Kashyap

 

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, the famous words uttered on July 19th, 1969 by Neil Armstrong when he became the first man ever to step on moon. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the historic event, and the progress made in space exploration has been unprecedented.

What began as a show of one-upmanship during the cold war culminated with Apollo 11’s landing on the moon, which inspired and paved the way for a spurt of human space exploration and advancement. From the competition to establish power among other countries, it graduated into a competition to find the best answers to go beyond the moon.

In the early 1960’s, Soviet Union had the upper hand in the quest to dominate space, as evident by several successful missions, such as the launching of first artificial satellite – Sputnik I, in the lower orbit of Earth, followed by a series of unmanned lunar missions as well as a successful attempt of sending a man, Yuri Gagarin, into space for the first time in human history. However, through all these celestial achievements, the US was preparing for something extraordinary, a manned lunar mission that would go on to be a watershed moment in the history of international space sector.

50 years later, not only the US and Soviet Union, but several dozen countries have made huge strides to satisfy the curiosity of what lies beyond the skies. 72 countries have formed government space agencies, of which 14 agencies have launch capabilities. Six government space agencies of the US, Russia, Japan, India, China and Europe have full launch capabilities. The achievements of India’s ISRO have been lauded worldwide with several missions, such as launching a record breaking 104 satellites from a single rocket, its Chandrayan mission which was able to discover traces of water on the moon, and the success of Mars Orbiter Mission, in which India was able to send a space probe to Mars on its maiden attempt. Several space agencies, by teaming up together, have been successful in creating a habitable artificial satellite- International Space Station-  where the astronauts live and explore more about the living and working in space.

But what truly shows the possibilities and opportunities in this sector is the enthusiastic participation of private entrepreneurs, including the three most recognizable billionaires on the planet- Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson. Bezos established Blue Origin in 2000, Musk setup SpaceX in 2002 and Branson established Virgin Galactic in 2004. Iain Boyd, a space exploration expert and professor of engineering at the University of Michigan, says while the three billionaires are each very different, they were likely inspired by a similar frustration.  He says in the years and decades after the Apollo missions, with the limited success of the space shuttle programme and fewer funds being awarded to Nasa, there was a sense of an opportunity being wasted. As a result, it was natural that the entrepreneurs such as Musk, Bezos and Branson would seek to fill the gap.

The ambition of these entrepreneurs is grand.  Branson’s current project seeks to send six passengers and two crew to the edge of space, about 100km above the earth, by means of a two aircraft. Bezos’s current plan involves using reusable rockets to send a crew in a capsule to an altitude of 307,000 feet. The rocket returns to its launch pad, and the crew capsule separates and descends by use of parachutes.

In many ways, Musk’s plans are the most ambitious. While his SpaceX rockets are already restocking the international space station, again with reusable rockets, the South African-born entrepreneur also wants to send people to Mars. He has said his project could be ready to send people to the Red Planet – a vast undertaking that many scientists are skeptical about – as soon as 2026.

However, such projects, private and government, throw up new challenges, not just for technology and science but areas such as law. Right now, there are no rules governing space travel. Also, the Outer Space Treaty, a UN resolution first adopted in 1967 that prohibits the placing of nuclear weapons in space, is similarly lacking in detail.

There are also questions as to what impact the rush to reach other planets will have on our own. Some have said that by suggesting humanity can reach places such as Mars, there will be less incentive to address the pressing crisis posed by climate change.

But, no matter what consequences we face, there are still a lot of possibilities that have to be explored if the human population is to survive beyond Earth, as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky said, “Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever”.

Sands Of time

Author: Janani Ramachandran

 

Far away in the dirty suburbs of Kashmir,

The army commander held his breath for life,

The hidden time bomb ticking every second,

 

Down south of the subcontinent,

A woman lay dying in her drug induced sleep,

The malign cancer engulfing her cells every second,

 

In the East of the peninsular land,

The mighty river raged on ravaging livelihoods,

An old widower clutching his departed love’s portrait,

A serene smile on his wrinkled face,

as he watched his life ebb away every second,

 

Due west of the diverse nation,

Silent hospital walls disturbed by the cries of a mother,

Complications in the birth increasing every second.

 

The four lives lay far apart by the compass rose,

Their strings of fate woven by only one link,

Hovering above their heads stands the fragile hourglass,

In it flow the sands of time in their own accord,

Completely in-cognizant of the mayhem and chaos,

Though the aftermath of the dance of fate unknown,

Lie a certain beauty to the lingering uncertainties.