The Turning Point

We are all seated comfortably. Curiosity is killing us all, but at the same time, keeping us alive.
Excitement has filled the air but there is plenty of room for anxiety. There is a momentary
fluctuation in the lighting line and suddenly a wave of a discomfort colours our faces pale. A young
boy sitting across me is only interested in what his smart watch has to offer. His mother, who is also
busy using her virtual device, suddenly throws her arm around the child and fastens the seat belt.
The sensors measure the child’s seated weight and height and enable the child lock function. The
mother then looks at me and an awkward smile escapes through my lips. She, however, smiles back
sincerely at the old man.
“They won’t let us die. The doctors and the healthcare system”, I begin.
“It is perhaps, because we need you”, comes the reply.
The steady hum in the background picks up shrill and therefore I surrender to convey my approval
through a thumbs-up.
We feel the thrust being exerted on the pod as it begins to move. In the next few minutes, hurrahs
and hoots start piercing my ear as we progress out of the atmosphere. I am reminded about my time
in school when my professor lectured us about escape velocity and now to actually escape gravity
and go far beyond our mother planet, for pleasure – it gives me jitters.
I open my eyes to the boy who sat in front of me. A voice beside me makes me realise about a
presence. I turn immediately to my right and it is the mother.
“We won’t let you die!”, she exclaims in a humble voice.
I then learn how I lost consciousness due to low blood pressure and her medical expertise revived
me. After slowly becoming aware of my surroundings, I see the kid is pointing to a direction and
asking, “Mom, that’s where we started, isn’t it? That is Earth.” I lean forward to look beyond the
transparent thermal screen and see a small object, the size of a pencil point. A tiny little point that I
know is spinning. A turning point, perhaps.
The void around the pod makes me realise the depths of the unknown. It tells me, how little we truly
know, be it of the universe, or the people around us, or ourselves. It reminds me how much more we
have to learn. A phrase echoes in my mind – ‘What we know is a drop. What we do not know, is an
ocean’.

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