As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a space scientist. An astrophysicist to be precise.
My immediate and extended world knew of my dreams. That of doing my PhD from the US and working at NASA.
And in 2002 I left for the US. To pursue my PhD. From Michigan State University – whose program was a top one in the country. They had a cyclotron (a real one, yes!) and we’re to commission a radio telescope later that year. I was given a 100% tuition fee waiver and an extremely generous stipend to cover my expenses.
A year into the program I was on top of my class. Was working with one of the smartest and driven professors in the team. My peers were fun, intelligent, accommodating.
Life was good.
Just that, it wasn’t.
I was good at what I was doing. But I wasn’t happy.
I figured that a PhD in astrophysics would mean staying in the US for the rest of my life.
Coming back to India would not be an option.
Because India would never have meaningful work for an ambitious, hardworking, diligent Ankur Warikoo.
Back in 2003, I predicted that for the REST OF MY LIFE, India would not have anything meaningful for me.
And I came back (undoubtedly the best decision of my life – but that’s another story)
In the past few years, I have been (secretly) tracking the work that ISRO is doing.
Last week they sent 104 mini satellites into orbit in a single launch – a world record.
Two years back they accomplished the Mangalyaan.
And I love how each time they do awesome work, and I read about it in the press, all I can see is this
Don’t ever say that the world is not ready for what you wish to do.
That the world needs to change
Because The one that needs to change is the man in the mirror.
Thank you ISRO for showing me how wrong I was, through the best manner possible – your success.
Note to self: The world doesn’t need our stamp of approval. It needs our participation.
No doubt, India is the land of opportunities. Well not just India, any place in this whole fucking universe, even Mars( Yes, I believe we can survive there). It’s just that we need to look into it, create opportunities rather than blaming it, which unfortunately we all have been doing so far, but not anymore.
It was a really good read, Ankur.
So prepared to do something of your bit for ISRO? Will you be trying to help the budding scientists and their projects with all the knowledge that you have acquired over the years? I hope someone will someday write, how on ankur warikoo helped him achieve his/her dream.. Do it.. Good read..
Hey Bro…welcome home :)…and do well for your nation…we all can use brains like yours..good stuff
So when you reach for the stars you at least reach the tree top ?
Hah! One can say that, I hope :)
Amen to that :)
did you mean, you never tried it by thinking it cannot be done in india?
Maybe you can still improve on your mistake?