Monday, April 20, 2009
Stephen Hawking Has Taken Sick
I was not around when Newton was around, I was not around when Einstein was around, I missed those dudes by a few centuries combined in passing, but I have been around when Stephen Hawking has been around, and the thought gives me tickles.
My introduction to Hawking was through his book, A Brief History Of Time. I first read it during my Class 10 year, which ordinarily would have been the sophomore year of high school in the American system, except I went to this school in Kathmandu founded by the British, and we did both the Nepali high school thing - high school ended after 10, not 12 years - and the British O and A Levels (a guest speaker one day talked of "A Levels and B Levels," this top doctor dude), long story short, we would end up having 13 years of school. We got told that really prepared us for college. And the O and A Levels came by way of the Cambridge University Board. Hawking was a professor there. That's stretching it, but still. (My Relationship With Ashton Kutcher)
I understood the book during the first reading. It read like a novel, I was able to follow all its concepts: that same year I also read Ted Sorensen's Kennedy, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years Of Solitude. I have been claiming my physics smarts ever since. Around the same time I came face to face with the anti-Madhesi prejudice warps that existed and exists to this day in Nepal and when it came my way by way of the school administration, it felt like waking up to gravity, something fundamental, something that had been around a while, something now whose presence I felt acutely, but lacked any vocabulary to express, more, lacked any power to do something about it. The power was to come two decades later when I threw myself into the Madhesi Kranti in Nepal from the safety of New York City.
I acquired a physics like fascination for social reality. Before I got hit by the social gravity, I wanted to be a medical doctor, that was the first thing I wanted to be in life. Then I realized I don't need a microscope to see germs, I could see them with my naked eyes.
I feel like I am both a high school and a college dropout. I was emotionally absent the final three years of high school, and the final four years of college: I did five years, it is called changing your major too many times.
And Hawking speaks to me more today than ever before. Well, I am a tech startup guyperson.