the more things change….

The more things change the more they stay the same…. a couple of weeks back Ria came home excited “I’ve to prepare for elocution competition, selections are on Friday, the topic is – there is life on other worlds in space”. I helped her research and put together her material for the preliminary round. Friday when I picker her up from school she was all excited “I was selected from our section, the final is next Friday and it’s a competition between classes 5,6 and 7″… I was a little put off by the fact that she would be going up against people from class 6 and 7. But we put our shoulder to it and prepared the first, second, third ….final drafts. She practiced with her house captain and house mistress. Eventually today was the D-day.

When I picked her up today “I came first, I came first!”….. It was dejavu, I was back in school where I used to, sometimes, write the debates for three out of four contestants So Ria had won the elocution competition where people one or two year older than her were also speaking. I never mustered up the courage to go and speak on stage but write I can…. oh yes that I can do 😀

Next year, debates! (debating starts from std 6 onward.)…. here’s the speech I helped her put together:

Good morning respected Principal maam, members of the jury, coordinators, teachers and my dear friends. Today I, Ria Khan, of 5-C am going to address the topic “There are many worlds in space which have life”.

“One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” words famously spoken by Neil Armstrong when he stepped onto the moon. That event sparked an unknown number of fantasies about how humankind would go boldly into space. We all have a deep desire to find the answer to the question “are we all alone out here in the universe?”.

Thanks to space research we have information to help us understand the origins of our universe. We know that the big bang happened 13.8 billion years ago and scattered all the building blocks far across the universe. We also know that there are a number of earth like planets out there revolving around their stars. Recently seven earth sized planets were discovered 39 light years away orbiting the star Trappist-1. Given that the universe is massive and ever expanding it is possible that conditions for life may have appeared elsewhere. Life as we know it could be existent on some other planet even as of right now. Maybe far away there’s an elocution competition going on on an earth like planet, for all we know dinosaurs are still stomping around somewhere!!

We know one definition of life but maybe there are other definitions as well. On Earth across time and geographies we have so many different types of people. If a comparison were to be done between humans today and the first man, 25 million years ago, the results might be surprising. We would identify with them probably as much as we identify with an ape today. Yet thanks to research we know we are the same life forms. Similarly, maybe, highly advanced (or primitive) life does exist elsewhere in the universe. Would we recognize alternate life if we see it? The echo we so desperately wish to hear may never come because we might be tuned in to a different frequency.

In conclusion I would like to say that whether there is life on other worlds in space is debatable. However we are not going to get another earth anytime soon. So lets take care of the world we do have, live in peace and harmony with our fellow humans and protect the environment because, for now, this is the only world where we do know for sure that life exists.