So today, I had a minor surgery on my head that did not turn out to be short. It was because of some infection, which after consulting a dermatologist, turned out that I could either take two years of medication for an infection or do surgery. Latter heads prevailed.

I was under anesthesia for some time, but they had to keep giving it to me every 20 mins as my hypermetabolism was wiping it out. Even the nurses were surprised by the speed at which it was depleting. Since we were stuck in a room with three people and one doctor, we shared a lot of stuff.

The doctor asked me, “If you were given a one-way trip to mars, would you accept?.” And without hesitation, under heavy anesthesia, I answered a BOLD YES.

I know I’ve written about it in detail before, but space exploration gives people hope; it pushes research to new heights and limits in ways we cannot fathom. It would not be wise to assume everything would go perfectly because it won’t. I might die, but I am crazy enough to make that leap of faith; someone has to, someone has to jump on a grenade to take the hit. Not everyone gets to live long enough to read their own history. So yeah, rather than reading past history, I would like to write a new history in our books – how we left aside our differences and made mars our second home – TOGETHER.

We are so afraid of dying that we tend to miss the bigger picture. We have had so many losses, but rather than seeing them as setbacks, we should see them as mistakes/faults to improve and build upon. The first one through the walls always gets their hands bloodied; I am OK with dying – most people aren’t, and that’s okay too. Nobody is forcing anyone.

Jamestown – the first English settlement in Virginia, founded in 1607. 80% of the settlers died in the first three years. 80%. From disease, starvation, elements, weather, etc. We would never be here if the settlers had given up and gone back to England with their tail between their legs. After minute losses, we quickly forget and lose sight of the big picture.

In 1620, a ship called the mayflower traveled across the Atlantic in search of a new world. Some came to escape their past, others to follow their dreams, and they faced hardships and turmoil. But together, and with the memory of those they left behind, they were able to overcome – what was once a group of strangers, voyagers seeking a better life, had become something different, something more. And in the unlikeliest of places, they found a new home.

So again, for other Aspiring Martian ASCANs, I say – If not now, when?