Nitish Nadkarni,

Final Year,

Grant Government Medical College.

8th January 1942. Oxford. The Day. A baby cried. Fate laughed. Black Hair. Fair skin. As simple a boy can be. As normal a boy can be. Name Stephen. Stephen Hawking. The event horizon. Because, there were going to be things. Great Things in the cosmos since Newton and Einstein. Opened were the gates of the masterpiece that delved into the secrets which still lie at the heart of space and time. The child’s wonder married a genius’s intellect. And thus the journey began…
Stephen began his early years really a bit early. Father being a medical researcher and mother being the pioneer of attending the university, he was the eldest among a long list of siblings. Inquisitive as he was, he took a deep interest in the stars and the mechanics of the universe at a primary age.
Stephen wasn’t what anyone who knew him now would have predicted when he was in his prime schooling years. Poor academic acumen and a penchant for games, especially creating them was what young Hawking was known for. Stephen joined Oxford when he was just 17 when he wanted to pursue a career in Mathematics. When Oxford refused, he married his beloved Physics and Cosmology and then ‘it’ came.

Hawking was diagnosed with a progressing form of motor neurone disease at the age of 21. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Life expectancy – two years. Stephen: One. Death: Zero. It began. Stephen often preferred himself to be regarded as scientist first, popular science writer second, and, in all the ways that matter, a normal human being with the same desires, drives, dreams and ambitions as the next person. Obstinate to use even the wheelchair, Stephen tackled but in vain as in 1985, during a visit to CERN, he contracted pneumonia. He traded the longevity for his speech and after a successful tracheotomy and a lifetime tie-up with his ‘Chair’, the Voice was born.
Twelve. That’s just the amount of honorary degrees our beloved Stephen had. And an IQ of 160. How? Why? Who? The greatest love story ever told. Stephen and his Chair. With a toolkit which included Lenovo Thinkpad X220 tablet computer, Intel Core i7-262OM CPU at 2.7 GHz processor, 150 GB Solid-State Drive 520 Series, Windows OS, Speech Synthesizer, Stephen achieved with his cheek muscles what most of the people fail to achieve with fully functional bodies.
A supernova in the world of physics. He couldn’t move a finger, he made geometry dance. He couldn’t speak but leaped beyond relativity, beyond quantum mechanics and into the drama that created the universe. With his impish humour and scientific prejudices, he ruled the scientific world.
14th March 2018. Pi day. The Birth Anniversary of Albert Einstein. Hello, my name is Stephen Hawking. Physicist. Cosmologist. And something of a dreamer. Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind… The computerized words are no more. No more fighting with siblings for watching the Discovery Channel to hear the ‘Voice.’ No more visualisation of science as a refinement of the daily process. The Lucasian Professor is no more. The scientific world is an orphan. Our God(less)Father gone. With tears in eyes, the question remains…Will we look at our feet…or the stars above. Because that is what he is now. Star Dust. The Genius. The Celebrity Cripple. The Adamant Atheist. The Superman of Zero Gravity. The Grand Designer. The Stephen Hawking.

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