Imagine you have just switched on to a TV series that everyone is watching around, and you also start enjoying the odd scenes and bits. Now, if you decide to watch the series, ideally, you will start from the very first episode. But imagine like the old no internet days when watching something meant exclusively on TV and there was no going back to the beginning. The best you would do in that scenario is either gather information from others (if possible) or try to make most of the past from the present.
Now, what if I ask you to imagine the same scenario but for a series that has gone on for eternity. Except, we don’t even need to imagine, for that is what we all have been doing all our lives. Trying to make most of our world by either gathering information from books, schools, and societies, or from our own experience.
For the most part, we are happy and content with our daily lives: work, goals, family-friend moments, and good old laughs. And yet, at times, we do want to know more. We want to delve deeper and understand the why part of things. Perhaps, it is our quest for answers that has driven us as species from deep caves in forests to outer space and beyond.
In fact, forget outer space and beyond. We love knowing about things, even if it means knowing just for the sake of knowing — like whom Elon Musk is currently dating or what our friends are up to in social media. Truth is, we are all story lovers and storytellers, and there is no such story that we love more than our own story.
But, wait a minute! What exactly is our story? Well, our story — if you think broadly and holistically — is the story of our world. It is the story of us humans on earth.
Of course, there is no going back to Episode 1 on Netflix here (sadly), in what is our quest to make the most of our world and know our story. And there is very little we can experience in what is our brief stint on earth. So, the only option that we have is to read and research more about our world, whatever is known and out there.
However, let’s be honest here — who has the time to sit back and read all of this (unless you are getting paid for it)? Or, at least that’s what I would tell myself always every time I had the urge to make substantial time for reading.
But last year, I decided to take a sabbatical to explore new things in life and read. And more importantly, read whatever I felt like. Four months into the sabbatical, when I was sensing a bit of inside guilt and pressure for not doing the normal expected 9–5, the Corona pandemic happened, which meant the lockdown and more guilt-free time to read.
I started my reading journey with history, with the theme of ‘our story’ centered around the human story. But soon I realized how our story is not just our story alone, but also the story of everything that exists: both animate and inanimate, real and even fictions, and above all the world we live in. This meant going all the way back to high school science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology). (And it was in doing so I realized the importance of reading just for the sake of reading and not some tests, as I was finally able to enjoy the gratifying experience of reading science. But more on that experience someday.)
I knew I would forget some (or most?) of the things I read with time, so I started making rough notes for myself. And as the notes grew longer, I had this idea to turn these notes into stories — stories about whatever I have read and learned.
Hence, I started my journey by writing individual stories and articles, with the goal of creating a ‘Story Series’ about our story. So, what follows after this story, is a series of other connected stories capturing our story on earth.
Remember, our story is an ever-going never-ending story, and whatever I have learned is just a dot in the ocean. So, this is just my earnest ‘let’s give it a try’ attempt to summarize everything I have read in a fun and light manner. So, bear with me and tighten your seat belt — in our journey to uncover our story on earth!
Lastly, since where to start is always a point of dilemma in storytelling, let’s start our journey from the absolute beginning — that is, the origin of everything!