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A Tiny Speck of Stardust...

...is what we are.

By Rhibhu Chattopadhyay

Starry Night by Van Gogh Standing at the door of the fast-moving train, I gaze towards the pitch black darkness in front of me. Hardly anything is visible. But, the randomly scattered patches of moonlight and outflow of interior train lights provided some respite in the form of an image on my retina. Even though there is not much light to work with, my eyes get accustomed to the low luminosity. Hazy and subtle outline of images appear in front of me like the backdrops in different Van Goghs.

Apart from this, the occasional burst of light fills up the sky for a second or two. Looks like it’s going to rain. Let’s hope it’s going to rain. What if it doesn’t? What if it does? A light drizzle won't satisfy my yearning for an optimum amount of shower. Actually, by this point, I have stopped racking my brain about this topic.


I look on and wonder about the journey I am taking. Yes, its a fun trip with friends. Yet, somehow looking at the sky makes me feel that it’s much more than that. The vastness of the sky makes me realize that we humans are merely stardust and the amount of impact we can have on this world is definitely not commensurate with our size relative to the sky. That makes me think : What is our true potential?

Are all of us designed to great things? How do we define great? Greatness is such an abstract concept. People generally tend to associate greatness with goodness. Mind you, the stark difference between those two terms will baffle you. Greatness can follow goodness, but not all great deeds are good deeds. We can consider Oppenheimer to be a great, talented individual but not many would say he was good. Obviously, we know why. We all are like grains of sand in a beach, moving at an infinitesimally slow pace making progress but invisible to the naked eye. That makes us mere participants in the evolution of the universe.

I know it’s a preposterous idea. How can we not make a difference ? There are so many talented people around the world who makes a difference everyday. I’m not suggesting that nobody makes any difference. I’m merely suggesting that if not for person A, person B would have made that difference. No disrespect to anyone whatsoever.

The scary fact is that collectivism is the driving force in this world and not individualism. Humans when united can make unprecedented impact on everyone’s lives. Individuals are talented but everybody needs some form of support or the other. Humans are indeed social creatures. Interaction is inevitable from the moment we are conceived till our last breath. So we can’t hope to achieve the so-called success in life without the aid of others.


The fragility of the human body itself is surprising too. We take on various adventures in our lifetime, hardly ever wondering how much our body can sustain.

A mere scratch on a rough surface, tears our epidermis to shreds, producing a streak of red. Sometimes the static streak becomes a dynamic painting on our anatomy. That makes us realize that we humans are innately fragile.

Mentally, we aren’t much different too. Most of us are nomads in the journey of life. Drifting from place to place, having no clue about our next step. I’m envious of those who have it all figured out. But, no need to worry. Majority of us don’t know what to do and our ‘purpose’ in life. But, that doesn’t mean that we stop living life.

Humans fear the unknown. But, at the same time that fear is exhilarating. With enough effort, humans can overcome any obstacle. At least, that’s what I think.

Even though there are various reasons to collapse in this harsh little world, we humans have proved our mettle over time. No matter how much hardship we face, time over time we have overcome all obstacles that have come our way to reach our final goal.

We aren’t much different from ants, I would say. We just need to go forward with some support. Everybody needs somebody. Only by forging bonds our true potential can be unlocked. Monetary incentives alone wont be effective. Even though we are merely stardust, our inner power can be harnessed beautifully.

What do you think ? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Author: Rhibhu Chattopadhyay is from the batch of 2017–2019. He was the Senior Cell Coordinator of Quintessential, the quizzing club of IIFT. He likes to both read and play. A lot. He believes that to understand the world, the easiest (hardest) way is to become a polymath.

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