Are you the kind of person who grew up watching science fiction movies and cartoons on the telly? Have you read books about space adventures? Do you still do all of the above? Well, I do. I’m what you can call a science fiction enthusiast. A large part of my childhood was inspired by sci-fi, like time travel or space travel or fighting off evil aliens or becoming an alien with the aid of some kind of alien’s technology.
Visiting Planets and Meeting Aliens
Does it all seem a bit familiar to you? If you guess Ben Ten and the Power Rangers, then you’re not far from the truth. I have always imagined myself of being a superhero like Ben Ten, with my own Omnitrix which helps me transform into ten thousand aliens. After my childhood slowly disappeared and Ben Ten was rebooted to a more child-friendly version, owing to the progressive dark theme of the show, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy showed up. So at every point in my life, there seems to be some form of alien connection.
But what truly changed my perception were a blockbuster movie, starring Matt Damon, called ‘The Martian’, the magnum space opera series called ‘Star Wars’ and the mind-boggling Netflix series called ‘Lost in Space’.
After I saw the Martian, I imagined the possibility of traveling to space and living up there. This was my travel inspiration, traveling from planet to planet, growing plants, rearing animals and, eventually, building a colony. I would spend hours daydreaming about something like this.
My daydreams were the spaceships that would take me on an adventure to space. I would travel with my friends and we would meet friendly alien life forms and get their alien gadgets. I believe in travel to explore. We would come back on Earth and use these gadgets, thus becoming superheroes in the eyes of man.
Initially, I was very much fascinated by the idea of being abducted by aliens. Unlike science fiction movies, they would not have abducted me to dissect me but rather they would have chosen me during their distress. There is this Doraemon episode (OK! I know you must be thinking that I’m probably a young adult who regressed back to his childhood) where Nobita, Shizuka and Doraemon go to an alien planet.
It turns out that in this planet the gravity is lesser than gravity on Earth, hence the 3 of them get super strength and flight ability, like Superman. Similarly, the purpose for which the aliens would have abducted me is so that they can fit me up with their technology and when I set foot in their planet, the low gravity would give me superpowers and I would save them from their doom. I know, a bit bizarre right?
My Childhood Imagination
As a child, I had very few friends and hence most of my time would be imaginative self-play. My imaginations would take me to various different planets inspired by what I saw on TV. I would imagine a world of sentient rodents, a planet made of ice, a futuristic planet filled with aliens driving hovercars or a world in danger needing superheroes.
I started reading comics which would tell me about a world of Martian adventurers teaming up with an earthling to save the aliens who live on the Moon, alien robots from space coming to help mankind fight off alien monsters, superheroes being created as a result of aliens experimenting on humans and even about a family traveling to different planets. Yeah!! This is my #TheBlindList and bucket list too.
But if we’re to meet aliens, I would very much hope that they are the friendly and peacekeeping type like ET and not the monstrous or world-domination driven alien dictators like Thanos from the blockbuster ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. The alien would give me a universal translator that helps us understand each other. Then we would discuss each other’s cultures.
We would travel to various planets on the alien’s spaceship. I would get to visit many planets, study their lifestyles, grab a piece of their technology and undoubtedly see their planet’s flora and fauna. I would ride an alien horse, I would tame an alien tiger and I would fly on the back of a huge alien bird. I would also try out the alien fruits and collect shiny or colorful rock. If blue, six-legged, sentient space dogs existed (like Stitch from ‘Lilo and Stitch’) I would adopt one as a pet and bring it to Earth.
I would witness stars and supernovas up close. I would see space clouds becoming planets. I would travel at light speed (Star Wars) and I would commandeer a spacecraft through an asteroid field (more Star Wars). Or I would build a space station and live there for the rest of my life. Flash backward to the scene in which I would be on my shuttle and as the countdown begins, I would blast off into space while listening to Owl City’s Alligator Sky.
I would take a picture of everything that I see. I would make friends with aliens. I would don a space suit and go on a spacewalk. I would do ‘the Floss’ (a popular dance move) in space. I would do the moonwalk on the moon (is that even possible with the moon’s gravity) and I would most definitely ride a space bike or a silver space surfboard (try to guess which comic character).
But in the end, fantasy, wishes and dreams apart, the thought of going to space, in reality, would be very scary. Seeing the nothingness and everything of space would freak me out. I wouldn’t dare step out of the spaceship. Heck! I would have barfed out my insides during the launch due to the pull of gravity.