It’s now official. The Mars Mission is very much on. And, lo and behold, there are 421 applicants from Bahrain, looking to get a one-way ticket to the Red Planet!
I wish I had known. I would have applied as well. We have planned to move away from Bahrain for a while and never wanted to go back to India. We thought about Australia and New Zealand but age came in the way and I was never interested in North America or Europe.
Nepal was an option, so was Madagascar (of all the places) but never once (shame on me) did we know there were “vacancies” on Mars.
More than 20,000 Indians have expressed a wish to settle down there and 1,259 from the GCC states have planned to set up a permanent base. So, that I missed out will be a lifelong regret. We may not have made it but at least we would have tried – gone through a process and come out as different human beings.
But what if we had made it? I would have set up an authentic Punjabi dhaba (restaurant) exclusively serving (what else) butter chicken and Makki di Roti. And, of course, samosa and fish fry, not to forget lassi and chicken tikka masala (no, it’s not a British invention).
After all, settlers would have to eat, if nothing else.
But all is not lost. Initially, only around half a dozen humans will go in the first trip 10 years from now. In that time, there will be several more application rounds and more “entrepreneurs” will come up, offering better terms. After all, competition will make its presence felt and applicants will have better terms and conditions.
Let’s wait and watch. It’s never too late.