I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that one day I would be stranded in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from the comfort of my family and friends. It never occurred to me that a journey that began with a simple ambition to seek knowledge & expertise in thermal power would end up creating a philosophical revolution within my soul. Needless to say, the lockdown has affected me and my perception on what I thought of life. I am sure that others would also have experienced this but are not very open to acknowledging the fact. This is addressed to them.
I am 21 years old but still, I am fortunate enough to have witnessed some rare events which have shaped and constituted what I am today. On this day, six years back a train of thoughts rammed through my head, which paved way for a career in mechanical engineering. I was travelling in a taxi to my student residence from the nearest local airport. Around midway, a magnificent Indian Air Force Su-30 MKI fighter with its massive AL-31FP low bypass turbofan engines zoomed past me roaring thunderously. I leaned out of the window to try and understand whether something just exploded or whether there was an accident on the highway. It was then I caught a glimpse of the jet, in all its glory traversing the sky with its contrails boosted with two colossal thrusters attached to it. This was it, that was the moment I decided that I would pursue a career in engineering and specialise in gas turbine-based propulsion technology.
I now had a path laid out right in front of me. The objective was clear; to gain as much knowledge and industrial experience in gas turbine systems as possible in the shortest possible time, so that I would be ready and prepped for an immediate transition. The massive surge of energy within me forced me to achieve unrealistic targets. Beginning from multiple industrial internships, research exposure at prestigious academic institutions in India to my tenure as a Visiting Research Student at Cranfield University in 2019. Through all of these experiences that I have had to date, the one thing that was always and consistently present were the challenges and roadblocks that were seemingly impossible to solve but in the end I assure you that you will almost always find an answer to crack the situation. We just need to have faith and confidence in our abilities and everything else will fall in place.
Cranfield University has had historical ties with organisations in the Indian sub-continent. So, naturally applying to Cranfield University for an MSc in Thermal Power (Aerospace Propulsion) was a priority. As a matter of fact, I had never even for once thought of applying elsewhere because I knew that if there exists any place in the world for specialist education in Propulsion Technology it’s at Cranfield University. I am an absolute aerospace enthusiast and for any student like me, Cranfield is synonymous to a dream come true. I staunchly believe that Cranfield graduates are making ground-breaking progress and are fiercely advancing humanity into the future.
Unfortunately, 2020-21 is not a dream academic year for anyone across the earth at the moment. The same goes for students like me and especially those who are far away from loved ones in a new country. From an Indian perspective culture back home is extremely inclusive, and it takes a lot of courage to move across continents. Now, the subsequent lockdown and travel restrictions have only made things more difficult. However, there is positivity as well. It is beautiful to see the planet healing itself and animals rejoicing. I hope we come out of this situation as evolved human beings.
I would like to conclude by saying that the word ‘uncertainty’ itself contains ‘certainty’. So, while the future seems uncertain, we can rest assured that humanity will certainly find a workaround to problems. Coming back to the current scenario let me reassure you that feeling distressed, uncomfortable and tense is very much natural but I would still urge you to keep your composure and believe that all of us together as a community are going to emerge victorious at the end.
“After Clouds Light” as the Cranfield motto rightly says.
It is my absolute honour to be a member of the Cranfield Community.