Are we staring at a third world war?   Are we at the beginning of a new world order? Where will the current international situation ultimately lead us? Can we afford a global conflict when we are just recovering from a health and economic slump due to the Covid-19 pandemic? What will be the final consequences?

Though we cannot predict the long term consequences of this war, it has already hit our Dalal street.   The Indian stock market had an excellent bull run during recent times, and now has hit a proverbial iceberg (the Ukraine war) and is sinking like titanic. I have enjoyed an unprecedented 35 – 82% CAGR with my mutual funds for more than four years now. That earned a great fortune for me during the Covid times! However, now it has suddenly tumbled down more than 50% within two weeks, thus forcing me to postpone my proposed webinar series on “Power of Compounding!” Nevertheless, one famous statement in financial markets is, “What goes up must come down!” It is true the other way round also (lol)! 

Our generation had the privilege of witnessing a part of the cold war between the big nations. Even though there was no actual war, there were many thrilling moments. The Cold war led to an unprecedented arms race. But, at the same time, it paved the way for many path-breaking inventions and discoveries. As a result, there were innovations in almost every field of science. One most significant area was space exploration. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. competed to put a man on the moon.

The U.S.S.R. edged the U.S. in all its space endeavours, except landing on the moon. The Soviet Union was the first to send an artificial satellite, Sputnik-1, to space. Next, they sent a female dog (I hate the word bitch!) Kudryavka barked excessively and became famous as Laika, “barker” in Russian. After that, they were the first to send the first man, Yuri Gagarin, out of Earth’s orbit. Later, the Soviets were the first to do a spacewalk! 

On March 18 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first to leave a space capsule and float freely in orbit tethered to the spacecraft through an umbilical cord. As a child and a fan of the Soviet magazine ‘Sputnik’ (which was sent free of cost to all subscribers by the cultural wing of the Soviet Embassy),  I had read the entire saga of spacewalk with great interest. So when I accidentally found the movie “Spacewalk,” one Prime Video, my joy was boundless.

The most notable character in this Spacewalk or The Age of Pioneers is the mission director Sergei Korolev. During the Cold War, Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov was a lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race between the big countries. He is famous as the father of practical astronautics. Ironically and coincidentally, he was a Ukrainian, born in Odessa, and an alumnus of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute! 

I strongly recommend all my colleagues to watch this movie, if your time permits! Though it is a Russian movie, it easily beats any Hollywood crazy fantasy stuff! Now, what has this movie got to do with surgical training? One quote of Korolev kept reverberating in my mind ever since I watched the film is, “There is no such thing as an unsolvable problem.” Although we face numerous problems during surgeries, we can solve most of them. Watch the movie to understand what I meant! 

Prof. Dr. Prahlada N.B
22 March 2022

Leave a reply