This is what happens when you read the whole novel in 8 hours without any break. The mind becomes one with the character. When he breathes, you breathe. When he smiles, you smile. When he cries, well you may not cry tears but you might start crying empathy.
I am not going to review the novel "The martian" in this post. Although I might in some other post (Hey! I need to keep on writing to increase my IndiRank. Yes, I still consider ranks akin to those given to me in my high school days. No, I am kidding... or am I?)
Anyways, I feel, more than a review, a novel, once read, deserves a post on its underlying philosophies and how they might change one's life. This novel surely has many such lessons that one needs to learn. So, here is my list of the life changing lessons I found in this novel.
1. Have faith in yourself and not on God : I know, it sounds crap to keep on preaching the same thing. It sounds crap because we are living on Earth surrounded by millions and millions of people, who after millions and millions of years of evolution still try incessantly to find someone to worship outside of their mind. I mean evolution should have made us rely more on our intellect than on a fictitious God. Perhaps Darwin got the whole thing wrong or we are being fed a cheap drug called religion which dwarfs our thinking capacity. (Yes sir, I do read your posts!!)
But, here is a fictitious character named Mark Watney who uses his intellect to keep himself alive on Mars. Here is a man who would rather die if nothing works than to pray to God. Here is a man who after every fall rises up and looks closely at his mistakes rather than blaming some unknown and presumably omnipresent God. (I guess God do not live on Mars or the organised religions are planning to release their new version of holy books which would invent new Gods who would dwell on the unmanned and uncharted planets.. Oh wait! atleast the Hindus already have those Gods.. inventing more than one million gods is not a joke!)
2. Have faith on the mankind : The novel leaves a final note on the nature of collective human beings, which is to help the fellow human beings in times of crisis. I would definitely help a person who has met with an accident on a road. You and I would for sure help a person who has met with an accident on a train or a plane. But can we collectively help a person who has met with an accident on MARS, when helping him would incur hefty financial losses along with the risk of losing other lives?
No doubt there would be people who would think of leaving that person to die rather than to waste money and lives on rescuing him. But I am optimistic that they do not outnumber the likes of us. Are you?
3. Have scientific temperament : As to the popular belief, having a scientific temperament doesn't mean that we should have a master's degree in science fields. In fact having a scientific temperament might lead you to educate yourself in various fields of knowledge including science and engineering but unfortunately I cannot say the clichéd vice versa
According to my humble opinion, to have a scientific temperament is to
i) Find a problem (eg. your radio just got broken!),
ii) Find the reason behind the problem (a transistor got burnt)
iii) Find a solution to the problem through the available resources (just google how to replace a burnt transistor!).
iv) Execute the solution (gather a toolkit, a magnifying glass and a new transistor of the same model number and replace that goddamn burnt transistor)
v) Check the solution (Yeah! solved)
vi) If not solved then go to step iii and repeat.
vii) End :)
I am certain that praying to god would suffice in just two steps (find a problem and pray!). Computationally speaking those two steps would require less time complexity but I am also certain that it wouldn't solve the problem.
Sorry for the long post, got carried away. If you agree, do comment. And if you disagree, please do comment.
Thanks for reading :)