Gaia: The Diary of Climate Change
Episode 7: Goddard, Astronauts and Cosmonauts
When I became pregnant with Bashō, I was working on the pre-production of You of Many Days. The team and I began calling him Goddard (after the director). Goddard was then shortened to Goddie. Stefan thought the phase of calling the baby Goddie would pass. But even in my eighth month, we were still calling him Goddie. Stefan warned me with a story of a little girl who had a far more innocent name of Colette, which turned into Closet. I got the message. How about Hermes, I suggested? Bashō’s god-father was afraid he would be confused with a scarf designer.
I was sick with the flu twice when I was pregnant with Goddard (Goddie). I was in Kolkata for the pre-production work of You of Many Days. My production managers were a lesbian couple who were planning the heist of my budget to pay their salary and launch their directorial debut. They thought I wasn’t paying attention, as I laid plastered to the bed; a paying guest in Jadavpur.
The owner would call the production managers every day and ask if I was still alive. I was suffering from an unusual flu. I took normal fever and cold medicine. I ate loads of broccoli, jalpai, fish, ruti, and drank gallons and gallons of water (at least five liters per day). I swelled up, threw up. I did not stop having pomegranate juice, multiple kilograms of mandarins, bowls and bowls of steamed jalpai (South Asian olive). I felt that the healing was in the food. I didn’t give up. I slept like a dead man. At night I would feel the presence of little spirits checking on me and their friend. In the morning, a fakir’s song would wake me up. He was singing about the love of Radha and Krishna. I would rush out to the balcony to see him. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the entire world. He would say Didi (sister), I want to make a pilgrimage to Ajmer Sharif. Will you give me some money? I would always give him something. Then I would go back to bed, feeling groggy. How did I heal from that? I was working, while I was throwing up. I was eating what I felt like eating — no junk food — just loads of fruits rich in vitamin C, homemade dishes, bowls of fresh chutney, and lemonade.
Today, the only thing I can really eat without serious side effects is cauliflower and mushrooms. Sometimes, days go by and I cannot remember that I should not have fish, nuts, bread, and cheese. During Easter I blew up like a balloon from an alien infestation because I was eating fish, fermented fish, and loads of black tea (which brings down my shield). My kidneys were full of stones. I was ready to die as I walked around with 20 to 30 pounds of excess water, maybe five pounds of urine alone. Surely, I would have exploded on the way to Mettmann to see my sons if the Americans and the Russians had not sent Expedition 65 to help me. Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov arrived early morning and busted the rocks in my kidneys, connected to a tiny point on my right toe. It took a couple of hours but they were successful. By the time I arrived at the AWO Center to see my sons, I was able to empty my bladder. I am grateful that the toilet did not overflow. The rest of the day, they focused on melting the bubbles of Aliens spread out across my body. Before the Soyuz took off, the Russians made sure to cut off the alien that came out of my colon and tied itself to my lungs and heart.
When all this is over, I am going to have a wall of gratitude to all the space agencies, the astronauts, and cosmonauts who risked their lives for the protection of Earth.
While countries are wealthy enough now to build their own Space Stations, I hope they will first consider joining, growing and renewing the International Space Station. I would like to see China as a new member. I look forward to the day when Korea (North and South Korea) will send their astronauts to the ISS to safeguard our galaxy. Our capacity to imagine friendship and peace is boundless.