Life is all chemistry governed by all physics.
As sentient beings we take birth, thrive and perish inside a gigantic gasbag that is the earth’s atmosphere made up of a little more than 78 percent nitrogen, a little over 20 percent oxygen, 0.934 percent argon and 0.032 percent carbon dioxide. In a sense we are all gasbags.If you don’t see chemistry as fundamental to your existence, I suppose you don’t see it. Making all the chemical processes happen within ourselves and outside and controlling them are the laws of physics manifesting themselves in many different ways, including in the way the earth orbits the sun.
It is amusing that although we all breathe the same air and drink the same water and stay firmly implanted on the same planet (at least many of us do in a manner of speaking), we do turn out to be so different from one another. When we look at one another we do sometimes wonder whether we are all inhaling the same gases or some of us have a hidden supply of another combination of gases.
Speaking of inhaling gases, for the past three days I have had my share of a weirdly foul-smelling combination while going around Mumbai in auto-rickshaws. I could not say for sure but sometime it feels like what an astronaut might feel like during reentry in case the rocket windows were kept open. The ride, of course, is comparably bumpy thanks to the absurd idea of using “pavers” as the preferred road construction material. Pavers are like individual cement bricks that are used in home driveways in the US.Mumbai is one big cobblestonescape.
I could have sworn to you that every venturing out on this city’s roads entails a vastly changing combination of gases. It is astonishing how one’s body keeps up. A couple of times one rickshaw driver cheerfully told me that after the introduction of CNG (compressed natural gas) as the mandatory fuel in taxis and rickshaws there was no toxic gas in the air any more. I did not have the heart to correct him.
Coming back to the giant gasbag that the earth is, we are all a response to the chemical peculiarities existing on our planet. Who knows what form we might have taken if the numbers and gases were different? Perhaps we would have created a civilization free from the tyranny of money and finance and bills and credit reports and annual interests and mortgages and foreclosures. I think it is time for me to check what I have been inhaling since the morning.