Each book in the Nebador series leaves me with a powerful statement, something that I can relate to and follow.
In this book - Nebador (book four) - Flight Training, as Ilika and his chosen crew set off for training sessions on board the magnificent ship Manessa Kwi, Ilika shares a lesson. "My teachers often told me," Ilika shared, "that half the job of learning anything is deciding to". Not only does everyone learn, but Kibi and Sata also learn to overcome their fears.
Crew members are permitted to choose their destinations for the training flights. Thus, Manessa Kwi is piloted to deserts, ice-lands and waterfalls. But Kibi's choice is different. It is a city, that she wanted to see. Sometimes it is difficult to understand whether a social norm is good or bad. In this city, everyone is kept alive as long as possible, even if they are in pain and begging to die. The impact of an overpopulation nation is not difficult to see, in terms of polluted rivers, starving people, lack of fertile soil.
Living in Mumbai, India, I see the sky line changing right before my very eyes. I know for a fact that water may soon be a scare commodity here. Yes, we live on the coast, but does saline water help? We still haven't learnt to distill it. Our population continues to increase. While Mumbai is an integral part of India and people will continue to throng Mumbai in search of jobs, it is essential to ensure that there is development across the nation and that cities, such as Mumbai do not get overburdened. This chapter, where Manessa Kwi zooms over the dead and decaying city provided me with much food for thought.
The space ship also had its first guests, one of whom, hijacked the pilot and the ship. But it ended well. I loved the last paragraph of this book: As he (Ilika) glanced around the bridge (at his crew), he knew that both physical and emotional weakness remained, but also the strength and determination to keep chiselling away at those weakness until the universe was theirs to explore.
I have seen people successfully overcome their own weakness, learn new skills, be more flexible at the workplace and succeed. Yet others, have withdrawn into their shells, not accepted new challenges, nor new realities of the workplace and are yet to find a solid footing.
We alone can decide what we need to learn and learn it, what our weakness are and overcome the same (with support from family/friends and even professional support). As always, this book was a great read and not a mere sci-fiction fantasy, but a book that teaches a lot, albeit in an interesting manner.