During my teenage, I used to have a tough time memorizing historical facts. But once my teachers wrapped them with short stories, I found the whole exercise amusing. That’s the power of short stories. They stay in your heart forever. Since then, whenever I find the time, I lay my hands on historical “short stories to read” series.
A native of South India, Acharya Chanakya was a Minister at the local court of the Nanda Dynasty. During his tenure, he played a key role of a strategist, an administrator, an economist, and a shrewd politician. He did whatever he could do to strengthen the whole kingdom. But rarely he was found in agreement with the dynasty’s ruler, Dhana Nanda.
It was Siberian-cold midnight of 14th April 1912. The 1st World War was just 2 years away. Believed to be unsinkable, The Titanic was on its maiden voyage towards New York. At 26 miles per hour, she was invading through the harsh and crazy temperatures at her full speed.
In 1964, Gary Flandro stated that the outer planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune – would align in a rare pattern in the late 1970s. And NASA scientists really wanted to catch hold of such event that occurred only once in 2 centuries. 176 years to be very precise. But how? By launching a mission that would take a road trip towards these giant marbles. In less time. With less cost.
Curt Degerman spent his adult life collecting plastic cans from the trash bins. Being a ragpicker, he never paid even a single penny for a meal. He consumed whatsoever unconsumed food he found in the bins of restaurants.
Neither he married. Nor he had a family of his own. Just lived a solitary life. For forty long years, he cycled across his town in Sweden, picked up cans, and exchanged them with a recycling plant for the money.
Felix Baumgartner was sixteen when he jumped off a building for the first time. That’s when he realized what he really wanted to do with his life. Jumping off the bridges, parachutes, mountains, and pillars.
But he had no idea what his future had in store for him. Never he had imagined that his luck would take him 39 km above East Mexico and make him jump at a speed that would exceed the speed of sound.