Once you have stepped out of the comfort of your cocoon and travelled, chances are you will feel like you have discovered new life, energy and different facets of yourself. It’s this joy of discovery that suffuses the stories in our issue this week—we travel to Napa Valley to meet Raj Patel, whose wines were served at the White House dinner for Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year; we take a foodie’s tour of Lyon, considered the gastronomic capital of the world; in Toronto, director Kiran Rao discusses her latest comedy, Laapataa Ladies, and designers Falguni and Shane Peacock, among the few independent couturiers in India, talk about the new path they have envisaged for their business with the hiring of a professional creative director for their latest collection, the internationally acclaimed stylist Law Roach.
Our cover story is also about exploration—we decode what India’s Moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, is all about. Missions like these may seem more about satisfying curiosity than actually being useful, but, as our cover story explains, there’s much understanding about Earth to be gained from exploring other worlds.
Already, there have been exciting discoveries, such as confirmation of the presence of sulphur and temperature changes below the lunar surface, not to mention reaching the South Pole of the Moon, where no machine had landed before. Chandrayaan-1, of course, sent back proof of the existence of water, all discoveries that help us understand the possibility of human habitation there.
India’s exploration of the Moon is, at a certain level, about the joy of discovery. The endeavour to learn more about the cosmos enlarges the sphere of our imagination and also creates a sense of shared humanity, or, as mental health expert and Lounge columnist Sonali Gupta described it a few weeks ago, a sense of “collective effervescence”. Once we have marvelled at the achievement of what seemed impossible, it shifts one’s world view, much like any kind of travel does.
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