Though competent, we all live the life of dependence in one way or the other. We able-bodied cannot do everything rather we have to rely on others and this constitutes our life. If we say, we all are disabled (unable) without disabilities, it will not be wrong.

However, when a person declared as disabled by physicians does what others without any disability cannot imagine. And makes the entire world his/her admirer, it certainly surprises. One such astounding character is recently departed legendary scientific figure, the Brightest Star in the firmament of science – Dr Stephen Hawking. The person who was bound of wheelchair by dreadful neurological disorder, but explored the cosmos from wheelchair and contributed greatly to the science of cosmology. Unlike paralyzed people who unfortunately become burden on others, the physically paralytic and aphasic Hawking made the world of science indebted. He revolutionized the physics further by his work on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and findings regarding black hole, i.e. discovery of the Hawking Radiations. He earned the titles of ‘Einstein’s successor’, ‘ambassador of science’, ‘master of universe’ while being confined to a wheelchair with the computer as his organ of speech.

Apart from scientific contributions, Hawking taught us a lot about how to live. He has set an example of indicating how to defy odds to turn dreams into reality. He literally showed how to defeat disability and convert it into ability. It is noteworthy that at the age of 21, Hawking was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (Lou Gehrig Disease), the disease that causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles, and leaves a person paralyzed. Medically, the average survival from onset of this disease to death is 2-4 years and doctors too gave Hawking a life expectancy of a few years. However, he outlived his prognosis by half a century (55 years) and did not let his disability to hamper his personal life, career, and mission. In other words, disability could not stop him from helping us all to get an understanding of the universe. He continued to inspire his colleagues, co-workers, and associates in particular and the scientific world in general by dedicating all his energy to his work and research.

Hawking also went beyond his area of expertise and put forth his enlivening opinions and memorable words on a host of subjects viz; future of humanity, religion, science, philosophy, and politics.

To produce mighty books there must be a mighty theme that can come only from the mighty and beautiful mind, which Hawking possessed. As a prolific writer, he authored 15 books on diverse subjects over the course of his life, among which 'Brief History of Time' on cosmology became immensely popular. He made cameos on TV shows like the Simpsons, Futurama, and star trek: Next Generation etc and inspired many actors, musicians, composers, and songwriters.

Hawking said, “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then is a bonus.” Regarding disability, he said, "My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability does not prevent you from doing well and do not regret the things it interferes with, do not be disabled in spirit as well as physically." Verily, more than the divine blessing (as people consider) it was, in fact, his willpower and dedication to work, as he believed, "Never give up work, work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it."

It is very difficult to write and to encompass everything about him in one go. His personality, contribution, and achievements in life are so great that one may just keep on writing. Also, it is not possible to describe him in few words. However, interestingly, one of his fellow researchers summarizes his persona incisively as; "Hawking’s expertise was gravitation, the weakest of four fundamental forces of the universe yet he himself was a strong force." Hawking really was such a strong force that he overcame uncountable challenges and fascinated millions around the globe.      

Hawking has left the world, he could not make it to the list of Nobel Prize laureates due to regulations of Nobel Committee, but his name will be there forever in the hearts and minds of masses. His edifying biography will keep on inspiring and infusing the new spirit of ‘Never give up’ in present as well as upcoming generation.

Although not everyone can become like him yet he has given a hope to millions that nothing is impossible, you can achieve whatever you want, provided you have the willingness, determination, and grit.