A Visit to Cambridge

Chapter Summary

The story “A Visit to Cambridge” describes the conversation between two extraordinary people. The common pattern of both people is that both were physically disabled. The name of The author is Firdaus Kanga, who is a journalist and writer from Mumbai. It is the description story of the author regarding his visit to Cambridge University in England and found the opportunity to meet and interview Stephen Hawking.

The entire story elaborates on the exchange of ideas between both. This storyline presents Hawking’s opinion regarding his disability, which could not restrict him to achieve anything great. The vital factor is the mindset that needs to rely on focusing on the dreams.

Writer’s Meeting with Scientist Stephen Hawking

The writer, Firdaus Kanga felt so nervous while meeting the greatest scientist Stephen Hawking as he was one of the most successful persons in the world, who achieved different things despite having disabilities. Paralysis could not resist him to work on science and achieve his dreams at all. Hawking was regarded as the successor of the scientist Sir Isaac Newton and reached Cambridge University in a wheelchair.

The author already knew about the success story of the scientist, whom he was going to interview. “A Brief History of Time” was remaining the best-seller book written by Hawking. The author felt nervous about meeting the most successful scientist, across the globe and he was confused about how will he react if he were questioned about his physical disabilities.

Author’s Excitement

As a writer belonging from Mumbai, he was not expecting to get the opportunity to meet a scientist like Stephen Hawkings. The purpose of visiting Cambridge University was not to meet the scientist at all. It was one of the life-changing opportunities for him. The prospect of meeting Stephen Hawkings and interviewing him face-to-face was a possibility for him to achieve something great in his life. The curiosity of the interview made him more excited as he knew that it would be added to one of his achievements. The author was excited while thinking about the interview can be a lesson for many to know about how a physically disabled person could achieve the successor of the scientist Sir Isaac Newton.

Stephen Hawking mentioned that he had no choice it proved his passion for exploring different things through science. The desire to achieve different things through experiments made Hawking successful rather than remain sitting on the wheelchair. The author experienced that Hawking could surrender to life, although he selected to make different possibilities even being a paralysed person.

The author realised how Stephen Hawkings expressed his statement by taking the help of mechanisms and the physical challenges faced by him in his regular life. Scientist Stephen Hawkings continued to think about new ideas and he desired to express the ideas; however, he was not able to deliver them without the use of a voice synthesizer. The author was able to understand the anguish of Hawkings as he was helpless while unable to express thoughts with emotions.

What made the scientist so appealing to the author that he claimed to be staring at one of the most attractive guys in the world?

The writer asked Stephen Hawkings if he found it annoying as it's disturbing his work. Hawkings replied yes without thinking a second. He also delivered a smile to the author. This incident made Firdaus Kanga realised the beautiful soul Hawkings had. Despite physical challenges, Hawkings was able to maintain a real humanistic mindset.

The description of the beautiful man expressed the personality of Stephen Hawkings. The author stated- Before you, like a lantern whose walls are worn so thin you glimpse only the light inside, is the incandescence of a man.

The mentioned statement of the writer expressed how vibrant Stephen Hawkings was by his mindset and personality even having disabilities.

Stephen Hawkings’ Message for People with Disabilities

Stephen Hawkings shared the real factors of his disabilities. He added how he achieved different things through experiments while sitting in a wheelchair. He remained focused on his work and science experiments could not resist him to stop working even after having paralysis. He added how he made the decision not to give up in front of the physical issues. He expressed his thankfulness to God, as despite physical challenges he still made different experiments and continue to think of new ideas that made him accomplish desired tasks.

Why Does the Writer Refer to the ‘Guitar Incident’?

During the interview, Stephen Hawking mentioned that he believed in keeping a place for disabled persons in the Olympics was time wasting, it made the author think about his past years of trying to learn Spanish guitar, and he considered it larger for him. At the end of the statement passed by Hawking, the author realised that he was trying to mention that physically challenged persons should try to polish the only skills where they are good and have different possibilities to get success.

Writer’s Gratitude toward Stephen Hawking

The author was amazed to realise how Hawking could manage to become a scientist while sitting on a wheelchair. The nature of Hawking was inspiring others and talking about how the challenges could not stop him to achieve his desires. The optimistic habit of the scientist inspired the author and he realised that all physically challenged people are able to accomplish their dream with the same level of inspiration that Hawking had.


Q1. Who was Stephen Hawking and what was he known for?

Ans. The scientist Stephen Hawking was known as the successor of Sir Issac Newton. He was one paralysed person who was not even able to talk without taking help from the voice synthesizer. He could make some movement with the help of a wheelchair. Despite physical issues, he managed to accomplish to become a scientist.

Q2. Who was Firdaus Kanga?

Ans. Firdaus Kanga was a writer and journalist who lived in Mumbai, India. He visited Cambridge University in England once and received the opportunity to meet the scientist Stephen Hawking once.

Q3. Why did Firdaus Kanga feel nervous and excited at the same time before meeting Stephen Hawking?

Ans. The author Kanga was aware of the success story of Stephen Hawking and he was not expecting to have the opportunity to meet him. The author had a mixed feeling of nervous and excited at the same time to interview Hawking.