Thursday, March 22, 2007

Welcome to my Space.

I am gladdened by the news that India's latest communications satellite, INSAT-4B, was successfully launched on Monday by Arianespace's Ariane-5 vehicle from the Kourou Island in French Guiana.

I remember when INSAT-2B was launched some years back, many people had serious reservations about the whole program. Incorrigible cynics in distant hamlets soliloquized loudly, “INSAT-2B or not 2B, that’s the question’. Only Dr. Abdul Kalam and I were convinced that it would work.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to share with you what President Kalam had to say when the INSAT-4B was launched. Some of you have subscribed to the RSS feed of my blog just to keep yourself updated on the President’s articulations and I won’t let you down. I will tell you know in just a minute what he remarked soon after the launch. But, before that, let me give you some background.

The Universe came into being through a cataclysmic event called the Big Bang that happened billions of years back. That was so long ago that even Vajpayee was yet to be born. Why am I rambling about Vajpayee when you wanted to hear about Kalam, some of you ask in righteous indignation, especially you there from Boise, Idaho who Google-searched for “role model Abdul kalam’ and was led to this eminent site. Why, sitting in Boise, Idaho, you want to know about role model Kalam is more than I can understand. Anyway, Boise will be Boise. I’ll let that pass. But, I forgot, you wanted to hear the statement issued by President Kalam soon after the launch. Be a little patient. I am coming to that, but I have to touch upon something quite important.

Soon after the Big Bang, the Universe started expanding in all directions and it still is. After some eons, interstellar clouds condensed to form galaxies, stars and planets. Fusion of hydrogen atoms led to formation of other higher elements, one by one. Some people mistake fission for fusion. That’s confusion. Suffice to say that all elements including gold were created through fusion in a star or by a supernova. Isn’t it a humbling thought that the gold ring that you presented to your boy/girl friend on Valentine’s Day owes its existence to the element created by inter-stellar clouds? And, do you know why Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th? That’s because it is exactly 9 months before Nov 14th, Children’s Day. But, I digress. You don’t want to hear about Nehru. You are waiting to hear what Dr Kalam said after the launch of INSAT 4B. I can see the reader there, yes you with the IP code 74.121.235, tearing your hair and chewing your nails unable to stand the suspense. Hang on, for just a while. I am coming round to the speech presently.

The Universe is believed to have 80 billion galaxies, each containing an average of 80 billion stars. That makes it sound as if the Universe is over-crowded. Actually it is not. Most of it is empty space. But, there’s lot of diversity. Why, as George Lucas brilliantly captured in his movie Star Wars, there’s even a Bar in Outer Space, where you will be served exotic drinks. You can see the bar there in front of you. No, not on the monitor. On your key board. The long key at the bottom. That’s right. The Space Bar.

Now, I can see you hopping mad. I can sight some of you backbenchers removing your slippers menacingly, to beat me up. “We want Kalam”, I hear you shout hysterically. Hey, that person over there, yes the one from Bangalore – I can spot your company’s URL – calm down. Browsing on official time, are you? You are going to be stressed out completely if you don’t control your rage. What? You will kill me if I don’t reveal immediately what President Kalam said soon after the launch of INSAT 4B? Are you seriously threatening me?

I confess that I am getting irritated with this constant and rude interruption. In fact, I will go to the extent of saying that I am infuriated. Are you all under the impression that I am some kind of a chronicler of all the President’s activities? Here I am trying to educate you on the origin of the Universe and all about the galaxies and stars – believe me, it is a vast subject- and you don’t let me get in a word edgeways. All you want to hear is ….. Forget it. Those of you who want to know what he said, log on to his personal website and dig it out yourself.

As for the few others still hanging around, I will continue. When the Universe was around 5.6 billion years old…………

8 comments:

Ashwin said...

You nincompoop! You made me wate my precious company provided internet time. Goddamit.
That was cool though!!

Usha said...

What a kalamity! If our one stop kiosk on everything-you-wanted-to- know-about-Kalam-but-were-afraid-to- ask suddenly decides to direct us to his personal website to dig out the information on our own!
It is like Konar deciding to let you read tamil text books without his help.
Raj, what can we do to make you change your mind?

Anonymous said...

How abt handing over your explanatin of the universe to Mr. Stephen Hawking

Shiv

Raj said...

ashwin, you called me a nincompoop? Not since my college days have I been called that. Thanks for the reminder.

Usha, because you are a good girl and have been a loyal reader, I am going to send you Kalam updates on e-mail. Others won't get it.

Anon, stephen hawking may not understand.....

hari said...

Haha.. great! I look forward to your chronicles.

Mysorean said...

Oh Shiv, you must have read that post on reallocating days and months in a year! I am sure Stephen Hawking would have first consulted the First Scientist of India (Our Hon'ble President) about it and then only approached Raj!

This was way better! :)

Raj said...

hari, yes, provided you guys don't keep interrupting me...

mysorean : thanks

Srik said...

"I can sight some of you backbenchers removing your slippers menacingly, to beat me up."

Raaj Raaj...I'm a backbencher and from Bangalore...
well..I was ordering for a garland to be sent to u online, not removing my footwear!

well.. controlling my emotions for a while, im angry that u didnt tell me what Dr.Kalam said when 4B was launched :-(