Thursday, October 23, 2008


Congratulations, India. We're up there, we're out there, the sky is no longer the limit. A great effort(set in motion, as Harish likes to aver repeatedly, by Mr. Vajpayee - Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan.) culminating in a successful launch. It was really heartening to see usually solemn scientists break into spontaneous gestures of joy and affection(and hugging. Aww.) when the PSLV blasted off and escaped without a hitch. We have poked gentle fun at them before, but it was only in their support and no one can deny that they have done us proud on occasion after occasion. This is yet another feather in their already illustrious cap.

By the way, the audio in that one is deadly. Be warned.

Interesting thing. When DSP Joginder Sharma took some wickets in the T20 World Cup, he was awarded Rs. 21 lakh by the Haryana state government. Although undoubtedly, "it was be a great pride to have such an outstanding international cricketer in Haryana Police," shouldn't someone do the same for the scientists and engineers who worked on Chandrayaan? Or any of the successful missions we've launched so far? I don't recall Dr. R Chidambaram, Mr. Mylswamy Annadurai, Prof. U R Rao, Dr. Kasturirangan or Mr. Madhavan Nair ever being publicly awarded anything more than congratulations(and perhaps, the odd coconut, turmeric, vermillion and a blouse piece, in accordance with Hindu custom) by any state or central government. If I am wrong, I'd be glad to be corrected. Let's not mention the Padma awards here. Sania Mirza got one.

Speaking of which, I checked the ISRO site for news about Chandrayaan. What's up with the ridiculously small pictures on this page? I wrote to the webmaster asking him/her to increase the size of these things, along the way making a tepid joke about how my resolution was not as good as that of the TMC(Terrain Mapping Camera) on Chandrayaan. I think they realised I was nitpicking. Everywhere else, they have giant images of the satellite, its orbit, its journey, my underwear, everything.

Additionally, I think I have a man-crush on ISRO for naming their marketing wing Antrix. Yeah, it takes balls to call your marketing wing something which sounds like an evil genetics empire which habitually keeps making viruses that can destroy the world(and worse, can't even be destroyed by that most hallowed of chemicals, NaCl!). Carry on, good sirs. May the Force be with you.


Harish said...

Yes, apart from me, you were one of the very few who gave credit due to Atalji for this moon mission. He was the one who encouraged ISRO to go ahead with this project. He told them not to bother about the cost.
Yes, ISRO has done tremendous contribution to our nation. With a constrained budget, they have scaled enormous heights. But then nobody gives them their due as you have rightly mentioned.

A-kay said...

I agree with giving credit to Atalji - I guess if a BJP govt were in power, things might have been different. Atalji's speech on the Red Fort was very similar to JFK's mission to send man to Moon and I guess deserves due recognition.

That said, I think most of these scientists are awarded with the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan etc awards and not to mention the award of presidency that Kalam got. So, I guess these folks get recognition. But if the comparison is with cricketers, I guess except for bollywood (or ____wood based on the region from which you are) stars, every body else pale in comparison - a very sad stated, indeed!

swaroop said...

I liked the bit about you writing to the webmaster to get things corrected. oLLe kelsa.

I wonder where you gather news about the marketing wing being called Antrix and all that. Good job.

a million different people said...

All this nitpicking just because your underwear felt lonely up there? Aw.

Well, sometimes we just don't want to acknowledge good stuff. We're assholes. Newspaper buttheads crib about Chandrayaan not being insured. ashTe.

Arjun Sharma said...

[harish] Of course he told them not to bother about the cost. He wasn't financing it, was he? But yes, he did provide some impetus to the mission.

[a-kay] The Karnataka chief minister lauded the scientists yesterday(October 25th) at Byalalu and apparently honoured Madhavan Nair, T K Alex and others, my friend. I don't know if this is yet another meaningless honour or something substantive in terms of recognition. But you're right, honours to scientists pale in comparison to cricketers of those from any of the Woods(Bolly, Kolly, Tolly, Sandal etc). Sad but inevitable, I suppose.

[swaroop] He he, olle nitpickings-u. I suppose the webmaster must have been astounded at the intellectual level of the man who cracked that lame camera resolution joke.

[a million different people] My underwear? I don't quite follow.

Insure maadilva? So that's how they cut costs? Holy Malayali, Batman! Anyway, I'm sure it's long-lasting. Our satellites either crash during takeoff or never come down at all(even if we want them to).

Welcome back.

Joe said...

The launch of the Chandrayaan is a proud moment for every Indian. True.

I am putting my pride aside to point out that: The amount of smoke generated by the launch, the amount of fuel consumed by the craft, and the amount of environmental damage caused by it is more than all the cigarette smoke in a year, not to mention the toxins in the air from that lift off causing god knows what damage. (all hypothesis, will check google for facts later, if reqd)

The point?: Launching a spaceship is something every Russian, chinaman and american does. We are the only nation who manufacture bidis.

Ergo, smoking culture should be preserved. We should ignore this nonsense and stir an almighty national protest propulgating the reversal of the smoking ban.


being purple... said...

Is it just me or are there a bunch of semi-lunatic men here who talk of astro-physics and tobacco in the same sentence?

Joe said...

It is you.

And hello, semi lunatic? Credit where credit is due, please!

tangled said...

Re: the underwear - she meant your claim about the high-res pictures, silly.
"Everywhere else, they have giant images of [...] my underwear, everything."

Anonymous said...

where in cyberspace are you?

Malaveeka said...

New post, please.

Vie u haf not bin postin? coz of ur play thing?

Arjun Sharma said...

[joe] Heh, just in hypothesis, you boldly go where no man has gone before.

I really don't mind the smoking ban. I suppose it goes against one's fundamental rights. But those have never been absolute in India.

Non-smoking drunks have it tough in arguments. I cough all the while trying to say the ban's not a big deal and no ban has ever stopped people before anyway.

[being purple] Like Joe says below, 'semi' lunatic? Please, give us some credit.

[Joe] You take credit, my friend. You've earned it with your brilliant, although unsubstantiated, hypothesis. Hasn't been vetted thoroughly(by facts), your theory. But then, neither was Sarah Palin and look where she got.

[tangled] Thank you. I was lost till you explained it.

[anonymous] Been a bit busy. My apologies.

[malaveeka] Yup. Busy with that. Also, new post up yesterday. Yes, more of that fake news thing you hate so much.

Malaveeka said...

I saw off.

Btw your poster is AWESOME.

To Everyone:

Please watch his play. He's really funny even though he doesn't play Masand.

Arjun Sharma said...

You saw off-uh?

Thanks for the publicity. I'm planning a publicity blitz consisting of post (1 nos.) myself, which will include the poster.

I don't play Masand. I sad. But noble. Sacrifice for the greater good.