Wednesday, October 22, 2008

and we have a lift off !!

Morning today I woke up to see Chandrayaan lifting off on our trusty Doordarshan. What a feeling it was. There was cloud cover so did not quite get the majestic spectacle of a rocket firing on all cylinders - but instead had to watch a dull 2D representation of a dot moving through a graph paper with the rockets speed slowly increasing - 4.8Km/s and so on..

A few minutes after launch when all the boosters had done their job, and the satellite was safely tucked away in orbit around the earth a mic was put and all the scientists got behind it and one by one started congrajulating their team. The 3rd to speak was one gentleman who was so emotional that he said "i dont know what to say" and his eyes were moist. And he did went on to congrajulate all his team members.

I was waiting for some sound bite where some scientist will say take that you NASA or take that for calling us land of snake charmers and call centers - but none. All of them were such sophisticated gentlemen and were so visibly elated and at peace - and were profusely thanking their team members and their family for having allowed them to spend months of hard work. 

But one gentleman did make me happy. ( Thank you Doordarshan for not having the "vision" to put the names of the scientists when they come to speak ). He said next is Mars and other planets. Wow - that is exactly what I wanted to hear. We need visionaries, we need Howard Roarks and I was glad to spot one among them. It took 4 years of dedicated effort for this day.

And the screenshot I took now - is from CNN. Back in 2000 when I was sitting in US doing my MS - I would wait for any news from India on TV. There will be none, zilch - except for Fox News where they had a segment - around the world in 60 seconds. They will dediate 10 seconds for bizarre news - and news of big mouchtaches, or upturned buses that killed school children - was all they showed. Scroll 8 years down and here we are in the home page of CNN - India launches unmanned mission to moon.

Perhaps it is time I let down the nagging feeling of what the world thinks of India and instead let India think of the world in turn. Perhaps seeing our sensex zoom, the markets in other parts of the other world will react positively to it. Perhaps the Revas and Nanos will teach the world how to conserve. Perhaps Hollywood gets inspired by Bollywood and Angelina Jolie starts doing jatkas.

I am feeling groovy...


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