Black holes? Or pot holes

Have you heard of Worcestershire? Most of you in the western hemisphere know it as a county in England. Most of the cricket followers also know that it is famous in the English county cricket circuit. After all, Indian stars like Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan, have played for this county.
But today I had a great laugh when I read an article on Worcestershire. And why not? Now you all know why satellites are blasted into space. There are many reasons… For communications, for weather forecasting, for research, so on and so forth. But the authorities in Worcestershire have come up with a very unique reason… They want to find out pot holes on their roads!! Imagine!!! I mean, of all the things, why would any one wants to use a satellite to discover pot holes. Using a satellite to act as a telescope and look for black holes is one thing but this altogether a different league. After all, the pot holes on Indian roads will be visible with the naked eyes even if you go to the heights reached by satellites. I understand, Neil Armstrong could see these pot holes even from the moon… OK, I am exaggerating. But then I thought, England is a rich country and Worcestershire must be a rich county… But then I read that the people of Worcestershire have taken this news very badly and are protesting about this extravagant use of their hard earned tax money. They have become very intolerant and say that they will return their awards, if the government goes ahead with its plans.
Hence I suggest that we, the people in India, take out candle light marches, as a mark of support to the affected people of Worcestershire. And I am sure, that when the time arises, the people of Worcestershire will also rise in support of the Indian masses who are affected by pot holes so large, that entire trucks and buses are gobbled up and disappear without a trace, into these black holes.
So come one come all.

yatindra tawde

Happy hours on Mars

My happiness knows no bounds. A few weeks back I had announced about my ticket to Mars. What? Don’t tell me, you don’t know!

After all, that news broke the internet. You can read about it all, here…A Ticket to Mars

But coming back to the reason for my happiness. As I opened the morning newspaper today, on one of the inside pages, was a news which should ideally have been printed on the cover page. Yes, it really deserved that honour.

One of the leading Beer brands has announced that it is planning to be the first to introduce Beer on Mars. It would certainly make me feel at home.

As you know barley is a key ingredient in the manufacture of beer. So, the next mission to the International Space Station would carry this valuable load of barley seeds to the station, which is being thoughtfully rocketed to the space station by this leading brand. How indebted we astronauts are! After all, nothing beats beer in making us feel at home, in the weightless conditions of deep space.

These barley seeds will then stay in space for a period of one month. Experiments will be conducted to study the effects of the microgravity environment on the seeds. The results of this experiments will be analysed back in Earth and the first steps would have been taken to make Space, a happy place.

And Mars will have the first pioneering potbellied astronauts with a Lager in hand.


Yatindra Tawde

Wrong number

This term makes me nostalgic. Recently an astronaut on the space station, ISS, tried to call his home from the ISS, and uttered the famous words, “Hello, is this planet earth” , and put the fear of aliens in the lady, who happened to be at the other end of the wrong number. At the end of the day, he did apologise to the lady saying it was a wrong number, that too, by posting the apology on Twitter. This episode made me wonder about the huge progress made by the human race in, first putting a permanent space station in an orbit around the earth, and then establishing communication between the space station and earth, where an astronaut can easily reach out to his parents by just picking up the phone and calling them. But alas! The humans have not been able to resolve the age old problem of wrong numbers. And this is what made me nostalgic.
Just remember the black phone which was a permanent fixture in almost all homes, once upon a time. In the time, before the introduction of mobiles in the 90’s, and many years after that too, black phone with the circular dial, was the preferred instrument for communication between families and friends. And the wrong numbers during that era were unbelievable. Once a man, who had gone to Nainital for the first time, excitedly called his parents from there and exclaimed over the phone, “Mom, I have now reached. It feels like heaven and I am literally walking through the clouds”. Now, it so happened that, the call was wrongly placed to a family, who had recently lost their son and were grieving. When the mother heard this message, she fainted. These type of dramas played out many times during those days, all thanks to the telephone and the telephone operators, who literally had the strings of fate of many people, in their hands.
The telephone department was very important, or rather, the demand for the telephone was so great, and the supply was so poor, that the people in the department had a superior air about them, since people used to give them that importance. I have seen people begging for a telephone line to be allotted to their home.
Another common ritual was placing of a trunk call. You gave a call to the telephone operator, told the city name and the phone number, where the call was to be placed and were invariably told that the lines are very busy, and the waiting time will be high, and you were given a trunk call code number. Once a trunk call was placed, you could not then go out, since you never knew when you’re call would get connected. I remember, once we waited for 1 and a half day for the call to be connected to our aunt, who used to stay in Indore. Of course, there were options available, where, if you placed an emergency call, the connection time was shortened, but such calls also used to take at least 2-3 hours to get connected, and were comparatively expensive. Another service was ‘PP’ , where you had the option of calling a particular person only. In which case, the operator would call the number, call for the particular person, and once that person came on line, then only the operator connected the two calls.
And in spite of so many hurdles, the businesses were conducted successfully and relationships became stronger. Today, when any person is just a call away, the relationships suffer, since no one wants to talk, in this age of WhatsApp and Facebook.
Those were the days!!