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A Science Congress held together by string theory

Of all the wonderful discoveries and inventions of yore, only the pyjama miraculously survived, writes Manas Chakravarty.

columns Updated: Jan 18, 2015 02:06 IST
Manas Chakravarty,loose cannon,India’s scientific prowess

The discovery of an iPhone among the ruins of Harappa has shed new light on India’s scientific prowess in those far-off days and also on how all that ancient knowledge was lost. The iPhone contains voice recordings of the proceedings of the nation’s first Science Congress. Here’s the transcript:

Moderator: It’s a bright sunny New Year’s Day here at the Apsara Hotel in Harappa. Happy 2500 BC to all our distinguished guests. Our first speaker will be Dr Ghatotkacharya, professor at the University of Mohenjo Daro.

Dr Ghatotkacharya: I have proved, philologically and etymologically, the word Aryan is a mispronunciation of the word ‘Alien’, possibly by the Chinese, who have a problem with the letter ‘l’. As my colleague Erich Von Danikenananda has pointed out, we aliens or Aryans were the ones who brought technology to miserable earthlings.

Dr Who Charya: Fantastic. That ties in neatly with the invention of the warp drive by us at Star Trek Yogashram, through which spacecraft can travel faster than light. We could use it to travel back to our alien home. What is that in your hand, Dr Pyjamanathan?

Pyjamanathan: It’s a piece of string, with which I will demonstrate what I call string theory. Now hold up this piece of cloth, stitched so that each leg can go in separately, unlike in our dhoti or lungi. I now put each leg in, just so. Now notice this little hole or opening here at the top?

Prof Jatasura (excitedly): Is it a black hole?

Pyjamanathan: No, it’s a common, ordinary hole. I insert the string here through the hole and thread this right around the garment, bringing it out from this other hole. And then I tie the string. See, the cloth does not fall. Notice the ease with which I can move because the two legs are clad separately. No embarrassing peek-a-boo moments.

Jatasura: Wah, wah. What a fabulous piece of engineering. I hereby name it a Pyjama, in Dr Pyjamanathan’s honour.

Prof Krakpotmitra: I would go further. Notice how the pyjama stays up, defying gravity. It is a fabulous combination of string theory and anti-gravity.

Steve Jobeswara: Over the years, we at Harappa Labs have brought to you the Indranet, Third Eye Television, aviation, plastic surgery and the indiaPhone or iPhone. Today I am recording these proceedings on the world’s first indestructible iPhone, which can withstand even a nuclear explosion. Two of Dr Ravana’s heads, my colleague from Sri Lanka, helped in designing the gadget.

Dr Ravana: My other eight heads were busy with this little grenade shaped nuclear device I have in my hand. It has the power to wipe out the entire Harappan civilisation. See, all I have to do is pull this pin and ... BOOOM.

The iPhone, sadly, records the massive explosion that followed, taking down with it Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and the other great cities of yore. Of all the wonderful discoveries and inventions, only the pyjama miraculously survived.

Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint

The views expressed by the author are personal

First Published: Jan 17, 2015 23:47 IST