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Stellar observations

If you spot the Mahatma’s image on Mars, rest assured that he is looking for artifacts lost on the home planet.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2011 21:45 IST
Hindustan Times

We have heard of the Man in the Moon, but now we go further up the celestial ladder with an Italian space enthusiast spotting the Mahatma on Mars. A stellar feat really but this might make many of Gandhi’s followers see Red. Now the likeness of people and things have been spotted all over the place from the humble papaya resembling Ganesh to pictures of godly beings on toast. And if you look hard enough you can probably discern your own features on everyday objects.

But we have another, equally flaky, explanation for this spotting of the Mahatma on the mysterious planet. Clearly, he is looking for the many artifacts of his that we, who so worship him, have managed to lose. The latest to go are his iconic spectacles — he is often represented by just his eyewear — from the Sewagram ashram in Wardha. Of course, many items of his correspondence have ended up in the hands of shysters who have made a killing from Mahatma mania. So, it might be appropriate to initiate our own search for our departed luminaries among other planets.

Maybe we will spot Rabindranath Tagore on distant Neptune looking for his coveted Nobel gong. Or our Mughal emperors searching for their fabulous treasures from chilly Pluto. And perhaps Elvis is on the third rock from the sun instead of Argentina. And, of course, we dare not say that Subhas Chandra Bose could be gracing a constellation when we know that he still walks among us. We just hope that our brethren, not known for their sense of humour, will not decide that this Mahatma sighting constitutes an insult to the nation and start taking out processions. Or worse still, fasting, so beloved of the Mahatma. Instead, we should encourage our enraged sants and babas to take up a new pastime, that of star-spotting. It will, we assure you, still keep them in orbit.

First Published: Jun 14, 2011 21:44 IST