Posted in Lateral Thinking

Dear VIPs & Media, Please Allow ISRO To Do Their Job

If you think I was happy to see Sadhguru or our PM at ISRO Control room at the zero hour of this 7th September, you are wrong.

As much as I appreciate our PM’s thoughtfulness as to be there when ISRO was about to make history (without a wink of sleep right from the Russia tour), I wish he had rather missed the event (even in the rare case of being invited). I wish the Sadhguru had stayed away as well. The media presence was a menace, a nightmare. True, I was carried over by the hype myself.

My heart goes out to the scientists, technicians and engineers, especially the unassuming ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan who were distracted to maximum degree the D Day with the fuss that must have been generated around the VIP presence. Was it a space agency or circus?

Not that the critical manoeuvre of the Lander Vikram was a last minute job. Chandrayaan 2 has been an ongoing project since July 22nd. Everything was set. Only buttons needed to be pressed for the lander to separate from the orbiter and make it to the moon’s surface. Yet, one cannot underestimate the high level of significance attached to this grand finale. The ultimate climax.

None of us especially those from scientific community were enraged or disappointed. We only became sad. I am married to an engineer and I am mother of an engineer. I know what it takes to execute something with scientific precision. I know the stress levels. I know the men’s sense of responsibility. I know that success could still be all elusive, despite doing everything textbook-correct.

Only if you have a sound academic background can you ever think the way I do.

I read a funny comment on this in social media. It is good that many people share my views, especially working professionals.

A man had posted in Tamil that, ‘beloved parents of a girl may give away their darling daughter in a lavish wedding but that does not mean they have to insist to be present in her suhaag raath!’ It came as a bolt really.

How will a surgeon feel if the kith and kin of a patient insist on being in the operation theater when his cardiac bypass surgery could be underway.

Comparatively, Chandrayaan 1 launch was a low keyed affair drawing minimum media attention. We knew about facts after they were presented by ISRO to the media.

I hear Sadhguru lectures. In one of them, he says how he sought to be alone on his own for a number of days/weeks/years to gain inner consciousness. Or a higher level of consciousness. Solitude seems to be very important to this well known spiritual guru famous for lecturing everyone. Sadhguru ji, can’t you still realize what harm you were doing to ISRO with your unwarranted presence. I have respects for you, but i am not a blind follower. I have contributed to your Cauvery Calling in my permissible individual capacity, but neither will I forget the elephant corridor you took over for Isha. I have been there myself. I have seen it with my own eyes.  My heart did not stop because of the Isha. But it stopped thinking, ‘where will the elephants go.  I do not care about what the Karunya Christian group of institutions is doing. I only know this is not the way of Shiva. I may not be enlightened like you, but I am enlightened enough to have my heart dominate my mind.

Suppose the contractor company MD has to come and sit with the construction worker working on a temporary steel platform erected in the air for a 100 storey building. Dear Prime Minister, what do you think will happen to the poor worker. Civil engineering dare devils. In our culture we don’t even eat well in others’ presence fearing ‘nazar.’

ISRO can do without the glam cheer boys seriously! For them, this is just one more photo-op what else!

I wondered whether I must bare my heart and blog this. Then I told myself, who must I be scared of. I have to be scared of only my Manasakshi. My conscience. I am answerable only to my conscience. Who else must I fear or be answerable to. There are people who all fear and respect. Then there are those who are loved most. I would rather belong to the second kind.

Media too had a very damaging role to play in all this, trying to make a scientific feat into a third rate Bollywood tamasha – all for what? For stupid TRP ratings my foot! Shame on these guys!

DEAR VIPS AND MEDIA, PLEASE LEAVE ISRO ALONE TO DO THEIR JOB!

This minute by minute scrutiny will only make them feel acutely self-conscious and guilty at heart for no reason. These guys have done nothing wrong. They are doing their duty to their best. ISRO is not your fancy fast food restaurant to serve your ego at your whim and fancy.

The success of ISRO must not be allowed to be hijacked by any VIP whoever it may be. ISRO must not share credit for their milestones with anyone – the pride is India’s.

One of these days, who knows Vikram lander might communicate after all. Of the 14 solar days of it’s life, an estimated 11 remain as of today. Anything is possible.

Wishing ISRO all the success in future! One step at a time. I know the pain of hardwork, patience and failure. Nothing is possible overnight. But success will be around the corner soon.

 

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My blog post on Chandrayaan I, India’s first Moon mission way back in 2008 . Chandrayaan 1 incidentally found water on the moon. India discovered water on lunar surface. (with no edit)

Indian Tricolour flies high in the Moon

November 15, 2008

THIS MORNING I WOKE UP TO A BEAUTIFUL HEADLINE NEWS IN ‘THE HINDU’ FRONTPAGE WITH AN EXCELLENT PRECISION PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SURFACE OF THE MOON & WHOLE OF TODAY I SAW TIME AND AGAIN THE MOON IMPACT PROBE (MIP) FROM CHANDRAYAAN IN THE MOON’S SURFACE  IN TV WITH THE FAMILIAR INDIAN TRICOLOR FLAG PAINTED ON ITS SIDES – INDIA HAS ARRIVED ON THE MOON!   AND INDIANS ARE DEFINITELY OVER THE MOON RIGHT NOW TOO!
www.hindu.com/2008/11/15/stories/200811155841010054.htm

November 14th 2008 saw MIP landing in the Moon from Chandrayaan – 1 AND THE INDIAN TRICOLOR FLAG NOW FLUTTERS HIGH IN THE MOON!   Only USA, Russia and European Union flags have so far fluttered in the lunar surface.   Indian National Flag is the 4th national flag to fly high in Chand – the Moon.   “The Hindu” editorial proclaimed that this is 100% an indigenous effort.  It has made us all proud – and ISRO CHAIRMAN MADHAVAN NAIR SAID, IT IS A GIFT TO THE CHILDREN OF INDIA.   For the date of the MIP landing was 14th Nov which  is celebrated as ‘Children’s Day’ by Indian schools – after Jawarharlal Nehru’s birthday.  Nehru, the first PM of independent India luved children.  Nehru ruled from 1947 to 1964 when he died.  Incidentally it was during this period, ISRO was started.   It was, believe me or not, Nehru’s vision that one day Indian tricolor flag should flutter on the Moon.    It was the period when interest in Space began in India.   What a grand coincidence that the Indian MIP should land in the Moon on Nehru’s birthday?

U have no idea what this does to the present GenNext of India – those of my son’s schoolmates who used to talk about working for NASA are now talking about working for ISRO and those govt depts like Atomic Energy Commission of India.   Nodoubt these depts pay worst – but what a pride, what a career satisfaction?   Even i am asking my son whether he is interested in Space sciences.    Catch all Chandrayaan-1 pix at www.isro.org/

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PS: Just learned via Social media, due to precious fuel saving without corrections, the life expectancy of the orbiter has been revised from 1 year to 7 years. Kudos! That is an awesome news indeed but needs further verification.

 

Posted in Lateral Thinking

It’s Okay ISRO, You Are Still The Best And We Are Proud Of You!

Last night was Shiv Rathri for us Indians across the globe. Not only did the resident Indians stay awake, but also NRIs and PIOs spread across continents. The entire Indian diaspora if I may say so. Chandrayaan 2 launched July 22nd from Sriharikota, almost created history. The Lander Vikram separated from Rover Pragyan from the Chandrayaan 2 (the mother satellite in good shape orbiting the Moon) stage by stage in text book precision absolutely following the trajectory of projection. The Rough Break phase was torturous wait for even those of us with not much of astrophysics knowledge. Stage 1 of clearance success, stage 2, success, stage 3, overwhelming success… only stage 4 remained of the tension filled 15 seconds that was more like one hour when we waited with our bated breath for a signal from Vikram … but then followed a lengthy silence from the ISRO Control Room at Bangalore as the radio communication from Vikram snapped… (the landing time was calculated at 1.53 am September 7th)… a billion hearts broke as the nation plunged into despair. The grief was writ large in the faces of ISRO scientists and engineers. Chairman Dr. K Sivan who was in tears was embraced by an emotional Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji. What a moment to live for.  The final crowing glory that was denied, no more mattered.

So is Chandrayaan 2 a failure? No way! Only 5% of the Mission was lost with losing contact with the Lander Vikram. Chandrayaan 2 will be orbiting the Moon for the next one year, its estimated life. The orbiter has already beamed pictures of space, Earth and Moon back to ISRO center. India was attempting in this second Moon Mission of ours to soft land on the polar end of the Moon where so far no other nation (of the four to five countries that have their flags on the moon already) had dared to venture. It was risky and the probability of failure was very high. It is almost the dark side of the moon. India’s first Moon mission Chandrayaan 1 landed its probe near the equator of the moon, favourite landing spot for astronauts and other landers.

Chandrayaan 2’s lander Vikram was as close as 2.1 km from the surface of the moon where it should have landed. Whether it crashed or what happened to it will be revealed only through the scientific data. It is impressive that our scientists, technicians and engineers have given us such a precision in landing. Down there lies mystery that so far mankind has not known of. Unexplored space. Simply anything is possible.

 

Anyway, all is not lost yet guys!

https://www.livemint.com/science/news/-95-of-chandrayaan-2-intact-as-orbiter-flying-around-moon/amp-1567808505257.html?fbclid=IwAR04oc2ARHhIYW4mA8mX0-H8G1kUi8zPCjTcWPYaQMOl2_ak373zk8yS-Vg

But I can feel the heaviness at heart. Bravo ISRO team! You are the best and you will be back with a bounce sooner than we can expect!

Posted in Political History

What An August For India!

How August 1947 was, we never knew. Down south, hardly any ripple about the partition was felt. From what I learned from stories told and retold in my younger years, from the only transistor (public property) in Luz, Mylapore, the All India Radio broadcast Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous speech ‘when the whole world sleeps….’ – of the oft-quoted ‘Freedom At Midnight.’ Hundreds of men had gathered there waiting for hours to listen to this historic speech that was tuned to maximum volume. ‘National flag hoisting in schools and offices next day which was declared government holiday (August 15th) followed by sweets distribution, then all went home. Next day business as usual with schools reopening!!!’ is the exact way the Independence Day August 15, 1947 was described to me. As uninteresting as that!

72 years later, August 2019 is being a different one. Our Independence Day this year was a buoyant one, no doubt. What a journey this has been for India. A short recap of this whirlwind month of August’19:

CENTRE SCRAPPED ARTICLE 370 AND ARTICLE 35A GIVING SPECIAL STATUS TO JAMMU & KASHMIR ON AUGUST 5TH, 2019. LADAKH BECAME A DISTINCT UNION TERRITORY. FOR THE PRESENT, JAMMU & KASHMIR TO CONTINUE TO BE A UNION TERRITORY, TO BE RESTORED WITH STATEHOOD IN TIME. WITH THIS, THE NEHRU BLUNDER WAS RECTIFIED BY BJP PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI’S GOVERNMENT IN A SINGLE STROKE. HISTROY REWRITTEN, HISTORY MADE! AFTER 72 LONG YEARS, JAMMU & KASHMIR WAS INTEGRATED WITH THE UNION OF INDIA.

CHANDRAYAAN 2, INDIA’S SECOND LUNAR MISSION, LAUNCHED JULY 22ND, CONTINUED ITS VOYAGE TO THE MOON, BEAMING THE FIRST SET OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF EARTH & MOON THIS AUGUST. AT LEAST TWO INDIAN SCIENTISTS HAVE THEIR NAMES ETCHED IN THE MOON NOW: SISIR MITRA AND VIKRAM SARABHAI, FOUNDER OF ISRO, WITH LUNAR CRATERS NAMED AFTER THEM.

Who is Sisir Mitra? The Scientist That ISRO Just Named a Lunar Crater After

INDIA’S PV SINDHU CREATED HISTORY BECOMING THE FIRST INDIAN TO WIN THE WORLD BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS (BWF) ON AUGUST 25H, 2019

INDIA AT G7 ON AUGUST 26, 2019 ON INDIA’S TERMS.

Earlier, our Prime Minister was also presented with highest order of awards by the UAE and Bahrain- two of them in a single day. This takes the count to 6 – the number of islamic nations that have honoured Shri Narendra Modi with their highest civilian awards.

Wonderful!

The other side:

INDIA LOST SMT SUSHMA SWARAJ, EX HOME MINISTER – INVALUABLE ASSET TO THE NATION, ON AUGUST 6TH 2019

INDIA LOST ARUN JAITLEY, EX FINANCE MINISTER ON AUGUST 24TH, 2019. JAITLEY WAS THE MAN BEHIND GST.

Two gems lost in a single month from the crown. This is not just BJP’s loss, this is national loss. With them, BJP and the nation have lost three precious sons and daughter of India including Manohar Parikkar who was our ex- Defence Minister. Irreparable loss.

What an August this has been for us. In between, there was the telecast of ‘Man Vs Wild’ featuring PM Modi with Bear Grylls in the Discovery channel. It came as a breather. None of us anticipated August 2019 to unfold this way. It has been one roller coaster ride for us Indians.

Neither is Rupee doing great. Once again after over an year or two, INR breached the 70 rupee mark against dollar, thanks to China-US trade spat. Markets are not good. Manufacturing slowing down. Registering Production losses and lay-offs. Monsoon mayhem everywhere in India except for in Chennai where it’s raining for a month now to no avail. Some gains and some losses.

We in India cannot say that the Amazon fires do not concern us. The enormous impact the fires will leave on our very existence in future is worth making the issue our top priority.  My humble request to everyone who cannot directly do anything in his/her/their lone capacity to put off the raging fires: say a small prayer for Bhooma Devi, Mother Earth. Pray for quick extinguishing of fires. The array of flora and fauna lost to the fires is unimaginable! The loss of habitat for the wildlife and the native tribes is worse. There is every reason to believe this is corporate managed which makes this whole tragic affair a sordid one.  Still, in whichever forum you can, please put in a word about the Amazon – Brazil and Bolivia fires. The fires now encompass nine Latin American nations. Wherever you are, write/add/speak a word about wildlife, environment, water resources, pollution. Thank you! You won’t be making a penny out of this probably, but neither will you be losing one!

Now what does September have in store, I wonder.