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The Comet 2 Summary
The Comet Introduction
The story is in continuation of the previous lesson. In the previous lesson, Manoj Dutta had already discovered a comet which was named after him. As per calculations by Dr. James and other scientists, its impact was disastrous, Sir John organized a secret meet of experts in various fields. They suggested ways to avert the danger; however scientific progression and religious sentiment went hand in hand in Duttada’s life. He was told that puja had averted the evil impact. Dutta laughed at the two extreme approaches.
The Comet 2 Summary of the Lesson
Dutta was invited to attend a secret conference by Sir John along with other delegates. The meeting was over by one a.m. Sir John dropped him at his hotel contemplating by looking at the stars about the foreseen calamity on the earth.
James realized Sir John’s efficiency as he successfully invited experts from various fields. Experts were constantly tried hard to come to a decision. They rechecked James’ calculation and analyzed comet Dutta’s movement.
They anticipated that comet might have an impact on an area that it might touch while passing through the earth. Yet they wanted to prepare themselves for greater impact.
The suggestions that emerged out of the discussion were including underground bunkers and hitting hard the comet to deflect its course. The first idea was rejected for its impracticality and the second one needed loads of nuclear power to explore the comet.
However, the second option needed too much attention. It could not be considered a foolproof decision. Its secrecy needed to be maintained and was given a code name ‘Project light brigade’.
It was decided that pay loaded spacecraft would be dispatched on October 10. Then, a nuclear explosion would be done on November 15. December 15 was the expected to be the date when comet Dutta would collide with the earth if they fail to detect the path of the comet.
Everyone including Duttada was apprehensive as the size of the comet was uncertain. His friendship grew with Sir John during the week. Sir John was not hopeful and said that he would not buy any Christmas gift.
During his stay at the British Isles for two weeks, he visited observatories and exchanged views with other astronomers.
When he landed, he was greeted with warmth and pleasantries. He didn’t like ceremonious welcome. He was shocked to see a pandal at his home. With inquisitive eyes, he looked at Indrani Debi.
She informed him that she invited the priest to bless him and to perform ‘yajna’. He called that visiting ‘foreign land’ is not a taboo anymore. Sivaji babu, his brother came in her rescue and defended her action.
That triggered the anger of Dutta. He detested their behavior and emphasized on a scientific approach. His brother tried to convince in the name of their wise forefathers.
Bond of Duttada and Sir James grew with time. They appreciated each other qualities. The scientific outlook was understood fairly by Sir James. Both of them took great care in discussing progress in ‘Project Light Brigade’ without taking its name.
Comet Dutta circled the Sun and developed a tail. The scientist was sure of a collision. Dutta received a letter in October with hidden details of proceeding in the project so the spacecraft was finally launched.
Their only fear was whether they would collide as per plan. Dutta hid his apprehension and anxieties. He participated in every function and festival. Khoka, his grandson’s company (during the day and looking at the skies though Dibya gave him peace.
He monitored the movements of the comet which could be then be seen by the naked eye. Manoj Dutta became nervous when he received a letter from a telex message from the British council.
He immediately rushed towards his rangoli shop and read the message carrying the message of John Macpherson. The message had information about purchasing of Christmas gift by Sir James. This was a hint
of successful annihilation of the approaching comet. Confident Duttada told his wife that comet won’t bring any havoc on anyone. Indrani confidently took the credits and said that ‘yajna’ at home took away the threats of destruction from his family.
Dutta had not performed any yajna so he asked her again. Indrani replied that on the advice of Guruji, ‘Khoka’ was deputed and performed all the rites as he was the descendant of his family.
Dutta tried to imagine the scene where an innocent child was made to chant mantras, he doesn’t understand at all. In contrast to the traditional approach of his family members, the constant efforts of a group of scientists put in their endeavor to solve the problem.
Dutta could analyze the difference in approaches of tradition and modem science. He felt that the gap could not be filled. It was too wide yet he wanted to bring close to the two different worlds.