Students can also check English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.
The Comet Summary
The Comet Introduction
The story is about revelation of a comet named after its discovery by Manoj Dutta of Calcutta. He was an amateur scientist. The revelation raised the brows of scientists and religious leaders. As per their calculations, the comet was about to collide with the earth. During discussions, they tried to find ways to avoid the collision. They had grim faces trying control damage.
The Comet 1 Summary of the Lesson
Dutta went upstairs to look out for new developments in the sky. It was December and cool breeze from the window disturbed the sleep of Indrani Debi. She accused Dibya for it was taking too much of attention.
She called Dibya’ as a wretched one, which was nothing but a telescope. She described the overindulgence of Duttada who avoided his domestic responsibilities.
He was also obsessed with his work that he overlooked his health. Smiling Indrani went to the roof because for her the telescope was nothing but a woman that ensnared her husband. Dutta named his telescope as Dibya Chakshu which means Divine Eye.
He was so engrossed in the work that he spent most of his time in observing through the telescope. He used the amount he got after retirement. Dutta wanted a secret ambition to discover a new comet.
Like planets, comets also orbit around the sun but their orbits are highly eccentric. So once in a while a comet comes close to the Sun; it longish tail lit brilliantly by the sunlight. Then it recedes into darkness not to be seen again for years, or for centuries.
Dutta was optimistic of his discovery because others might ignore it. Although he knew that professional astronomers have big and more efficient telescopes. Then Duttada observed a ‘faint stranger’ in the sky.
He reexamined the charts with him, checked his Dibya for any smudges on the optics, did some calculations on his pocket calculator in torchlight though he was – minded about daily chores, yet was meticulous in his observations. After reevaluating everything he was assured of his discovery.
The news of comet discovery by Manoj Dutta was published in Ananda Bazar Patrika when IIA, Bangalore was informed about the discovery. The achievement was considered to be a big and the comet was named after its discoverer.
Dutta became famous and he was invited to various receptions and functions. Once frustrated he wished that it would have been better if he had not discovered the comet.
Indrani too supported his viewpoint yet she had a different perspective. She thought that comet brings ill – luck and she wished that a good man like him shouldn’t have discovered the comet. Dutta laughed at her superstition.
He said that comets have been scientifically studied and they are not at all harmful.
Dr. James Forsyth was called by John Macpherson, Defense Science Advisor. He was given his note by Provost. He was welcomed by Johnson, the security officer at a white hall who took him ninety minutes to reach the chambers of Sir John Macpherson.
Sir John warmly greeted him and stated the reason of urgent calling. He handed a typescript of paper that Dr. James had sent for publishing in ‘Nature’.
That shocked him. He was taken aback at the availability of this content is his hand. Sir James replied that he got that from Taylor the editor of‘Nature’. Sir James was extremely bothered about the conclusion of the paper.
The impact of the collision of comet would be catastrophic. As James had calculated and his speculation were based on the analysis. It would take months to collide with the earth.
Sir John wanted to know the chance to avoid the collision. He wanted to call an urgent meeting of experts from all over the world. He wanted to stop spreading of the news as it might create havoc in the world.
Sir James argued that truth would be revealed even if he was stopped. As some other researchers might publish the news. Sir John suggested to tone down the news and said that he would also try to exercise the similar restraint.
Till the comet passed safely. James did not believe in his efforts to organize an important secret conference of international experts. Sir John was sure and shared his planning’s with them.
The Comet 2 of the lesson
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 world.