A musical interlude

Episode 46: Hanuman and Nala learn about the various aspects of music from Jambhava and also build a spacecraft.

Updated - September 23, 2023 11:23 am IST

Published - September 23, 2023 10:12 am IST

Hanuman and Nala are in Jambhavan’s palace and want to know more about the immortal bear.

Hanuman: Who named you Jambhavan?

Jambhavan: Let’s eat and talk.

As he follows Jambhavan into the food arena, Hanuman’s eyes grow wide when he sees the variety of food laid out in a kitchen built like a globe.

Nala: Jambhavan is a big foodie. After all, he has to eat for six months.

Jambhavan (sings): You and I / In this foodie-ful world /Sweet snacks in this beautiful world / You and I …

Hanuman (laughs): Did you write this song?

Jambhavan: It’s actually a jingle for an advertisement. I rewrote the lyrics for food.

Jambhavan, Nala and Hanuman choose what they want to eat and fill their plates. Once they settle down to eat…

Nala: I tried to find out about your birth story, Jambhavan. But what I found was so weird: that you were born when Brahma yawned.

Jambhavan: That is only partially correct. I didn’t emerge from his mouth.

Hanuman: Then what is the correct story?

Jambhavan: Well, it all started with a music concert. Let me tell you about music first. The study of music is called cymatics. Music is magical. It can change shapes, heal your mind and do so many other things.

Nala: My father has constructed buildings in which the pillars can produce musical sounds.

Hanuman: I have also heard of music therapy, in which some kinds of music have healing properties.

Nala: Yes, music therapy using isochronic tones and binaural beats are practised. And there is a lot of research on this.

Jambhavan: Every musical instrument has its own special property to connect with mind and body. Music helps reduce anxiety and stress and also improves cognitive function. Much later, human scientists will find out that music can even help regulate genetic patterns. Some researchers even try to convert DNA sequences into musical notes. Anyway, to get back to my story, I was just another bear. Once when Brahma and Saraswati were performing, I was serving food for all those in the audience. Brahma signalled for some water, so, I ran to take some to him. But, as I handed it over, I yawned. Unfortunately, I made eye contact with him just then. As a result, Brahma also yawned. Since I was the only one who could hear the sound of his yawn, in some strange way, the power of immortality got transferred to me.

Nala: Yawning is so contagious but I didn’t know it could cause a transfer like that.

Jambhavan: Brahma realised what had happened only after the concert. Then, he sent me here for some important work.

Hanuman: But I want to know who named you Jambhavan.

Jambhavan: I am from the land of Jambu so people started calling me Jambhavan.

Nala: So, it basically means ‘a person from the land of Jambu’.

Jambhavan: Exactly. Now I know that both of you like space and science. Shall we make a model of a spacecraft?

Hanuman agrees enthusiastically. Jambhavan smiles, as he watches the young vanara. He thinks to himself that the real purpose of his birth has just begun.

Build a spacecraft

Jambhavan: These are the various aspects of a spacecraft. First a container to hold everything together. Next, a power source to ensure it works. Third, scientific instruments to do the work necessary. Communication devices like antennas to keep contact with Earth. Finally, an Orientation Finder so that the satellite knows its position.

What you need: A small cardboard box, a sheet of brown paper, a rubber ball, black chart paper, a long stick, three pieces of sponge cut into thin rectangular slices, a used CD, 4-5 screws, bubble wrap, a piece of plastic straw, glue and sticking tape.

Step 1: Cover the cardboard box with brown paper and stick a piece of sponge at the bottom.

Step 2: Place the CD in the middle of the cardboard box and put a screw in the centre of the CD. Stick them together with sticky tape.

Step 3: Run the stick through the carboard box a few inches from the bottom. Glue the remaining pieces of the sponge on either side of the stick.

Step 4: Above the CD, punch in the remaining three screws in a triangular pattern.

Step 5: Now take the rubber ball and cut it in half. Cover the curved side with bubble wrap. Paste a piece of black chart paper on the flat side and stick the piece of straw through it.

Step 6: Now glue this to the top of the cardboard box. Your spacecraft is ready.

The writer is the founder and CEO of Vaayusastra Aerospace, an IIT-Madras incubated ed-tech startup that offers Air Science workshops for children between five and 14 years.

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