While Vali is learning about illusion and the waterfall experiment from Indra, Vali’s brother Sugriva drops in. He looks so much like Vali that only people who are really close to them can differentiate between the two. Sugriva loves to tease his brother and Indra.
Sugriva: Indra deva, are you teaching Vali how to distract his opponents using your tricks? After all, you are famous for mastering the art of fooling people with disguises.
Indra: As I have told you several times before, I don’t do this for fun. It is a skill given to me to be used during warfare.
Sugriva: Brother, did you tell your best friend Ravana about Indra and his skills?
Indra gets curious, as he is a Deva, and Ravana is an Asura.
Indra: Vali, I did not know that you and Ravana are friends!
Vali: That’s a long story. After a severe penance, I was blessed with a boon from Lord Brahma.
Indra: Yes, I know. You will get half the powers and strength of the person fighting against you.
Vali: Knowing this, Ravana wanted to see me and probably wanted a fight to test his strength. But, on his way, he met Sugriva. Assuming that it was me, he fought and wounded him.
Indira (smiling): Ah! No wonder then Sugriva has so much anger towards Ravana.
How they met
Vali: I happened to come there. Angry at Ravana for attacking Sugriva, I fought him. He was very strong, but I managed to lock him under my arm. Finally, Ravana accepted his loss and requested that I be his friend. He also wanted to learn about the transfer of strength and power from opponents. Since it is a boon from Lord Brahma, I couldn’t tell him directly. Instead, I taught him the science of how electrical energy travels without wires and indirectly told him the secret behind the transfer of powerful energy.
Indira: On Earth, it is popularly known as Tesla’s wireless electricity:Tesla coil / Warden cliff tower / Magnifying transformer.
Sugriva: Oh! Vali you never taught me that.
Vali: Science is learnt by those curious about the world around them, those who keep asking questions and have a thirst to learn more. Ravana is one such…
Sugriva: I understand. Now I am curious too. So please tell me. How does wireless electricity work?
Vali: Electricity is nothing but the flow of electrons. The Magnifying Transformer, which Nikolas Tesla will invent later, creates an electric field with a very high voltage such that the electricity starts to transfer across small distances. But its applications were limited because of the potential dangers involved. Radios and televisions will use a smaller and different version of Tesla’s coil.
Sugriva: That’s interesting! Can you show me how it looks?
Vali shows him a few versions of the Tesla coil. Indra has a vision of the future in which he foresees Sugriva using this knowledge against Vali during the war between Vali and Rama.
The author 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.