Take to the skies

Beginning a new fortnightly column that combines storytelling with aeronautical science. In this episode, King Ravana’s son Meghnath undergoes his first flying lesson — with a paper plane!

Updated - February 08, 2021 11:51 am IST

Published - February 08, 2021 11:33 am IST

King Ravana was well known for his aeronautics and design skills. Legend has it that he built the Pushpaka vimaan — a flying chariot — with the help of his father-in-law Mayasura, the great architect who ruled Talatalaloka.

Meghnath, the eldest son of Ravana and his wife Mandodari, was a very smart kid, and curious about flight techniques. He would always sit with his father and grandfather when they designed and tested flying machines.

One such day, Ravana, after a flight on his pushpaka vimaan , wanted to do some updates on his plane. Ravana and Mayasura were in the workshop making some changes to the flight control system, when Meghnath entered.

Meghnath: What are you doing, grandpa?

Mayasura: We are trying to update the flying machine so that it can reach the Svarga Loka (heavenly world).

Meghnath: That means it will be able to fly till the edge of Mount Meru (the sacred five-peaked mountain).

Ravana: Yes. Twelve kilometres above the ground. We can reach the Svarga Loka and say hello to our old friend, Indira, the king of Svarga .

Meghnath: Dad, when you will teach me how to fly and to build these flying machines?

Ravana (to Mayasura): Uncle, he is now six years old. Is it a right age to start?

Mayasura: Of course, my king! His birth made the people in heaven scared, and he plays with lions! He is absolutely ready to learn the basics.

Meghnath: Thank you, grandpa! I am so excited! Let’s start!

Ravana: Of course, son. Before you begin building actual machines, you can start making small planes using paper and learn how to control them. Let us start with the “Dart” plane, one of the fast moving ones.

Vaayusastra Aerospace is an ed-tech startup that offers Air Science workshops for children between five and 14 years.

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