Letter From A Concerned Reader Columns

Humans are great. Sometimes

Reading the news of the kilonova added extra sweetness to my ras malai

Respected Sir/Madam,

Sometimes I will be walking to nearby Ganga Sweets for evening refreshment along with a novel by Ludlum or Maclean or, if I am feeling a bit youthful, Harold Robbins. Suddenly I will stop and think to myself: Oh my god, look at all the wonderful things human beings have achieved on this earth.

Air-conditioned car on tarred roads. Mobile phones. Elastic waist formal pants. Jumbo jet. Concorde. Youtube. Cinematic dance. Ras malai.

Isn’t it amazing or no? When I was a child if I told my father, Late Mr. L Mathrubootham, M.Sc. M.Phil Ph.D (Ongoing), that one day we will be able to sit at home in front of an electronic device and just push some buttons and see crystal clear Youtube of Attenborough, Suhasini and so many other videos at any time… sir/ madam he would have immediately thrown me out of the house for consumption of brown sugar.

Today, times have changed. And we are progressing like anything. But can I just stand there by the roadside and complete these deep thoughts about the development of Homo sapiens? No. Because some schoolchildren will start shouting: “Hello old man! This is your father’s footpath or what, for you to stand like Kannagi on Marina Beach.”

Bloody fool children, if this was communist China they would have sent all of you to labour camp to dig in the mine for latest iPhone. So like that, I went to Ganga Sweets two days back and was relaxing when I saw the latest news from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in the United States, known as LIGO to the fans. Sir/ Madam, now these fellows have gone one step further and used three different instruments to confirm the collision of two neutron stars at a distance of just 130 million light years. Sir/ Madam, reading the news of the kilonova added extra sweetness to my ras malai.

You are thinking: Excuse me, Mr. Mathrubootham you are following cutting edge physics also? Sir, you are a man of so many hidden talents. What else you can do? Breakdance?

Sir/ Madam, please. I am a modest retired person. Don’t make scene. Some people watch cricket and football to pass time. Other people sit and read politics in the morning and then shout at their friends and family in the evening. I enjoy novels and films and some physics.

So, after my evening snack, I came back home thinking once again about the limitless potential of the human mind. And then I met my son. (He is still working from home like drug dealers.) He was watching TV in the living room. “Appa,” he said, “let us buy a new TV.”

“What is the need,” I said. “Current TV is perfectly fine.”

“But look at this new Sony TV,” he said, pointing at the TV. “Can you see how the picture quality on the new TV is better than normal TVs? They are showing a comparison, appa. You see for yourself.”

Sir/ Madam, on the one hand we have scientists who are discovering the universe. And then there is my son. I checked in the kitchen for Mrs. Mathrubootham, but she had gone to the bank. I came and said bloody fool, stupid fellow inside your skull is brain or kuli paniyaaram? You are looking at picture of new TV on our old TV and saying new TV is better than our old TV? Stupid fellow, do you realise the nonsense you are talking?

I got fed up and went to my bedroom. Afterwards Mrs. Mathrubootham came and I asked her if she saw the news about kilonova. She said kilonova and all ok but did I get Maltova for the grandchildren?

Sir/ Madam, please intimate to LIGO people that two small black holes are available in Anna Nagar. One in my wife’s heart and one in my son’s head.

Yours in exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 1:19:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/humans-are-great-sometimes/article19895061.ece

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