This Humour Column Was Written 7000 Years Ago

Like most middle-class Indian kids, I first completed my engineering and then got around to figuring what I really wanted to do in life. So I’m the first to admit that I know next to nothing about science. The only time I use my education is when my parents ask me to fix some busted gadget, and I, applying what I learnt as a telecom engineer, swiftly pick up a cellphone to call the repair guy.

But as it turns out, I would’ve been clueless even if I’d actually paid attention in class, because here’s a news flash: What we know about science is wrong. It is all a western imperial construct designed to overshadow our original achievements. Simply put, the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Americans have all shamelessly Pritam’d our inventions.

I’m thankful to the various patriots who, of late, have been working really hard to enlighten us about this piracy. The most recent exposé took place at the 102nd Indian Science Congress, where leading scientists had all the logic smacked out of them by the glory of ancient India.

For example, you might think that the first airplane was invented by the Wright Brothers, after they got sick of booking tickets on IRCTC. But no. Captain Bodas, a retired flying instructor and a speaker at the Congress, pointed out that the first airplanes had been invented in Indian about 7000 years ago. Some of them were the size of jumbo jets and apparently they could move forward, backward and sideways, hover in mid-air, do barrel rolls and also bharatnatyam in mid-air.

These planes were also loaded with twenty missile systems. Now I don’t mean to brag, but I too designed similar fighter jets in school, via the technical process of doodling in my textbooks. (I was inspired by scientific materials such as Swat Kats and Centurions, but clearly I should’ve paid more attention to Amar Chitra Katha.)

But that’s not all. We reportedly also had pilots in ancient India, who were prescribed a diet that alternated between buffalo, cow and sheep milk and wore special shockproof, waterproof, electricity-resistant suits made from the fibres of underwater plants. Their names have been lost to history, so let’s just call them Captain Shri Maverick and Goose.

If the pilots got bored of flying domestic, they could take their crafts for an interplanetary spin. No, really. It was claimed that the planes could go from planet to planet. To buttress this point, another speaker, Kiran Naik, said that proof of this lay in the fact that during ancient times – and I wish I were making this up – two kings were fighting on Mars when one of their helmets fell off. This is why you should always take off your helmet before fighting on Mars.

He said that “If you google ‘helmet on Mars’, that helmet clearly shows up”, because ancient India also invented Photoshop. Sadly, all these advances in aviation were squandered because as it turns out, the industry was run by Vijay Mallya’s ancestors.

Mr. Naik then educated the audience about a bacteria that lives inside cows and converts whatever the cow consumes into 24 karat gold. Wow, that has to be the worst Tanishq ad ever. Picture a young, hopeful man going down on his knees as his girlfriend blushes with anticipation:

Guy: I cannot imagine a life without you. Will you marry me?

Girl: Yes, yes, a million times yes! (pause) Where’s the ring?

*they hear a PLOP! in the distance*

Guy: Go get it yourself.

Seriously, I cannot get over the fact that India is home to bovine creatures that crap gold. But enough about Mukeshbhai.

Not all talks at the Science Congress were as eye-opening. The others were woefully bereft of fantasy and stuck to boring ol’ scientific temperament. I wonder what it was like for the scientists – including Nobel laureates and a Fields Medal winner – to sit back and listen to stories that essentially took a flamethrower to their life’s work. It’s like Sachin Tendulkar being told by a baseball player that his stance had been wrong all these years and also once an ancient Indian batsman hit the moon for a six.

I bet they feel smarter now and cannot wait for next year’s Science Congress. If I were them, I’d make travel arrangements right now. Where can I book a one-way ticket to 5000 B.C?

(Note: This is my HT column dated 11th Jan 2015.)


30 responses to “This Humour Column Was Written 7000 Years Ago

  1. Mukeshbhai reference had me in splits! Brilliant this one!

  2. Haa….hilarious…!! Difficult though, to comprehend the prevalent relationship between engineers and humor… !!

  3. Enough about Mukeshbhai! – Epic!!

  4. Haha! 😂😂 This was seriously amazing!! 😄

  5. Nice. It’s all good when we learn to laugh at ourselves.

  6. Too good an article 😀 Especially the Tanishq advt one 😀

  7. Oh and we invented the concept of the slut/studs as well.. Like in Mahabharat.. where characters just have a random no of spouses..

    Shit I’m still laughing 3 minutes after reading this…

  8. Also, ancient India had the first playboy mansion, Jai Hind

  9. “Seriously, I cannot get over the fact that India is home to bovine creatures that crap gold. But enough about Mukeshbhai.”
    Hilarious, as usual 🙂

  10. Pritam’d our inventions-rofl

  11. “Seriously, I cannot get over the fact that India is home to bovine creatures that crap gold. But enough about Mukeshbhai.”

    Amazing man. I don’t know what’s funnier, your columns or the huge disaster that was this conference. I feel sad for the other peer-reviewed and carefully analysed scientific works presented.

  12. I have decided after reading this and other columns by you that you will be my husband. I only have two conditions: I must never find another woman in our bed and I must never find a Fedora on your head. Let’s take that first step towards happily ever after now.

  13. Yes India did have the technology in the ancient past. We had airplanes, missiles, plastic surgery, space travel and what not. But having developed all this, our ancestors in all their wisdom recognized the potential of its misuse. They therefore decided that a simpler life – that of agriculture was more suitable for human beings. But these westerners went ahead created all these machines and weapons and see what the world has come to now.

  14. When I first read about this ancient aviation business, ‘Highway to the Danger Zone’ started blasting in my head – so Captain Shri Maverick and Goose is right on.

  15. Wonderful piece!

    Only one question – who is Mukeshbhai exactly?
    (Sorry, dumb person here)

  16. joe… best one i have read so far!

  17. This was one of your very best posts! 😀 That cow-generated-ring proposal scenario was hilariously imaginative!

  18. Reblogged this on Vagabond and commented:
    Wow yaar. Amar Chitra Katha > NCERT Book. End of discussion yo.

  19. Yes, please .. who is Mukeshbhai .. and Pritam?
    Sorry, not up to date on latest happenings in India as the happenings of 7000 years ago was more in focus.

  20. This post is very funny. Even in 2015 AD.

  21. Loved the Goose and Maverick reference! But i guess here the cows are ‘writing cheques that the body can cash’

  22. How come, unlike most other places that dare to question the NaMo truth, the bhakts don’t descend in all there fury (and bad grammar) upon you’re blog?

  23. Reblogged this on Shail's Nest and commented:
    I simply had to reblog this. A hilarious look at some recent pronouncements.

  24. Remarkable! Surely, our ancestors would have had good reason to discard this treasure trove of knowledge – perhaps they believed in the spirit of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbukam’ and did not mind the whole world taking credit for their inventions and discoveries.

    Permit me to share this one with you:

  25. “*they hear a PLOP! in the distance*

    Guy: Go get it yourself.”

    Ha ha…enjoyed your post, honest and hilarious.

  26. Hilarious and on the face ! 😛 😀

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