Jayant Vishnu Narlikar is a famous cosmologist and astrophysicist. He was born on July 19, 1938 at Kolhapur, Maharashtra. His father Vishnu Vasudeva Narlikar was a well-known teacher and mathematician. He was professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics in the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. His mother, Sumati Vishnu Narlikar was a Sanskrit scholar. Jayant inherited the intellectual brilliance from his parents and always did exceptionally well in his class and obtained top position. He also studied at Banaras Hindu University and got his B.Sc. degree in 1957.
Then he went to Cambridge University, England for higher studies in mathematics in the year 1957 and joined Fritz William House. He obtained his master’s degree in 1964 and then Ph.D. in 1963. As a research scholar he won the prestigious Smith’s Prize in 1962 and then Adam’s Prize in 1967. In the same year he secured his Sc.D. degree from the Cambridge.
He married Mangala Sadashiv Rajwade, a scholar in mathematics. They have three daughters. At Cambridge he was a student of the famous astronomer and astrophysicist Fred Hoyle.
He was also a founder staff member of the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy which was set up at the Cambridge University under the guidance and inspiration of Fred Hoyle in 1966. When he returned to India in 1972 he was appointed Professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at Mumbai.
Narlikar has won many honours and awards. In 1978 he got the S.S. Bhatnagar award for physical sciences and then F.I.E Foundation’s Rashtrabhushan Award in 1981. In 1993 he was given B.M. Birla Award.
Astrophysicist Jayant Narlikar Turns 80
Sep 13, 2018, Pune: Jayant Narlikar, professor emeritus at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and one of the most famous residents of the city, turned 80 on Thursday. Currently in the United States with his family, Narlikar, the founder-director of IUCAA, said there was still a lot of work that he wanted to do, if his body and mind cooperated.
In a telephonic interview with The Indian Express, Narlikar said he was deeply concerned about the fact that despite excellent work at many laboratories in the country, no scientist from India had won a Nobel Prize since 1930, when it was awarded to physicist C V Raman.
“This is a reason to worry as plenty of good work is taking place at some of the laboratories in India. There should be some effort to publicise it internationally,” Narlikar said. “We do not seem to be pushing our work at the international level as much as we should”.
The story Adventure belongs to science fiction. Professor Gangadhar Pant Gaitonde finds himself in a strange world. No doubt he is in Pune, but the facts do not agree with history. He decides to go to Bombay and consult history books. Bombay is not what he expected to find it. East India Company is still ruling there. According to the history known to him, the East India Company was wound up just after the events of 1857. He goes to the library and finds the answer. The events took a different course after the battle of Panipat. The Marathas had won the battle, not lost it.
Professor Gaitonde: Professor Gaitonde, a historian is going to give a lecture on the implications of Catastrophe Theory in the Third Battle of Panipat. On the way his car collides with a truck and he goes into coma. In his unconscious state, he experiences another world where history is different from how we know in the real world. In the Third Battle of Panipat, Afghans defeated Marathas killing their leader Viswas Rao. But in the parallel world, Marathas win the war as Viswas Rao escapes narrowly from the bullet. The victory of Marathas brings about diverse changes and reforms in the country. He gains consciousness and his friend Rajendra Deshpande rationalizes his strange experience on the basis of two scientific theories, viz. Catastrophe Theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum Theory.
The Parallel world: Professor Gaitonde is on his way to Bombay from Pune. It is the pre-independent Bombay where he finds Anglo-Indians and Union Jack. He goes to a library and reads four volumes of history starting from the period of Asoka up to the Third Battle of Panipat. The fifth volume of the Book (Bhausahebanchi Bakhar) tells a different story where Marathas win the war against Afghans in the Third Battle of Panipat. After their victory India moved towards democracy. Absent mindedly, he tucks into his pocket a copy of the book. He reaches Azad Maidan where a lecture is going on. The absence of the chairman for the meeting makes it strange but the crowd doesn’t want one though the Professor protests. He gets on to the stage, snatches the mike and starts speaking. The crowd showers eggs and tomatoes on him and finally throws him out. He is lost in the crowd. This is where the Professor’s strange experience ends. Next we find him talking to his friend Rajendra in the real world.
Rajendra’s explanation: Rajendra explains the bizarre experience of the Professor on the basis of two scientific theories, viz. Catastrophe Theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory.Catastrophe theory states that a small change in circumstance can bring sudden shift in behavior. If we apply this theory to the battle of Panipat, we can find that there was a crucial moment when the Marathas lost both their leaders-Viswas Rao and Bhausaheb. So, the Marathas lost their morale and lost the battle. But in the parallel world Prof. Gaitonde saw the bullet missing Viswas Rao and Marathas winning the battle. A crucial event gone other way can change the course of history (the bullet missing/hitting the leader). The Professor produced a torn page of Bhausahebanchi bakhar from his pocket. This is nothing but the notes he had prepared for his lecture where imagined the fate of the battle to be otherwise. The bullet hitting Viswas rao was the catastrophic incident in the battle. The present state of affairs has been reached because of such catastrophic incidents in history. We can apply this theory to any other battle or historical incident and see how history takes a different course.
Lack of determinism in Quantum theory: The behaviour of electrons orbiting the nucleus in an atom cannot be predicted. There are different states of energy-higher and lower. It can make a jump from high to low energy level and send out a pulse of radiation or a pulse of radiation can knock it out of state no.2 to state no.1. These states can apply to the world too. The transitions are common in microscopic systems. If it happened on a macroscopic level, it could be an interesting food for thought.
Professor Gaitonde made a transition from the world we live in to a parallel world. One world has the history we know, the other a different history. He neither travelled to the past nor to the future. He was in the present but experiencing a different world. At the time of the collision with the truck, he was thinking about the catastrophe theory and its implications in war. He was probably wondering about the battle of Panipat. Perhaps the neurons in his brain acted as a trigger. Like the electron jumping from one state to another, he made a jump from this world to the parallel world. Any catastrophic situation will provide various alternatives for us to proceed. But only one can be accepted by us at one time as we live in a unique world with a unique history. But why did he make such a transition? An interaction is must for any such transition. The collision and the thoughts at that moment brought it about.
The incident at Azad Maidan is just to show how meetings can be arranged without chairman unlike in the real world.
1. Notice these expressions in the text. Infer their meaning from the context.
Blow-by-blow account: detailed account. In the text “The Adventure” this expression occurs in the context of Gangadharpant trying to understand the outcome of the Battle of Panipat by reading a book on the topic.
Morale booster: anything that serves to increase morale or confidence. The expression occurs in the text ‘Adventure’ where it is told that the Marathas emerged victorious in the Battle of Panipat which increased their morale or confidence in establishing their supremacy all over the country.
Relegated to: assigned to a lower rank or position. In the text it is said how Dadasaheb, a maratha Chieftain was assigned to a lower rank after the Battle of Panipat.
Political acumen: political shrewdness with keen insight. In the text ‘The Adventure’ the expression is used to convey how Madhavrao and Vishwasrao because of their
shrewedness could expand their influence all over India.
De facto: existing in fact whether with lawful authority or not. In the text ‘Adventure’ the Peshwas are regarded as de facto rulers as they kept the Mughal regime alive in Delhi.
Astute: marked by practical hardheaded intelligence. In the text “The Adventure” this word is used to convey that the Peshwas were very intelligent to recognise the importance of technological age dawning in Europe.
Doctored accounts: manipulation of accounts. This expression conveys that the Bakhars were not providing historical facts but manipulated account of history.
Give vent to: to express one’s feelings and ideas. Professor Gaitonde expressed his ideas in the public lecture on the Battle of Panipat.
2. Tick the statements that are true.
1. The story is an account of real events. (False)
2. The story hinges on a particular historical event. (True)
3. Rajendra Deshpande was a historian. (False)
4. The places mentioned in the story are all imaginary. (False)
5. The story tries to relate history to science. (True)
3. Briefly explain the following statements from the text.
(a) “You neither travelled to the past nor the future. You were in the present experiencing a different world.”
Ans. This statement was said by Rajendra to Professor Gaitonde. He made a transistion from one world to another and back again. By making a transistion, he was able to experience two worlds although one at a time. He neither travelled to the pas nor to the future. He was in the present but experiencing a different world.
(b) “You have passed through a fantastic experience: or more correctly, a catastrophic experience.”
Ans. This statement was made by Rajendra to Prof. Gaitonde in the text The Adventure by Jayant Vishnu Narlikar. Gangadhar had passed through a strange experience. He had the experience of living in two world, one he lived in now and other where he had spent two days.
(c) Gangadharpant could not help comparing the country he knew with what he was witnessing around him.
Ans. Gangadharpant knew India which had seen the decline of Peshwas and experienced the slavery of the British. But the India he had seen in two days was completely different. It had not been subjected to slavery for the Whiteman. It was self-dependent and enjoyed self-respect. He compared the two countries the one that he knew already and other that he was witnessing around him. Both had different histories.
(d) “The lack of determinism in quantum theory!”
Ans. Professor Gaitonde had decided to go to a big library at Bombay and browse through history books. Then he would find out how the present state of affairs was reached. On his return to Pune, he would have a lonk talk with Rajendra Deshpande. He hoped that Rajendra would help him undertand what had happened.
(e) “You need some interaction to cause a transition.”
Ans. This bombay was under the British Raj. An Anglo-Indian in unform checked permits. Each of the blue carriages of GBMR had the tiny Union Jack painted on it. The Victoria Terminus station looked very neat and clean. The staff was mostly of Anglo-Indians and Parsee alongwith a handful fo british Officers.
Q4. Discuss the following statements in groups of two pairs, each pair in a group taking opposite points of view.
(a) A single event may change the course of the history of a nation.
Ans. (In the favour): A single event may change the course of the history of a nation. The battle of Panipat for example is said to be the turning point in the history of India. In the Battle of Panipat, the Marathas gave in to the forces of Ahmed Shah Abdali. After this event the history of India took another turn. Gradually, the country was was overtaken by the foreign forces. In the story The Adventure it is mentioned how in the beginning Prof. Gaitonde was preparing a speech on what course the history would have taken if the Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat. This shows the importance of a single event in the history of a nation.
(Against): The motion that a single event may change the course of the history of a nation is a matter of perspective only. It is a relative truth. If we apply the catastrophic theory in understanding history then we will find that there may be alternative outcomes of a single event so that we cannot proclaim that any one course of event is the reality. Since there may be alternative courses of history so debating on a single course is not fruitful. In the story the Adventure due to catastrophic phenomenon the Battle of Panipat is revealed in a different version to Prof Gaitonde. According to this version, the Marathas emerged victorious in the Battle of Panipat. After the event the Marathas extended influence over the entire country. India never fell to the alien forces. So, to argue that a single course of event may change the course of history is not tenable. There may be alternative effects following an event.
(b) Reality is what is directly experienced through the senses.
Ans. (In the favour): Our senses, that is the senses of touch, sight, taste and hearing and smell provide us facts about the world we live in. Knowledge from experience come through these senses. The reality is what we directly experience through these senses. No other reality exists which is not revealed to the senses.
(Against): Reality is not what is directly revealed to the senses. We cannot experience so many entities like atoms and molecules but these are real. We cannot even predict the behaviour of these entities accurately. This point is mooted by Rajendra in the story Adventure when he points to the discoveries made by the physicists regarding the behaviour of the atoms. We can predict the position of a bullet fired in a particular direction from a gun but we cannot predict the position of an electron fired from a source. This proves that reality is not what is directly revealed to the senses, there can be alternative realities existing side by side.
(c) The methods of inquiry of history, science and philosophy are similar.
Ans. (In the favour): The methods of inquiry of History, Science and Philosophy are similar. In the story The Adventure one can find the perspectives of History, Philosophy and Science converging towards a focal point. History employs the methods of observation, analysis and rationalism in understanding the course of past events. Science is based on observation, experimentation and analysis. Rationalism is the most fundamental principle that Science follows. Philosophy is thoroughly critical in methodology. Philosophy examines everything including the assumptions and methodology of Science and other disciplines like History. In the story The Adventure History, Science and Philosophy converge. Prof. Gaitonde experienced an altogether different version of the outcome of the Battle of Panipat. Contrary to the version as provided in History text books, the Marathas emerged as victorious in this battle. Prof. Gaitonde tried to understand this rationally but he failed to get any clue. In this context, Rajendra intervened to explain this phenomenon in the light of the Catastrophic theory which is being employed by Physicists in understanding the behaviour of atoms. Here we find Science and History converging. The similar perspective is seen in Philosophy that truth is relative and not absolute. In fact, the philosophical movement of post Modernism is based on this. In other words, the methods of inquiry of History, Science and Philosophy are similar.
(Against): It is a misnomer that the methods of inquiry of History, Science and Philosophy are similar. The similarity is at superficial level and not at the core. In the story The Adventure Rajendra tried to rationalise the experience of Prof Gaitonde by applying the Catastrophic theory. But this explanation is not convincing though it convinced the professor. Catastrophic theory can best explain phenomenon of the physical world but History deals with behavioural world. It is concerned with the behaviour of society and individuals. The methods of inquiry will also vary accordingly.
The method of inquiry of Philosophy is speculative. Philosophy even questions rationalism. Philosophy is highly critical of the methods of Science and History. In other words, the methods of History, Science and Philosophy are not similar. The story The Adventure by Jayant Vishnu Narlikar is, in fact, a science fiction which is trying to show the convergence of Science History and Philosophy. In reality the three disciplines, namely, Science, History and Philosophy have to employ different methodology of inquiry vis-a-vis the subject matter.
Q5. Why do you think Professor Gaitonde decided never to preside over meetings again?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde was experiencing a different version of the Battle of Panipat. According to this version, the Marathas emerged victorious in the Battle and started extending influence over the entire country. His mind was actually witnessing a different version of the historical reality. Interestingly, he was also witnessing an event that was not conforming to the conventions. The event was a lecture session on the outcomes of the Battle of Panipat. In this lecture session Prof. Gaitonde observed that the chair of the
President was vacant. This again was contrary to the conventions. Prof. Gaitonde rushed to occupy the chair and started explaining the need of a President in a lecture session like this. The public got angry on this point and started throwing objects on him. He had a harrowing experience. This led him to decide not to preside over meetings again.
MCQ Questions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 7 The Adventure with Answers
For how many days did the professor live in the alternative world?
(a) one day
(b) two days
(c) three days
(d) a week
Answer: (b) two days
In reality, was the professor in two different worlds at the present time?
(d) cant say
Answer: (a) yes
What happens in the case of electrons in lack of determinism in Quantum theory?
(a) electrons don’t move from their path
(b) electrons merge with other atoms
(c) one cannot predict which path the electron takes at a point of time
(d) None of the above
Answer: (c) one cannot predict which path the electron takes at a point of time
According to which of the two theories did the incident with Professor Gaitonde happen?
(a) Quantum theory and Theory of Relativity
(b) Only Big Bang Theory
(c) Catastrophe theory and lack of determinism in Quantum theory
(d) Catastrophe theory and Theory of Relativity
Answer: (c) Catastrophe theory and lack of determinism in Quantum theory
Why did Professor Rajendra say that the incidents narrated by Gaitonde were not real?
(a) as he was in coma for two days
(b) as he was not well
(c) as his mental state was not good
(d) as Rajendra wanted to believe in facts
Answer: (a) as he was in coma for two days
What happened after the empty chair incident?
(a) he was in the hospital
(b) he went to his room
(c) he went to meet his friend
(d) he decided to go back
Answer: (a) he was in the hospital
What did the professor do when he noticed the empty chair?
(a) he sat on the chair
(b) he went away
(c) he stood in the crowd
(d) he went back to his guest house
Answer: (a) he sat on the chair
Towards which place did the professor decide to take a walk after having his dinner?
(a) Post Office
(d) Azad Maidan
Answer: (d) Azad Maidan
Why did Professor start liking the new India that he was reading about?
(a) This country knew how two stand on its feet
(b) It was different from the one he knew
(c) in this form, India was a wealthy nation
(d) as he liked the ruler in this new country
Answer: (a) This country knew how two stand on its feet
What did Professor find in the fifth volume of ‘Bhausahebanchi Bakhar’ ?
(a) Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat
(b) India has never been under British Raj
(c) Marathas had won battle of Plassey
(d) None of the above
Answer: (a) Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat
Why did the professor go to town hall?
(a) to check facts from history books
(b) to pass time
(c) to read books
(d) to meet someone
Answer: (a) to check facts from history books
What did the Professor notice at the Hornby road?
(a) shops were different
(b) road was constructed
(c) new shopping complex
(d) new residential complex
Answer: (a) shops were different
1. What is the name of the protagonist of the story ‘The Adventure’?
A. Professor Ajay Sharma
B. Professor Gangadharpant Gaitonde
C. Professor George Bush
D. Professor Gangadhar Kant Gaitonde
2. Where was Professor Gaitonde travelling to?
A. From Pune to Bombay
B. From Pune to Delhi
C. From Bombay to Pune
D. No where
3. What is the name of train by which Professor Gaitonde was travelling?
A. Deccan Queen
B. Rajdhani Express
C. Jijamata Express
D. Shatabdi Express
4. Whom did Professor Gaitonde met during his train journey?
A. Khan Sahib
D. Professor George
5. Where did Professor Gaitonde and Khan Sahib got off?
A. Bombay station
C. No where
D. Victoria Terminus station
6. Did the Professor see British officers, Parsees and Anglo-Indian staff all around at Victoria Terminus station?
C. Don’t Know
7. What did the Professor notice at the Hornby road?
A. shops were different
B. road was constructed
C. new shopping complex
D. new residential complex
8. Whom did Professor Gaitonde enquire about on entering the Forbes building ?
A. President of the company
B. Mr. Vishal Gaitonde
C. Mrs. Vishala Gaitonde
D. Mr. Vinay Gaitonde
9. Why did the professor go to town hall?
A. to check facts from history books
B. to pass time
C. to read books
D. to meet someone
10. What did Professor start investigating at Town Hall?
A. American History
B. Battle of Plassey
C. the period of Asoka to the third battle of Panipat.
D. About East India Company
11. What did Professor find in the fifth volume of ‘Bhausahebanchi Bakhar’ ?
A. Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat
B. India has never been under British Raj
C. Marathas had won battle of Plassey
D. None of the above
12. What happened after the Battle of Panipat in India?
A. India merged with neighbouring nations
B. India moved to the path of democracy
C. New ruler
D. British rule ended
13. Why did Professor start liking the new India that he was reading about?
A. This country knew how two stand on its feet
B. It was different from the one he knew
C. in this form, India was a wealthy nation
D. as he liked the ruler in this new country
14. What book did the Professor slip into his pocket before leaving the library?
B. English Literature
15. Towards which place did the professor decide to take a walk after having his dinner?
A. Post Office
D. Azad Maidan
16. What did the professor notice at the lecture going on in the pandal?
A. there was no crowd
B. presidential chair was empty
C. the speaker was very old
D. the language in which the lecture was unfamiliar
17. What did the professor do when he noticed the empty chair?
A. he sat on the chair
B. he went away
C. he stood in the crowd
D. he went back to his guest house
18. How did the crowd react when he sat on the empty presidential chair?
A. threw several objects at him and pushed him away
B. asked him to leave politely
C. heard his speech
D. did nothing but ignored him
19. What happened after the empty chair incident?
A. he was in the hospital
B. he went to his room
C. he went to meet his friend
D. he decided to go back
20. Whom did the Profesesor meet at the Hospital?
21. Why did Professor Rajendra say that the incidents narrated by Gaitonde were not real?
A. as he was in coma for two days
B. as he was not well
C. as his mental state was not good
D. as Rajendra wanted to believe in facts
22. Which theory as explained by Rajendra states that a small change in any situation can result in a shift in behaviour?
A. Quantum theory
B. Theory of Relativity
C. Big Bang Theory
D. Catastrophe theory
23. According to which of the two theories did the incident with Professor Gaitonde happen? A. Quantum theory and Theory of Relativity
B. Only Big Bang Theory
C. Catastrophe theory and lack of determinism in Quantum theory
D. Catastrophe theory and Theory of Relativity
24. What happened to Marathas in reality ?
A. they lost the battle
B. they won the battle
C. they signed treaty after the battle
D. nothing as such
25. What happens in the case of electrons in lack of determinism in Quantum theory?
A. electrons don’t move from their path
B. electrons merge with other atoms
C. one cannot predict which path the electron takes at a point of time
D. None of the above
26. What happens once the observer knows about the correct placing of the electrons in every world?
A. alternative worlds can exist at a same time
B. black hole can be created
C. a new compound can be observed
D. a new substance can be created
27. In reality, was the professor in two different worlds at the present time?
D. cant say
28. What did you notice about both the worlds?
A. both were same
B. both were in different universe
C. different people
D. different histories and different sets of events
29. For how many days did the professor live in the alternative world?
A. one day
B. two days
C. three days
D. a week
30. Where did the train stop beyond the tunnel?
A. a small town called Amer
B. a small town called Sarhad
Answer key for Class 11 English Hornbill Book Chapter 7 – The Adventure