Very few notice that the iron giant of Frankenstein age that stands next to Tagore Open Air Theatre (TOAT) near IIT Kharagpur institute gate is supposedly a coal refining plant. It was a group three great tin cylinders, one main cylinder of 25 – 30 feet height and 2 feet diameter - was accompanied by two relatively smaller ones in height and diameter. All the three were having a conical cap at the top, like a chimney. The main cylinder had pipes connecting it to the auxiliary ones and a big iron pipe coming out of the main cylinder and going into the ground by making three weird elbow turns. The color was Communist Red with rusty red variation in hue which was giving it a perfect look of a ‘once a great technology now abandoned’ look. (Unfortunately, it was painted with water-proof shiny color in mid 2007)
With our now (after placement) more frequent visits to staff canteen and Nescafe, we happened to talk about this ferrous crap occasionally – comparing with all kind of thing that could remotely look like this (believe me you are not going to like if I tell you all the stuffs we compared it with). Uncle and I came up with this fantasy story about ‘Did Indians Land on the Mars?’ It was a conspiracy theory, which proves that Indians actually went to Mars in AD 1952 much before USA guys claimed to flag Lunar. We, actually, had a plan to create a video documentary on it but could not.
The theme follows closely with ‘Did we land on the moon?’ except the motive. This documentary proves that Indians did land on the Mars contrary to the mentioned one. The story goes something like this.
[read this story real s--l--o--w.]
R and D Center: IIT Kharagpur.
Chief Design Engineer: Prof M. Ramanujam. (Mechanical Engineering Department)
- The mad Bengali Communist whom you can see shouting on the road with a side cloth-bag. Legends tell that he was a research scholar at the institute when he got lunatic (or marsite). Since then he never left IIT Kgp campus somehow managing his living necessities. One can easily find him near Harrys’, barking in Bengali mixed English – some time on real big issues like American monopoly and intrusion in Iraq.
- A weird red dog. It was one of those dogs that give you a shiver in spine – not because they are monstrous but because they look like one of those Resident Evil dogs. You feel pity and angry at the same time.
The Martian: Imagine someone whom you enjoy to torture.
IIT Kharagpur is India’s first national engineering institute. There was a reason why unlike all other IITs, this IIT had no foreign collaboration in its foundation and why is it situated in the mid of unknowns of a remote jungle in the least developed area of west Bengal. The reason was secrecy. IIT Kharagpur was founded for development of World’s first attempt to send a life form to Mars. The institute was named as an engineering education institute just to deceive the world and this fact it still a truth – you don’t learn anything there.
The documentary starts with black and white footages of weird places like automobile lab, people working as concentration camp labors in foundry lab and other weird yet technical places of Kharagpur. It talks about how they captured brainy guys of that time and turned into highly sophisticated bio-robots (zombies) that work relentlessly, environment friendly and efficiently.
The conversion from genius humans to genius bio-robots is a batch process namely, Manufacturing classes and labs where they are psychologically dosed for three seemingly never ending hours a week and then three hours of lab a week to actually screw the sensible part of the brain out. After 8 months of such treatment you are left with insane bio-robots. At this point this documentary shows black and white Nazi looking video footage of a three fourth sleepy class in fully packed Raman Auditorium. This may be a scene from Chemistry lecture of 1st year. And another footage with similar effect which shows Transport Engineering Lab or Machining Lab. Few more footages goes in this section which shows acting-monkey guys and girls from Spring Fest (SF) and the narrator says that they are the bio-robots that went out of control and then it focuses towards SF Control Tents which, narrator says, is responsible to keep out of control bio-robots busy in monkey-act and keep them from disturbing the project.
The second part of the documentary starts with the present video footage of the coal refining plant. Narrator says that it is actually a space craft that flew up and down between Earth and Mars, Indians had renamed it to a coal refining plant to avoid any attention to the great machine of all times. The narrator then explains the technical sophistications of the spacecraft. And a very short launch film of the launch is shown with a shaky camera in black and white. This footage is hazy and unclear with salt and pepper noise and was taken from a big distance. At the corner of the footage red ‘EXCLUSIVE’ would be blinking.
The narrator now announces that now he is going show us some footage that our eyes would never believe and our consciousness would refuse to accept the fact. He continues with a pause, ‘this exclusive footage and documents were provided by one of the key member of the project who agreed to hand over a copy of the material on our guarantee of not to disclose his name and one day Bandh in West Bengal.’
Here starts the footage of mars.
We decided to shoot this part of documentary on an abandoned red ground near IIT Kgp, which looked perfectly like a Martian land in red lit evening sun during March. The special effect would be done in a manner that looks the video a very crappy ‘50s color video with a lot of blurs and audio and video noises.
The footage starts with blinking red ‘EXCLUSIVE’ at the top left corner. This guy, the astronaut, totally wrapped (which looks like someone hastily done the job of wrapping) in Aluminum foil with a one foot long antenna, also wrapped, coming out of his fore-head – jumps out of the spacecraft. Unable to manage to stand on the surface he rolls and then stands up embarrassed. And the screen freezes at the moment and a Windows pop up message comes saying, “A small roll by a man, a giant gyration by Mankind. To continue with the video, please click ‘Agree’ button.” The video continues when the narrator clicks the agree button. Now, the astronaut starts picking different stuffs from Martian ground sniffs, analyses and some time licks the things and puts them into his side bag. (the cloth bag)
The narrator starts, “The keen eyed and brilliant minded astronaut sneaked out some very crucial things from the Mars which laid the path of modern technology on the earth which includes diet Pepsi among the others.” Then the footage shows the stuffs that he picks from the ground. It shows the man is madly picking up stuffs. First he picks up Diet Pepsi with the message “for obese Americans of late ‘90s”, then he picks up a credit card, followed by a CD which is labeled as
Password of this CD is the name of Sabeer Bhatia’s mother. Wait till he takes birth’
Uncle’s Suggestion: In the back ground of this scene, we would show the dog, which went with the astronaut wrapped in aluminum foil with antenna projected normally his forehead, is fucking a red colored naked human-like animal (a Martian, in fact.). When finished, the dog picks something from ground and goes back in spacecraft. Later in footage, the dog is shown with a packet clutching in his mouth. Camera zooms in the packet, the label reads, “Condom. This is only for the prevention of the virus this animal is taking with it. It cannot be cured on the Earth because it needs a Mars grown herb. Thank you, visit again.”
The Mars part footage part ends here and the narrator starts with the documents given by the man.
The documentary shows an old paper with a very curvy dotted line joining Mars and Earth. The dotted line has a cross mark directly above the Earth, precisely above Pakistan, and a continuous red line joining the cross to Karachi. The narrator says, “Indian had this plan to drop an atom bomb on Pakistan from space. A very clever plan which is now being copied by USA under the name of Star Wars, the plan was failed because it crashed with a trial rocket projected by Russians. Unfortunately, Russians recorded it as mission failed due to technical malfunction while in reality, there rocket was perfect if it hadn’t collided with the atom bomb.”
The documentary proceeds with the current scene in IIT Kharagpur. It shows this astronaut shouting in Bengali mixed English by the side of ill faced dog. The narrator says, “This dog was the reason of HIV spread on the Earth. I still wonder how it passed to human and spread! [Pause]The astronaut was de-memorized. When shouts like a mad, he sometimes leaves sprinkled information about the mission in his seemingly mad talk.”
The scene moves towards Prof. M. Ramanujam. The narrator says, “The professor, who was the chief-designer of the project, was too obsessed with his work that after completion of the project he had gone out of his mind. Rumors have it that he was asked to design a water tank for PAN loop. He, supposedly, took Martian value of gravity and mis-designed the water tank and the result is that PAN loop of Kgp still suffers water problems.” Documentary shows few lunatic clips of the professor.
The narrator paused for 10 seconds when all the main clips are played once again.
Narrator starts, “So, the big question is why India is still mum? Our sources say that India is keeping a silence for its coming project. Indians are the biggest consumer of the world. They are eating up the resources like anything and growing big in population. Once the Earthly resources end up, their plan is to shift to Mars. Their next project is to consume earthly resources as fast as they can and then they would dig out whole India from the Earth, and pull it up to the Mars and settle there. In the way they may drop a neutron bomb on remaining earth to end up left outs misery and any future intrusion in their future earth – The Mars. Are you ready?”
The documentary end with the question
----------------Authors Note: It is a hypothetical story.