You will be trudging a futile attempt to understand this half story without reading the complete one. We advise you to read the complete one from this link. Do not forget to leave a line of comment to Mr. Santhosh Kumar Kana who took the adventurous effort to bring the first half to us.
Complete Story In Bits – Highly Advised!
The Reality Side
- Professor Gaitonde was an eminent historian from Pune, India. He was a known author of tomes of books on History and had presided over 998 meetings, seminars, debates, jubilee, college days, birthdays and other similar functions. And now, he was waiting for his 1000th function, a seminar devoted to the Third Battle of Panipat.
- The incidents in the story happened between the 998th and the 1000th, that is, on the occasion of his 999th public function on which he was to preside over a seminar on Catastrophe Theory in the Mathematic Department, Pune University.
- In fact it was a chance that chanced! The other professors of the University, especially the Professor of Mathematics, had no idea what this catastrophe Theory was so they requested the historian, Professor Gaitonde, to preside over it. They knew, you know, that he would be ready and they were right.
- “Well,” said Gaitonde, “What is this catastrophe Theory?” To get a good deal of information about Catastrophe Theory, Professor Gaitonde approached a research fellow, Dr. Rajendra Deshpande. The two discussed and debated and finally Professor Gaitonde understood this much: a little deviation in any course of act can cause unexpected effects.
- “That is,” said Rajendra. “Like, a cricket side collapses all of a sudden, a mob gets out of control and runs amuck, share prices crash down unexpectedly, something happens to turn the tide in a battle…”
- Professor Gaitonde got enough, because the Catastrophe Theory was not just Mathematics, it is history, too! It had always been a hobby of his to speculate what would have happened if some crucial battles had ended differently. Professor Gaitonde’s eyes lit up. He now wanted to know more about catastrophe theory. When he heard all, he liked it and agreed to preside over the seminar.
- The 999th Seminar was another great event and now Professor Gaitonde was thinking about the 1000th function. That evening, walking home, Gaitonde’s mind was full of the third Battle of Panipat and Catastrophe Theory. He had this question – How could history have taken a different course if the Maratha troops defeated the troops of Abdali, the Afghan invader?
- Thinking, lost in thoughts, Professor Gaitonde lost sight of the sidewalk and invaded the busy Bombay – Pune highway, and was hit by a passing truck. Though the driver and cleaner of the truck searched for the Professor, they could not find him. He vanished but 60 hours later, people in Bombay found him lying on the roadside and someone in the crowd recognized him.
- Professor Gaitonde recalled his memory and contacted his son Vinay who worked at Fobes in Bombay. Though Vinay requested his father to stay in Bombay for a few more days, Professor Gaitonde boarded the Deccan Queen that passed Karjat, to Pune.
- Still worried about how he had reached Bombay, Professor Gaitonde found his experience critically unbelievable. At Karjat Station, he found a very prominent material evidence to track the mystery. It was torn off page that he had stolen from Bombay! Slowly, the broken pieces of incidents, imagination and mystery came closer.
Mystery, Science and Fantasy
When Professor Gaitonde was hit by the truck, he had been thinking of the possibilities of India’s fate if the Marathas had won the third Battle of Panipat. With the collision, something in his brain got mislaid, some neurons got misplaced and he got into a different India where a different government existed, a different currency was in use, a different culture existed. Yes, the Marathas had won the third battle of Panipat, there was no Congress, no Gandhiji, no British (they could occupy only Bombay) and no Independence.
What happened to Professor Gaitonde after the accident?
- Professor Gaitonde, after the highway accident, was admitted at Vishwasrao Peshve Hospital on Vishwasrao Peshve Marg, Pune. The doctor informed him that he was found in the Ganeshkhind Forest and wished to know how he got into the forest.
- Having learnt from Dr. Modak that the Marathas had defeated the Afghans, Professor Gaitonde was confused. He traveled to Bombay (with special permits) and got into the library to check what had gone wrong in the History books that he himself had written.
- In the library, he discovered a tiny book and in that he saw that Peshwa Vishwasrao was not hit by a bullet. While getting out of the library, he made sure that he had stolen that tiny book, Bahusahebanchi Bakkar.
- Out of the library, Professor Gaitonde passed the Azad Maidan where some people were conducting a seminar, explicitly protesting the old custom of a dignitary to preside over the meeting. There was an unoccupied chair!
- A man who had taken chairs as the presiding dignitary over 999 seminars, Professor Gaitonde went to the stage and sat in the chair against the protest of the people who finally threw him out of the stage.
- And this was how Professor Gaitonde was found on the roadside.
The Super Mystery Side
How did the page of the Bakkar travel to the normal world?
Well, the answer is impossible. Only know this much, there is none like a specific ‘normal world.’ Both worlds are normal!
The concept of lack of determinism helps us understand the world better. Always remember, truth is relative. There is no commonly accepted truth. Your truth and my truth are different. Like an electron’s movement is unpredictable, truth is, unpredictable.