- Why does Indrani Debi dislike Duttada’s “hobnobbing” with Dibya?
- She is complaining and smiling. Why is she smiling?
(i) What was Duttada’s secret ambition?
(ii) What did he do to achieve it?
- What is the difference between a planet and a comet, as given in the story?
- Why was Duttada hopeful that he would discover a new comet soon?
- Why does Duttada say____ “I almost wish I had not discovered this comet”.
- Why is his wife unhappy about the discovery?
Answer: ‘Dibya’ was the name given by Indrani Debi. It was a telescope. Dattada was always busy during night with Dibya. He never cared for his wife or about himself. So his wife disliked it as her rival.
- She complains that Dibya has cast a spell on her husband. But she could not help smiling at his childlike behavior. He did not bother to close the door and he forgot to put on his sweater.
- (i) Duttada’s secret ambition was to buy a good telescope and to have enough of spare time to watch the stars.
(ii) He waited for his retirement. After retirement he got sufficient funds. Then he bought a telescope and he started gazing at the stars without caring for his wife and life.
- A planet has a fixed orbit. A comet comes from the distant comers of the solar system. It keeps on changing.
- Duttada was hopeful of discovering a new comet because he knew that professional astronomers did not consider them significant and ignored them.
- The discovery of the new comet brought Duttada publicity which he did not like. He had to attend many receptions and functions. So he wished he hadn’t discovered that new comet.
- The discovery of the new comet made Duttada’s wife unhappy. She was superstitious. She thought that the discovery would bring calamities on the family as well as on the earth.
- How did Sir John get hold of James’ original manuscript?
- What is the important point the paper makes?
- Why does Sir John say that James’ paper should not be published?
- What do the two men finally decide to do?
- Sir John got hold of James’ original manuscript from Mr. Taylor who wanted to get his opinion before sending it to a professional referee.
- The paper makes the important point that Duttada’s comet would collide with the earth.
- Sir John opposes the publication of James’ paper because his prediction would cause widespread panic in the world.
- The two men finally agree to organize a secret conference of international experts to plan how to avert the calamity.
Question: What did Indrani Debi think about Duttada’s telescope?
Answer: Indrani Debi thought that Duttada’s telescope was like a designing woman who had ensnared her husband. She used to call it Dibya.
Question: What news was published in the Ananda Bazaar Patrika two days later?
Answer: The news was
Calcutta Man Discovers New Comet
Shri Manoj Dutta, a resident on the northern outskirts of Calcutta has claimed to have discovered a new comet. He has seen the comet on the last two nights and has informed the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) at Bangalore of its whereabouts.
The Comet: I – Question: What did the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) do after getting the information about the discovery of the new comet?
Answer: The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) confirmed the findings and communicated it worldwide. It named the new comet after its discoverer.
Question: How did Duttada take his publicity?
Answer: Duttada was not happy with his publicity. Being an introvert, he didn’t like attending numerous receptions and functions organised in his honour. He got so fed up that he began to think that he had not discovered the comet.
Question: How can you say that Indrani Debi was a superstitious lady?
Answer: Indrani Debi was an educated woman but at the same time she was superstitious also. She didn’t welcome the discovery of the new comet. She thought that it would bring calamities on her family as well as on the entire earth.
Question: What was Duttada’s hobby and secret ambition? How did he succeed in his adventure?
Answer: Duttada was an amateur astronomer. Star gazing was his hobby. But he had a scientific attitude. His secret ambition in life was to discover a comet or a shooting star. After his retirement he got the funds to buy a telescope and leisure enough to watch the stars. He named his eight-inch telescope Dibya-chakshu. He was successful in search. He discovered a comet heading towards the earth. It was called Dutta comet. The news spread world over. James Forsyth predicted that the comet would collide with the earth and destroy it. Dutta’s wife, Indrani Debi, was afraid that the comet would cause ruin. She arranged a Yajna to pacify the evil spirit behind the comet. But the world scientists prepared a plan to make a nuclear explosion and deflect the comet from its path. The operation was named Project Light Brigade. It was successful. The world was saved. But Indrani Debi gave all credit to the holy yajna she got performed.
The Comet: I – Question: How does the new comet create a commotion in the world? How was the disaster averted at last?
Answer: Duttada took up star gazing as a hobby. His secret ambition was to discover a new comet. He used a small telescope and discovered a comet heading towards the earth. James Forsyth calculated that the comet would hit the earth in ten months. Comet Dutta created a commotion and panic among the scientists. Sir John Macpherson prepared a secret plan to give a push to the deadly comet. It was called Project Light Brigade. The operation was successful and the disaster was averted. But Duttada’s wife attributed the safety of the earth to the yajna she had performed.
Question: Bring out the difference in outlook of Duttada and his wife in respect of the new comet. Who do you think deserves the crown of victory?
Answer: Duttada was an amateur scientist. Star gazing was his hobby. His secret ambition was to discover a new comet. He pursued his hobby firmly. He discovered a comet, heading towards the earth. He knew it could hit and destroy the earth. But the crisis could be averted by exploding a nuclear payload near the comet. This was a sensible and scientific approach. But his wife Indrani Debi was a superstitious woman. She went by what the priests said. To avert the ill-effect of the discovery, she organised a yajna. In the end she gave all credit for the safely of the earth to the yajna.
The Comet: I – Question: What were James Forsyth’s predictions? What did he mean by rare circumstances?
Answer: James Forsyth predicted that the effect of the collision between the comet and the earth would be terrific. Their assessment was based on the calculations. The collision was unavoidable unless the comet split up near the sun and disappeared. Or it might collide with some other comet before reaching the earth. Otherwise, the comet would take ten months to hit the earth. These were the two rare circumstances.