Understanding The Text
I. Tick the statements that are true.
1. The story is an account of real events.
2. The story hinges on a particular historical event.
3. Rajendra Deshpande was a historian.
4. The places mentioned in the story are all imaginary.
5. The story tries to relate history to science.
Answer: Only statements 2 and 5 are true. The other statements are false.
II. Briefly explain the following statements from the text.
1. “You neither traveled to the past nor the future. You were in the present experiencing a different world.”
2. “You have passed through a fantastic experience: or more correctly, a catastrophic experience.”
3. Gangadharpant could not help comparing the country he knew with what he was witnessing around him.
4. “The lack of determinism in Quantum theory!”
5. “You need some interaction to cause a transition.”
1. This statement was made by Rajendra Deshpande to Professor Gaitonde and meant that Gaitonde had made a transition from one world to another and back again. Thus, he was able to experience two worlds, but only one at a time. He did not travel either to the past or the future. He was in the present but experiencing another world for two days.
2. This statement was made by Rajendra Deshpande to Professor Gaitonde and meant that Gaitonde had passed through a strange experience of living successively in two worlds, one in which he was now and the other in which he had spent two days.
3. Professor Gaitonde knew the India in which the power of the Peshwas declined and the British colonised the country. But the India he had seen during the last two days was completely different. The country had not been colonised by the British. Instead, it was self-dependent and enjoyed self-respect. He compared the two states of the country with each other.
4. This means that if a bullet is fired from a gun in a given direction at a given speed, one will know where it will be at any time after this, but such an assertion cannot be made for an electron, where Quantum theory applies. When an electron is fired from a source, it may be here, there or anywhere else. This is called lack of determinism in Quantum theory. This theory asserts that reality is never one-sided. Alternative worlds may exist at the same time.
5. Professor Gaitonde made a transition, which, according to Rajendra Deshpande, had happened because of the interaction happening in the professor’s mind at the time of his collision. When the collision took place, Gaitonde was thinking about the Catastrophe theory and its role in wars. Probably he was wondering about the third battle of Panipat and its consequences. The interaction in his brain acted as a trigger to cause a transition.
Talking About The Text
Question 1. Discuss the following statements in groups of two pairs, each pair in a group taking opposite points of view.
(i) A single event may change the course of the history of a nation.
(ii) Reality is what is directly experienced through the senses.
(iii) The methods of inquiry of history, science, and philosophy are similar.
A single event may change the course of the history of a nation. The battle of Panipat for example is said to be the turnmg pomt in the history of India. In the Battle of Panipat, the Marathas gave m to the forces of Ahmed Shah Abdali After this event the history of India took another tum Gradually, the country was was overtaken by the foreign forces. In the story The Adventure it IS mentioned how m the begmnmg Prof Gaitonde was preparmg 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 m the history of a nation.
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 m understanding history then we will find that there may be altemative outcomes of a single event so that we cannot proclaim that any one course of event is the reality. Since there may be altematwe 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 m a different version to Prof Gaitonde According to this version, the Marathas emerged victorious m 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 altemative effects followmg an event.
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.
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 entitles 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 a 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.
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 out come 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.
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.
(i) The story is called ‘The Adventure’. Compare it with the adventure described in ‘We Are Not Afraid to Die…’
Answer: The underlying theme of both the stories, ‘The Adventure’ and ‘We Are Not Afraid to Die’ is the same. However, the application of the theme to events is different in both. One deals with the adventure in a real life situation and the other one is about the adventure that was mentally experienced.
In the story, ‘We Are Not Afraid to Die’, the characters take a hazardous sea voyage, overcome the odds and survive. Whatever the dangers were, they were very real. In the story, ‘The Adventure’, the protagonist (Gaitonde) does not embark upon an adventurous journey. His collision with the truck triggers his mind to travel to a world which is different from the world that he lives in.
(ii) Why do you think Professor Gaitonde decided never to preside over meetings again?
Answer: Professor Gaitonde had recently had a harrowing experience in the parallel world which was contrary to the conventions in the normal world, where a lecture session always has a chairperson. In this experience, he was .pelted with various objects because he tried to occupy the Chairperson’s chair, which he felt was rightly his. Due to this attack by the public, Gaitonde realised that such a speech would not be welcome at the seminar and so decided to never preside over such meetings again.
Thinking About Language
Question 1. In which language do you think Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib talked to each other? Which language did Gangadharpant use to talk to the English receptionist?
Answer: Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib would have talked in Hindi or Hindustani, as both of them are educated and speaking fluently to each other. Gangadharpant must have used English to talk to the English receptionist.
Question 2.In which language do you think Bhausahebanchi Bakharwas written?
Answer: Bhausahebanchi Bakhar was written in the Marathi language, as the words are Marathi words and Bakhar is a form of historical narrative written in Marathi prose.
Question 3. There is mention of three communities in the story: the Marathas, the Mughals, the Anglo-Indians. Which language do you think they used within their communities and while speaking to the other groups?
Answer: Within their communities, the Marathas would have spoken in Marathi, the Mughals in Urdu and the Anglo-Indians in English. While speaking to the other groups, they would have used the services of interpreters who were fluent in both languages to translate what they said in their own language to the language of the listener.
Question 4. Do you think that the ruled always adopt the language of the ruler?
Answer: No, they do not, as a new language would be difficult to learn, especially if it is written in a different script. This is the case here, as Marathi, English, and Urdu are written in three different scripts.
Working With Words
I. Tick the item that is closest in meaning to the following phrases.
Question 1. to take issue with
(i) to accept
(ii) to discuss
(iii) to disagree
(iv) to add
Answer: (iii) to disagree
Question 2. to give vent to
(i) to express
(ii) to emphasise
Answer: (i) to express
Question 3. to stand on one’s feet
(i) to be physically strong
(ii) to be independent
(iii) to stand erect
(iv) to be successful
Answer: (ii) to be independent
Question 4. to be wound up
(i) to become active
(ii) to stop operating
(iii) to be transformed
(iv) to be destroyed
Answer: (ii) to stop operating
Question 5.to meet one’s match
(i) to meet a partner who has similar tastes
(ii) to meet an opponent
(iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself
(iv) to meet defeat
Answer: (iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself
II. Distinguish between the following pairs of sentences.
(i) He was visibly moved.
(ii) He was visually impaired.
Answer: Sentence (i) means that the concerned person’s behaviour was perceptibly affected. Sentence (ii) means that the concerned person’s sight was perceptibly affected, i.e. he was partially or fully blind.
Question 2. (i) Green and black stripes were used alternately.
(ii) Green stripes could be used or alternatively black ones.
Answer: Sentence (i) means that green and black stripes were used one after the other. Sentence (ii) means that either green stripes could be used or black ones.
Question 3. (i) The team played the two matches successfully.
(ii) The team played two matches successively.
Answer: Sentence (i) means that the team played two matches with success, i.e. they won both the matches. Sentence (ii) means that the team played two matches one after another.
Question 4. (i) The librarian spoke respectfully to the learned scholar.
(ii) You will find the historian and the scientist in the archaeology and natural science sections of the museum respectively.
Answer: Sentence (i) means that the librarian spoke with respect to the learned scholar. Sentence (ii) means that one will find the historian in the archaeology section and the scientist in the natural science section of the museum.
Short Questions and Answers
Question 1. Which were the railway stations that the Jijamata Express stopped at or passed on its way from Pune to Bombay?
Answer: The Jijamata Express stopped at Lonavala, Karjat and Sarhad on its way from Pune to Bombay. The train passed through Kalyan but did not stop there.
Question 2. How was Professor Gangadharpant Gaitonde planning to find out how the ‘present state of affairs’ had been reached?
Answer: Professor Gangadharpant Gaitonde had been mystified to realise that Bombay was British territory whereas the rest of India was independent. He planned to find out how the ‘present state of affairs’ had been reached by visiting a big library in Bombay and going through history books on the subject. Then he would go back to Pune and consult Rajendra Deshpande to help him understand what had happened.
Question 3. Why was a permit required to enter Bombay for the passengers in the train?
Answer: In this story, Bombay is shown as British territory while the areas surrounding it are Indian territory. In a normal situation, a passport and visa are required to enter another country’s territory. Here it has been assumed that only a permit is required due to the frequent journeys Indian citizens make to Bombay.
Question 4. How did the train passengers understand that they were in British territory when the train was passing through the suburbs of Bombay?
Answer: When the train was passing through the suburbs of Bombay, the train passengers observed that the suburban trains had the English flag (Union Jack) painted on each carriage, which indicated that they were in British territory.
Question 5. Why was Gaitonde shocked to see East India House just outside the Victoria Terminus railway station?
Answer: Gaitonde was shocked to see East India House just outside the Victoria Terminus railway station because the East India Company had • stopped its operations in India after the events of 1857, according to the history books. This made Gaitonde conclude that India’s history was different from what he knew.
Question 6. What names of buildings or offices did Gaitonde see while walking along Hornby Road which made it look as if he was on a typical high street in an English town?
Answer: The names of buildings which Gaitonde saw while walking along Hornby Road were Boots and Woolworth departmental stores, imposing offices of Lloyds, Barclays and other British banks, and Forbes building. These English names made it appear to Gaitonde that he was in an English town.
Question 7. How did Gangadharpant conclude that in this world his son did not exist?
Answer: In the world that Gangadharpant knew, Vinay Gaitonde, his son, worked in the Forbes building in Mumbai. However, when Gangadharpant enquired with the English receptionist in the building about his son, the receptionist informed him, after checking the telephone extension list, the staff list and employees list in other branches of Forbes, that no such person worked there. Thus, Gangadharpant concluded that in this world his son did not exist.
Question 8. To solve his riddle, what books did he consult and where? In which building was this place located?
Answer: To solve his mystery, Gaitonde consulted the five books he had himself written on Indian history which were available in the library of the Asiatic Society located in the Town Hall building.
Question 9. What did Gaitonde find in the history book he consulted about the exact time when history had changed from what he knew?
Answer: In the fifth book which he himself had written, Gaitonde found the exact event which was different from what he knew. This was the third battle of Panipat in 1761, in which the history book mentioned that the Maratha forces had defeated the invader Ahmed Shah Abdali. However, Gaitonde had known that the Marathas had lost this battle. So this was the event which had changed all future historical events in India.
Question 10. What action did the East India Company take in this parallel world when it observed the victory of the Marathas in the third battle of Panipat?
Answer: With the victory of the Marathas in the third battle of Panipat, their supremacy in northern India was established. When the East India Company observed this, it temporarily shelved its expansionist programme.
Question 11. What happened to the fortunes of the East India Company after the Peshwas systematically expanded their influence all over India?
Answer: With the systematic expansion of the Peshwas’ influence all over India, the East India Company was reduced to pockets of influence near Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, just like its European rivals, the Portuguese and the French.
Question 12. Who were the two Maratha brothers who expanded the influence of the Marathas after 1780 AD? What qualities did they possess that enabled them to achieve this objective?
Answer: The two Maratha brothers were named Vishwasrao and Madhavrao. They combined political shrewdness and a keen insight with bravery to restrict the East India Company’s influence and remove their rivals.
Question 13.What practical intelligence did the Peshwa rulers have and how did they use it for benefiting the country?
Answer: The Peshwa rulers had the practical intelligence to understand the significance of the technological age starting in Europe. So they set up their own scientific and technological centres, using the aid and expertise offered by the East India Company to make the local centres self-sufficient.
Question 14. In this parallel world, why did India become a democracy during the twentieth century?
Answer: By the time of the twentieth century, the Peshwas had lost their resourcefulness. Also, the Sultanate of Delhi did not actually have any power or influence. It was just to ‘rubber stamp’ the recommendations made by the government. Thus, inspired by changes occurring in the West, India moved to becoming a democracy.
Question 15. In this parallel world, how is India described, as seen by Gangadharpant Gaitonde?
Answer: Gangadharpant describes India as a country that had not been colonised by the British. Instead, it had learnt to remain independent and respected as a country. From a position of strength and for purely commercial reasons, it had allowed the British to retain Bombay as an outpost on lease till 2001.
Question 16. When Gaitonde was reading the fifth history book in the parallel world, why did he feel that his investigations would remain incomplete? Reading which document completed his investigation?
Answer: The fifth history book Gaitonde was reading did not give details of the third battle of Panipat to enable Gaitonde to understand how the Marathas had won that battle, thus making Gaitonde’s investigations incomplete. The Bhausahebanchi Bakhar, a form of historical narrative written in Marathi prose, gave him the answer to how the Marathas had won this battle.
Question 17. What was described in the document that Gaitonde read to find out how the Marathas had won the battle?
Answer: Bhausahebanchi Bakhar, the document that Gaitonde read, mentioned that during the battle, a bullet brushed past Vishwasrao’s ear. He could easily have been killed if he was just a fraction of an inch towards the path of the bullet. Then the Marathas would have lost the battle. In the real world, Vishwasrao had been killed by a cannon shell and the Marathas lost the battle.
Question 18. What was peculiar about the event going on at Azad Maidan when Gaitonde reached there?
Answer: When Gaitonde reached Azad Maidan, he saw many people moving towards a pandal where a lecture was going on. However, what was peculiar about it was that the presidential chair on the platform was unoccupied although the speaker was speaking. Gaitonde felt that this chair was kept vacant for him.
Question 19. What was the audience’s reaction to Gaitonde sitting on the presidential chair? Why?
Answer: The audience reacted by strongly protesting against Gaitonde sitting on the presidential chair. The reason was that, in this world, the people had become sick of hearing long introductions, vote of thanks and remarks of the chair. They were only interested in what the speaker was speaking and had abolished the custom of having a chairman long ago. The chair kept on the platform was only symbolic.
Question 20. What finally happened to Gaitonde at the Azad Maidan lecture?
Answer: When Gaitonde insisted on continuing his speech, the audience pelted him with tomatoes, eggs and other objects. When Gaitonde still did not stop speaking, the audience swarmed on to the stage to remove him. During the commotion, Gaitonde disappeared.
Question 21. What evidence did Gaitonde show : Deshpande to convince him that he .vat speaking the truth about his experiences in another world?
Answer: The evidence Gaitonde showed to Deshpande to convince him that he was speaking the truth about his experiences in another world was a page torn out of the Bhausahebanchi Bakhar which mentioned that the bullet missed Vishwasrao, although in the actual book which Gaitonde had written, Vishwasrao was hit by the bullet.
Question 22. What are the two theories Rajendra Deshpande talks about when he tries to rationalise Gaitonde’s experience? Which of these theories is applicable to Gaitonde’s experience?
Answer: The two theories Rajendra Deshpande talks about to rationalise Gaitonde’s experience are the catastrophe theory and the Quantum theory. The Catastrophe theory is the one that is applicable to Gaitonde’s experience.
Question 23. What actions does the Catastrophe theory explain?
Answer: The Catastrophe theory models the mechanisms of sudden and discontinuous changes of state in very different types of systems like freezing of a liquid, buckhng of metal under pressure, fall of a government, or riot by a mob. It explains that a series of gradual changes (such as frustration of people in a nation) trigger rapid and large-scale (catastrophic) changes such as the collapse of an empire.
Question 24. What examples does Rajendra Deshpande use to illustrate his contention that reality may not be unique?
Answer: Rajendra Deshpande uses the examples of atoms and sub-atomic particles to illustrate his contention that reality may not be unique. He says that if an electron is fired from a source, we cannot predict exactly the location of the electron after a specified period of time. This is explained in Quantum theory as ‘lack of determinism’.
Question 25. What did Rajendra Deshpande conclude about Professor Gaitonde’s experience?
Answer: Rajendra Deshpande concluded that Professor Gaitonde had made a transition from one world to another at the time of his accident and returned to the first world due to the scuffle with the audience at Azad Maidan, as both these experiences were catastrophes in his life.
Question 26. What was Rajendra Deshpande’s second conclusion about Professor Gaitonde’s experience?
Answer: Rajendra Deshpande’s second conclusion about Professor Gaitonde’s experience was that the bifurcation between the two worlds occurred at the third battle of Panipat, but there could be many such worlds arising from bifurcations which may occur at different points in time.
Question 27. What was Rajendra’s conclusion about why Gaitonde made the transition to another world at that period in its history?
Answer: Rajendra explained that Gaitonde made the transition to another world at that period in history because probably he was thinking about the third battle of Panipat at the time of his collision, as he had been asked to chair a seminar on what would have happened if the battle had gone the other way.
Question 28. Did Professor Gaitonde ultimately make his presidential address at the seminar he had been invited to chair? Why or why not?
Answer: No, Professor Gaitonde ultimately did not make his presidential address at the seminar he had been invited to chair, as he had already conveyed his regrets to the organisers of the seminar. The reason was that, due to his experience in the parallel world, he had realised that such a speech would not be welcome at the seminar.
Long Questions and Answers
Question 1. What was the purpose of Professor Gaitonde’s visit to Bombay? Was his purpose fulfilled? Why or why not?
Answer: The purpose of Professor Gaitonde’s visit to Bombay was to find out what exactly had happened to him and also try to get back to his home and family. As he could not find his home where it had existed in the real world and also he could not find anybody in Pune who knew him, he thought that his son, who worked in Bombay in the real world, would be able to help him.
However, when he reached his son’s organisation’s office in Bombay, he found that nobody having his son’s name worked there. Thus, the second purpose was not fulfilled. To solve the first matter, he visited the library of the Asiatic Society. Here he was able to read the history of India in the parallel world and understand from which point the history had changed. Thus, his first purpose was partially fulfilled, as he still did not know what had triggered his transition to a parallel world and also how he could go back to his original world.
Question 2. What shocks did Gangadharpant Gaitonde get in the Bombay in the parallel world?
Answer: One shock Gangadharpant Gaitonde got in Bombay in the parallel world was that the East India Company still existed and was flourishing. Another shock was the sign of British rule everywhere in Bombay, from the suburban railway carriages having a British flag painted on them to the British road names and building names.
The third shock occurred when he found that nobody With his son’s name worked in the company in which he h£d been working in the real world. Gaitonde got another shock when, in the library of the Asiatic Society, he read a history book written by him which described the third battle of Panipat ending in a different way from what he had actually written in his book in the real world. The final shock which Gaitonde got, which enabled him to return to the real world, was when he tried to chair a seminar at the Azad Maidan. He was vociferously opposed by the audience, but when he stood his ground, the audience stormed the stage. He was concussed in the melee and found himself in the real world when he regained consciousness.
Question 3. What method did Professor Gaitonde adopt to find the information he wanted in the library of the Asiatic Society? Did he find the required information?
Answer: The method that Professor Gaitonde adopted to find the information he wanted in the library of the Asiatic Society was to go through reliable history books. As he had himself written a history of India in five volumes, he felt that these would be a reliable source. He did not find any difference from what he knew in the first four volumes, which covered India’s history up to the death of Aurangzeb.
However, in the fifth volume, he found that the third battle of Panipat was described differently from what he had actually written. Thus, he understood that the result of the battle was written differently. From that point onwards, the history of India in the parallel world had changed from that in the real world. This explained all what he had witnessed in Pune and Bombay during the last few hours. However, he could not still find an explanation for the reason of his transition to a parallel world with a different history.
He resolved to return to Pune and ask Rajendra Deshpande, a mathematical and scientific expert, to solve this mystery for him, provided that Rajehdra Deshpande existed in this parallel world.
Question 4. How did Rajendra Deshpande initially explain Professor Gaitonde’s experience? Was Gaitonde convinced with the explanation? How did Rajendra change his explanation based on new evidence given by Gaitonde?
Answer: Rajendra Deshpande initially explained Professor Gaitonde’s experience by applying two theories known to him, the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory. Rajendra felt that Gaitonde had imagined things because he may have been thinking about the third battle of Panipat at the time the truck hit him. But Gaitonde was not convinced with the explanation, as his adventure was too real to be imagined. Further, he had evidence to prove this. He showed Rajendra the tom off page of the Bhaiisahebanchi Bakhar in which the description of the third battle of Panipat was different from what he had actually written.
At first, Rajendra was puzzled by this new evidence. But, after further discussion with Gaitonde, Rajendra explained that he had come to the conclusion that there could be many ‘different worlds existing at different points of time’. They could all have different histories. Professor Gaitonde had been to another parallel world. The time was the present but its history was quite different. This explanation was more likely to be correct due to the application of the Quantum theory to Gaitonde’s experience.
Question 5. What has the author been trying to tell the reader in the story, ‘The Adventure’? Is it possible for such a transition to occur?
Answer: The author has tried to explain two theories of science, the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory, through an imaginary set of events which occurred in the life of a professor of history. The author wanted to show what would have happened if the Marathas had won the third battle of Panipat.
India (in 1986, when this story was written) would have differed from the India which we know due to the catastrophe of the Marathas losing the third battle of Panipat. Our lifestyle would not have been that much influenced by the West, there would have been no partition of the country and so on. The author has tried to show how a single but small turning point in history would have resulted in a completely different set of events later on.
From what we know at present about the Quantum theory, it can only be applied to sub-atomic particles and not to discrete objects. Thus, it cannot explain what happened to Gaitonde. Even the theory of Catastrophe only tries to explain the behaviour of various systems when they undergo catastrophic stress. It cannot explain the transition to a parallel world. Thus, we can conclude that it is not possible for such a transition to occur.
Question 6. Draw a character sketch of Professor Gaitonde based on specific events mentioned in the story.
Answer: Professor Gaitonde had a collision with a truck. At that time he was thinking of the Catastrophe theory and its implications for history. When he regained consciousness, he found himself in another parallel world, which looked totally different from what he knew. However, he was resolute enough to try and resolve the matter. That is why he journeyed to Bombay.
He was very knowledgeable about Indian history, as he had written a set of five books on it. However, he was quite vain, as he prided himself on his eloquence by speaking as a Chairman at various seminars. However, this vanity was punctured and he forgot it after the hostile reception given to him in the parallel world when he tried to chair a seminar at the Azad Maidan in Bombay.
He also displayed persistence to know the truth of his adventure when he questioned his friend Rajendra Deshpande about the explanation that Rajendra gave him about his transition. All in all, Gaitonde was a vain but persistent historian who was thorough in his subject as well as reasoning power. He also had some scientific knowledge because he understood Quantum theory and its implications.
Question 7. Draw a character sketch of Rajendra Deshpande based on what you have read in the chapter.
Answer: Rajendra Deshpande was a mathematical and scientific expert who tried to rationalise Professor Gaitonde’s experience by applying the Catastrophe theory and the lack of determinism in Quantum theory. He understood both the theories very well and was able to apply them also to Gaitonde’s adventure. This shows his knowledge and expertise in his field of work. In addition, he displayed an attitude of loyalty to his friend, Professor Gaitonde, because he believed his story completely, despite the story being totally bizarre. He displayed analytical power also by being initially able to analyse Gaitonde’s story as a figment of his imagination. But when Gaitonde showed evidence that he had really transited to a parallel world, Rajendra displayed flexibility by changing his explanation based on his mathematical and scientific knowledge.