Over 15 years ago one of the most eminent scientists in the world had visited India, the esteemed gentleman is Dr. Stephen Hawking’s and he very well may be the most preeminent living physicist in the world today, as he was 15 years ago as well.
Unfortunately, despite his brilliance he has a frail body as at a young age he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease and is confined to a wheelchair from which he cannot move without aid, he is also unable to speak but rather a computer which is controlled by facial gestures recognizes his speech and speaks for him through a digital speaker real estate in chennai.
Fortuitously, 15 years ago when he had visited India on the invitation of our country’s brilliant physicists, Allahabad was the venue of a Maha Kumbh Mela and the event coincided with Mr. Hawking’s visit. At a press conference one of the journalists present asked Mr. Hawking’s a question which made some news. The question posed to the genius of physics was whether he intended to visit Allahabad and see the Maha Kumbh Mela at the city. The journalist who posed the question was wildly derided, it was quoted by some in the press as the “stupidest question posed to the smartest man on Earth”.
Actually the question posed was highly relevant, the only reason it was derided and ridiculed is that it was posed in India, a country which then had infrastructure in most parts of the country that is nearly as bad as it is now. It would have been extremely difficult for Mr. Hawking’s to travel to the Mela considering he is confined to a wheelchair and the terrible roads in the country. Had a similar question been posed to him at Japan or Canada or a number of other first world countries, it is highly unlikely it would have induced any ridicule or thought of as out of the ordinary. Moreover unknown to most, physicists tend to be among the most spiritual individuals on Earth, Dr. Hawking’s himself has made it known publically that wants to “know the mind of god”, which is close to what many Hindus too fervently seek. A visit to the Kumbh Mela could have been an important spiritual trek for the famed physicist. The question posed by the journalist may not have been as out of context as was portrayed then.
Things have changed drastically in many parts of the country since then, for instance some of the best builders in Chennai are constructing projects in the city which many would have thought to be inconceivable in India 15 years ago. The quality of the luxury apartments in Chennai now offers a lifestyle which was in earlier times confined to be experienced firsthand only by those who had the opportunity to visit New York, Paris or Sydney. Furthermore, the top builders in Chennai and other parts of the country continue to up the ante in terms of luxury developments which become more extravagant every few years. Back in 2001 the Ambani family was still living in a rather modest flat, there was no Antilla, which in fact may have party been constructed in response or anticipation of the number of large luxury developments being constructed all across the country. The price of the Antilla property shall continue to appreciate as the years pass, so shall property in most parts of the country.
Not to be outdone and trying to do its share, the government is taking steps to construct world class physical infrastructure in the country which may lead to far greater ease and comfort for millions of drivers and passengers in the future.
Perhaps at a time not too distant, if such a question is posed to anyone in a similarly delicate position as Dr. Stephen Hawking’s, rather than the question itself being reported as a thoughtless one, the press will simply report the answer given.