When was the last time you asked someone about their plan for a weekend and they replied that they would rather spend their time in an art or a science gallery than in a theatre or a shopping mall? Obviously, going to a science gallery and getting surrounded by students of internal combustion is not a wise option. But the old science strain in my blood still being persistent I decided to give it a try. I mean, how boring could it be?
The outcome of all those thoughts was me standing at entrance of ‘Birla Planetarium”. I saw a beard with side whiskers inside the counter and a man announced the entrance fee through it which was not much I thought for a scene of space documentary, a 3D movie and a gallery visit. My first shock was that they wouldn’t play the documentary as the theatre didn’t have ample number of bricks. When I entered the building I couldn’t find pictures that would tell me something about space and that kind of clever stuff. All I found was a toilet which could by no means qualify as one and a periodic table with most of the elements removed.
Not being wise enough to think of anything else I drank a thoughtful coke. Then I headed for the 3D movie wherein I encountered a herd of boisterous and immoral school kids accompanied by a despondent teacher who was probably the idea behind infesting the place with kids unfit for consumption. I got a seat amidst these insects and the 3D thing was played. I was loudly protesting that the quality of images wasn’t satisfactory when a dark girl who looked at me like a stray dog would have looked when you pinch its hard earned bone. Then the despondent lady strongly advocated the use of a paper they call 3D glasses in a cold manner. Another old man with even bigger whiskers than the ticket counter chap seemed to support the lady and tried to smile at her. She being still grave and cold he abandoned that project.
That being a 3D show I expected some stars and meteors to appear to fall on us. But all I saw there was a picture of some trees, a mountain and a lake. Then the screen was filled with ugliness when some insolent monsters started running towards us making a great deal of clamour. A bitter faced small girl tried to wrong everyone by reckoning that they were crocodiles but even in distance I found that they were dinosaurs. As the noise continued to increase and I didn’t quite like the idea of facing those colossal wastrels, I quietly left the hall leaving the ruined kids to their own devices.
It was a frustrated I that entered the museum and to my relief it was empty and it was empty for a good reason. The main hall was filled with portraits of two political birds and I don’t like both of them. One was an immoral language terrorist and the other was a bearded atheist. Both shared a common opinion that when a student is from a community that hasn’t done anything worthy he or she deserves a place in good institutes.
The science section of it was even more depressing. It was filled with toy aircrafts, some abandoned engines, and miniature models of some landmarks that were made out of some school project but it had very few things to look at. It was very evident that it was poorly funded. Perhaps the politicians of today who try to ingratiate themselves with the names of those two birds had eaten away all the funds that are given to construct state of the art theatres and working models and had spent fifty p. for that darned portrait collection and some steel scrap.
So, such places exist just for namesake and there is not much you can see or learn there. And what’s more they are all named after those birds that haven’t got the slightest grip on the subject of science. They are all maintained worse than public rest rooms. Still if you want to pay them thirty quid that would be sent to a man in white and spend two of the most reproachful hours of your life, you can. But for the love of god, don’t.
- Make Your Own Planetarium: Teaching Constellations to Kids (gomestic.com)
- The space-time dome (theage.com.au)
- A trip beyond the edge of the observable universe (news.cnet.com)