Subbu was staring dejectedly at the moon. I asked him why.'This Chandrayaan business,' he said. 'We were so close yet so far.' Don't worry,' I said....
Subbu was staring dejectedly at the moon. I asked him why.'This Chandrayaan business,' he said. 'We were so close yet so far.' Don't worry,' I said. 'All in good time.'
'I hope so,' he said. 'I don't trust these Westerners. They may take advantage of this situation.'
'What are you talking about?' I asked.'Our rightful share dude,' he said. 'Share of what?' I asked. 'Credit for expanding humanity's knowledge?''No baba,' he said. 'Share of the moon. Why else are we going there spending millions of dollars? If we get our share it will sort out a lot of issues for us. Housing. Refugees. Terrorists.
Bad assets. We can shift all our problems to the moon. But with every other country popping over to the moon and planting flags there, there's a real and present danger to our growth.''You think so?' I asked.
'Yes, and it's time we thought about it,' said Subbu. 'Everyone is talking of joyrides to the moon. But what if one day the USA says that the moon belongs to it and builds a wall? Or charges entry fees?'
'How can they do that?' I asked. 'The moon belongs to everyone.'
'That's what everyone thought about the earth didn't they? Then people went about with their flags and took over the whole world. Mark my words, someone will impose moon tariffs soon.'
'What kind?' I asked.'Use of moonlight, payable per square foot,' he said. 'Royalties on references to the moon in poems and songs. Enough to fetch them a lot of money, right?''OMG!' I said. 'What should we do?'
'We should go quickly and build proof that we were all over the moon long before anyone,' said Subbu. 'South Pole, North Pole, even erect extra poles with ancient pole dancers for good measure. And hoist flags from the Vedic era. That should settle it.'
'Will they buy that?' I asked.
'If they don't, I have Plan B,' he said. 'We send a team of land grabbers to the moon. Code name 'Loony Bins'. Once they go there all our lands here on earth will be safe from the land grabbers. And as a bonus, they will be busy grabbing lands on the moon and selling them to unsuspecting visitors to the moon. By the time other countries understand what's happening we would have taken control of the moon.'
'But that's not in the spirit of things,' I squeaked.'If we look for the spirit of things, we will have unnecessary issues like the ones Nehru created. Instead, we should take inspiration from the British and colonise the moon.''Is it so simple?' I asked.
'There are a couple of issues. But I have some ideas to turn them to our advantage.'
'What?' I asked. 'How?'
'What with all countries sending missions, and hoisting flags, etc there's a lot of junk lying on the moon that nobody is clearing up. We should quickly go and clean it up.' 'Why?'
'That's the masterstroke,' said Subbu. 'Our lunar bins will have Swachh Bharath printed on them – irrefutable proof that we got there first. We'll also publish photos of our land grabbers sweeping the mess as a clincher.''Oh wow,' I said. 'What's the other issue?'
'If our land grabber friends are not vigilant, infiltrators might sneak into our colony on the moon. We can't have that. We can do an NRC exercise on the moon to list genuine citizens. It's more efficient than building a wall.''What's the advantage?' I asked.
'We can send the infiltrators to a new planet. A bit like what the British did.'I sent a silent prayer up into space. It had no idea what it was in for.