No science without experiments – Mission Mangal
Firstly, it was an amazing experience to watch the movie along with the students and Akshay Kumar. Before the movie could start, the star had an interaction with the students. He asked them about ISRO, celestial objects, Mars and a lot of stuff. One could make out the joy on students face while answering these questions, may be first time they felt their education is relevant. Because normally in today’s busy world people hardly get time to look away from their gadgets and engage in healthy discussions. We learned a new full form of ISRO as ‘Impossible Space Research Organization’. As they achieved something which was labelled IMPOSSIBLE.
Coming to the movie, the connect between science, home science and common sense was too good. The technical details of Mangalyan were explained through demonstration and simple examples. To highlight few – the yoyo was used to represent planet and its orbit. When Vidya Balan speeds up the yoyo more than what the strings can bear it shoots off conveying the concept of escape velocity. The entire mission picks momentum when Vidya Balan was low on her gas fuel to fry puris at home, seriously! Then she does a scientific jugaad of turning on and off the gas supply. As we all know no matter how much you heat a substance it cannot exceed its Boiling point. Why heat the oil continuously if we can make use of the heat already present in oil to fry puris. It is something even the hawkers do day in and out but never though it could propel the Mars Mission. I am sure you would think about the movie whenever you are served with puris. Ahh, this one we all would enjoy as Indians, something we share in common with Microsoft (windows). What do we do when we face challenge with our gadgets and especially when our computers hang? Correct, we reboot it. That’s exactly what Taapsee Pannu does when the satellite enters Mar’s orbit and fails to respond. Travelling a distance of 6 crore km with minimum amount of fuel was another challenge which the Mahila team of Mission Mangal solved. For more of these hacks you must watch the movie. I didn’t expect the movie to be so lively; it was not like a conventional documentary nor an entertainment blockbuster but Edutainment in true sense.
Apart from science and the dream to reach Mars the movie beautifully touched on social aspects as well. Right from showing the challenges faced by an Indian working woman in the form of a matured housewife (Vidya Balan), a newly married lady (Taapsee Pannu), a divorcee (Kirti Kulhari), pregnant (Nithya Menen) and an aspirant fresher (Sonakshi Sinha). Truly the movie could have been named as ‘Mahila on Mars’ or ‘Mahila Mission’. Not forgetting Mr. Rakesh Dhawan (Akshay Kumar) a dynamic leader and a dedicated scientist who kept his life away from all the other activities including marriage and religion. Another unmarried man in the movie is Sharman Joshi who believes in Kundli and is desperate to get married; eventually finds a solution to both. In terms of guidance I really loved the way Vidya Balan handles her son in terms of choosing a role model and yet preserving self-identity. Although not very convinced with her idea of having beer with daughter; I would leave that open for the viewers to comment – as a matter of opinion and perspective.
Food for thought – The injured soldier (Taapsee’s husband) conveys something amazing when he tries to convince her to go back to work and help the mission. Truly as Indians in which ever domain or industry we are working with, every good work benefits the nation and humanity at large. The 9 to 5 that we spend in our offices can be either boring and dull or filled with passion to achieve our dreams. As teachers we have always talked about dreams of students what about us?