It would be a gross understatement to call it just a river, for Ganga is more than an ordinary river for any Indian.
Maa Ganga is what we call her.
Maa Ganga is what we feel about her,
A mother in whose loving lap our entire civilization has blossomed.
Maa Ganga! On whose banks Sita and Rama walked together ,
Arjuna practiced his archery and Ashoka forged his pillars.
Maa Ganga! A source of livelihood for its forty million Indians.
It was January of 2015, modern day India,
Ganga, the holy mother was to become a theater for the world greatest experiment. It was not only the world greatest experiment but most novel experiment also.
It was an experiment devised by the most talented minds on planet earth and was subjected to intense media scrutiny.
To give a perspective such was the media attention that India beating Pakistan in a world cup was mentioned only in DD news and 8th Page of The Hindu.
May be experiment was so novel because it was thought by 5 year old kid. But then aren’t kids best geniuses.
Major premise of the experiment was to track a red cricket ball!
A red colored cricket ball which could float over water.
The gist was the experiment to track the ball as it from Gangotri to Vanarasi via Haridwar, Patna and innumerable other settlements which dotted banks or river Ganga.
Using simple Newtonian rules of physics, boy predicted that the ball would take 30 days to flow from Gangotri to Vanarasi. Little did the boy know that it was not just a journey, It was a test, test of destiny and evaluator was holy mother herself.
Veteran scientists claimed this experiment to be rubbish, “A PR event!” they said,
they felt it was impossible for a ball to survive 28 major waterfalls, 128 professional rapids and uncountable currents and turns as it moved towards Indian Plains.
Then in plains would be even more impossible for a ball to wade through all the man-made obstacle’s like bridges, sewages, dams and plastics !!!
Adamant child persisted and admits great fanfare, in presence of more man 82 media personnel, he dropped the ball in River Ganga near Gangotri and boy himself left for Varanasi, to attend his school exams.
He would be sitting on 31th January near famous assighat in Varanasi to pick up the ball!
But media personnel afraid to let go of such a tremendous opportunity followed the ball, some in jeeps along the river and special media person with an extra loud voice on a raft, started following the ball.
As expected under currents proved too much for me little ball and it was thrown off towards bank only to be thrown bank into the river by an ascetic who was taking bath in the river, an ascetic who clearly believed whatever came from mother should be given back to her!!
Entire world heaved a sigh of relief when this happened. Some were actually hoping that ascetic would also throw that man on raft; however, it did not happen.
Ball restarted its journey, and much to the surprise of world. It got stuck 58 times along its journey. Each time rescued by something on else. Most surprising of then was near Patna or the old Patliputra as we know it. It was where the ball got stuck in a net, a net which was used to stop plastic from entering river, only to rescued as a scrap metal kid stole that net to sell In market. Ironically entire media missed it.
Finally with all the help on 31th January ball reached assighat. And experiment was successful beyond measure.
Not that the experiment was path breaking on that it changed lives of many. But it taught man a humble lesson, it told him, no matter how long and ardous journey could be, no matter how much filth and squalor path may contain, holy mother would help him only if, he knows the destination!!
A message, sadly lost in sensationalism of media houses.