These vacations I finally managed to get a chance to go inside a battle tank. ( If my project leader is to be trusted, I can claim to drive one too by the end of the project.). Contrary to the rough and rugged outside, the insides of the tank are full of extremely sophisticated technology. (Many of the systems are not even made in India, imported directly!). It is a cacophony of various electronic instruments buzzing and display of so many screens. One needs a ladder to climb inside the tank.I felt so bad that such a beutiful fusion of technology is destroyed in battles.
Priced at Rs.5 crores each and weighing a massive 45 tons, the tank does look intimidating.
The first thing one notices is that it is air conditioned inside. The drivers are given air-conditioned suits in real battle conditions. A massive engine occupies nearly 50% of the tank. It thunders at a speed of more than 100kmph. (If u make the mistake of standing near the exhaust, you will be bathed in a fine spray of diesel). Everything is electronically controlled (which is why I was there in the first place to design heat sinks for their cooling). From computerized gun control systems to fuzzy logic systems to control speed and temperature,from lasers for positioning and other night vision devices, to battle tactics like fogging, it was so nice to see fully functional systems working in tandem so perfectly with one another(a nice change from the non-functional lab equipment!). With a gear box of 8 gears, it took me enormous effort to change them. The drivers are obviously so good at it that it seems they are driving a luxury car. With more sophisticated stuff than even aeroplanes, the auto-pilot and GPRS intact, driving a tank seems more easy than a car. For one, no one would dare come near, no hassles of traffic signals etc(lol). but again no windshield to see for yourself. All you have is a periscope like device to see whats in front.
But the roads need to be compulsarily made of stone. the tar roads do not stand a chance of survival under the huge tank-tracks. With beautiful proof-ranges having tacks at various angles and elevations, the infrastructure sure is awesome. Pity, the ministry of defence is always in the news for all the wrong reasons.
And yes! The story telling experience. It was simply amazing. My audience was largely 4 to 7 year olds and their accompanying parents. All sat down to listen paitently. It was the best audience I have had so far with no cat calls, booing and every word being abosrbed with utmost sincerity. The “oohs” and the gasps of the little girls when described about the magic of fairy Godmother was enough to take me back in time. In the end a spree of questions like “Did the stepmother say sorry to cindrella?”, “Can I get glass ballerinas?”,”Where will my Fairy Godmother come from?” rained on me. It was fun answering them. But the toughest one obviously was “Where is my prince Charming?”. I smiled. I wish I could answer that. I wish I knew myself 😉
It was one of the best things I have done so far. Later I went to watch Aaja Nachle. (ok dont raise those eyebrows at the choice of the movie!). But choosing a movie to watch with parents doesnt leave too many choices. (You know what I mean).
Aah..salsa class beckons. Sadly my schedule is tighter in holidays. But hey! its sooooo much fun.