An expert committee was organized by Sir John Macpherson to counter the impact of comet Dutta.

Wrong Calculations?

After they had finished, James was dropped by John at Regent Street. James looked up in the sky and anticipated the coming of comet Dutta. He wondered if his calculations were right. When James reported in the conference, he saw every top scientist there, and the chief guest was Manoj Dutta (Duttada).

Nuclear Detonation

After rechecking the calculations, it was reaffirmed that the comet would hit directly with a very little chance of grazing Earth’s outer atmosphere. The committee made an action plan to neutralize comet Dutta’s impact. The committee checked the nuclear arsenal, and they planned to push comet Dutta off its path.

They would send the payload on October 10 and detonate it with remote control on November 15. If the experiment failed, destruction on Earth was inevitable. Duttada and Sir John became good friends.

The Yajna

On returning home, Indrani Debi had arranged a yajna. It was organized to bless Duttada because after discovering the comet, all of his family members were uneasy. Dutta was calm, though against the ceremony.

He asked about the advantages of the ceremony, and his wife and brother told him that the ceremony would ward off any evil effects of the comet on the Earth. Duttada laughed and told them that this was superstition. His brother interjected and told him that their forefathers had recommended yajnas during such events.

Project Light Brigade

After his return, Duttada was in contact with Sir John Macpherson. They discussed Project Light Brigade once in a while. Comet Dutta was about to arrive. In October, Duttada got a letter from Sir John, who informed him that the Project Light Brigade was about to begin.

On November 18, a telex message for Duttada came, and it was, “I am confident now of buying my Christmas presents on December 15 – John Macpherson.”

Close Call

Comet Dutta came closest to Earth at a distance of 80,000 Km. Indrani Debi came to Duttada and told him that the yajna had averted the danger arising from comet Dutta. Duttada told her that he had never participated in the yajna. Indrani Debi told him that they had substituted Khoka (his grandson) in his place. Duttada was aware of the wide gulf between the scientists and these superstitious beings.