Table of Contents

British India

The Jijamata Express was faster than Deccan Queen. Lonavala came in 40 minutes, and the train stopped at Karjat and went even faster through Kalyan.

Professor Gangadharpant Gaitonde had arrived in Bombay. He went to a library to find his present state of affairs. He also planned to consult Rajendra Deshpande to know what was happening. The train stopped, and he saw an Anglo-Indian in uniform who was checking permits.

Khan Sahib told Professor Gangadhar that the British Raj began from here. Gangadhar asked Khan Sahib how he would reach Peshawar. He described his intended route as from Mumbai to Delhi to Lahore and then Peshawar. By listening to Khan Sahib, he came to know the India that he was in right then.

The trains had a badging of ‘GBMR’ abbreviated as the ‘Greater Bombay Metropolitan Railway.” The train arrived at Victoria Terminus, which was neat and clean and had British officers.

Professor Gaitonde was shocked to see the building named “EAST INDIA HOUSE HEADQUARTERS OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY.” He knew that this company was closed after 1857, and still, how could it be there?

No Trace of Vinay

While going through the streets, he found the majority of British banks. He entered the Forbes building and asked for Mr. Vinay Gaitonde, but the receptionist told him that nobody with that name worked there. He had his lunch and made his way to the Townhall.

He entered the library and asked for history books which included his book too. The book explained some events like the win of Marathas over the Afghans. It seemed that he had written this, yet he was reading this for the first time. On seeing the victory, the East Indian Company stopped its expansionist strategy.

This lead to a whole new chain of events, something sort of parallel world events. The Maratha ruled Vishwasrao and his brother made East Indian Company very tiny in its influence. Professor Gangadharpant was happy to read about an India which the Britishers did not enslave. Democracy slowly took over the existing system.

The Empty Chair

Gangadharpant decided to investigate the win of Marathas. He found clues in a book named “Bhausahebanchi Bakhar.” He found out that Vishwasrao dodged a bullet and saved himself. While leaving the library (as it had closed), the professor absent-mindedly put some notes into his pocket.

While strolling, he went to Azad Maidan, where a lecture was taking place. He sat on an unoccupied chair on the stage but soon, the people started to shout at him for occupying an empty chair as it was there for a reason, and he had no right to sit on it.

He grabbed the mic and said that a lecture without a dignitary was like Hamlet without the “Prince of Denmark” but all in vain. The crowd hurled eggs and tomatoes at him, and he was nowhere to be seen. 

The Current Reality

Gangadharpant narrated this story to Rajendra Deshpande. He asked Professor Gangadhar what he was doing before his collision (we come to know that professor Gaitonde had met an accident). Prof. was thinking about the Catastrophe Theory and its implications for history.

Deshpande smiled, and the professor told him not to smile. He also showed him the note that he slid into his pocket while reading in that library. Deshpande was stunned.

He read the account of Maratha King Vishwasrao’s survival. Now, prof. Gangadharpant produced his copy of “Bhausahebanchi Bakhar” and read the account of Vishwasrao’s death. Prof. Gaitonde was eager to know the facts that caused such a massive contradiction in reality.

Deshpande told him that he would try his best to settle down his curiosity through the Theory of Catastrophe, and it was up to prof. Gaitonde to judge him. He told him that while fighting the battle of Panipat, both Marathas and Afghan forces had equal army and weaponry, and the result depended on their morale, resolve, and leadership.

Whether Vishwasrao was killed or survived was unknown. However, the Marathas lost their willpower. He also told him that the excerpt that prof. had shown him showed the side of the story in another way if Vishwasrao had dodged the same bullet that changed the course of history.

Reality and Its Manifestations

He told him about reality and its manifestations. It is not what we see or feel. He took an example of a bullet and an electron. Fire both of them, and we would never know the location of an electron, unlike the location of a bullet.

Prof. Gangadharpant described it as the lack of determinism in quantum theory. Deshpande guided him further and asked him to imagine an electron’s location in one world. He also guided him to imagine another world where the same electron could have been.

He told him that if we know a particular electron’s location, we might know which world we are talking about. However, at the same time, all other worlds might also exist. The prof. asked Deshpande if there was any contact between those worlds, he replied, “Yes and No!”

Prof. gave an example of the Sun and its planets, but he rejected his claims. An Electron’s trajectory cannot be guessed, while a planet’s trajectory can be guessed rightly.

In one world, the electron can be in a lower energy state, while in another world, it can be in a higher energy stage. It can move from one world to the other. He asked, what if it happened on a macroscopic level.

Gangadharpant asked if he had transitioned to another world? Deshpande replied that though it can happen, the observer can only experience one reality at a time.

The Apology Note

Deshpande explained that he neither went to the future nor to the past. However, he experienced another reality while being in the present. Gangadhar asked why did he make the transition, to which Deshpande replied that he did not know.

There could be a neuron in his brain that acted as a trigger. Gaitonde told him that it was a good guess, as he was thinking of the battle moments before the collision. The battle of Panipat was also the topic of his presidential address.

He also told Deshpande that his address was at Azad Maidan, where the people assaulted him. As he would be absent in that address, he would send an apology note.