Simple Chemical Reactions
The Magic of the Baba
“You know the only thing common between him and you is the dorky hair” said Martin, Eeshan’s classmate
“Lay off Martin!” retorted Nitin
With the last bell of the day going off, the children rushed out. Eeshan always got a ride in Nitin’s car till his house.”
“You look lost” asked Eeshan
Nitin said “It is this Baba in Allepey. Suddenly his popularity has grown leaps and bounds. All the wealthy people worship him. My mother is a staunch believer but my father is not supportive. It is because of the disagreement that my parents argue every day.“
Eeshan replied “A human being deserves respect not worship. Let’s go see this Baba today.”
Nitin said “My mother will be going today. He has a gathering in the evening. She will be happy to take us along”
In the evening the two of them went with Nitin’s mother to watch the magic of the Baba. As a huge crowd gathered to watch the spectacle, Eeshan carefully looked at the Baba playing tricks.
Baba claimed that he could cure Lakshmi of her disease. Lakshmi was a farmer’s daughter who couldn’t afford a medical care. Baba took a coconut shell and placed it before Lakshmi. He mumbled some hymns and threw water on the coconut which created a fizz. Out of nowhere a Ladoo appeared from the fumes, which the Baba gave to Lakshmi. He told her to eat it and assured her father that she would be fine soon. People marveled and clapped at the sight.
Next Baba called a wealthy man forward and said “I had asked this man to keep this holy coin with him in the place where he keeps his money. He has not donated enough to the poor and the needy. This coin with the inscription of God will become tainted once I rub holy water on it. This will show him and all of you that God doesn’t acknowledge his money and this man will soon become a pauper.”
Baba dipped his cloth in the holy water and kept the coin over it. The coin turned green after Baba mumbled hymns for a while. People were amazed to see the sight and the man fell on the Baba’s feet. Baba spoke “You must donate! Give money to the poor. Start by donating to the ashram’s trust fund and helping people here.”
The man agreed to help Baba and people marveled and clapped. Baba retreated to his tent blessing everyone.
“See! He really does communicate with God.” Nitin’s mom said “We must come again”
“Oh we certainly will aunty” said Eeshan
As Eeshan and Nitin walked back to the car Nitin asked “Do you really believe this?”
Eeshan smiled and replied “He is a genius alright but not even remotely close to God. We will visit him again and tomorrow we will set everything right!”
Before going with Nitin, Eeshan wore a long sleeve shirt and took a bottle of liquid with him. He also took a copper coin, a coconut and a Ladoo. When Nitin picked him up he was puzzled to see Eeshan dressed this way and carry the things with him. Nitin’s mother asked “Son, why do you have these things with you?”
Eeshan smiled and said “You will see”
When they reached the place Eeshan went right in the front and faced the crowd. The crowd was waiting for Baba to come out of his tent. Eeshan loudly said “I would like to tell you that God visited me last night in my dream and said he was sad at how people were believing crooks in the name of God. He went to Lakshmi and placed the coconut in front of her. He took the liquid out of the bottle and threw it on the coconut. As the fumes went up, Eeshan produced the Ladoo out of thin air. People gasped at the sight and Eeshan explained “This is no magic. The liquid is vinegar and when I threw it on the coconut the fumes were produced because of a simple chemical reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda on top of the coconut, that produced carbon dioxide gas. You were all distracted by the fumes so none of you saw me produce the Ladoo hidden in my shirt sleeve.”
He placed the coin on a wet cloth and started reciting poems. When the coin turned green people gasped again.
“Must say the Baba’s favorite ingredient is vinegar. The coin turned green because of copper oxide produced from a reaction between copper and the acid of the vinegar. He is not Godly, he is just good at chemistry!”
The people realized their foolishness and chased the Baba to the police station. They thanked Eeshan for his intelligence and showing everyone the right way.
Nitin’s mother said “Thank you son for making me realize the importance of logic”
Einstein Iyengar was a hero again!
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