There's no doubt about it. Today's MVP is ISRO.
After sending Chandrayaan-2, India's second mission to the moon, 11 years after Chandryaan-1 made contact with the lunar surface, the Indian Space Research Organisation is sitting pretty on a pile of well-deserved congratulations and compliments. Launched onboard, the heavy-lift rocket GSLV-MkIII, nicknamed 'Baahubali', will land a rover near the unexplored southern pole of the moon, 48 days from today. With it, India joins an elite club of countries that have previously sent unmanned moon mission including the US, Russia and China.
But while ISRO is the star of the moment, it was weird that it wanted to share that glory with... Akshay Kumar.
Yeah, it took us a while too.
— ISRO (@isro) July 19, 2019
"As #ISRO prepares for landmark launch of #Chandrayaan2, #TeamISRO wishes Akshay Kumar all the best for #MissionMangal and all his future endeavour".
For those living under rocks, Mission Mangal is (obviously) a Bollywood film starring Akshay Kumar which is based on the "real-life story" of ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission. Because naturally after building toilets, saving Indians stuck abroad, defending menstrual health and leading an army of Sikh rebels, Akshay Kumar will now be seeing the Mars Orbiter to its "Mangal" destiny because let's face it - it didn't happen unless Akshay did it in a film. And it seems like the millions of Indians besotted on Akshay's antics as the country's best boy, the social media handlers of ISRO are certainly convinced. In fact, it seems even the ever-confident Akshay was slightly taken aback by their unsolicited admiration.
#ISRO has yet again accomplished a mammoth feat. Salute to the team who have spent countless days ensuring the success of #Chandrayaan2 @isro — Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) July 22, 2019
In this regard, we thought, why just Akshay? Certain others should also get a piece of credit for awakening the Indian audiences toward the mysteries and glories of space. If ISRO won't give it to them, let us do it ourselves.
First on our list is Hrithik Roshan, who single-handedly made an entire-generation of kids (and adults) believe in the "MAGIC" and goodness of aliens in Koi...Mil Gaya. With Rohit Mehra, many Indians for the first time saw a space-ship and took their first fumbling steps into the world of astrophysics and space-craft. And also compassion. We love the aliens and DO NOT want to colonize them at all - a great message to send out to the world in these expansionist times.
The second name on our list is also from the same franchise. Jaadu showed us that extra-terrestrial creatures are our friends. Spielbergians may fawn over ET as much as they like, Jaadu is most definitely India's space mascot. In fact, some of us here even think a Jaadu sticker should be stuck on every spacecraft India ever sends to space. Who knows, maybe the real one (still not ET) will find it some time and come say hi!
Thirdly, we'd like to congratulate Shah Rukh Khan for featuring in the famous song "Chand ne kuch kaha" in Dil Toh Pagal Hai deep in the 90s. The song sparked every Indian's imagination about lunar behaviour and loony methaphors, and the colourful words of the song made the moon accessible to many friend-zoned poets, love-lorn damsels and uninspired lyricists.
And lastly, special mention for colonial-era freedom fighter Mangal Pandey and a big thank you to Moon Moon Sen, former MP from Trinamool Congress. Well, you get it.