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Beyond Stars. Grandpa & Me. Podcast Serial Episode 1

Brief Introduction

This podcast serial takes you through the adventures of a teenage boy and the wisdom of his Grandpa. Mamdu is fifteen with an original mind bubbling with all sorts of questions to explore life and reality. He is blessed with the company of his grandpa who replies and discusses everything in an enlightened but comprehensible manner. Fictional creativity blends with thought-provoking facts from science, philosophy, art, history and almost everything in life. The setting is a summer vacation home in a scenic valley of Phoolbun and a nearby modern city of Nairangabad. Day to day adventures of a fifteen-year-old and a retired but full of life scholar in his seventies runs side by side. In this first episode, Mamdu wonders how vast is our universe and Grandpa explains. Listen, read, reflect and enjoy!

Living like a free bird in Phoolbun۔ If you are fifteen like me and disgusted with the life of a boarding school, you can surely imagine my excitement۔ Phoolbun is a scenic village where we spend our family holidays۔ Facing our small cottage, there are far-flung fields in this beautiful valley. Just behind the cottage is the hill covered with pine trees called Koh e Ramz. It seems as if Koh Ramz is a genie keeping its shadow on our cottage to guard us against all evils. I like everything here in Phoolbun except snails speed internet connection. No chance of playing online video games with friends. Impossible. Though never mentioned, I am sure Grandpa is very happy with the internet situation. If you ever have to come to visit us, first of all, you will pass through the vegetable fields۔ Then a series of few neem trees and finally, you will reach a huge mango tree, which is the favourite place for all the parrots in Phoolbun. This tree is just outside our wooden cottage surrounded by all sorts of beautiful flowers in our lawn.  Then you will come across ancient-looking but comfortable wooden chairs in our veranda. Grandpa and I often have long chats while sitting in these chairs. All sorts of conversations on all kinds of topics. But we never talk about the tragic car accident in which my mum and dad died together and left me and Grandpa alone in this world. That night when we were both quiet and staring at the starry sky. I said to Grandpa. Maybe these shining stars are our loved ones who have left the world but still want to keep an eye on us. He said. This was the belief of some ancient nations. If we look at the reality with intent and wish, assumptions are born. On the other hand, if we use evidence, observation and logic, the approach is scientific. Now we know that the stars are countless suns scattered throughout the universe. The assumption that these are our loved ones is untrue.  How vast is this universe Grandpa? I asked. He replied. There may be no boundaries. Furthermore, it is expanding day by day. The extent to which scientific instruments can touch the observable universe is only a small fraction of the entire universe. Even if it has a limit, it is beyond our comprehension at present. That is why we do not know what its shape is. Round, oval or any other shape. How many years are equal to one light-year Grandpa? He smiled and said. The light-year is a measure of distance, not time. The distance the light rays travels in a year is called a light-year. The earth is only eight light minutes away from the sun. The closest star to us is Proxima Centauri۔ It is four light-years away from earth۔ And just the edge of our observable universe at a distance of forty billion light-years ——- to be continued

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