The Moonstruck Columns


Arghyadeep, one of my closest friends in my college days, had always some stories up his sleeve. His college, where he is doing B.Sc with Physics major, is an exquisite place for every kind of species you wish to find, including students and professors and the best part, even the caretakers and laboratory attendants.

This story is a pretty short one. One time, in the Digital Electronics laboratory, the students were required to make a specific electronic circuit using an 8-pin integrated chip placed on a bread board.

Everyone was busy following the steps and the circuit diagrams and suddenly one of the students summoned the Professor in charge for some problem he was facing.

The circuit he designed apparently was independent of any flaw. The chip was the correct one, as was prescribed in the paper, the wires were placed accurately, but still the LED test lamps were blind.

The Professor was startled, he tried many different things. Gradually the place started filling up with Professors from the Physics and Electronics departments. Everyone was crowning over the bread board that had suddenly decided to break all the laws of physics.

After a long and intense discussion which almost summoned a Board meeting but resisted, the ultimate conclusion reached was that the bread board must be the faulty one.

Eventually, Raakhal-Da, the laboratory attendant (we Bengalis call our elder brother as ‘da’) was summoned and he came to take a look at the bread board with the chip. He then simply detached the IC (Integrated Chip), rubbed it clean on his pants and then put it back. The power was turned on and suddenly all the LEDs sprang back to life.

The Professors had a hard time figuring out what exactly had happened after all that brain storming devoted by them to the piece of problem.

That was one of the many incidents when Raakhal-da saved the day and the world was in order again (at least the laboratory was).

Whenever Arghyadeep tells us about Raakhal-da, we always know something like this is on its way and that we should keep anti-laughter medicines with us.


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