First came the amazing, unbelievable story – Saurabh Singh, a poor schoolboy from an unknown village in Uttar Pradesh had come out on top of a global examination. Not any examination, but an International Scientist Discovery Examination conducted by NASA, one that foxed even President Abdul Kalam and Kalpana Chawla – they came in 7th and 21st respectively, while our man had topped the exam.
Then came the revelation – our lad had made it all up.
When one thinks about where Saurabh Singh got his idea from, it is not very difficult to figure out. NASA has been made famous all over India by Swades, where Shah Rukh Khan plays a NASA scientist. The NASA connection could have easily brought up the name of Kalpana Chawla, and President Kalam was also once a poor schoolboy from an unknown village. All else is the stuff films are made of – staying in Buckingham Palace and commuting to Oxford University for his exams, flying in Indian Airlines, topping an exam that 200,000 others wrote, amazing a gora with astounding knowkedge of his (the gora‘s, not Saurabh’s) own language. The gushing New Indian Express reporter made up for the rest – with no fact checking and no real knowledge about anything he was writing, he was an ideal set up.
Or, there could be another explanation. Poor Saurabh is a victim of his own prowess. An undoubted genius, he was taken by one of America’s top secret agencies (Men In Black, Omega Sector – take your pick, or come up with your own) to be recruited into their fell ranks. Our lad, however, proved to be too much for them and they decided to return him. Now, to make him look bad, they are getting NASA to deny the existence of the exam and somehow switched his real certificate for a fake one (signed by none other than Cin K. Kif, Chief of NASA, and proclaiming him THE member of NASA – the NIE reporter apparently fell for this, hook, line, sinker, rod, the fisherman and the boat the fisherman was fishing from). They even got to the President Kalam, whose office is now denying that he took any such exam. This must be it. Wait. What’s that flash? No! Get away from me, you Man in Black! No, I will NOT look at the device… Aaargh…