Background of the story: 

 At the time the story begins, he had just completed presiding over a seminar and with his meticulous records he knew that this was his 999th occasion for presiding at a function. However, he had long decided that his thousandth appearance on the platform would be for history, his favorite subject. That occasion was to come two weeks hence at a seminar devoted to the Third Battle of Panipat. Gangadharpant accepts a new invitation, a seminar on Catastrophe Theory. 


1. Professor Gaitonde or Gangadharpant: Gangadharpanth: Gaitonde is the protagonist in the story, The Adventure written by Jayant Nirlikar. He has been portrayed as a professor of history. He is quite a passionate researcher and has a strong personality. He experiences a unique phenomenon.

 2. Khan Sahib: Fellow Passenger on the professor's train ride to Bombay.

 3. Gangadharpant’s Son: In the world that Gangadharpant knew, Vinay Gaitonde, his son, worked in the Forbes building in Mumbai.

 4. Bhausahebannchi Bakhar: Bhausahebanchi Bakhar is a narrative of the Battle of Panipat fought in 1761 between the Maratha Empire and the Durrani Empire of Ahmad Shah Abdali 

5. Rajendra: Rajendra Deshpande was a historian

 Story begins with the journey Ganagadhar is taking to Bombay. While another character named Khan Sahib is in the same compartment but he is traveling to Peshawar. We come to know that Gangadhar is visiting Bombay for the first time. As the journey proceeds they come across a tunnel which ends up in a station named “Sarhad”. Khan Sahib informs Gangadharpant that it was from here where the British Raj began.Gaitonde plans to go to a big library and browse the history books and come back to Pune to look out for Rajendra Deshpande, who he believes would surely help him to understand what has happened.

 The interaction brings out the information regarding the existence of British Raj. The blue carriages carried the letters, GBRM, on their side which stood for Greater Bombay Metropolitan Railway and a tiny Union jack painted on each Carriages to show that they are in British Territory. The Victoria Terminus, which was the final stop for the narrator, was very neat and clean with the staff consisting of Anglo-Indians and Parsees along with a handful of British Officers. 

 The train finally stopped at Victoria Terminus Station in Bombay. As the narrator descends the train, he is surprised to see a landmark “EAST INDIA HOUSE OF HEADQUARTERS OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY” for all he knew was The East India Company had been wounded up after the events of 1857- 0r he says that was what had been informed by the History books. 

 He was more curious about the different turn History had taken,he wanted to find out more about it.He goes into Forbes building to find his son, but he doesn’t. He then moves on to the Town hall. He enters the library and asks for a list of history books including his own. Out of his five volumes, in the four of the histories he presented as he knew it. But surprisingly the fifth history had taken a different turn. The book described the battle of Panipat. It mentioned that the Marat has won with great bravery. 

Abdali was not only defeated but chased back to Kabul by the Victorious Maratha Army. The Marathas were led by Sadashivarao Bhau and his nephew Viswasrao. Even though Gangdharpant had written the book himself, this was his first time reading such an account of the battle of Panipat. The victory was a morale booster for the Marathas. They established their supremacy in northern India. 

The Company gave up its expansionist programme. Its powers were reduced near Bombay, Culcatta, and Madras. The aid and expertise offered by the company was only accepted to make the local centers self-sufficient. In this portion of history book it was written that India was never subjected to Slavery. 

India had allowed the company to retain Bombay on a Lease till 2001. Gangadharpant becomes very intrigued with this new turn in the history that he wants to find out how the Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat. Bhausahebannchi Bakhar gave him the clue. As in the account of the battle it was written that a bullet brushed past Viswasrao and he was saved.

 The library was getting shut for the day and absentmindedly he shoved the Bakhar into his pocket. As he moves out from the library he finds a large crowd in the Maidan which was moving towards the pandal. A lecture was in progress. He sees that the presidential chair is unoccupied and he moves towards it. But the public shouted at him to be away from the platform. They reminded him that the chair was merely symbolic. When he started to keep his views the audience couldn’t tolerate him and he ended up being humiliated by throwing tomatoes at him. He was thrown out of the maidan. After he became the victim of public violence he collides with a truck that leads to him being unconscious for two days.

 He informs Rajendra that at the time of collision he was thinking of the Catastrophe theory and its implications for history. To prove his word, he shows a page torn out of the book to Rajendra. He then shows the book Bhausabanchi Bakhar. Only after reading this part of history Ranjedra takes Gangadharpant more seriously as up to now he was taking Gangadharpant’s experience as a fantasy. 

 Reality is not really limited to what we see. Physics has discovered that when an electron is fired from a source, its direction cannot be determined. It may be, here, there anywhere. An observer can see it only at one place and he knows it there only. To another observer, its location is different. All the different worlds can exist together. What is more, an electron can jump from one energy orbit to another. Rajendra said that Gangadhar Pant’s mind had suffered such a transition—from one world to another and back again. By making a transition, he was able to experience two worlds. 

One has the history we know, the other is a different history. At the time he was hit by the truck, he was thinking about the course of history, if the result of the battle of Panipat had gone the other way. In his conscious state he reached that world and on regaining consciousness he came back to this world again. Alternative worlds can exist at the same time. But the observer can see only one of the them at a time. Gangadharpant also saw two aspects of the same reality. The one he lived in now and the other where he had spent two days ago. 

The separation took place in the Battle of Panipat. He traveled neither to the past nor to the future. He was in the present but experiencing a different world. Some interaction is needed to cause a transition. At the time of collision Gangadharpant was thinking about the catastrophe theory. He was also thinking of its role in the Battle of Panipat and if there was a different outcome. Hence two versions of the same battle. After the incident Gangadharpant made another decision. He would never be seen presiding at another meeting. He became wiser after the Maidan’s experience. Story in a nutshell;. He meets with an accident and goes into a coma; during the time he is in coma, his consciousness experiences an experience of British India in which he sees a different Bombay. He also finds history to be changed in which India had never ever become slave to the British.

 He also finds that Marathas had defeated the troops of Abdali at Panipat. Later on Professor Rajendra Deshpande tries to give a scientific explanation to this strange experience; but GangadarPant is not thoroughly convinced as many questions remain unanswered. 

Word Meanings: 

 1. Blow-by-blow: Description of every detail of attack.

2. Morale booster: Encouraging 

3. Relegated : Thrown back 

4.Political Acumen: Political Wisdom 

5. De facto: Real 

6.Astute: Shrewd 

7. Doctored accounts: Falsified description

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