Among other things, Rocket Boys is a tribute to the great Indian thinkers. They were known as the “crazy scientists,” according to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It was a time when India was liberated from colonial authority and when the socio-political environment of the country was rapidly changing. The nation was progressing and forging its own identity under Pandit Nehru’s direction.
The legendary team of Homi Jehangir Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai was in charge of affairs in the scientific field. They built the framework for numerous institutions that are now renowned national hubs for research. Abhay Pannu directed the series, and Abhay Koranne came up with the idea for the plot. Let’s try to determine whether Rocket Boys was able to contribute something genuine or if it was just another series that had promise on paper but fell short in practise.
Rocket Boys Plot Summary
Due to the impending war, Vikram Sarabhai was forced to return from Cambridge University. His father understood that he would be deeply disappointed if he interrupted his studies and returned from the U.K. in such a hurry, failing to fully develop his exceptional talents. His father had secretly submitted an application on his behalf at the Indian Institute of Sciences. That’s where Vikram Sarabhai met Homi Bhabha thanks to Nobel Prize-winning Indian physicist C.V. Raman. In order to recreate Millikan’s balloon experiment and examine cosmic rays in the upper stratosphere, Sarabhai joined the team. Together, they were able to do it effectively. Additionally, it gave life to a friendship that endured to the very end.
Both Vikram Sarabhai and Homi Bhabha came from wealthy families, a group that is frequently stereotyped when discussing the time when India was battling for freedom. This class was frequently accused of being colonial sympathisers, and the creators have not shied away from addressing that problem in order to maintain that impression.
Homi Bhabha was one of those people who didn’t think that attending congressional rallies would benefit the country in any way. He understood that by implementing a system of scientific inquiry and research-oriented abilities that the country would require after gaining independence, he could serve his country while remaining faithful to his passion. But Sarabhai persuades him to rebel even outside of the scientific community. Together, they dismantle the Union Jack at the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bangalore and eventually irritate trustee William Cranshaw to the point that he ceases sponsoring the organisation.
Homi Bhabha cautioned Vikram Sarabhai that he was trying to juggle too many things and that he should concentrate on one item at a time when he suggested to launch ATIRA (Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association). But because these bright minds were so focused on success, failing was the least of their concerns.
Was Rocket Boys Raza Mehdi Based On A Real-Life Scientist?
Even though Raza Mehdi wasn’t based on a real-life scientist, it elevated the story nonetheless. The series would not have had the unusual meatiness that was so important in giving the Rocket Boys series a distinguished tinge if not for the friction that Raza Mehdi’s character generated.
Raza thought of himself as the deserving alternative who should be given a fair shot, just like Homi Bhabha saw himself as the uncrowned emperor of the scientific society. Homi was preferred by Pandit Nehru because they were on friendly terms. Homi was often surrounded by powerful individuals because of his wealthy upbringing. Raza, on the other hand, had worked hard to get where he was. For the needs of existence, he had fought. He was able to successfully manage an institute because to the international communication channel he had established. For researchers, obtaining funding has its own politics. It was difficult to secure funding for scientific projects in a nation with more pressing issues.
Raza Mehdi, who played the lone dissenter in Rocket Boys, frequently felt ignored. He and Homi clashed over who would win the Tata grant after Homi persuaded JRD Tata to start the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. When Homi Bhabha was chosen to lead the Atomic Energy Commission, Raza Mehdi’s hatred for him increased.
You can never treat Raza Mehdi’s acts as being unreasonable since the character is so masterfully crafted. It’s normal to experience a pang of envy when you see someone who wasn’t forced to deal with the hardships that you were. Who didn’t have to struggle to obtain even the most basic essentials like food? He leads a comfortable life and receives whatever he desires on a silver platter. Raza was aware that Homi was talented and earned the job as much as he did, but he was unable to shake the impression that there was entitled favouritism at work and that Homi constantly prevailed over him because of his connections.
Yes, partiality can be quite helpful at times, but Raza would have accepted the same benefit if it had been given to him. But as the saying goes, a formidable foe can develop into a powerful ally. The creators did emphasise that particular aspect and produced a satisfying and intricate character arc, which is frequently difficult to find.
Rocket Boys Ending Explained Was Homi Bhabha s Death Planned?
The intelligence services of the United States never wanted India to develop nuclear weapons. Pandit Nehru authorised Homi Bhabha to create the country of India’s first atomic bomb. He saw that the only way to repel the adversaries was to be a member of the race. Bhabha was a passenger on Air India Flight 101, which crashed close to Mount Blanc while en route from Bombay to New York. On the aircraft, every passenger perished. Although several possibilities were advanced, none of them were proven beyond a reasonable doubt. According to reports, Robert Crowley, a CIA agent, orchestrated the crash to derail India’s nuclear programme.
To give these conspiracy theories more dramatic flair, it was demonstrated in the Rocket Boys television series that the CIA contacted Raza Mehdi to obtain information about India’s nuclear plans. However, Raza exposes everything in front of Homi, alerting him to the risk. It has been established that systemic leaks contributed to the passing of Homi Bhabha, India’s pioneer in nuclear energy.
The beginning of the novel was slow to me, and it seemed like it was trying to establish the characters and the premise too quickly. But that only applied to Rocket Boys’ initial episodes. The sharp writing and engaging performances were largely to blame for my fast emotional investment in these people.
The best thing about the script is that the main characters are never exalted. It avoids being redundant because it never tries to be preachy. It doesn’t start to take on a biographical tone or make any attempts to instil phoney patriotism. It adheres to the principles of its scientific field. Although there are errors and the narrative is not flawless, you can easily get over them because to Jim Sarbh’s magnetic screen presence and Ishwak Sinh’s calculating performance. The fictional character Raza Mehdi, performed by the excellent Dibyendu Bhattacharya, was actually the best addition. He easily owns the role and offers us small cues that set him apart from a sea of equally talented actors. The series recreates several events that give you chills and ooze out a sense of pride in one’s nation, whether it be the introduction of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam or the tale of the first rocket launch in India.
A 2022 Indian biopic television series called Rocket Boys is currently available on Sony Liv.