I still can’t believe it, but it happened. I could participate in a live BBC TV debate, being aired for a World wide audience.
It all started with a tweet. On July 4 th when the official announcement about Higgs boson particle discovery was made public, the twitter was buzzing with ‘God’ particle tweets. I was irritated at the term ‘God’ particle. So I tweeted like this.
@Charakan:Calling #Higgsboson particle the ‘God’ particle is mischievous and an insult to Science
@Charakan: Any journalist/journal calling #HiggsBoson particle, ‘God’ particle should be sued for defamation of Science.
With in few minutes I was asked this.
@AnnaAMCeesay: @Charakan hi I work for @BBC_WHYS – we’re discussing #higgs #boson in two hours time – are you interested in taking part? Thanks.
My reply was this.
@Charakan: @AnnaAMCeesay I am not an expert on #HiggsBoson particle. Just a medical doctor -:) thanks for t offer @bbc_whys
@AnnaAMCeesay: @Charakan we’re not looking for experts – just excited people! still interested?
@Charakan: @AnnaAMCeesay Radio show?
@AnnaAMCeesay: @Charakan yes – on BBC World Service Radio.
@AnnaAMCeesay: @Charakan if you can please follow me and send me your number via DM that would be great.
I gave my cell number and communications continued via phone and later via Skype.
Now I did not know much about this Higgs particle. Till then what I thought was boson is Boson, a scientist like Higgs!!!
I have less than 2 hours to learn some thing about it so as to participate in a debate….
And there was about 10 patients waiting..!
Fortunately my Pathologist wife was less busy that day. So I asked for her help.
“Why don’t you stop looking at those boring blood cells/Urine casts and do some thing more interesting? ”
“Like? ” She was curious.
“Learn and teach me about this discovery of the Century, Higgs-Boson particle in an hour so that I can become a ‘celebrity’ !
She was excited, not about the particle, but about her hubby becoming a celebrity.
So by the time I finished off ( not literally) the last patient, she was ready with a large amount of information. Thus I came to know it was supposed to be the Goddamn particle, the always elusive one. But a mischievous editor changed it to God particle. I could make out that it has some thing to do with particles developing mass. It also provides it seemed, an opportunity to know more about how universe was formed.
Time for the show to start had come and gone, but my phone and skype was silent. Was this a hoax?
Suddenly the phone rang.
We are at the end of the show. Please join.
Now I could hear some one announcing my arrival there and started asking questions like ‘Why you are excited about this etc…. I was suddenly at loss of words and mumbled some thing. My wife was writing some thing on a paper and showing it to me, but I was so nervous and could not read it. I was not able to do a good job. Soon they thanked me and that was the end.
But it was not the end. On July 6 th as I was driving to my Hospital for my evening op, the phone rang. This time it was the producer of BBC tv program ‘World have your say” .
“Will you be able to take part in our TV program on Higgs boson going on air in 3 hrs 45 mts time?
This time I did not hesitate to say yes.
“we will have a skype link check in 3 hours time”.
At the hospital the waiting area was full. Will I be able to make it?
“Will see only patients with prior appointments, no walk in patients”, I told the guy at the reception.
In around 2 1/2 hours I was able to finish my work and reach in time for the link check.
With help of my daughter I set up the hardware while my wife gave me added points to talk about. After few attempts link check succeeded.
Will it be an ask the expert format or a debate on impact of Higgs boson discovery on God/religion? I had no idea.
“We are going on air now. Please be ready” .
The TV was on but it was around 30 seconds slower than what I could hear through skype.
Every 5 minutes they would remind me I will be on soon. Half the program was over. Have they decided not to use me? I felt good that I did not tell anyone that I am going to be there on the BBC TV.
I asked my daughter to give me some water.
“Now you will be on” and the anchor started introducing me and there I was live on BBC TV.
Even after a day, I am not able to really believe it happened. But it did and here is the evidence.