With a stroke of his pen, Satyajit Ray made his fictional scientist-inventor Professor Trilokeshwar Shanku invent the CameRapid. Could he possibly think of Fuji’s brilliant instant print camera which would eventually be invented precisely to serve the same function?
Probably in this age, Prof. Shanku would come up with other jaw dropping discoveries, far from our imagination. Nevertheless, the majority of his inventions are fascinating to imagine still now. The act of taking a look at some of them would make us ruminate on Ray’s genius- the actual inventor of the ideas.
In the very first story of the Professor Shanku series- Byomjatrir Diary (The Spaceman’s diary), the famed scientist makes a stupefying invention. It is the ‘Snuff-gun’- a gun that causes incessant sneezing for 33 hours. The gun reminds us of another of his discovery- the Annihilin. It is a pistol that can annihilate any living thing. It was invented because the professor is not very fond of bloodshed. Alas, it does not not work on non-living things!
But the Miracureall is the need of the hour, one must say. It is a miraculous medicine that is capable of curing all kinds of ailments. There are several other medicines that Professor Shanku invented- the air-conditioning pill which keeps the body temperature normal in extremes of climate, the Trishnashok- a tablet that quenches thirst, the Botica Indica – a pill made from sap of banyan tree to keep off need of food and water for 24 hours, and even the fish pill so that his pet cat Newton could survive in space. The tea or coffee connoisseurs may find the idea of tea and coffee pills attractive.
Another baffling discovering by the professor is the Omniscope – a combination of telescope, microscope and X-ray-scope which can be worn as spectacles. The Linguagraph is also worth mentioning. It is a device that can translate any earth language to any other. The translation capability is supposed to include animal languages, and works on cats, plants, ants and even viruses too. Interesting enough, isn’t it!
The list would never end, since our Professor never stopped inventing. If you want to catch a glimpse of more such wondrous ideas- go on and read out the evergreen stories by Satyajit Ray!