Singhania creates World Record

A couple of days ago, news views and analysis wrote about Mission Impossible 70K. Today we are proud to inform that Dr. Singhania has broken the world record.

As reported in the Mid-Day

Dr Vijaypat Singhania has broken the world record for the highest altitude reached in a hot-air balloon.

At around 8.50 am today, he reached 69,000 feet, surpassing the current world record which stands at 64,997 feet and then began his descent.

The aviator-entrepreneur took off on what is expected to be a five-hour flight at precisely 6.42 am from the racecourse polo grounds.

The atmosphere at the racecourse grounds early this morning was stirring. Gautam addressed the press at 4 am saying that he was ”nervous” about his father’s attempt. Dr Singhania joked, ”If they were not nervous, I would be very worried!”

The patch-work multi-coloured balloon, slept idle till 5.30 am till it started to come to life. Air was pumped into it and the giant quilt awoke, fully inflated and vertical by 6 am. The burners came on, giving the balloon an orange glow. The moon shone bright, as if beckoning Dr Singhania, towards it.

A band started to play, fire engines revved up, television screens on the ground beamed images of Dr Singhania in the balloon capsule, carrying with him a thousand good wishes, and the countdown began. The announcer started 10,9,8,7,6.

As a rousing cheer went up and at the count of 0 there was a resounding bon voyage as the balloon or ‘envelope’ as it is called, lifted and moved towards Haji Ali over the Arabian Sea.

It hovered there as people squinted at it, as if static, pronouncing one final goodbye and in 20 minutes (by 7 am) Vijaypat Singhania and his magnificent flying machine, a contraption he called, ”a piece of art as much as a piece of science” had disappeared from the naked human eye.

4 Comments

  1. Akshay November 26, 2005

    I was lucky to see the baloon float about before it took off. Too bad I didn’t have my camera on me.

  2. Inquisitor November 26, 2005

    In truth, Dr Vijaypat Singhania did not break the world record for the highest altitude reached in a balloon. Rather, it was the amount of money that was required to fund such a trip that did it. This is especially so since no exceptional talent or intelligence is required for one to aspire do what he did.

    Secondly, calling him ‘Dr’ is as relevant as calling him, ‘Ostentatiously moustached Vijaypat Singhania’ as the former has as much to do with his achievement as the latter. ‘Dr’ gives one the false impression that he is generally qualified intellectually where it might be more true to say that he is specifically enabled as would be afforded one who is well-versed in a particular subject.

    Thirdly, there is nothing ‘indian’ about what he did that may simultaneously not be ‘american’ or ‘african’. In fact, there is little historically ‘indian’ about this venture when one takes on board the fact that the historical indian was more one who sought achievements that challenged the legitimacy of all that was accepted to be true and natural in profound areas. This gentleman’s exploits is little more than a progression from the childish retort, ‘I can do better than you’ in the more superficial of arenas.

  3. Charu November 28, 2005

    not quite relevant but related to this is RK Laxman’s cartoon in today’s ToI saying – this man has found a solution to the traffic situation – he moves around on a balloon – or some such thing 🙂

  4. ggk November 28, 2005

    This story got a lot of press in india.
    Much more than it deserves.
    I agree with Akshay that his feat was more due to the money he spent rather than singhanias balooning expertise.
    Also consider this bit of info on the indian angle.
    The dude hired british technicians and bought existing technology(no new developments here).
    So why was this celebrated as an indian achievement!
    It just seems like some rich dude rented a team of technicians and bought the right gear and used it.
    Oh i can just see some indian memorizing this for the general knowledge section! GKCAW add this

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