~arT hints a raGa~

A lass, fair was her hue,
A dear friend, who once I knew
Her voice was a gentle coo,
Her eyes were kind and gentle too.

As children in uniforms blue,
With neck tie and black shoe,
Exams and homework to do,
Teachers, friends and class-rooms,
It was great fun, you know it’s true,
We also managed to ace school!

A budding friendship we had cast,
But alas, it was not to last
Estranged by a fork, sharp,
Two paths of life it did part
Young of mind and young of heart,
With hopes and dreams of science and art,
On our journeys we did depart,
And then we had strayed far apart.

Now life began to get dark,
No longer a walk in the park
Melancholia got in the way,
And brought me right into her sway
In the darkness I ran around,
But guiding light could not be found.

Till one day, in month of May,
I heard a little whisper ‘Hey!
I say, do come this way,
I will show you the light of day!’

So I followed the whisper true,
And it led me straight to you
Drifted hearts, from the past,
had met again to be recast
In that moment I did realize,
And uttered in great surprise:
‘You are that guiding light,
Which fills my heart and makes it bright!’

Time has passed and now I’m here,
A better person than long ere
A lot has happened since that day,
Long ago in month of May
Not every whisper need be true,
Like one once led me straight to you
But life always finds a way,
Like an arcanely-scripted theatre play.

Yet, I ponder a future new,
Where whispers are always true,
Where I would still be with you,
And get to hear your gentle coo.
But my friend, who once I knew,
That is just my wishful cue.

I now belay, no more delay,
I hope we meet again, someday …
I’m off to find the guiding light,
Which fills my life and makes it bright …


Winter Project

I did a winter internship in the December of 2016 at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore under Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, who specializes in Solar Physics. The topic I worked on was most interesting  — “Estimating the arrival times of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) using a Drag-Based Model (DBM)”.  This was indeed an awesome experience for me and I gained a lot of knowledge and experience, not limited to just Solar Physics.

A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), is a large eruption of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun. It can contain a mass larger than 1013 kg, achieve a speed of several thousand kilometers per second and may span several tens of degrees of heliographic latitude and/or longitude. CMEs often (but not always) accompany Solar Flares, which are high-energy, broad-spectrum bursts of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun.  The frequency of CMEs depends on the Solar Cycle, with occurrences of a couple per day during the solar maxima, and only one per couple of days during the solar minima. CMEs may erupt from any region of the corona but are more often associated with lower latitude regions, particularly near solar minimum. Only a small percentage of CMEs are directed toward the Earth, and are called Halo-CMEs or Partial Halo-CMEs, due to their halo-like appearance around the Sun as seen from instruments on Earth. CMEs can travel large distances (covering the entire Heliospheric region). Far away from the Sun, CMEs are conventionally called ICMEs (Inter-planetary CMEs).

The estimation of the arrival times of CMEs is an important issue as Earth-bound CMEs i.e. Halo-CMEs have a direct, measurable impact on human activities.  Since CMEs are composed of plasma (high energy charged particles and magnetic fields), when they reach the Earth, CMEs can cause geomagnetic storms in the Earth’s magnetosphere, and the injection and interaction of charged particles with the Earth’s atmosphere. Also, associated with CMEs are Solar Flares, which are comprised of high energy radiation (X-Rays etc.). Hence, apart from producing beautiful Aurorae near the poles, Halo-CMEs can also have a lot of negative impacts on human activities, such as:

  1. Interference of telecommunication through phone lines and satellites.
    2. Increase in radiation exposure to high-altitude and/or high-latitude aircraft fliers and astronauts.
    3. Increase in atmospheric drag on orbiting spacecraft, thereby reducing orbit speed (potential crash landing).
    4. Interference in spacecraft circuitry.
    5. Damage to spacecraft hardware (e.g. solar cells).
    6. Interference/damage to ground-based micro – and nano-circuitry.
    7. Unexpected current generation in power-lines, resulting in power station damage.

It is therefore essential to be able to predict the arrival of Halo-CMEs so that accurate measures can be taken to deal with the above possibilities.

The details of my work can be found in this draft report which I am attaching here:

IIAP Winter Project Report


On the simplicity of things

So, I was watching an episode from this TV series where the father of the protagonist tells him how “most things in life are simple” and this appears to give the father an aura of wisdom. Later, I came across several quotes by famous people, of the likes of Confucius – “Life is simple but we insist on making it complicated” and Einstein – “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it enough”.  You hear stories about people who give up everything and deliberately choose to lead simple lives, and when you read quotes like those mentioned above, in books, or on the internet, you feel a sense of respect and awe, the kind of feeling that most generic quotes are associated with. It hits home, and you feel that simplicity is a universal truth and an ideal way of life. As I lay pondering this, something about it irked me, and I thought “But why? Does everything have to be simple?”

It was then that I realized where this respect for simplicity comes from. Although the attitude itself is not negative in nature (on the contrary, it is quite a positive state of mind), this is the truth behind it: Humans appreciate simplicity because the human ego attains satisfaction when it considers the human mind to be competent enough to understand and control the world around it. The appreciation of simplicity is therefore nothing but a consequence of flattering the human ego. This perspective that the nature of reality is ‘simple’ couldn’t, in my humble opinion, be further from the truth. Consider this:

Take an uncooked spaghetti stick and bend it till it breaks. As a potential connoisseur of ‘simplicity’, what would you expect from this simple event taking place in the simple life of a simple observer? Simple — the spaghetti stick should break into two pieces, right? Never. It almost always breaks into three or more pieces. And the reason behind it is complicated enough that several research papers have been published on the topic. Even famous scientists of the likes of Richard Feynman have worked on this problem. And remember that these scientists are people who strive to find a ‘simple’ solution to such problems.

You merely have to look inside yourself to realize that life is not nearly simple enough. You, reader, as a human being are made up of trillions of atoms. Each atom has the most complicated physics working behind it. Together, these atoms interact to create a being like you and me with a not-so-simple property called consciousness, which allows us to study our own body components. We are literally an atom’s means of studying itself. Think this is simple enough to explain? Even a single cell of our body has the most complicated biochemical processes going on inside. We learn about cell biology in textbooks where each little aspect of the cell is separately explained in neat little chapters. Each chapter, when studied of itself, seems simple. But these books fail to include a paragraph at the end urging the reader to understand that the millions of details in the book that you just read, all work simultaneously inside a single cell. And one cell is just one building block of one body, in a world where there is still 13.6 billion light-years worth of space full of physical structures waiting to be understood and explained. And all that still comprises only the ‘observable’ universe. When you zoom out to view the big picture, it’s not so simple anymore, is it?

Now, I have nothing against simplicity. There is beauty in simplicity, and truly, as Da Vinci puts it, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. It is the best feeling in the world when you find simple solutions to complicated problems. But it is a logical fallacy to extrapolate this rare phenomenon and apply it to the whole universe. String theorists are mocked when they make models of reality involving 21 dimensions. Well, on what basis, may I ask? Because a 21-dimension reality is too complicated? I’m not aware of any ‘Universal Law of Simplicity’; and if that indeed is reality, then so be it. Only experiments/observations can prove or disprove that. The subconscious craving for simplicity to satisfy the ego cannot change the nature of reality, simple or complex. My high-school physics teacher once said that he liked Newton’s Second Law (F=ma) more than Einstein’s famous (E=mc2) because it was ‘simple’. Well, I daresay, little does he realize the beauty of the latter, even if it is complicated to understand. Einstein, in his Special Theory of Relativity, started with the simple fact of the constancy of the speed of light and ended up proving that mass and energy are the same thing. There is a reason why his name is associated with genius, and living behind the false veil of ‘simplicity’ will never let you appreciate the beauty of complicated reality. It is paradoxical to think that Einstein himself said that “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it enough” … well, try explaining the General Theory of Relativity to a six-year old simply, Prof. Einstein! I counter with his own quote – “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

The biggest problem I have with this issue, really, is the aura of fake wisdom and appeal that seems to emanate from quotes like “Life is simple …” etc. which you may find being uttered by famous wise old men, or on the caption of someone’s cover photo on social media. It is not most pious to lead a ‘simple life’ and perish, when you have the potential to lead a not-so-simple life, dream big, and strive to possibly contribute in some way to the betterment of humanity. It is only on retrospection that one realizes that all the literal bull-shit in the world isn’t enough to balance the pretentious fallacy of a statement like “Life is simple …”, on an imaginary weighing scale. Do you like to think that life is simple? Think again, cause you know nothing, Jon Snow …

I would like to end with a quote by Stephen Hawking that, unlike others, actually reflects the truth and doesn’t just appear to sound wise – “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”


The Gambler’s Trolley Dilemma


Take a look at the problem in the image above (courtesy of ‘Trolley problem memes’, Facebook).  Such problems are quite wellI known ethical dilemmas which offer the reader with a moral choice of saving one person’s life at the cost of risking others’ lives. There have been huge ethical debates about the best solution to such a dilemma. Here, I present my own take on the situation.

The motivation for solving such unrealistic problems comes from the fact that they target the guilt-factor of the reader and create a false image that it is in the power of the reader to save everyone, when in fact, by following only the options mentioned in the problem, one cannot ascertain the safety of all victims. It depends on chance. So, let us take full advantage of known facts, logic, physics and the benefit of doubt to circumvent this problem and beat the makers at their own game. Of course, I won’t make over-the-top assumptions /benefits of doubt, but will keep them at par with the level of improbable stuff that the author of this problem assumed while creating it, which sounds fair.

Obvious assumption in favor of the problem: You don’t have enough time to do anything but switch the tracks.

Obvious assumption #2: Physics works …

Not-so-obvious assumption #3: This poorly drawn diagram is not drawn to scale and in reality, the turns will be less curved, longer and more spaced out, being at least wider than the size of the trolley. All arguments against this assumption are denied by the benefit of doubt.

Fact #1: The problem explicitly mentions and shows a “trolley”, also known as a tram, which is known to have a max speed of 60kmph or 16.66 m/s (courtsey of Prof. Google). That’s less than twice of Usain Bolt’s running speed, and can also be achieved by a cyclist. So clearly the trolley is not a high speed vehicle.

Fact #2 on railroad-switching taken verbatim from Wikipedia: “Reversing the points under a moving train will almost always derail the train.”

Observation: If you search for train derailment videos on YouTube, or if you play Train Simulator, you’ll find that slow moving trains get derailed in the direction of the railway fault, fall over and stop after just a few meters. Many a times they don’t even topple over, they just skid for a few meters and come to a halt in an awkward position.

Common-sense logical deduction: No legit railroad will ever lead to this kind of a  ridiculous switching point. Hence we can safely assume that the only realistic scenario is one where the setup was built by an evil psycho who is probably addicted to the Saw movie series. He/she probably kidnapped at most 6 people and wants to play this game with you. The trolley is most likely fully empty or is being driven by the villain (which is good, as you’ll see in a moment). It is reasonable to assume that the villain never considered filling up the trolley full of people because from his POV, what’s the point? Also, it is difficult to kidnap so many people. All arguments against this assumption are denied by the benefit of doubt.

Solution: So all you have to do is pull the lever when the trolley is on the switching point junction. This will cause the trolley to get derailed, fall over somewhere between the tracks and stop before it reaches anybody. Hopefully if it were being driven by the psycho, he/she will get a good beating.

Optional move that makes you look awesome: Flip on your shades and walk away like a boss …


My Second Summer Project

With the end of my second-year at college, I spent the summer attending a  camp on Radio Astronomy, called CHERA 2016 (Camp for Hands-on Experience in Radio Astronomy). This has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I feel really grateful to have been a part of it.

CHERA 2016 was organized by a collaboration between the faculty of NCRA Pune and RRI
Bangalore, headed by Prof. Desh (Avinash Deshpande), which took place at RAC  (Radio Astronomy Center), Ooty, India. Participants were taught topics from a range of fields including  (radio) astronomy, cosmology, statistics, programming (with Python/Anaconda), instrumentation, signal processing etc. relevant/required for collecting and analyzing real astronomical data using the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT), in numerous experiments and demonstrations which are listed below:

1) Slewing across the radio point-source ‘Virgo-A’ to estimate the beam width of ORT;
2) Using known astronomical calibrators to calibrate ORT and to estimate its G/T-Sys value and sensitivity;
3) Learning to operate the ORT and using it to track and gather data from the pulsar B1642-03 ;
4) Estimating the radiation pattern of a half-wave dipole antenna by changing the angle between the transmitter and receiver;
5) Generating a one-dimensional radio profile of the Sun using aperture synthesis;
6) Tracking the Vela pulsar and analyzing the data obtained to find its dynamic
spectrum, dispersion measure, dispersion delay, time period and distance from Earth;
7) Estimating the length of a co-axial cable using a signal generator, oscilloscope and a T-junction, in an open-circuit condition;
8) Observing the Lunar Occultation of a radio source by the moon;
9) Observing Inter Planetary Scintillations;
10) Measuring the correlation of two partially correlated signals.

With this, I will be ready to tackle project SWAN, an idea headed by Prof. Desh, wherein an array network of radio antenna tiles would be distributed to various institutes across India, to perform radio interferometry on a massive scale (in layman terms, that is the equivalent of having an India-sized radio telescope when it comes to resolving power.)

A draft report of the work I did at CHERA 2016 can be found here:

CHERA 2016 Draft Report




A dark poem inspired by the primal urge of thirst.  Enjoy …




Throat sore, tongue parched,

he sat under the blazing sun.

Dying for a drop of liquid life,

to soothe the awful, stifling burn.


With every breath, the fuming wind,

did scorch his flaccid, wheezing lungs.

With every passing moment, the scalding land,

did roast him like an earthen oven.

The rays of sunlight did feel,

like white hot needles piercing his flesh.

And through solar punctures and bodily orifices,

did leak his soul, vaporizing, set ablaze,

like a volatile, inflammable fluid substance.


Who needs mortal enemies?

when nature can get the job done with ease …

Into one’s life, the Dark Specter — harbinger of everything negative,

always finds a way …

Through death or simply through mere thirst,

she brings us into her sway ….


Head pounding, eyes flaring, blood boiling, skin smoldering, flesh melting,

Will breaking, consciousness evaporating, bathed in pain and despair,

Brain stewed in boiling cranial fluids,

Temperature heightened chemical reactions, neurons fired


In the sanctum of his final abode,

The primal instinct of thirst,

brought about heavenly hallucinations of hope:


A glass of cool, soft, sweet, sparkling water —

The trickling sound of the gentle liquid pouring;

Or a soothing, fruit juice cocktail —

The sound of crystal-clear, cold ice-cubes

splashing in the drink, clinking against the glass;

Or maybe some luscious, thick milkshake

topped with ice cream and a sweet sauce —

The sound of slurping shake through straw;

Or some refrigerated soft-drink,

In a sophisticated, compact, glass bottle,

Cool dew condensed on its surface —

The sound of a fizzy ‘pop’ and a glugging throat;

Swimming in a lake with a waterfall,

cool mist diffusing in a gentle breeze;

Thirst quenched,

emerging refreshed, rejuvenated, reborn …..


Fighting a war of immolation in this inferno,

desperately avoiding pyrolysis,

the simplest of urges – thirst,

brought about powerful emotions of hope and desire,

even in a state of total despair …

Conflicting emotions annihilated each other,

releasing all the feelings locked

in the confines of the mysterious mind –

a scream of insanity, and maddening laughter …


He had the tiniest trickle of the life giving elixir,

left in his almost-empty water bottle.

Inverting, he collected it in the bottle cap, and saw in it,

His reflection akin to man who’d been given a throttle.


Involuntary smacking of lips, but no saliva expelled,

by glands that were once full of a potent liquid,

which could dissolve food into life.

Now empty sacs, devoid of their substance,

like the state of his life, devoid

of love, friendship, happiness and

everything which the human condition deems good and desirable.


The pathetic husk of a creature brought his cracked lips

close to the tiny container and sucked the water …

One fleeting moment of hope and gratitude,

and tears of joy, but none came …


The final drink, it was insignificant,

He gulped fluid but could feel only air,

Liquid did not coat his tongue and throat,

No feeling of quenching thirst,

No feeling of cool water,


He choked on it and coughed

Cough! Cough! Cough!



His poor heart,

already weak from having to pump

dehydrated blood thick as paste,

could take no more …


It seemed that all the life-givers of the world,

Had turned against him (why? WHY!?)

The sun burned him, the earth scorched him

and the life-giving liquid sucked the life from him …


Dead he dropped, pathetic, wasted,

His bodily fluids sucked dry,

His flesh parched crisp, cracked, crumbled and dispersed,

His bare boned skeleton weathered, turned to sand,

Consumed by the land …


With his final drink, he died a pathetic loser,

full of regret …..








BATMAN vs. WOLVERINE – A Battle Between Brains And Brawn, Man and Mutant

 Writer’s Note: All superhero abilities, technology and other superhero paraphernalia mentioned in this story have been taken from relevant sources like the respective superhero’s comics, movies and video games (viz. Batman Arkham series and X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Some elements have been ‘made up’ (but righteously so, and with some careful thought and reasoning) only to fit data which exists, but for which no explanations could be found in the aforementioned sources (like explanations as to how some of the superhero gadgets work)

Given the superhuman genius of Bruce Wayne, if both Wolverine and Batman were given time to prepare for an upcoming death-match, Batman would win hands down. Batman’s genius + money + resources + information gathering skills would mean that he would find out everything there is to know about Wolverine and then come up with the perfect plan to take him down, no matter what Wolverine himself would have planned for Batman. Batman’s superior intellect means that his plans would always be several steps ahead of Wolverine’s. (Of course, we assume that the two combatants do not get assistance from their comrades for preparation or during the fight itself. That would be very unfair because Batman’s friends happen to be the Justice League, which includes Superman and ….. duh, he’s a GOD — end of story…

Hence, let us consider a fair and unbiased scenario. For instance, how about a random encounter, where Batman and Wolverine come face to face for the first time, each having no knowledge about the other … an encounter which leads to a battle between these two fan-favourite superheroes from two different comic universes. That would indeed be an exciting battle to witness ( lol, I’m talking as if these guys actually exist 😛 )

Let us then perform, the comic book analog of a ‘gedankenexperiment’, or a thought-experiment, where we shall pit these two superheroes against each other. The following narrative is my version of what would transpire in this scenario. Although I’m a die-hard Batman fan, I also like Wolverine. So, for the sake of the ‘gedankenexperiment’, I have tried to write a fairly unbiased narrative. If you judge the story critically, then you’re sure to find as many flaws as critics found in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But, for me, the end result is that this is my brainchild, and I had a lot of fun coming up with the story and thinking about the superheroes’ abilities, gadgets etc. and if it were possible to provide explanations for them using real-life science…..

Anyway, here we go:-


Scenario: A small, deserted city street, midnight (because, obviously, the Dark Knight operates at night)

As a result of some unknown, previously transpired events, it so happens (conveniently 😛 ), that Wolverine is walking down one end of a small city street, at night. It seems quite deserted … there appears to be no one around. But Wolverine’s feral sense of smell tells him otherwise (*sniff, sniff*). There’s something lurking in the darkness, above him. Wolverine snarls and slowly unsheathes his adamantium claws. (“Show yourself, bub! I know you’re there – it’s no use hiding!”) Seeing this, Batman immediately uses the X-ray device in the Detective Mode module of his cowl to scan Wolverine inside out, and learns about his claws and adamantium skeleton through the Batcomputer (which is linked wirelessly to his cowl via an antenna inside one of its protruding bat-‘ears’). Detecting micro-droplets of blood on his claws, Batman deduces that Wolverine doesn’t have any slits in his knuckle-pits for the claws to come out through, so they must have to tear through his flesh every time they are drawn out — hence, he must have some kind of accelerated healing factor that rapidly regenerates his flesh after he retracts his claws back in. He scans the region around the base of Wolverine’s claws — his hypothesis is confirmed when he observes it visibly healing. All this takes less than a minute, owing to the genius deductive skills of the World’s Greatest Detective, and to the vast computing power of his Batcomputer,  with the myriad amount of data accumulated over the years in its database. Wolverine, in the meantime, using his keen sense of smell, has managed to pinpoint Batman’s exact location. He is about to leap up to where Batman is hiding.

Batman, seeing that Wolverine has spotted him, decides that it is of no use hiding anymore. He leaps from his vantage point, (from where he had been watching Wolverine) and glides down to the other end of the street. Batman and Wolverine now face each other, standing at opposite ends of the small, empty street. They both look awesome and terrifying in the moonlit night. Logan, the ferocious, muscular mutant, the Wolverine … and Batman, the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight.

They identify each other as foe.

From what he has deduced, Batman concludes that it would be disadvantageous to engage in close combat with Wolverine. He decides to keep his distance. His modus operandi would usually have him distract his opponent and then use his ally, the darkness of the night, to sneak up and strike from the enemy’s blind-spot. But earlier, his foe was able to sense him in the dark, which means that Wolverine must have some ability that allows him to do so. Batman decides to scrap the sneak-tactics, and instead prepares for long range offense.

Wolverine’s animal instincts urge him to lunge at his foe, but his centuries worth of battle experience tell him otherwise. It is always wise to let your opponent make the first move and reveal their abilities ….

Batman is privy to this as well, but he makes the first move, because he has a plan. Given no other information, he tries to make a guess as to the particular ability that allowed Wolverine to sense him in the dark. Could it be telepathy? Thermal vision? Sound? Echolocation? Smell? Pheromones? Electroreception? There are so many ways in which an organism can sense the world around it …. Some of the possibilities seem like a long shot … He overlooks super-hearing because he hadn’t been moving or making any noise when he was spotted.  When you can’t exactly figure out the right answer, your best guess is to start with that possibility which is most probable to be true. A good guess then, is some sort of superhuman sense of vision. To test his hypothesis, Batman deploys a flash bang from his utility belt and throws it at Wolverine. If he has guessed correctly, then the heat and light emitted by the flashbang should acutely affect his foe’s visual prowess and severely disorient him. Special light filters snap up, covering the eye-holes of Batman’s cowl, preventing the intense flash of light from blinding him while he continues to observe his foe. But he has misjudged Wolverine, whose superhuman reflexes instantly attenuate his eyes to the dark after the flash is over, so he needs no time to recover.

With his animal attributes, Wolverine pounces and reaches Batman in one leap. Batman barely manages to dodge. Wolverine grabs Batman’s long cape and tugs at him, so that can gut Batman with his claws. Before this can happen, Batman immediately activates his Batsuit’s emergency shocking mechanism (A taser system sewn into the outer layer of the Batsuit atop an insulated internal lining. The shock is delivered over the entirety of Batman’s costume through a micro-thin electrode network dispersal. The mechanism is armed and fired via circuit-wafer controls in his gloves) which gives Wolverine an excellent 200,000 volt shock, made even more effective by Wolverine’s conductive metal skeleton. He then sets himself free from Wolverine’s grip by flinging his lead-weighted, scalloped cape into Wolverine’s face, which stuns him. Batman follows with a perfectly executed Taekwondo spinning hook kick, seamlessly blending the move with the turning motion of the cape-stun, knocking Wolverine back. The tables have turned now, and Batman has the upper hand. Black cape flowing, he springs towards his dazed aggressor. A master of 127 styles of martial arts, Batman knows that a continued barrage of brute-force attacks on the adamantine Wolverine would only result in his own bones being broken. Instead, he performs a shock-wave knockout move (which works by jolting the brain off the inside of the skull, dealing a massive concussion and resulting in instant unconsciousness), especially knowing that it would be twice as effective than usual on Wolverine, given that his skull is made of solid metal. Wolverine drops to the ground, seemingly unconscious….

Batman, having hypothesized about Wolverine’s healing power earlier, realizes that he may eventually heal, so he throws a cryo-pellet (technology taken from Mr. Freeze, which works by releasing upon impact, a super-volatile fluid that covers the subject and evaporates instantly and vigorously, so that the outer layers of the subject’s skin become frostbitten and harden, temporarily turning him/her into a ‘human icicle’) to further incapacitate him, and uses this time to analyse his surroundings, all the while being wary of his foe… Batman knows that if his enemy can heal, then no gadget he has would be strong enough to incapacitate Wolverine for good. He must use his surroundings to defeat his opponent…  Just a little while later, the *crunch* of cracking, frostbitten skin betrays a revived  Wolverine’s attempt to silently attack Batman from behind while was scanning the environment. Recovering much faster than Batman had expected, Wolverine takes him by surprise. He swings his razor metal claws at Batman (“AAAARGH!”)

Having trained himself to reach the peak of human potential, Batman has super-reflexes as well, and manages to dodge the claws. He quickly drops a smoke pellet, switches on detective mode (to see through the smoke) and circles around Wolverine, whilst throwing batarangs at him. Even though he can’t see, Wolverine uses his feral senses of hearing to locate the incoming batarangs, their trajectory, and their source. He easily deflects them with his claws and pinpoints Batman as he is moving through the smoke, without even having to turn his head. His intuitive animal senses allow him to figure out exactly where Batman will be in the next few moments and he lunges in that direction (LIGHTS OUT, BUB!). Caught by surprise, Batman has no time to dodge. Wolverine digs his deadly claws into Batman, and prepares to deliver the deathblow, when he hears the distinctive, rising, high pitched sound of the capacitors in the Batsuit charging up, ready to electrify the suit again. Superhuman reflexes acting, Wolverine packs centuries of battle experience, a mastery over martial arts akin to Batman’s, and his superhuman mutant strength into a powerful front-kick delivered square in Batman’s chest (KA-POW!); and quickly retreats, lest he be electrocuted again. Batman is sent flying through the air, and hits the hard pavement with a thud, skidding several feet before coming to a halt. Wolverine’s kick would’ve killed an average person right away by causing massive internal injuries. The only reason Batman is still alive is because of his Kevlar-thread and carbon-nanotube-fibre reinforced, bulletproof Batsuit. Batman thanks the decision he made (after recovering from his spinal cord injury long ago) to further reinforce his Batsuit with a material to dampen shocks and impact, along with a spinal brace, to protect himself from the kind of abuse dealt to him by the only person to have ever broken him — Bane ….
Also, the motive of his suit’s eye-catching chest symbol seems to have worked well… it lured his enemy into attacking his armour’s strongest point …. And yet, he groans in pain — for the claws have dug deep, and he is bleeding …. Wolverine circles around slowly, looking to strike Batman when he has no chance of electrifying his suit.

But by observing Wolverine’s actions, Batman has managed to deduce his feral senses and superhuman reflexes. Wolverine’s enhanced reflexes were apparent in all his movements thus far, starting with the instant recovery from the flashbang, and in the smoke, when he figured out exactly where Batman would be, before lunging at him. Batman had considered telepathic powers as a possible explanation to Wolverine’s feral senses, but quickly discarded the idea because Wolverine hadn’t used them (if he had them) to ‘attack’ Batman from a distance, even when he had several chances. He had instead chosen to pounce at Batman and attack him from close range. Thermal vision could be ruled out as well, because Wolverine was able to deflect batarangs which were at the same temperature as his surroundings. By the same argument, any other visual prowess could also be neglected because Wolverine had deflected the batarangs in the smoke without even turning to look where they were coming from. He did not have to ‘look’, ergo, he wasn’t using any visual abilities. Electroreception (the ability to sense living organisms via the electric fields of the bio-electric signals in their bodies) was an impossibility because otherwise, Wolverine would have been able to sense the Batsuit’s shocking mechanism being activated, and could have avoided being electrocuted — but that did not happen. Through similar lines of genius deductive reasoning, Batman’s lightning fast chain of thought could eliminate all other improbable possibilities. The list had boiled down to two options — superhuman senses of hearing and smell. It was easy to conclude that Wolverine must possess both. How else could he have sensed Batman’s presence in the dark, when he was perched motionless on his vantage point, in absolute silence; and later, could also sense the incoming batarangs which have no smell?

While Wolverine circles Batman and gets ready to strike again, Batman re-calibrates his Batcall device to emit very powerful ultrasonic sound waves which disorient Wolverine and leave him in a world of unbearable, brain-numbing pain . Batman even tosses in another cryo-pellet to gain time. While Wolverine is disoriented, Batman makes his move. Through the sheer power of his iron will, he endures the pain of his wounds and stands up, as he has done countless times before.

Wolverine takes a while to fight the freeze and the noise. He overcomes the pain with his feral rage, regenerates his frozen skin, and back-traces the sound to its source — Batman. Extremely furious, he pounces towards Batman and slashes and gashes and cuts and slices and stabs and jabs and destroys Batman with a maniacally ferocious paroxysm of tremendous rage and raw power, till the noise stops. Breathing heavily and feeling dazed, he slowly rises and looks down at the pile of mutilated matter that was his enemy.

But something seems to be wrong….

Blinded by the raging sonic pain,  Wolverine failed to notice ……

The Batsuit ….. it’s empty!

The person inside is gone!

He then observes that the suit is covered in a kind of weird, blue gel that seems to be hissing and foaming and growing in size …… Wolverine’s heightened reflexes allow him to react before Batman’s signature explosive gel detonates. With lightning fast agility, he tosses the suit away before it explodes. Unfortunately for him, some of the gel had gotten adhered to his body when he was busy mauling the suit. The blast stuns him and throws him back. (KA-BLAM!). He growls and slowly gets back up to his feet, flesh regenerating rapidly, blood boiling with feral rage. For all of Batman’s legendary awesomeness, his gadgets seem like petty playthings against the indestructible Wolverine…..

He sniffs Batman’s blood on the ground and follows the trail to his new location. He is hiding behind an outdoor distribution-transformer unit. Wolverine silently circles around and gets behind him, unnoticed. Bruce Wayne is treating his wounds using the med-kit in the utility belt he took from the Batsuit. Wolverine grins (“It’s over, bub”) — He lunges forward and is about to strike a bleeding Bruce Wayne from behind when he feels a violent tug and is attracted to the nearby transformer unit. While Wolverine was battling an empty Batsuit, Bruce Wayne had used the acetylene torch from his utility belt to cut open the transformer’s panels, exposing the coiled wire inside, and had, with much ease, converted it into an extremely powerful electromagnet which drew power straight from the main lines. Wolverine gets stuck to the electromagnet (because he has a metal skeleton!) and isn’t able to move a single muscle. (“Alfred, contact the Justice League, and send the Batwing to pick me up … I need you to stitch some nasty gashes I got from a Wolverine …”)

Batman’s brains have overcome Wolverine’s brawn. Wolverine is incapacitated till the next power outage. Bruce Wayne wins — case closed.

— S.R.R

If I have done the public any service, it is due to my patient thought.


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