Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Flash of Genius

I was watching the movie Flash of Genius this last weekend. To be honest, it really was an inspiring story. The relentless pursuit, not just of technical brilliance, but also of honor and integrity has something in it for everyone to learn. There was this part where he describes how it all really came to him... his flash..

I was a student at a engineering college in Hyderabad. I rode 20km on a bike to get there. In the summer, the temperature would threaten to touch 50 degrees (yes, i feel all metric today). Since the ride was really long, at least by Indian standards, I'd have plenty to time to let my mind wander away and think of mostly irrelevant things. One day though, I thought... would it ever be possible to build a huge dome over the city that would protect us from the sun? Like have a city inside a house?

For the next few days,I would deliberately let my mind get lost trying to answer this stupid question. Maybe the dome would be made of a dark glass, or a dark plastic. Maybe it would be retractable so rain could still be allowed inside. Maybe it would be supported by a complex web of beams and trusses. Soon enough though, I gave up on this. The idea seemed too fantastic. The city is too big. Its an engineering impossibility. Even if it were possible, who would listen? Even if someone did, who would pay?

Last week... I was laying on my couch,watching Discovery. And suddenly, I see the dome.They wanna build a dome over Houston to protect it from the heavy rains and tornadoes. I felt sick. I had no idea that what I had thought about years ago, was infact nothing new, in concept. They're generally called Fuller's Domes (After the man who first thought about it).

I dug up a video that talks about the Houston idea (turn up the vol)..

So.. I felt like a loser after seeing this... a failed engineer.. someone who didn't take himself seriously.

Worse, this was not the first time it had happened with me. The 'Genesis' project, of which I have only very fond memories... was not so ingenious after all.. There was a thing called the Honda Canopy..

Even the now very common, backup camera in cars..

Will I ever be an inventor? Will I ever be remembered for something? Or will I just end up becoming another guy trapped in the corporate world obsessed with making money, if even that? While all these questions linger, there is a positive.. I realized I maybe I do have it in me to make that one thing which will change people's lives. Its just that I'm a few decades behind some others right now, but I surely will catch up. Its a matter of my flash of genius...


sapna said...

i love how you always end on a positive note...

Divya said...

inspired! :)

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