Off all the innovations I have done in the past, Chandrayaan 3 on a bicycle is the most special and close to my heart. It was a historic moment recreated by an ordinary cyclist that will be remembered by generations to come.
On 23rd August 2023, History was created with India landing on the moon. The world watched this moment live on Television and Internet and applauded India for this remarkable accomplishment. India became the 4th nation to successfully land on the moon and the 1st country to land on the southern part of the moon.
The global media reported this news extensively and the world leaders congratulated the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Celebrations were all over the internet and there was one image which was widely circulated. It is the black and white picture showing two scientists walking with a rocket cone mounted on a bicycle. It had a caption “Cycle se Chand tak” (From bicycle to the Moon). This image was also posted on the instagram handle of ISRO. It showcases the humble beginnings of ISRO and the great progress the Scientists have made – from limited resources and budget to reaching to the moon is a phenomenal achievement.
I was inspired by this photo and thought of recreating the historic moment again. I immediately discussed the idea of installing Chandrayaan 3 on a bicycle with a friend, and we planned to create a replica of Chandrayaan 3. Within 3 days the replica was made and was ready to be installed and I was excited to take it out for public viewing.
On Sunday, 27th August 2023, the replica was mounted on my bicycle, and I started to ride in the city of Mumbai. My 1st halt was at Shivaji Park, Dadar where I interacted with cyclists and runners who generally assemble at a local cafe for breakfast. From there I started pedaling again towards south Mumbai and it rained in between, and I took a shelter. The bad weather couldn’t stop me as I was carrying the pride of India on my bicycle. The next stop was at Gateway of India with a halt for couple of hours. Tourists surrounded the Chandrayaan 3 with their cameras on. In the afternoon I took a lunch break then went to Marine Drive and finally returned home in the evening.
The reactions and responses were unbelievable. People shouted slogans “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, “Vande Mataram”. Motorists appreciated with a thumbs-up and one lady stopped her car and offered me an energy bar and said, “You are doing a fantastic thing, best of luck”. Positive reactions continued with compliments and people taking photos and videos on the streets and at traffic signals. As I slowly crossed a school, looking at the Chandrayaan 3 on a bicycle, children standing outside the gate started shouting “Woh dekho…Chandrayaan” and a schoolteacher came running behind me and requested for a photo moment and I obliged. Children we’re happiest as they could connect with India’s success in space exploration, science, and technology.
Reactions, responses, and feedback continued to pour all through the day. When I reached Bandra reclamation, Taus Rizvi – a sports journalist was on a motorcycle and stopped me and took my interview which was published on his YouTube channel the same day, and you can watch it here.
“Bicycles have been reliable in the past, they are trustworthy in the present and will remain dependable in the future” – Vijay Malhotra.
I’m happy to implement this idea of carrying Chandrayaan 3 on a bicycle and grateful to the public for their appreciation in all forms. The following Sunday I repeated the ride in Bandra which is my neighborhood, and the result was overwhelming.
Enjoy the photo album:
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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai