“Paromanawik Samay” !

Partha Pratim Hazarika

[ A book written by Anjan Sarma
Published by ‘PowerShift’
Price: Rs 599/-
Available in Bhabani Books, Panbazar]

The overwhelming size (924 pages) notwithstanding, Anjan Sarma’s Paromanawik Samay is one of the most valuable publications in recent times. The book encompasses almost all the things that is related to the world nuclear scenario, especially the possible impact a nuclear war can make in any part of the world. With a new phase of so-called Cold War getting revived with the maverick President of the United States of America and Vladimir Putin of Russia flexing muscles, the world is on the tenterhooks as far as a nuclear war is concerned. In recent times, the belligerence shown by the North Korean strongman Kim-Jong Un and his almost falling into a war scenario with the USA called for attention of all concerned from across the world. In fact, the situation went to such a pass that everyone was apprehensive about an impending war.

At 05:29:45 hours, July 16, 1945, in the Jornada del Muerto desert devoid of human habitat in New Mexico, USA, an extremely brilliant flash of light destroyed the darkness in the sky creating a mushroom-shaped fireball which made the steel bars nearby turn into thin air and transformed the desert sand into mica. Witnessing that indescribable moment in history, the first ever nuclear weapon detonation, codenamed Trinity, J Robert Oppenheimer spontaneously recited that famous sloka from the Gita –

“Now I become death, the destroyer of worlds….”

At that very moment started the nuclear era, an era where nations would vie for a slice of the nuclear power, where having a nuclear bomb would mean supreme command, where nations would remain perennial threats to each other.

The book despite its voluminous shape and size is surprisingly easy to go through, as the author has divided the topics in smaller chapters, making the reading crisp and to the point. Most of the things one would want to know in the field of nuclear power have been included in the book. There are 88 chapters and 205 sub-chapters. The author has begun from the then emerging scientific concept of generating power from nuclear fusion. In doing so, he has covered every bit of information available from across the world – books, journals, published writings, anecdotes, research papers, newspapers and what not. What was painstaking for him was the fact that when he started working on this project, he stumbled upon the lack of information on the subject, opposite to today’s world of internet where one finds out anything and everything at the touch of a finger. That the author had to go into in-depth research to bring out this huge volume of work is undeniable. From Humphrey Hawksley, Simon Holberton, John Malik, Samuel Glasstone, Patrik O’Hefferman, Narayan Sanyal, Gordon Thomas, Max Morgan Witts to our own Siba Prasad Changkakoti, Pradip Saikia and Dr Dhrubajyoti Bora, to name only a few – author Anjan Sarma has done a stupendous job in collecting diverse information and then converging them in a systematic way for the readers. The unimaginable destruction a nuclear bomb would be able to cause to the entire mankind is the gist of the book. The common readers as well as students and researchers of the subject will find Paromanawik Samay a handy and ready reference point.

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