Friday, June 22, 2007

A long, long, time ago....

Long long time ago, 1500 crore years back to be exact, there was a big
bang, bigger than any bang you can imagine. There was nothing before the
bang and after it appeared everything needed to build our universe -
matter, space and time.

For the next 100 crore years, nothing much happened and suddenly
thousands of stars started popping up all over the place. It took
another 900 crore years before our sun could gather enough material and
spring into life.

There was no earth yet. Another 30 crore years went by before clumps of
dirt stuck together into bigger and bigger lumps and formed a ball which
would one day become the Earth. Before Earth could gather its wits, it
was body slammed by a planet half its size . A huge amount of matter was
thrown into space and Earth had a ring like Saturn does today. For
millions of years the matter in this ring slowly clumped together
patiently forming the moon.

Meantime the Earth was busy producing life. 200 crore years after Earth
formed, the first cells arose. They started becoming more and more
complex and moved out of the sea. 170 crore years after the first cells,
the first land animals were born. Within another 6 crore years Earth had
Dinosaurs, which would rule Earth for the next 15 crore years. There was
a long wait of another 6 crore years during which time a variety of
mammals evolved and a less-hairy upright mammal, which would one day
become human, evolved from Chimpanzees.

For the next 47 lakh years humans evolved, learnt to use tools and fire
and the Neanderthal man was here. For the next 3 lakh years humans
spread across the globe, braving the ice age which occurred towards the
end of this period.

8000 years after the last Ice age, large civilizations arise and the
first pyramids are built. 3000 years after the pyramids, the Moghuls
under Babur invade India, setting up the Moghul rule.
450 years later, after suffering under various kings and the British,
India wins Independence. 57 years later this author traces our journey
from the Big Bang.


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