Sparkle & shine

Sparkle & shine


It’s a shining star in the scientific research firmament. One that will never lose its sheen for generations to come.

An achievement in the annals of humankind that has no parallels in its history. Now, what’s this dazzling discovery? Researchers at two universities in Britain have ‘discovered’ that adding small amounts of nanodiamonds — pieces of carbon, less than a ten-thousandth of the diameter of a human hair — to commercial washing powders makes the powder much more effective at removing dirt and grease.

Like cooking oils and milk supplements enriched with vitamins, calcium, essential minerals to make them more heart-friendly, nutritious and healthy. Like hair oils and gels enriched with herbs and a secret ingredient of the Zula tribe in the mountainous wastes of the Peruvian Andes, guaranteed to make bald pates sprout like a vacant plot bursting with parthenium after a few showers from the adjoining apartment residents’ waste water.

We have heard of uranium enrichment to make uranium generate more nuclear energy. Maybe this is something similar — enriching ordinary washing powder with diamond dust!
This enriched washing powder will also generate higher ‘washing power’, that can remove the most stubborn of stains. And it saves on power too, so it is claimed.

This new ‘star’ on the horizon, it seems, can work effectively even at 15 degree Celsius, whereas its less glamorous brethren can deliver their punch only between 60 to 90 degrees Celsius. Now, if this indeed is not a ‘resplendent’ discovery, what else is? The only thing to be checked out is whether this new entrant to the dirt busters gang is clothes friendly or not. Whether sky blue will turn pale white. Whether the collars and cuffs will invite looks of pity from friends and colleagues who might even start an e-mail campaign to collect funds for their friend caught in one of life’s unpredictable whirlwinds!
Now, let’s move on towards, where else, but the telly. An ambulance, siren blaring, lights flashing, tyres screeching, gets bogged down in a patch of slush.

The driver pushes the accelerator down until it almost comes out through the other end. Nothing doing, the van refuses to budge, while an unseen precious life slowly ebbs away.

Ah, now here comes timely succour. A group of damsels, clad in the whitest of whites, like a thousand suns, enough to blind those around, emerge suddenly and with an ease born of supreme confidence in their strength, stride towards the van. Grimacing with the effort, these superhuman lasses push the vehicle out of its slushy entrapment. As the leader scornfully wipes her brow with her forearm, telling us metaphorically that it was nothing for her and her group, the ad jingle in the background sings out — ‘washing powder...’ So, we dumbos now learn the power of this washing powder! If an ordinary washing powder can confer so much strength, just imagine what this diamond-studded powder can do. I see only stars before my drooping eyes. Why this downcast face? Because I know I will not be able to afford this star-spangled powder. A creature of modest means, how could I even dare to think of hobnobbing with the glitzy packets that provocatively beckon from the shelves of the supermarket?

Nevertheless, the mind churns with a hundred questions. Maybe I could buy one packet for my wife, who could wash her favourite dress with it and go to her friend’s reunion party. Maybe she will stop haranguing me for those diamond ear studs. For that office event, maybe I could wash my clothes with this magical concoction. I can almost visualise the stares of amazement and envy as I enter with a regal step into the hall.
Twinkle, twinkle goes my dream, like a diamond in the sky!

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