### Theory:

I

BY the time they finished their deliberations and Sir John dropped him at his hotel off Regent Street, it was 1 a.m. There was hardly any crowd on the street but when James looked up from his window a star-studded night sky greeted him. Somewhere amongst these stars was Comet Dutta heading for a collision with the Earth. It was hard to believe the calamity of the future on such a peaceful night. For a moment James wondered if he had done his sums right.

Whatever doubt James may have had about Sir John’s efficiency were quickly dispelled when he reported for the conference and found that all the experts listed by him were there. Astronomers, computer scientists, nuclear physicists, space technologists, biologists, all were there. And as Sir John’s special invitee was present the man who had started it all—Manoj Dutta.
Explanation:

"The Comet II" written by Jayant Narlikar continues from where "The comet I" ended. Sir John Macpherson had chosen to organise a world conference after a debate with James Forsyth in the lesson "The comet I." Mr. John's decision to hold a world conference to seek a solution to the problem of Comet Dutta colliding with the Earth brought the 'The comet I' story to an end, but it wasn't the perfect solution. As a result, it was expected that comet II would address the problem foretold in comet I.

The lesson, comet II, begins with the end of Mr. John and James' discussion. The conversation between John and James ended around $$1$$ a.m. Sir John finished planning for an international conference with scientists and experts all around the world. Mr. John then dropped James at the Regent Street hotel, where he had made a reservation. It was midnight, so there was hardly anyone on the street. Regent Street, in the heart of London's West End, is known for its flagship stores and worldwide brands and is one of the world's most prominent lifestyle destinations. James looked out his window at the magnificent sky, which was shrouded in stars. Then he remembered Comet Dutta, which was around one of those stars and on the verge of colliding with Earth. It was difficult to accept the impending disaster on such a lovely night, so James wondered whether he had made a mistake in his calculations.

Star-studded sky

Sir John informed James that an international conference with scientists from all around the world would be held in a week, but James was sceptical. The day of the conference had finally arrived. James was taken aback as he arrived at the conference. It was because John kept his word and organised a conference with experts and scientists from all around the world. Astronomers, computer scientists, nuclear physicists, space technologists, and biologists were all present at the international conference. Mr. John also invited Manoj Dutta, the astronomer who discovered Comet Dutta, as a special guest to that secret meeting.

Meaning of difficult words:

 S.No Words Meaning 1. Deliberation Discussing something or careful consideration 2. Star-studded Filled with stars 3. Collision Refers to a crash between two things 4. Heading A direction or path which something moves 5. Calamity A terrible event that causes lot of damage to lives and property 6. Dispel To get rid of something especially a feeling or belief 7. Astronomer A scientist who studies the sun, moon, stars, planets, and other celestial bodies
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). The Comet - II — JAYANT NARLIKAR (pp. 81-87). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.