Man pays tributes to India's first rocket launch at 'Dubai Ride 2022'

By Shaneer N Siddiqui

Dubai, Nov 8 (IANS): A Kerala-native residing here caught attention of many during the 'Dubai Ride 2022' for his attempt to recreate an iconic historical moment related to India's first rocket launch.

Ajmal Poyakkara Mahamood, who hails from Kasargod in Kerala, on Sunday wore clothes similar to the scientist in the famous photograph -- a white shirt and grey pant, while carrying a cone-shaped object in his cycle, in an attempt to recreate the moments of the 1963 photograph which showed India's first space rocket being transported for its launch from Thumba in Kerala.

"I wanted to pay homage to my land and its people. It was in November 1963 that the rocket was launched from Thumba. In this cycle rally, I wanted to highlight that how bicycles have always been an integral part of people's lives, either daily activities or historical events like the rocket launch," he said.

Mahamood, 31, rode across the 12 km route for Dubai Ride.

He designed the "rocket model" with a road hazard cone that was spray painted to make it look like a representation of the space rocket.

His wife, Saba Firdose and brother Abdul Rahman Poyakkara helped him with collecting the materials, and clothes to match the old-style dressing.

However, the challenge was to get a cycle model similar to the ones being ridden in 1963 which they eventually found few hours before the cycle rally.

Ajmal said that public response was amazing, and "it was an opportunity for me to educate the people of other country about India's first rocket launch and space programmes".

He said that the effort was dedicated to the villagers of Thumba, who donated their land and buildings for India's space programme.

India's spaceward odyssey began on November 21, 1963, with the launch of the US Nike Apache sounding rocket from Thumba, near Thiruvananthapuram.



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Title: Man pays tributes to India's first rocket launch at 'Dubai Ride 2022'

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