Recently (20 March 2018), Dr G Padmanabhan (Formed Director of IISc Bangalore and a leading biologist from India) celebrated his 80th birthday. He was felicitated by BIRAC/DBT at BIRAC’s 6th Foundation day. (http://www.dbtindia.nic.in/press_release_birac-celebrates-its-6th-foundation-day/ )
On the occasion of his birthday, he also released a memoir titled “Doing Science in India: My Second Innings”.
This is a short book and written in an informal and anecdotal style. What stands out is the sincerity, honesty and forthrightness of the stories and messages. Such a book can only be written by somebody with great humility.
I found Chapter 2 very touching. The chapter is about Dr GP’s efforts to leave a legacy and how he struggled to give it some stability and his distress at seeing it crumble. This is something many of us can relate to —especially those of us who have made our own sacrifices to work towards building something of lasting value and wider impact. The fact that in India we often neglect to build on previous initiatives is also worrisome. Anything that has been accomplished in this world is clearly something built over many years/ generations with cumulative efforts. Are we not wasting efforts and disappointing our pioneers by abandoning their hard fought gains and achievements.
This set back aside, Dr GP has of course done enormous work and achieved many things. He will definitely leave a legacy behind to be proud of.
The book makes you think — and think deeply!